Our Team

At J.W. Townsend, our people make all the difference. We seek out the most qualified, passionate professionals in our field. Take a moment to meet our team and explore what literally defines “The Townsend Way”: our people.
Our Certifications & Experience
Our staff has over 900 cumulative years of horticultural experience and:
•32  Virginia Certified Horticulturists
•37  Registered Pesticide Technicians
•32  College Graduates
•2    Advanced Certified Horticulturists
•6    Certified Arborists

Administration

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    Jay Townsend Founder (retired) #
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    Jay Townsend

    Founder (retired)

    Jay is the Founder and former President of J. W. Townsend Landscapes and holds a B.S. degree in accounting from Virginia Tech. With over three decades of industry experience, Jay is a Virginia Certified Horticulturist with the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association. Jay enjoys the outdoors, especially sailing and fishing with his sons and wife.

    Favorite plant species?
    Acer Palmatum
    What makes JW Townsend different from other landscaping companies?
    Our people
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    Leigh Townsend President #
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    Leigh Townsend

    President

    Leigh joined J. W. Townsend, Inc. in July 2010. He has a B. S. degree from Clemson University in Construction Science and Management. He is also a VNLA Certified Horticulturist, VA Pesticide Technician, and LEED accredited professional. Leigh enjoys spending time with his wife, working in his yard, hunting, fishing, and Clemson football – Go Tigers!

    Favorite plant?
    Fringe Tree
    Favorite tool?
    Leaf Blower
    Favorite Project
    Kinloch
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    Kelley Withers Accounting Director #
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    Kelley Withers

    Accounting Director

    Kelley has an accounting degree and an English degree from Virginia Tech. She likes hostas, heuchera, irises, azaleas, periwinkle, and home-grown tomatoes. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking and playing with her dogs, reading, hiking, and avoiding housekeeping.

    Favorite vine
    Morning Glory
    Favorite shrub
    Forsythia
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    Lynn Govoruhk Human Resources Administrator #
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    Lynn Govoruhk

    Human Resources Administrator

    Lynn has been with JWT since 2010.

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    Geoff Shaw Senior Project Manager #
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    Geoff Shaw

    Senior Project Manager

    Geoff hails from Maine and holds a degree in Agribusiness and Resource Management from the University of Maine in Orono. Since moving to Charlottesville in 2004, he has worked on and managed fine properties and estates throughout Albemarle county. Geoff has a class A CDL, is a VNLA certified horticulturist and holds a pesticide applicator certification. When not at J.W. Townsend, Inc., he enjoys anything to do with water and spending time with his family and dogs.

    Favorite Plant
    Nepeta / Catmint
    Favorite Tool
    The Chainsaw
    Favorite Project
    Expertly shearing rows of Boxwoods to perfectly match...
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    Todd Hyer Project Development #
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    Todd Hyer

    Project Development

    Todd is a Landscape Architect and Sales Associate. He has a B.A. degree from Gettysburg College in Environmental Studies and a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Maryland College Park. He is also a Pesticide Technician and a registered Landscape Architect in Maryland and Virginia. Before joining J.W. Townsend Landscapes in 2016, Todd worked in the Baltimore area as a registered Landscape Architect and managed the Installation Team at a local landscape nursery. Todd enjoys working outside in his garden and having fun with his wife Kristen and two daughters Kendall and Meghan.

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    Danielle Brown Project Development #
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    Danielle Brown

    Project Development

    Danielle holds a B. S. in Psychology from JMU and a certificate in Landscape Design from University of Richmond. She is a VNLA Certified Horticulturist as well as a Registered Technician for pesticide application. Danielle joined J. W. Townsend, Inc. in April 2010 after working in sales and landscape design at a local garden center. She enjoys many outdoor activities including gardening and being on the river but she mostly enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys.

    Tree
    Stewartia
    Tool
    Felco Hand Pruners
    Favorite Project
    Garden Week 2010
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    Ernesto Dovis Estimator #
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    Ernesto Dovis

    Estimator

    Ernesto rejoined our group in June 2013 after working for J.W. Townsend 2005-2010 as an installation project manager. He has over 10 years experience in the field, and has been certified by both the VLNA and ISA and holds a Class A CDL. Ernesto loves to spend time with his family and coaches his son's soccer team. His hobbies include permaculture and organic gardening. He spent a few years traveling, surfing, and working at organic farms.

    Tree
    The Majestic Oak
    Tool
    The Amazing Soil Knife..with serrated edge
    Favorite Project
    Mill Mountain Project
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    Amanda Niesen Accounts Receivable #
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    Amanda Niesen

    Accounts Receivable

    Amanda has been a part of the JWT team since March of 2016, and has been a vital part of our accounting team. She loves to craft, travel, and watch her favorite Broadway musicals like RENT, Les Misérables, and Beetlejuice.

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    Carol Pendergast Accounts Payable #
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    Carol Pendergast

    Accounts Payable

Garden Installation

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    Philip J. Ofrias, III Vice President / Garden Installation Manager #
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    Philip J. Ofrias, III

    Vice President / Garden Installation Manager

    Phil is Vice President and Installation Manager. He attended the University of South Carolina and Virginia Tech. Before joining J.W. Townsend in 1991, Phil worked in the nursery industry assisting with the production of field grown shade trees and ornamentals. Phil is a Certified Horticulturist with the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, a Licensed Commercial Pesticide Applicator and a Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. Phil enjoys hunting, fishing and competitive shooting.

    Plant
    Yellowwood Tree
    Tool
    The Harley Rake
    Favorite Project
    Every single one...
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    Derrin Hayes Plant Buyer #
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    Derrin Hayes

    Plant Buyer

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    Dakota Rothgeb Team Leader #
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    Dakota Rothgeb

    Team Leader

    Dakota grew up in the beautiful hills of Earlysville Virginia. A graduate of Albemarle High School, Dakota joined JWT in 2011 as a planting assistant. Since then, Dakota has thrived as a member of the meadow installation team as well as many other garden installation projects and recently became a VNLA certified horticulturist. In his spare time, Dakota enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his beautiful wife.

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    Brian Yoder Manager of Natural Resources #
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    Brian Yoder

    Manager of Natural Resources

    Brian has been bringing expert knowledge to our Meadows department since February of 2020. With a Masters of Natural Resources from Virginia Tech, Permaculture Design Certification, and Commercial Applicator Certification he is an indispensable part of the JWT team! Fun fact: he was also a CH-47 helicopter pilot in the Army.

    Favorite Activities
    Cooking, gardening, and spending time with his children and pets.
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    Marcus Bowles Supervisor #
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    Marcus Bowles

    Supervisor

    Marcus joined J.W. Townsend in 2006 and has been a Foreman for nearly that long. When he is not installing beautiful landscapes enjoys fishing, hunting, raising hunting dogs, and spending time with his family.

    Favorite things to do outside of work
    Hunting and Fishing
    Favorite Project
    Private residence at the Homestead
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    Kevin Eavey Supervisor #
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    Kevin Eavey

    Supervisor

    Kevin has been with J.W. Townsend Landscapes since March of 2012.

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    Richard Epplesheimer Supervisor #

    Richard Epplesheimer

    Supervisor

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    Reuel Sheldon IV Supervisor #
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    Reuel Sheldon IV

    Supervisor

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    Jordan Tatum Nursery Supervisor #
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    Jordan Tatum

    Nursery Supervisor

    Jordan joined the Townsend team in March of 2021 and brought with him a background of restaurant management and 6 years as a United States Marine Corps Reservist. Fun fact: he spent most of his life as an elite gymnast!

    Favorite Plant
    Chamaecyparis pisifera / Gold Mop
    Favorite Activity
    Wine tasting with my dog
    Favorite Project
    Anything that makes my house look great!
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    Zach Barranco Foreman #

    Zach Barranco

    Foreman

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    Ryan Walker Foreman #

    Ryan Walker

    Foreman

Landscape Management

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    Steve Pekary Vice-President / Landscape Management Director #
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    Steve Pekary

    Vice-President / Landscape Management Director

    Steve is our Vice President and Garden Maintenance Manager. Steve was raised on his family’s farm in Orange, Virginia and studied horticulture at Piedmont Virginia Community College. He has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and is an Advanced Virginia Certified Horticulturist with the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association as well as a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture. Steve is a true leader; he has an infectious personality, a great attitude and truly enjoys what he does for a living. In 2016 he was awarded Young Professional of the Year by the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association. He lives in Louisa, Virginia with his wife and three children. They enjoy gardening, hiking and traveling.

    Favorite Tree
    Nyssa Sylvatica 'Wildfire' / Black Gum
    Favorite Tool
    The Airspade
    Favorite Project
    Free Union Perennial Garden (private residence)
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    Mike Ferguson Manager of Special Projects #
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    Mike Ferguson

    Manager of Special Projects

    Mike joined JWT in 2001 after studying horticulture at Piedmont Community College. In addition to his years of experience working at JWT, he is a Virginia Certified Horticulturalist, Certified Pesticide Applicator and holds a Virginia CDL class license. When he's not installing award winning landscapes, Mike enjoys hiking, target shooting and cooking BBQ.

    Favorite Tree
    Sweetbay Magnolia
    Favorite Tool
    The Long Handled Spade
    Favorite Project
    Planting perfect Boxwood hedges...
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    Brandon Layne Manager of Turf Services #
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    Brandon Layne

    Manager of Turf Services

    Brandon started with us originally in April of 2016 and returned in 2020 after a brief hiatus. He holds the VNLA certification, certified Crew Manager certification, and both certified fertilizer applicator and commercial applicator certifications.

    Favorite Plant
    Quercus Virginiania / Live Oak
    Favorite Activity
    Hiking & traveling
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    Luke Puglia Manager of Gardening Services #
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    Luke Puglia

    Manager of Gardening Services

    Luke is a Penn State graduate with a B. S. in horticulture and has nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. He is a VNLA certified horticulturist, commercial pesticide applicator, and a certified arborist. Luke joined the team in 2014 after moving from his home in Philadelphia. He enjoys traveling, hiking and snowboarding with his wife as well as playing music with friends.

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    Patrick Baker Team Leader #
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    Patrick Baker

    Team Leader

    Patrick started with us in the summer of 2019. With his BA in Philosophy and Religion Studies from Christopher Newport University, and registered pesticide technician certification he worked for two Parks & Recreation departments before coming to J.W.T.

    Favorite Plant
    Prunus Sargentii / Sargent Cherry
    Favorite Activity
    Hiking & cooking
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    Tate Holden Team Leader #
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    Tate Holden

    Team Leader

    Tate started with us in the summer of 2017 and is a VNLA-VCH certified horticulturalist, ISA certified arborist, and licensed pesticide & fertilizer applicator, and passionate home gardener.

    Favorite Plant
    Heuchera
    Favorite Activity
    Watching sci-fi shows
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    Sarah Riehn Team Leader #
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    Sarah Riehn

    Team Leader

    Sarah joined our team in the summer of 2020 and brought with her an Associates Degree of Science from PVCC. She is a registered pesticides applicator and is working towards a VNLA certification.

    Favorite Project
    Wreath workshop
    Favorite Activity
    Camping at the beach
    Favorite Flower
    Portulaca & sunflowers
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    Todd Stackhouse Team Leader #
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    Todd Stackhouse

    Team Leader

    William (Todd) has a B. S. degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech. He is a VNLA Certified Horticulturist and is a pesticide applicator. He joined J. W. Townsend, Inc. in March 2006. Earlier in his career, he owned a nursery as well as a landscape construction company that specialized in patios, walkways, and water features. He is a great cook, and also enjoys spending time with his family, running, hiking, and woodworking.

    Color
    Red
    Tree
    Coffee Tree
    Favorite Project
    My favorite project is the summer garden at Monticello.
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    Trevor Willis Team Leader #
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    Trevor Willis

    Team Leader

    Trevor joined our team in March of 2017. He studied at PVCC, is a registered pesticides technician, and a VNLA certified horticulturist. Since joining J.W.T., he's held positions as Head Gardener in our HotPots and Residential divisions.

    Favorite Plant
    Metasequoia Glyptostroboides / Dawn Redwood
    Favorite Activity
    Spending quality time with his wife & two dogs
    Favorite Project
    Tadler Private Residence
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    Kyle Wensel Team Leader #
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    Kyle Wensel

    Team Leader

    Kyle has a B. S. degree in Education and Social Studies/History. He is a VNLA Certified Horticulturist, pesticide applicator, and a certified payload operator. He joined J. W. Townsend Landscapes in August 2017. Earlier in his career, he was a teacher and taught high school Social Studies, Environmental Studies, and World Centuries. He enjoys all outdoor activities, especially vegetable gardening, fly fishing for trout and archery.

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    Rollin Larrick Team Leader #
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    Rollin Larrick

    Team Leader

    Rollin was born and raised in Indiana. He joined J.W. Townsend in 2013 and quickly became a VNLA certified horticulturist. Outside of work, he enjoys watching sports with friends and playing music. He also loves to travel and has a goal of visiting all 50 states!

    Favorite Plant
    Giant Sequoia
    Favorite Tool
    Felco #11's
    Favorite Project
    Farm work at Private Farm in Charlottesville
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    Caleb Robertson Team Leader #
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    Caleb Robertson

    Team Leader

    Caleb joined our team in the spring of 2019 with prior experience as Groundskeeper at Farmington Country Club.

    Favorite Activity
    Fishing

Leads & Head Gardeners

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    Elliot Davies Project Lead #

    Elliot Davies

    Project Lead

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    Donnell Douglas Project Lead #
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    Donnell Douglas

    Project Lead

    A graduate of Charlottesville High School, Donnell has been working with JW Townsend Landscape since May of 2017 with a Certified Petisides license. He also makes the best cheesecake at JWT!

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    Agustin Ortiz Project Lead #

    Agustin Ortiz

    Project Lead

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    Todd Richmond Project Lead #
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    Todd Richmond

    Project Lead

    Todd joined J. W. Townsend Landscapes in November 2018. He has a B. S. degree from Concord University and is a Registered Pesticide Technician. He has been installing landscapes since 2014 and has a background in design and nursery management. Todd enjoys listening to music and going to concerts when he's not creating beautiful landscapes.

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    Thomas Collier Turf Lead #
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    Thomas Collier

    Turf Lead

    Thomas joined J.W.T. in the fall of 2016. He studied horticulture and landscape design at PVCC, has 22 years of landscaping experience, and is a VNLA certified horticulturalist and registered pesticide technician.

    Favorite Plant
    Turf
    Favorite Activity
    Spending time with his kids
    Favorite Project
    Moving turf
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    Brandon Ellis Turf Lead #

    Brandon Ellis

    Turf Lead

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    Keith Geigan Turf Lead #

    Keith Geigan

    Turf Lead

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    Chiron Aldebaran Head Gardener #

    Chiron Aldebaran

    Head Gardener

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    Jen Ferguson Head Gardener #
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    Jen Ferguson

    Head Gardener

    Jen joined our team in the summer of 2021 as a lifetime gardener and nurturer of nature. She holds a pesticides certification, and hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2014!

    Favorite JWT Project
    Learning more about our landscapes
    Favorite Plant
    Old white oaks
    Favorite Activity
    Long distance backpacking
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    Cory Hash Head Gardener #
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    Cory Hash

    Head Gardener

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    Kevin Hensley Head Gardener #
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    Kevin Hensley

    Head Gardener

    Kevin has been working with JWT since 2019, bringing his Associate's Degree in Science from PVCC, VNLA, and registered pesticide technician status to our team!

    Favorite Activity
    Hiking & biking
    Favorite Plant
    Symplocarpos Foetidus "Eastern Skunk Cabbage"
    Favorite Tree
    Platanus Occidentalis "American Sycamore"
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    McKay Marcum Head Gardener #

    McKay Marcum

    Head Gardener

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    Gerard Podoba Head Gardener #
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    Gerard Podoba

    Head Gardener

    Gerard was raised in Poland before moving to the U.S. in the late 80's. Having the privilege to see both sides of the world allowed him much insight into how beautiful it is outdoors. Gerard found his true passion when he joined JWT as a horticulturalist in 2012. He enjoys the seemingly endless task of garden planning and loves inspiring people to get outdoors and enjoy nature!

    Favorite Plant
    Chinese Wisteria
    Favorite Tool
    Chain Saw
    Favorite Project
    Pruning espalier trees...
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    Pele Prescott Head Gardener #
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    Pele Prescott

    Head Gardener

    Pele joined J.W. Townsend in 2020. She holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from Albright College in Pennsylvania; she also has 7 years in Virginia landscape gardening experience and over a decade of organic vegetable gardening experience in VA and PA.

    Favorite Plant
    Pulmonaria
    Favorite Activity
    Hiking in Shenandoah National Park
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    Clint Roberts Head Gardener #

    Clint Roberts

    Head Gardener

Serving Virginia Since 1983

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