by Colby Q. Lindeman
I first called Jaime, aka the “Broadway Botanist” with a desire to expand my not-so-green thumb and fill our home with some fresh plant life. In an effort to save a few coins, as I was unemployed at the time, I searched for my own West Elm style pot to hold a new tree for our home. I found a plain, beat up planter - the last one on the thrift store shelf and took it home. With a little paint and creativity, I turned it into a spiffy new planter for our tree, Ira Cornstein. That handmade pot design became a popular insta post and soon, people started asking for similar pots. Just like that I began painting, designing and up-cycling planters for the Broadway Botanist. I had no idea my thrifty personality would turn into this creative and joyful partnership. Now I’m a full member of the Plant Squad!
The Broadway Botanist is the realization of a dream and passion of Jaime. It started with humble beginnings in her dressing room during Bandstand on Broadway, sharing plants and plant guidance for cast mates. Word spread quickly and soon she was getting requests to help greenify others’ rooms, homes, and offices. It’s amazing the way the Broadway community has embraced and spread her passion for green around all of New York City. Now with the start of the Greenhouse workspace, the gift of plants can go even further and can include community outreach.
Before getting fully immersed in the Plant Squad, I went on a project installation with Jaime. We went to a huge nursery, traveled soil and plants and pots, and got to work on a building’s fall planter boxes. I didn’t have my own gardening gloves yet, so I squeezed my hands into an extra pair, size small! But once I got digging in the dirt, I didn’t care. It was so satisfying to turn soil and put out fresh soil with live earthworms. Those little guys are so fun to watch. We planted mums and fall greenery for the season all along the front of the building. The incredible part was the look on people’s faces as they walked past. They’d stop and smile, ask about the flowers, compliment how improved it looked, or take a deep cleansing breath as they walked by. You could see the expressions change from bustling city life to a moment of calm and joy. The excitement of planting was so contagious that it prompted several others on the same street to ask for help with their planters. That was the day where I saw first hand the power of plants and the good it can bring people. I was hooked.
Working with the Broadway Botanist is a team effort but there’s this light and passion that comes from Jaime. She radiates with joy for plants and for sharing plants with others. Today the BB is working on creating unique plant projects for homes, offices, dressing rooms, and more, as well as installing hanging plants, wall planters, and standing planters inside and outdoors, all of which are custom designed for the environment and the caretaker. This way you know what you’re getting and how to care for it. The Broadway Botanist also takes in unhealthy plants to give them TLC. It’s also a ‘plant hotel’ for your green babies while you travel. The Greenhouse will also begin holding in-house sessions and workshops to learn more about plants and planting. You will be able to come shop for pots and planters and all sorts of green things.
The Broadway Botanist’s Greenhouse space is growing with lots of love and care from the team and from all of our supporters. Without your help, the Greenhouse won’t thrive. It has so much to give and some much potential. We hope you’ll join us and support our Kickstarter. Come check us out and see what all the green is about.