Petie Reed spent many years doing various work, but she always wanted more. “Plants were always my hobby,” she says. “And anything is better than being cooped up indoors.”
Reed is the wearer of many hats at Perennial Harmony Garden & Landscape, where she and her partner, Rich Oliver, specialize in landscaping design and redesign. After operating a seasonal retail nursery in Waterford for several years, Reed wanted to expand into a year-round indoor business. Their new location in East Lyme on Boston Post Road near the Flanders four corners is ideal, she says.
An environmentalist at heart, Reed is also certified by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), which ensures the growth and viability of organic agriculture, organic food, and organic land care. “I like to use native plants, deer-resistant varieties, and low-maintenance plantings,” she says. Everything they employ for garden and landscaping services and growing nursery stock is organic; chemicals are never used.
The charming garden shop at Perennial Harmony is filled with lovely plants and container gardens, whimsical garden ornaments and accessories, and a full line of organic supplies. The outdoor displays are beautifully arranged to catch the eye and make one drool. A large bed of lavender is a sight to behold and abuzz with industrious honeybees and other pollinators. A featured item is NOFA Farmer’s Pledge Organic Vegetable Starts.
Reed talks enthusiastically about this career. “It’s what I wanted for a long time.” The landscaping and redesign aspect of the business has attracted more and more older homeowners who are looking to simplify their expansive gardens. Many people want to stay in their homes as they age, but their yards are out of control. Perennial Harmony helps bring things back into order, and also provides maintenance services for gardens.
“I do a lot of support work and consulting by text or email,” Reed says, then smiles. “I have a library of more than 2,000 gardening books, so if I don’t have an answer, I know where to find it.”
Most of the landscape installations are done in the fall because plants still have time to grow strong root structures before the harsh winter sets in. In order for Reed and Oliver to manage both aspects of the business, the store is only open to the public Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., or by appointment Monday through Thursday.
Perennial Harmony also offers classes in the store. Learn to build a terrarium, make a wreath, do needle felting, paint, and more while enjoying the company of a group called Makers of the Lost Arts. The store also sometimes hosts events for nonprofit organizations in the area.
Some of the community organizations that Perennial Harmony supports include F.R.E.S.H. New London, Waterford Country School, Connecticut Master Gardener Program, and ARC of New London County, to name only a few. Reed and Oliver are members of the Connecticut Farm Bureau, Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association, Waterford Historical Society, Save the River-Save the Hills, and Fiddleheads Natural Foods Coop, among others.
Perennial Harmony Garden & Landscape is a vibrant small business with far-reaching impact, and it’s located right here in our own backyard.
Perennial Harmony Garden & Landscape is located at 144 Boston Post Road, East Lyme, CT 06333. For more information, call 860-961-4439, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.perennialharmony.com