Our Spring Newsletter

March 19, 2013
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Employee Spotlight
Joke of the Month
Quote of the Month
Book a Lunch & Learn
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Aquaponics at Good Earth Plants
Open House
Kevin’s Corner
Featured Project

Upcoming Events
 Open House Plant Sale Reminder!!!

 We have set the date for our Spring Open House and Plant Sale…
This year it will be held on Friday April 19, 2013 from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm.
We will have many new displays including a fully functioning display of our new Aquaponics System
We will also be selling LOTS of beautiful plants from Ficus to Ferns! Stop by and meet our staff and wander the newly upgraded patio and garden… see how we have planted enough vegetables to fill a salad bowl on a wall!! And they are thriving beautifully!
In addition, we will have some beautiful replica plants in containers available for sale. For those looking for containers only, we will have some gently used ceramic and fiberglass containers for sale as well!
Please RSVP to join us by emailing Alexa@goodearthplants.com

Employee Spotlight
Debbie Hopkins, Plantscape Operations Manager/Design and Sales


There are many experienced hands that bring together the beauty and machine-like operations at Good Earth Plants. Debbie Hopkins, is most responsible for the seemingly effortless projects that take place year-round. From overseeing staff and drafting proposals to personally helping install the glorious Christmas Tree at Horton Plaza, Debbie is truly a magician. Her arrangements run from designing a company logo in green plants to adding custom touches to some of San Diego’s most impressive hotel lobbies.
While her talent is remarkable, we know Debbie to just be one of the hardest-working and thoughtful people at Good Earth Plants.  Her dedication to helping staff members to grow in their positions and remembering the little things about everyone really makes a difference. Her award-winning designs and expertise in difficult installations makes Debbie a sought-after professional in the industry.
“I love my job which involves a variety of duties,” Debbie says. “I love to meet a customer’s needs, solve a problem for them and take care of any plant issue I can address. I like to work with a clients’ budget to assure they get the best price and the highest quality of service,” Debbie continues.
Debbie’s background includes experience as a service technician, supervisor, operation manager, and a sales and customer service manager. She also shares her deep horticultural knowledge to conduct training sessions for the staff. Debbie has become the resident expert when a plant issue is at hand.
Her expertise in difficult installations makes Debbie a highly valued team member.  When she is not busy at Good Earth Plants, Debbie and her husband enjoy life on a small ranch with goats, sheep, fish, dogs, cats, and three ponds. She enjoys organic gardening and tending to her orchard. Debbie is an outdoors person and loves spending time with her family.
We are fortunate to have Debbie with us and see her smiling face each day!

Plant Joke of the Month

Q: What do you get if you cross a four-leaf clover with poison ivy? A: A rash of good luck.


Q: What do you call a grumpy and short-tempered gardener? A: A Snap Dragon.


Q: What do you call a mushroom who buys everyone drinks and is the life of the party? A: A fun-gi.

Quote of the Month

“I don’t divide architecture, landscape and gardening; to me they are one.”

 –Luis Barragan

Lunch & Learn


If you work with an Architectural or Landscape Architectural firm, Good Earth Plants and GreenScaped Buildings owner Jim Mumford, GRP is available for Lunch & Learn programs. Jim will provide a half-hour program (or a one hour program for CEU’s) that highlight new products and installation, and maintenance info on our Green Walls and Green Roof projects. And he’ll even bring in lunch for your group to enjoy during the presentation.


Please contact the office at (858) 576-9300 or email Michele Finley for more information and to book your Lunch & Learn.


Upcoming Speaking Engagements
April 17th 12:00 – 1:30pm – KMA Lunch & Learn, San Diego, Ca.

April 26th 8:30 to 10:30 Ferguson Bath and Gallery at 4699 Mercury Street, SD 92111                    Green Roofs and Living Walls, CEU program                                     RSVP to : ­­­­­­­­­­­­Kristi Nicolai

May 4th San Francisco – Plantscape Industry Alliance (PIA)Registration information: Plantscape Industry Alliance (PIA) Website

May 22nd Ferguson Bath and Kitchen Gallery, Irvine CA           Green Roofs and Living Walls, CEU program                                 RSVP to : Kristi Nicolai

November 15-18 Panel discussion on living wall maintenance -ASLA Conference, Boston Mass. scheduled for Friday the 18th.

Please visit ASLA website for information.

Letter from the President             


LetterSpring is finally here! The grass is bright green, the songbirds are singing and it stays light till well after dinner. What a great time of year. Because our schedule has been busy since the holidays, we pushed back our annual spring time open house and plant sale until the 19th of April. We have lots of new living walls and green roofs to show you and plenty of items at ridiculous low prices for you to take home.

This past January I traveled to the Tropical Plant Industry Expo (TPIE). The trade show was amazing, with lots of plants and pots and garden accessories to imagine working with for our clients. I saw old friends and made new ones as well as attended a few workshops. I came back inspired and energized.


While in Florida, I joined the board of Green Plants for Green Buildings (GPGB) an industry marketing organization which I am helping to create a new green roof and green wall presentation. It provides Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for architects, landscape architects and interior designers as well as LEED APs. Not only is the subject interesting, but very attractive to the design community.


Speaking of presentations, you can see what I did for TEDx on Youtube at: Jim’s TEDX Presentation  It’s about 10 minutes long and I speak about the importance of plants in our urban settings. If we get 14,000 views, it has the potential to go international – so please share and watch often!

We continue to be extremely active designing, installing and maintaining living walls and green roofs throughout southern California and as far away as Seattle. Our core business providing interior plantscape services projects is just as busy taking care of all of our wonderful clients. One of our new projects, a residential vertical garden in Pacific Palisades is featured below. We also just completed our largest pair of walls at an extended stay hotel in Beverly Hills and upcoming is a large living wall on the Loews Resort Santa Monica, just south of the iconic pier.

We had a great article come out about us in the Union Tribune, you can view this at: “Want A Garden On Your Wall?” It was on the front cover of the Business section, with my picture above the fold. Unbelievable!

Also, Art Alive is coming up Thursday April 25 through Sunday the 28th at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. We’ve participated in this fun event which raises money for the museum for the past 15 years. Come out and see how dozens of professional floral designers interpret the selected art pieces in several galleries. Our work will be in the gallery immediately to the right of the entry featuring “Journey Through the City” by Miguel Navarro.


Wrapping up, my schedule is filling with six speaking engagements from here to Boston. Almost all of them involve GPGB’s CEU presentation on green roofs and living walls. To view the schedule see below.

Until next time… please stay healthy and engaged, be a part of something bigger than yourself and remember – hanging around plants can make you happier!

Warmest Regards,Jim Mumford

Aquaponics at Good Earth Plants
The Future Has Arrived!
Imagine a world where soil isn’t required to grow food.  Picture a town that no longer has to rely on wild fish for feeding everyone. Where there is an endless supply of nutrient-rich food for plants grown with a minimum water source.
Sound impossible? Not with an aquaponics system and the forward-thinking support of the owner of Good Earth Plants and GreenScaped Buildings, Jim Mumford. Jim has partnered with a non-profit group called ECOLIFE that has designed a micro-scale aquaponic unit that is operating and on display in our
Good Earth Plant lobby.
The concept is very simple: use a 20-gallon aquarium filled with tropical fish to produce “food” for growing basil and peppers on the top of the aquarium. The water from the tank is filtered and cleaned as it washes through the roots of the plants held in small containers that hold clay pellets. Support the system with additional light and a filter for the fish and the result? Beautiful, healthy green edible plants and happy fish by using a minimum of water and absolutely no soil!!
In a bigger picture, the small aquarium becomes a component system of 200 gallon tanks that hold catfish or tilapia. Fish become a part of the nutrition picture in a sustainable environment. Many areas in the world hat face a hunger crisis have poor soil and limited water supply and malnutrition due to the lack of fresh food. An aquaponic system can support a higher nutritive diet and even eliminate hunting as a necessary for food. Fresh vegetables and fish are a healthy alternative to those who relied heavily on seasonal crops and a rapidly diminishing wildlife supply.
The Good Earth Plants Aquaponics 20-gallon tank is running beautifully…there are several happy tropical fish enjoying their new surroundings and the basil and peppers are setting up roots nicely. Kelly Gorman at PetCo donated the tank, filter, and stand to help us get up and running with our system. Many thanks to Kelly and PetCo! Soon there will be a larger aquaponic setup in the back of the buildings with catfish and larger vegetables. No fishing, though!  These fish are producers and an important part of a bigger picture.
Please stop by our aquaponics exhibit while you are here at the Open House and Plant Sale.  We’ll be happy to show you this amazing process and if you are interested in your own aquaponics system, we can help you get started. For additional information on ECOLIFE, please visit their website at www.ecolifefoundation.org We support their efforts and are so impressed with what they do….we know you will be too!!


2013 Spring Open House and Plant Sale…Coming Up!!
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Get ready to email your RSVP and pack your sunscreen for the 2013 Spring Open House and Plant Sale, April 19th from 11:30am – 5:30pm!!  This year, we are loaded with new exhibits and projects for both Good Earth Plants and GreenScaped Buildings. Our talented staff will be on hand to answer questions and give expert advise on all things green and growing!
In addition, we are selling some beautiful pots and planters and live plants at bargain prices. For our guests who have attended before, you know that the earlier you arrive, the better the selection. Staff will be on hand to help wrap and load your purchases. Both indoor and outdoor plants are available for sale including ferns, palms, ficus, and some special surprises!
Staff will be giving tours of our own amazing rooftop garden. Now in it’s 6th year, the “Garden on the Roof” here at Good Earth Plants is a showcase of greenery including Native sage, Cacti, Succulents, Wild Flowers and Experiments. Jim planted the garden with the hopes that it would be a lifetime project that would help the costs of cooling and heating in extreme temperatures. Jim figures that because of the plant base, there has been approximately 23.5% of savings in energy costs. Just think if every office building had a rooftop garden or a living wall! Our roof is truly “Living Architecture!”
To RSVP to the Open House and Plant Sale please contact Alexa at alexa@goodearthplants.com by Tuesday, April 16th 2013.
See you there!!

Spring Gardening Tips!

Our resident Horticulturist, Kevin Norton, has kindly given us some Spring Gardening tips…so everything you grow can look like the Pros!

“Now is the time to turn the soil and add compost,” say Kevin.


“Make sure your planting earth is rich with nutrients and compost. Make sure you check the back labels of any fertilizers you may want to add to make sure they are appropriate for what you are growing,” he says.

“This is also the time to prune your shrubs and eliminate any dead growth, ” Kevin adds.

We all like to watch things grow and flowers and vegetables are popular additions to any backyard garden.

“Now is the time to plant those flowers,”Kevin says. “You can also plant a salad bowl of vegetables including lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, herbs and even squash.

“First, prepare the soil by turning it over and adding some good basics like organic compost, worm castings and even Epson salts. Gypsum is great to aid in drainage and add calcium. Go organic when you can….especially if you are planting edibles.”

Kevin is a big fan of a product called Gard’nGro, a garden hose dechlorinator. “Gard’n Gro removes 85% of the chlorine from garden hose water. It’s a great enrichment for the soil,” Kevin says.

You can see Kevin’s growing handiwork at the Open House and Plant Sale on April 19 when he unveils a fully planted Tower Garden. Get tips from the experts and meet Kevin in person at our event!



Featured Project- Residential Living Wall
Our featured project this month is a 140 square foot living wall on a home in Pacific Palisades, California that was completed in February. From start to finish this project only took us one day to complete and consists of 10 different types of plants (including Strawberries, Chard, Basil, Mondo Grass, Lemon Button Fern, Salvia Saucy Red, and Huechera Key Lime Pie) We used a felt based hydroponic system.To hide the infrastructure while the plants grow, we used three types of preserved moss. This is a new system for us and we are finding it to be easy, lightweight, fast, as well as inexpensive!

Good Earth Plants / GreenScaped Buildings is getting a New Website
  Keep an eye out for an EXCITING new and improved website for Good Earth Plants and GreenScaped Buildings check back often to see if our new website is up and running! www.goodearthplants.com

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