The Windowbox Gardeners: Mary Starnes and Gretchen Jacobs
Writer / Kara Kavensky
Photographer / Nathaniel Edmunds Photography
Mary Starnes loves container gardens, and what once was merely her hobby has turned into a successful business. The Windowbox Gardener has now been dressing window boxes and containers professionally for the past 12 years.
“My first home had window boxes built in,” Starnes said. “I loved the freedom and flexibility of doing these arrangements, and it grew from there.”
During her sixth year Starnes partnered with Gretchen Jacobs, who left a career in real estate to join Starnes.
“Our boys were on the same baseball team,” Jacobs said. “The Windowbox Gardner was organically growing, and I loved the concept. We love what we do.”
According to their website, “The Windowbox Gardener is a full-service container garden design company … committed to creating personalized container gardens unique to the individual.” The company takes into consideration sun requirements, location and personal preferences to create a personalized look.
Most all of their clients renew every year, Jacobs said. Containers are changed four times a year, once for each season. With their business focused on excellent customer service, Starnes and Jacobs ensure happy customers.
“We try to make something amazing for each of our clients every time we create their containers,” states Starnes. “We typically have new clients ask if their planters could look just like XYZ’s and we honor the overall aesthetic but make sure that all of our clients’ containers remain unique and special just for them.”
The attention to detail requires an elaborate behind-the-scenes organizational system of cataloguing looks, designs, and colors. With steady growth they’ve experienced year after year, they have been accurately able to predict the supply for the following year.
Starnes and Jacobs lead their team of 11 employees, each dedicated to creating customized looks for their customers.
“All of our employees are friends of ours, who all happen to be women,” Jacobs said.
While Starnes and Jacobs have ordered most of their supplies for spring, it is not too late to get on their schedule.