For more than 30 years, Arlena Schott has been “keeping it green” with the ownership and operation of Arlena’s Plantscape and Design, as well as hosting a TV series, “Garden Wise Living,” which airs on more than 200 channels, inspiring and educating viewers on gardening and sustainable living.
Schott began her gardening career in her hometown of Fallon, Nevada, a high desert town 60 miles east of Reno where she owned and operated an independent garden center for 15 years that she started at age 19. She learned cultivating techniques from her grandfather. She moved to Whitehall, Wisconsin, 20 years ago and started Arlena’s Plantscape and Design.
Schott also writes for several trade magazines and has co-hosted “Backyard Poultry” with the Chicken Whisperer Blog Talk Radio, guest hosted Rose Chat Radio, and appears regularly on NBC TV13’s “Today” and “Hello Wisconsin.” Schott enjoys traveling across the country sharing her gardening, canning, preserving and cooking knowledge, as well as the magic of miniature gardening through workshops and seminars at regional home and garden shows, trade shows and local garden centers. Schott performs home canning and preserving, freezing and dehydrating, raises poultry and is social media director for her local farmers market.
Proudest moment in business: A residential client asked me to design a grandchildren’s garden complete with a playhouse and water feature. I made several cement board games and had the grandma and grandpa put their handprints in the cement for their grandchildren to forever be able to “hold hands” with them. It turned out magical A few years afterward, the grandparents passed away and one of the granddaughters came up to me and said, “Thank you for doing that.” The garden is amazing to this day.
Biggest business challenge: I really don’t find any big challenges in my business, and for that I am grateful. I have a truly amazing client base full of people who trust my creativity, as well as a family that not only works with me but supports all of my very whimsical ways.
Best sources of landscape design/build inspiration: Nature is most inspiring for me. I find all my creative landscapes come from nature.
Favorite plant or plant combination: I love coral bells (heuchera) because the colors are delicious and so conforming. Shade or sun, they work well for adding a perennial splash to any landscape. Heuchera together with ornamental grasses are always my “go-to” combination.
Monday morning motivation: The fact that every project stretches the imagination. No two projects come out the same.
Business worry that keeps you up at night: I have always been able to find work no matter what it is. I don’t worry about business much. If it doesn’t come, I go out and find it. I have always been willing to reinvent myself to stay working.
Landscape design mentor: My grandpa, Edward Pete Rastis Workman, showed me how to propagate 33 years ago and got me excited about gardening.
Favorite business or landscape design book: I drool over Terra Nova Nurseries catalogs every year because they get me excited to add more color to my designs.
Landscape design project that makes you smile every time you drive past it: Last year, I designed and installed a landscape for a client whose husband is a logger. I used logs as the base of the landscape terrace, huge stones for steps and several small stone and bark paths. We used a log picker and truck to put the logs in place. The logging theme design is perfect for them. Adding a stamped patio will only make the landscape better as it grows.
Describe your business in five years: I have 10 grandchildren, so busy comes to mind as far as business. I would like to stretch my TV series, “Garden Wise Living,” to more online channels and do more marketing for independent garden centers with video content on how-to topics to play at their garden centers. I want to have open gathering gardens and independent garden and learning centers.
Connect with Arlena G. Schott & Arlena’s Plantscape and Design:
Pinterest: Arlena Schott