Jackie Smith has been “playing in the dirt” in her own yard her entire adult life, honing her skills at Edible Landscaping. She started helping people plant their annuals and mulch and do little extra garden activities that they could no longer do because of age or disability. One day a lady paid her and said she could make some money “playing in the dirt.” That was the beginning of her gardening business in 2001.
The scope of the business has increased almost every year. Jackie is now Permaculture Design Certified and can help her clients create edible landscapes that are beautiful, sustainable, and low maintenance. She has the ability to do a site analysis that includes both the natural variables and structural variables on a site. It is an exciting business and no two days are alike. Just as no two landscapes are alike, every landscape bears the stamp of the owner’s personality. Uncovering just what that is for every person and implementing it is one of the most exciting parts of Froghair Gardens.
Jackie is a Certified Permaculture Designer, Certified Master Gardener, seed saver, and passionate heirloom vegetable and flower grower. She sold heirloom plants, seeds, and produce for ten years at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market and was the first person to offer “heirloom” varieties there. She has been gardening ever since she was a child. Her family lived on what today would be called a “homestead.” Planting flowers and vegetables were just a normal part of being. Raising their own vegetables and always having vases of flowers on the table were a way of life.
From her dad, Jackie learned how to maintain a vegetable garden with no chemicals and learned which weeds and bugs were actually beneficial. Her grandma lived just down the road and she taught Jackie the glory of flower gardening; about color combinations, placement in beds, maintaining flower beds for optimal pleasure, and how to use many of the plants in teas and tinctures.
Jackie has combined these two aspects of gardening with Permaculture Design. The core of Permaculture is caring for the earth, caring for people, and caring for the future. The landscapes Jackie helps her clients create enrich nature, the homeowner, the community, and posterity.
FrogHair Gardens is a joyful enterprise and that joy is shared with all Jackie’s clients.