Michele Finley

Up on the Green Roof

If you had told me 20 years ago, (long before I’d even heard of a green roof) that I would be hanging out with architects and tossing around words like parapets and ballast, I would have called you crazy. Me? Jim the Plant Guy? Arguing the benefits of drain conduits to drain off excess water under a living roof? What the heck? It’s amazing for me to look around now and see who I feel fortunate enough to call a “colleague.” From architects to engineers to waterproofing specialists. A very different mix of professionals since my days as a florist. I have learned so much about roofing and walls, mostly because I like to put plants on them.… Read More

The Fall Frenzy

Living Wall Installation
What a summer! It feels like I turned around from the Memorial Day weekend only to stare right into the Labor Day holiday. It’s been a busy few months to say the least. And while it might not be easy to remember much time spent by the ocean or with the kids, this past summer will be remembered as “the summer of installations!” Great news for us in that we kept the staff busy and working hard to make the living architecture concepts and ideas we described to customers last spring – come to life. Our expert team of Kerry Bauer, Kevin Norton and Nilo Cabrera really made it happen these past few weeks.… Read More

A Perfect Piece of Green PIE from PIA

I always look forward to the Plant Industry Alliance (PIA) annual Expo in Las Vegas in August. This year’s Plantscape Industry Expo (PIE) was AMAZING! Innovative products, fascinating speakers and incredible living art displays. It seemed everywhere you look, creative, inspired people were talking about new products and the latest in technology and design. This year, we had a great team attend from Good Earth Plants and GreenScaped Buildings. Debbie Hopkins, Dawn Weatherford, Kerry Bauer and I got the chance to meet up with some colleagues and exchange some ideas while learning about the latest in plants. We even got to see a new plant, a type of Mandeville, that has a large hanging pink flower that will be perfect on one of our living walls.… Read More

Jim Mumford’s Treehouse Memories

Treehouse, alternative living
Remember when you were young and your backyard was truly an oasis of adventure? Hedges became prime hiding spots for an ambush of friendly enemies from down the street. A tent set up on the grass was a fort held strong by brave young soldiers. If you were lucky enough, maybe you had a treehouse, or you knew someone who did. I spent endless afternoons playing with my school buddies building forts and planning brave escapades in the canyon in our backyard. While we didn’t have a treehouse, I always envied those kids who did. Today, some of those same kids who couldn’t shake the idea of living in a treehouse are building them….and… Read More

San Diego: Living in a Sustainable Paradise

Sustainable Paradise
We are so lucky to live in San Diego! Aside from the beautiful beaches, parks, local mountains and particularly the people, San Diego is chock full of brilliant individuals and groups who think ahead when it comes to city and neighborhood planning. For the past four years, I have been fortunate to be a member of such a great group called C-3 (Citizens Coordinate for Century 3.) As our name suggests, we are a group of forward-thinkers from politicians to architects to artist and just about everyone in between (including green roof and living wall contractors). C-3 is dedicated to helping improve the livability of San Diego in many ways.… Read More

Our Biophilia Connection to Nature

Nature with waterfall
At some time in life, we all become interested in something new and different. Maybe we take up making sushi or read a book on building a treehouse and get inspired to make one. For me I am intrigued by the word biophilia. I got interested in it years ago and whenever I see an article about it I think…hey! I was thinking about that years ago! Your next question might be: what is biophilia? And why does it haunt Jim Mumford? Here’s my best shot at a definition. Biophilia is basically an appreciation of life, nature, science and the living world.… Read More

IGNITE! PIA Expo, Las Vegas

Plantscape Industry Alliance
  Is it really August already? It seems like only yesterday school was letting out and I had an entire summer to look forward to. Work goes on and this week, I am in Las Vegas for the 2013 Plantscape Industry Alliance Expo (PIA). What a great group of people. I have been fortunate enough to have been a board member for 10 years and an executive director for two years. People with PIA are the decision makers and movers and shakers in the plant industry today and tomorrow. After two years of no responsibilities when attending the PIA Expo, leisurely viewing exhibits and catching up with colleagues I was once again asked to be a speaker.… Read More

Disguised as a Volunteer

  There are Angels walking the trails at the Escondido Creek Conservancy. They are also happily hiking Mission Trails, Torrey Pines State Park and numerous other locales filled with regional flora and wildlife. You may not recognize them as they might be wearing a vest with pockets, a shirt with a badge or maybe just a plastic nametag. These Angels are the volunteers at our local parks, preserves and wildlife areas. They don’t get paid, but instead they “pay it forward” to eager children and interested adults who wander these local paths. While indulging in a good read of the UT San Diego , I came across an article about one such Angel, 54 year-old Donna Walker. … Read More

See you at Good Earth Plants’ Summer Open House/Plant Sale

Open House and Plant Sale
We know it’s warm outside. We have ice-cold water for you to sip (guzzle) and fresh cookies to munch on as you stroll our improved headquarters office, warehouse and nursery. You’ll be able to tour our newest additions. We’ve expanded and brought in two brand new offices in a “trailer” nestled among our patio garden. For those who have never been here, we hope you come. The demonstration garden is full of different systems and plants. Depending on timing, we have green roof or living wall elements being prepped and ready to go to job sites. You can see and touch anything form a hydroponically based living walls to our new low water use soil substitute “brownies.”… Read More