Greeter, problem solver, gardener therapist and everything in between, Matthew is the one you seek when you reach out to us at PGS
He joined our team in November of 2021 - just as things were ramping up for the season! It was a whirlwind: the Holidays were upon us, Black Friday sales were about to take place, and the pandemic was still in full swing. Seed supplies were inconsistent, packages were majorly delayed due to staff shortages at the USPS, and it seemed like everyone was getting into gardening and calling with loads of questions. Matthew stepped in gracefully and enthusiastically and boy, were we grateful!
A master gardener himself, we're lucky to have him as part of the Pinetree Garden Seeds Team. Just wait until we get photos of his gardens this summer!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING AT PINETREE?
I have two favorite things; having the ability to talk about plants everyday all day and my second favorite is talking to our customers!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PINETREE CUSTOMER INTERACTION?
There are so many wonderful interactions! If I had to narrow it down I would say it is the customers who tell me about the many years of experience they have with gardening and share some tips and tricks and the brand new gardeners, I want to ensure they have a great experience so I get to be “geek out” over plant knowledge!
WHEN DID YOU FIRST GET INTO GARDENING?
There is a running joke in my family that I have been gardening since the day I was born! When I was a baby I had colic and my poor mother was exhausted from trying to get me to eat and sleep and just get me comfortable in general. One day they had me in my car seat on the kitchen table and my grandmother had set a bouquet of flowers on the table. I instantly stopped crying and would not stop staring at the flowers in front of me. They finally found a way to get me to calm down and fall asleep! When I was able to garden around age 4 and 5 it was all I wanted to do. I grew up with a very supportive family so they encouraged me in the field of plants. I had gardens not only at my home but at my grandparents' homes. I breathed, slept, and ate plants; it was and is my whole life. Gardening has gotten me through the good and the bad, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it!
WHAT DOES YOUR DREAM GARDEN LOOK LIKE?
Most of my younger life I grew up on Sebec Lake; my dream garden is to have a home on the lake and have a rustic cottage garden in the woods!
ANY TIPS/TRICKS YOU SWEAR BY TO KEEP YOUR GARDEN GROWING?
Talk to your plants! Play music for them! Dance in your garden! I am a Reiki Master so one thing I like to teach others is: plants feel our vibrations and energy, the more positive energy we release around them the happier they are. It truly works!
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST GARDEN FAILURE?
Losing my corn bed last season. I had a gorgeous corn bed of about 175 stalks and I made the huge mistake of not hilling them every other week. We had a cyclone storm come through ( I live in a storm belt, they happen a few times during the hot season) and it completely flattened my corn bed. Corn is shallow rooted so if you plant in a raised bed you need to hill them for stability and for them to grow stronger water roots. I sat in the middle of my corn bed in tears because they were all getting ready to tassel. I luckily was able to get at least 2 dozen ears for the freezer but I learned from this and will be ready this season!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE THING TO GROW?
Nasturtiums are my favorite seed to grow! They have funky seeds and they are so cute when they germinate and emerge from the soil. They have such fun flowers and leaves and are also edible.
I am not a big fan of eggplants. They have prickles on them when they flower and I always have to fight with them during harvest.
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST REWARDING ABOUT GARDENING?
The biggest reward is the harvest of flowers and vegetables at the end of the year. My husband and I did not have to purchase produce for almost 3 months last year, we ate everything right out of the garden!
DO YOU LIKE TO COOK WITH THE THINGS YOU GROW?
I have both flower and vegetable gardens, I do cook with everything I grow, even some of the flowers. I freeze a big part of my harvest for the winter. We cook a lot of stir fries but my favorite recipe is stuffed squash that I make with the patty pans or the eight-ball zucchini. The possibilities are endless with what you can stuff them with and it is healthy for you as well!
NAME ONE THING YOU NEVER GARDEN WITHOUT...
My Pandora! I never walk into the garden without music!
WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?
I like all types of music but Celine Dion is my favorite artist so I listen to her and a mix of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
DO YOU LISTEN TO ANY PODCASTS?
I do not listen to any podcasts but I watch tons of gardening tutorials on youtube, garden answers is my favorite!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT GARDENING?
My husband and I are nature and dog people so we try to do nature walks, go to the beach when we can during the summer. I am also a dancer so during the winter months I enjoy going out to listen to music and dancing! I am not much of a TV person during the spring/summer/fall season but I love a great comedy and binge watching reruns of the golden girls!
A few fun facts that didn't make the video:
He was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts but moved to Maine when he was 5 days old. It's fair to say that he's technically a Mainer, don't ya think?
When buying his house, he had to promise to tend to the tulip and daffodil gardens the previous owner was leaving behind - a job he took on willingly! That vase next to him in the video is full of the flowers he promised to protect and they're simply stunning.
Matthew is a skilled dancer and loves to cut a rug on his days off. A big fan of music, he's also a trained singer! His go-to karaoke song? Whitney Houston's "One Moment In Time" - Did someone say STAFF PARTY?
Visit our YOUTUBE pagefor the full video and thanks for watching!