"Who are we... Why are we here?"
The inevitable introduction

 

Nils, Kristen, Shelby, and William Sundquist

Sundquist Nursery, Inc. is in the heart of the Puget Sound region, a mild-winter area in the Pacific Northwest USA.   This is one of the few places where you can grow a palm and a subarctic alpine a few feet from one another, although, unfortunately, growing that palm to a mature size, or providing adequate winter drainage for that alpine, or, sadly, ripening a beefsteak tomato, all present somewhat of a challenge. 

The nursery initially crashlanded in 1987 in a tiny backyard in the Central District of Seattle, Washington.  This occurred when Nils Sundquist realized he might grow plants (and had better well do something) to pay for his abject plant addiction.  His landlord was initially tolerant, but ultimately was not amused.  After a long search, Nils and his wife Kristen moved to their Poulsbo, WA. farm in 1990.  "Why do you need so much land?" the bankers wanted to know.  Nils told them what was true at the time: he was going to use the acreage to grow plants for the retail nursery where he worked.  Otherwise, the bankers would not have been tolerant or amused.  As for Kristen, she simply had ideas of her own.

Another nursery owner (who was amused) told Nils he might begin making money in ten years.  She later qualified her remark to mean that Nils might begin making money in ten years after leaving his day job.  Perversely, Nils persevered.  He quit his day job to run Sundquist Nursery full time in 1997. 

Today, Sundquist Nursery produces container plants on about two acres.  This may not sound like much, but thousands of plants of several hundred varieties are on the ground at any one time.  Nils, who built the facilities himself on a "pay-as-you-go" basis, has hired good help.  He also maintains stock, trial, and display gardens on three acres.  He describes his plant addiction as "under control."  Sundquist Nursery might begin making money any year now. 

Actually, the nursery is thriving and expanding, thanks to a combination of Nils' dedication to quality and service, and masochism. 

Nils' wife Kristen still occasionally answers the phone.  She runs a Montessori preschool on the same property.  Nils and Kristen have two children, Shelby and William.   On a good day, life is good.