Who’s Who at My Thyme Gardens

Get to know our AMAZING Team!

Jennifer Ott

Jen is the amazing owner of My Thyme Gardens. She loves to garden because it feeds her soul. She used to live in Kodiak, Alaska. Her time there helped her appreciate sunny days and how incredible it feels to spend the day working in the soil. Gardening is super supportive for her mental health, keeping her active! She enjoys the sense of accomplishment in seeing the transformation of a job from start to finish. It’s also very rewarding to think about the health of the soil on each property and how it improves over the years, the more her team works with it.

After time with her hands in the dirt, Jen feels grounded. The pace of her thoughts and the world around her slow down, and she is then able to focus on the microclimate in front of her. It’s meditative and serene.

Jen loves the community and culture around gardening. She loves connections with her clients, feeling like they become family after working together year after year. Jen gains a lot of inspiration looking at the relationships between plants in the garden and comparing them to our own relationships with people. Plants support their community and it helps me think – “How can I be more supportive to those in my community?”

Laurie Krohn

Laurie is our Office Manager, Accounts Coordinator, and Empathy Ambassador. Laurie loves communicating and being involved with customers, mulch delivery coordinators, suppliers, and vendors. She is person-oriented and enjoys building relationships with current, future, and potential customers. Laurie strives to make people feel appreciated and heard.

A fun fact about Laurie is that she hates housework with a passion, so when she must do it, she puts on Christmas music and starts singing and dancing. Some advice Laurie would give prospective My Thyme Gardens candidates is how supportive one should be for their team. Sometimes people have a bad day; understand that and be there for them. Sometimes they’re having a fabulous day…be there for that too! Laurie’s favorite beneficial garden critters are bees, because without bees, we don’t have pollinators or food – and if we don’t have food, we won’t survive.

Nikki Willemson

Nikki, our Team Leader, Field Supervisor and Mentor, has been with My Thyme Gardens for five years! She describes the My Thyme Gardens environment as motivating, supportive, and encouraging. She loves leading a team of energetic, positive women and really focuses on giving back to the customer, the earth, and ourselves as a team.

Before she joined My Thyme Gardens, she was a hairstylist, and with her experience as a hairstylist, she was able to take what she learned and apply it to pruning trees and shrubs. Nikki loves to prune!

To make sure she is staying happy and healthy, Nikki always strives to become the best version of herself every single day, not only for herself, but for the people around her as well.

Heather Battaglia

Heather is our HR and Marketing Coordinator, as well as a Field Supervisor! Heather loves being a part of the team, enjoys the team’s humor, and likes the variety of landscape gardens we serve. Her favorite landscaping tool is a soil knife because it’s such a useful tool for getting weeds out.

Heather’s favorite beneficial garden critter is the butterfly. She has raised them for eight years, and grows Milkweed in her backyard. Raising caterpillars and making sure they have a safe environment and fresh food to grow and transform into butterflies makes her feel good! The most important thing she’s learned in the last five years is how to take care of her health and other people’s health. She was a health coach before she joined My Thyme Gardens.

Michelle Hunt-Ruggles

I would like to introduce Team Member and newest Team Leader, Michelle. Michelle spent her summers growing up playing outside, every single day. She enjoys the teamwork that she sees happening every day within our team, and is grateful to have people around her who share the same interests.

To be a successful landscaper, Michelle says you need to have an artist’s eye, as well as the will to finish a job – and finish it well. She has many favorite plants, but one of her favorites is Peony. She describes the My Thyme Gardens team culture with these three words; respect, encouragement, and teamwork!

Lillian Calcaterra

Lillian Calcaterra, Team Member and Mentor, says “In order to succeed as a landscaper, you need perseverance. You do a lot of hard, repetitive things, so you need to be able to stick to it and keep going.” Her personal mission statement is to always be yourself, have fun in everything you do, keep a good perspective during hard times, and remember you don’t have to be in control of your life because God is.

Lillian’s favorite beneficial garden critter is the humble earthworm because they come in all sizes, they do so much for the soil, and it’s so fun to dig them up and put them in a better spot. In her free time, Lillian makes clay crafts, including earrings.

Alaina Kiehl

Our team member says, “If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right!” The more dirty Alaina gets at work, the happier she is because she feels like she accomplished a lot.

When it’s 90 degrees out and the team is sweating bullets and hauling wheelbarrows full of rock, her personal mantra to get through it is, “I am a strong person. I’ve done sports all my life, so when I’m really tired and people are watching me, I want to show them that I’m superhuman. So I Hulk it out.” Get it, Alaina!

Sara Thiel

Team member Sara loves to garden at home. She cans all her own veggies to enjoy throughout the winter. She enjoys landscaping because she can see results of the team’s hard work. “I like coming back to customers’ houses through the years and seeing their gardens as they change.”

Her favorite landscaping tool is the hori hori knife because it can be used as a cutting tool or spade. She uses it for about 75% of landscaping tasks. Sara’s personal mantra for tough moments is, “If you can’t get out of it, get into it!”

Madison Lorincz

This positivity-focused team member loves landscaping because she loves to be outside. “A lot of people question what I do and say it’s a man’s job. I want to show other women that anyone can do any job, especially landscaping.” Madison likes bringing designs to life, helping it all flow together and seeing the last presentation of the yard.

When she is landscaping, she likes to use a gas trimmer. She loves it so much that she asked for one as a graduation gift. Madison also tutors math on the side, enjoying helping people succeed.

Ashley Coleman

Team Member Ashley Coleman says, “To succeed as a landscaper, you need to have a positive mindset. You can’t dwell on a lot of stuff when it’s hot. Instead, act as a team player and be willing to learn, no matter what conditions you are in.” Her favorite landscaping tool is the hand trowel because she likes working with her hands in the dirt. She also likes how small and precise it is.

A fun fact about Ashley is how big she is on Gothic design and horror. Her house and garden are gothic-themed, which represents a big part of who she is. Lastly, her favorite beneficial garden critters are dragonflies because they eat mosquitoes, and she likes observing how mechanical their wings look. To attract dragonflies to her garden, she plants horsetail and milkweed. Doing this prevents her from having to use pesticides!

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