Cedar Groves Finest: Lisa Ahern

30 Jul
written by Janet Harrold
Lisa how long have you worked at Cedar Grove Gardens?
I have worked at cedar grove for 25 years this coming oct 4th!
I started back in 1990 as a designer/floor sweeper.
I intended to try it out for 6 months and see how it went.
I guess it all worked out!
What made you decide that this was the job for you?
I had always had a huge love for plants and flowers. My windowsills were covered with house plants as a teenager and I read Thalassa Cruso and other garden writers. Not the norm for a teenager…I was a plant geek. I admit it.
My grandparents instilled a love of gardening in me, my parents weren’t into gardening so much.
Although my dad was a graduate of Stockbridge School of Agriculture and intended to work in the forestry industry in some capacity. He was always pointing out specimen trees and such to me …and now I do the same thing!
I have always been creative and trying my hand at one art form or another. I always did better with the 3D sculpting sort of art rather than fine arts like drawing and painting.
Floral design is very much a tactile and interpretive art using color and texture and shape.
What position do you hold and how has your job evolved since the beginning?
My position here has evolved . I started as a fledgling floral designer. After a few years richard wanted to add some gift product to the shop and so he let me pick out a few things I thought would sell, ie; stonewall kitchen and Burt’s Bees were our first ever items!
And away we went…I would pick the items and he would decide quantity and pay for them.
A PERFECT relationship as far as I am concerned!!!
I am also responsible for displaying the product in an attractive fashion when it comes in.
I still do floral design and enjoy it a lot ,but 3 or 4 times a year ,when we get busy with new product coming in I am exclusively focusing on display ,etc….
Tell me one of your favorite stories in all the years of work at Cedar Grove Gardens
My favorite cedar grove stories?!  Well , I love the one about the customers husband who took
The “onions” out of the fridge and made a nice side dish with them. Only to discover later that they were paper white narcissus bulbs!!  Not at all edible!!!Too funny!!!
I also love the story about the time I had surgery and I was at Milton hospital and Richard came up to visit me right as I was still coming out of an anesthetic haze.  He was dressed up for some event he was going to afterwards but I didn’t know about. I said to him ” why are you wearing a suit?”‘and he came over to my bedside and said softly….” because Im at your Wake, honey”…
….!!!  Yes folks, he does have a humorous side!!!
What are your interests outside of work?
Outside of work I am interested in gardening and home decor ( I did say this was the perfect job for me didn’t I)  I love good food but I rarely cook because I live alone. Eating, drinking, and napping….those are the perfect ingredients for a nice day off. Throw in a little treasure hunting at Brimfield or an antique store….Nirvana.
I’m addicted to magazines , interesting little out of the way shops and boutiques, I love animals and what else?… hmm…did I say napping?!!
 Is it true that your favorite song is “Give me just a little more time” by the Chairmen of the Board? 
My favorite song??   I have hundreds!!! I’m a huge music lover…most every genre except jazz, not so into blues, or Viennese waltz music….i’m a product of the 1970’s… I love Motown and funk and soul also a good bit of classic rock . I do love Led Zeppelin and the Doors etc…
yes, really!
I know you are passionate about volunteering and doing  demonstrations at the Wakefield Estates, share your passion with us.   My causes and extra curricular would include volunteering for The Wakefield Estate in Milton.   A fantastic teaching and nature preserve in Milton near the foot of great blue hill.  I do lots of floral demos for them several times a year. They always have something interesting happening there. Join their email newsletter at  wakefieldtrust.org
as well as  volunteering for the Dorchester Park Association.
My local park , which my property abutts, is an Olmsted designed gem right here in the city.
I’m very lucky to live in a neighborhood where there are lots of interesting  and intelligent people who give back to their community.  I love that we find ways for young and old to help and  to enjoy all the local happenings and volunteer events.
Some of my favorite haunts include……
Dark Horse Antiques in lower mills
Any garden center. Cedar Grove, Allandale Farm in Brookline, Russell’s in Wayland, Thayer Nursery in Milton,
I love to go to other retail stores for inspiration, visual and otherwise…anthropologie, Joanne Rossman in Roslindale, Terrain in CT., ABC Carpet and Home in NYC, even places like Dean and Deluca in NYC have been visually inspiring for me……beauty is wherever you find it.

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