Interview the Gardener: Rachel Novotny

Interview the Gardener: Rachel Novotny

What is your favorite plant and why?

Wow, it is so hard to pick just one. It truly changes all the time as the seasons change and different plants go in and out of bloom. Right now I am particularly inspired by shade plants. Heuchera Forever Purple and Fuchsia Gartenmeister are two that I love to use in all different container combinations. Foliage color and vibrant blooms really make a shade garden come to life.

What is your best gardening tip?

Don’t get discouraged! It takes time to get a feel for plant care and especially watering. Killing a plant doesn’t mean you have a black thumb, it just means you are still learning. I think knowing what kills a plant makes it easier to keep the next one alive in the future. It is also important to remember that not every plant is for every gardener.  After many years of trying different plants, I know which ones work best for me and bring me the most joy! Gardening should be fun! Plants are a great way to encourage yourself to spend time in nature and get your hands in the soil, even if its just in your backyard. 

What is going on in your personal garden right now?

Even though I don’t have any gardening space myself, I like to fill my house with a jungle of houseplants! I’m usually trying to keep alive around 90 of them. I love plants that grow fast and are forgiving as I am not always the most attentive caretaker. I think filling indoor spaces with lush houseplants creates an oasis in the city. 

I also love being able to help friends and clients in their gardens! If you don’t have your own garden space, helping friends and family members in their garden is a great outlet, and usually very appreciated.  

What is your favorite thing about working at Cornell Farm?

Working outside and leading a team of passionate caring people.