This month, meet Alyse Demary, owner of a new business based on Cape Cod. Alyse was the recent recipient of an EforAll Cape Cod grant to jumpstart her venture. If you would like to be featured in this monthly column, email firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your business?
My business, Wildly Purposeful Gardening, is for environmentally conscious Cape Cod homeowners who want to affordably, conveniently, and sustainably create beautiful, healthy garden landscapes that also feed the pollinators, birds, insects, and wildlife. We help you by bringing native plants and water conservation measures into your yard.
As a new solopreneur, I am starting out with small spaces that often get overlooked by larger landscapers and am therefore able to work more closely with a homeowner, providing personalized attention. I offer native plant garden consultations for the DIY gardener who is seeking a plant list and design that would not only give multi-season interest but would also provide the maximum amount of diversity to support your local food web. I offer 12-plant “garden bed in a box” pollinator plant packages delivered to your door with a basic garden design layout and plant care instructions. Lastly, I offer small-scale installation services.
How did you get into this line of work?
My passion for creating the business began last summer when I bought a lot of perennials and shrubs, including natives, and planted them in my yard. What I saw was an expansion of life, beauty and aliveness. Everything blossomed and so did I. As an insect ecologist, my twin sister began educating me on the critical importance of native plants and it was at that moment that I said, “This needs to happen on a much greater scale than my backyard,” and the idea for the business was born.
In the U.S., a plant is generally considered native only if it grew here before European colonization. They are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions to where they naturally occur and as such, once established, these plants require little to no fertilizer and have less water demands than non-native plants. Less maintenance for you and less drain and environmental impact on our precious aquifer.
What is unique about your business?
While garden centers are beginning to have a small native plant section, it is hit or miss as to what is available and when. I source my native plants from a variety of locations and organizations to ensure a diverse array of plants for full sun to shade gardens, from moisture loving to drought tolerant, from ground covers to shrubs – I have it or can get it – so you can spend time enjoying your garden instead of trying to shop for one!
What do you enjoy most about your work/job?
My passion and mission centers around environmental stewardship in order to preserve, protect and promote life in all of its forms. According to Sir David Attenborough, “Nature once determined how we survive, now we determine how nature survives.” To join in community is the way forward because it is in that union that our connection and its derivative power is made self-evident. Helping guide and support even one individual in moving along that continuum of taking actionable steps towards this endeavor is where I derive the most joy. So here is the great news: you matter, you can make a difference. From window boxes to container plants, no space is too small to incorporate native and/or pollinator-friendly plants.
My future plans are to grow my own native plants to ensure I have ready access to the core “keystone” plants such as goldenrods, sunflowers, asters, and rudbeckia, which support over 70 caterpillar species and over 50 specialist bee species that would form the foundation of the gardens I deliver and/or install. Food for thought: A single pair of breeding chickadees must find 6,000 to 9,000 caterpillars to rear one clutch of baby birds.
In addition, I plan to start a podcast, host webinars, and utilize social media for education and entertainment purposes to help spread the word on how, together, we can have a tremendous compounding impact to ensure the Cape we all love stays vibrant and thriving for future generations to savor and enjoy! Let’s Wildly Purposeful Garden together!
Wildly Purposeful Gardening, LLC