5 Minutes With … Sonya Harrison

February 2023
5 Minutes With … Sonya Harrison By Teresa McPherson

Sonya Harrison is executive garden girl and a certified landscape designer at My Secret Garden.

Sonya Harrison is executive garden girl and a certified landscape designer at My Secret Garden in Peachtree Corners, Georgia.

How did you get involved in horticulture?

My grandmother. She was a gardener and shared her joy of plants with me. Through her, I found my calling in life. Each spring, I remember her garden and the large swath of huge purple bearded irises that ushered in the season at her house.

What do you love about your job?

Everything involving people and plants! I love people, so connecting with my guests and helping them with garden needs large and small is a joy. We all thrive on accomplishment, so when someone sends a picture of a beautiful window box or porch arrangement I helped them put together, it makes my day. Plus, I get to work with plants every day, and that makes me smile a lot.

What keeps you up at night?

My dogs Leah and Sam — they are very needy, especially when it rains.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in horticulture?

You cannot be everything to everyone — find your niche and stick with it. You’ll be happier and build expertise quicker. I think back to my grandmother — she helped me find my calling, but I had to find the best way to answer it.

What’s something most people would not know about you?

I am fairly open so this is a tough question, but I recently learned to surf! I loved it so much; I had planned to pop over to Cocoa Beach after TPIE [The Tropical Plant International Expo] in January, but due to the weather and rip currents I had to cancel my surfing excursion…. Guess I will have to plan another trip!

What is your favorite plant?

Petunias. They are exceptionally versatile — thriving in pots, hanging baskets and yards — and grow in so many colors. I am a designer, and petunias are a great go-to for so many design jobs.

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Teresa McPherson

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