Country Gardens & More owner Donna Gelao behind a painted window frame at her new location at 3891 Birch Bay-Lynden Road.
Five years ago Donna Gelao didn’t know much about plants. A semi-retired secretary by trade, she admits she has always loved playing in the garden but her new business Country Gardens & More came as a bit of surprise.
Gelao, who moved to Birch Bay from California in 2005 to take care of her aging mother, said she quickly developed a serious interest in plants after taking a visit to Kent’s Garden and Nursery in Bellingham. From there, things just sprouted, she said.
So after going to work part-time at several local nurseries, including Birch Bay Garden Center, she decided to open her own retail plant business.
With the help of her friend Vickie Seward, the two set up to construct a small retail stand on Birch Bay-Lynden Road on a plot of land next door to Sundance Market, formerly known as Terry’s Farmers Market.
“I enjoy helping people in their garden,” she said. “It started as a hobby business but now it’s turned into a business business. I also provide lots of free services such as planter design and even garden design.”
The business specializes in herbs, vegetable starts, perennials, trees and shrubs as well as gardening tools, planter benches and free advice for gardeners.
Gelao said she tries to support local business and currently offers locally raised blueberry plants, Simply Good Scents soaps and lotion and Back In Thyme herbs and soaps. She said she will also be selling seasonal goods during the holidays such as Christmas trees, wreaths and garland.
Country Gardens & More is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. They are located at 3891 Birch Bay-Lynden Road and can be reached by calling 366-5160. Their website is www.countrygardens2009.com