september/october 2020
5 Minutes With … Jessie Jacobson By Teresa McPherson

Jessie Jacobson is owner of Tonkadale Greenhouse in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and a GPN Magazine 40 Under 40 alumnus.

What do you love about your job?

I love the seasonality, always something new to look forward to. I love working with the product. I love new plant arrivals. I love the people I work with; they impress me every day. I love the movement of physical work and working hard. I love planning for each new season, innovation, design, [and] becoming the best leader I can be.

What keeps you up at night?

Employee conflict and difficult customer service interactions. I take these things very personally. I feel that as a leader, it is my job to lead better, to do better, to resolve conflict. I suppose it’s some sort of unhealthy codependence. Also, dirty greenhouse floors.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry?

Work hard. Do be afraid to try any task. Look for gaps and respectfully use your talent and strengths to move the organization forward. Learn as much as you can from those who have been in the industry. Challenge the status quo. Ask questions. Love plants.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Trying new restaurants, spending time with my family at the cabin, waterskiing, gardening, sitting on my porch with wine or coffee, buying throw pillows, Facetime with my niece, walks with my husband, chiropractor visits, NPR, yoga.

Favorite plant to grow? Why?

How am I supposed to answer this question? The plants are listening.

In the greenhouse: hanging baskets — so much instant gratification, plus when the baby plants start to roll in, it’s the first sign that spring will come again. Also cactus because they just sit there and don’t ask for much.

In the garden: Echinacea, hydrangeas, perennial grasses.

In my containers: Asparagus fern, the little black dress of annuals. Likes sun or shade, can be wet or dry.

In the house: Any kind of philodendron or snake plant. Bromeliads too until their color fades away, then they become compost.

Teresa McPherson

Teresa McPherson is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected]


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