In March of 2019 Lucy West, a senior at Dana, began working at the Dana Point Nursery. One morning, West’s mother was shopping for some plants and asked her consultant if there were any available job openings. The consultant told her to have Lucy come in and talk to the owner about a possible position. Later, when her mom got home, Lucy was informed of the job opportunity. That same day, she headed to the nursery to be interviewed. Despite having no previous knowledge of plants, she explained that she was a quick learner and was shortly employed. Two weeks later she started her job, although she lacked the basic knowledge that was needed to help customers. Now, after working at the nursery as a plant consultant for about a year and a half Lucy has accumulated a collection of approximately 200 individual plants, twelve lizards, three frogs and a vast knowledge of greenery.
Lucy started her plant collection shortly after starting her job at the nursery. She found inspiration from the store owner, Brooke, along with social media and the constant presence of plants at work. She currently has 200 plants throughout her room, her favorite one being the Scindapsus Pictus Exotica, a rare plant native to South-East Asia. Each of her plants is on an individual watering schedule: “My watering schedule is pretty unpredictable at this point. I spend like two hours a day watering, pruning, cleaning and fertilizing different plants. they’re all different.” She makes her own fertilizer out of compost, banana peels, vitamins and water. This combination helps them grow faster and makes the colors more vibrant.
After having multiple themed reptile birthday parties, it comes to no surprise that West is now an avid collector. She currently has fourteen reptiles in total. She has three multi color panther chameleons, Craig (2 y/o), Kyle (1.5 y/o) and Candice (6 m/o). She has one green Jackson’s chameleon, Derek (2 y/o). Along with these reptiles she has eight crested geckos which can live up to fifteen years. She also has one whites tree frog that shifts to different shades of greens, along with one orange and yellow red clown tree frog. Most of her lizards need to be kept in different cages due to their aggressive nature, making them a danger to each other. West’s room is filled with multiple terrariums, all containing live plants. Along with having all of these lizards as pets, she also breeds her geckos to sell online. In total she spends about three hours maintaining her animals and their homes as well as around six hours of personal time with her animals per week.
Between working as a plant consultant and being a plant owner herself, Lucy has gained quite an extensive knowledge of plants. However, Lucy has stated that in the early stages of her job at the nursery she had some difficulties due to the lack of previous experience in the field of botany. She has now gained the personal experience and knowledge of working at the nursery and is very helpful to her customers. Her job as a plant consultant has allowed her to help friends, family and customers determine what plants are right for them.
Lucy never expected to be so in love with plants, but her sudden hire at the Dana Point Nursery turned into a hobby that has made a huge impact on her daily routine. Now she gets a thrill every time she is able to unbox a new plant, whether it is for the nursery or for her ever expanding home collection.
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