Jackie Bartsch has been getting a lot of lookie-loos in the last several months as she slowly makes renovations to her newest business venture.
“A lot of people have been wondering what’s happening,” the owner of the new Rain Shadow Nursery in Coupeville said last week.
The British Columbia native has been hard at work with the help of husband Raoul and five employees bringing new energy to the former Sally’s Garden location on South Main Street.
The nursery opened Saturday with a grand opening celebration planned for Saturday, March 17.
The Bartsch’s moved to Coupeville about three years ago. They had been living in Colorado when Jackie decided she wanted to live closer to her family in British Columbia.
Her husband had two requests, she said, he wanted acreage and sunshine. So after googling “sunniest place in Washington,” they found Coupeville and its rain shadow. Hence, the new nursery’s name.
Bartsch said she has two passions in life — getting kids to eat their veggies and plants.
She worked at a nursery for 20 years previously as a buyer and also owned an organic fruit and vegetable delivery business.
When her children were younger she wrote a series of children’s books called The Veggie Adventures. They were popular in British Columbia and Bartsch found herself doing readings at schools and even developed life-sized mascots. One of them will be making an appearance at the grand opening.
Bartsch said she’d kept her eye on the nursery and when she saw it was for sale she went over to meet Sally.
“I followed my heart,” she said. “It felt like the right thing to do.”
Rain Shadow Nursery will be environmentally friendly, offering pesticide-free fertilizer and other organic items.
“I don’t believe in throwing away plants,” she said. “I always try to revive them.”
She’s even set up a plant hospital.
With five employees to help out, Bartsch hopes to provide great customer service and help with any woes for those brown-thumbed customers.
“They’ll tell you when they’re not happy,” she said. “Plants will talk to you in different ways.”