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From Farmer's Market to Fenton Road

The Weed Lady was born many years ago out of a passion. It’s hard to say where this passion came from. Maybe it was uncovered in the moss growing under ponderous evergreens in the north woods of Michigan. Maybe it was discovered in a bouquet of wildflowers tucked under an elbow. Maybe it showed its face in the rippled pane of an old farmhouse window, forgotten under a blanket of dust.

Wherever it came from, that passion surfaced in the 80's when Jan Swanson and her family loaded up a truck full of fresh and dried flowers, produce, and herbs and headed out to the Flint Farmer’s Market. It was a passion for beauty, and for opening eyes to the wonder of that beauty. It proved unshakeable, through many late nights preparing for the market: bundling dried flowers, planting spring baskets, creating live evergreen wreaths. Clients were hooked and quickly dubbed Jan “The Weed Lady,” returning week after week to see what new creations had materialized.

In 1997 that passion inspired Jan and her daughter Erin Walli to buy ten acres of land on Fenton Road, just south of Flint. There they began to build a place for the passion to grow and spread. They built and opened the greenhouse in the spring of 1998 and began to refinish the small farmhouse on the same property. It was a lot of dirty-elbows, on-your-knees work, but that’s what a big passion can do.

Even the most passionate face obstacles, but a major fire in the farmhouse in the fall of 2000 didn’t quench Jan and Erin’s spirit. They brushed off the ashes, worked with an architect on a design and scouted high and low for reclaimed elements to lend the new building the character it needed to house their passion. Friends and family pitched in, and the gift cottage was officially unveiled at our first annual holiday open house in November of 2001.

Every year has brought changes to The Weed Lady as that passion continues to expand and grow us in unexpected ways, including the growth of a dynamic staff and a skilled design-build landscape team. Although the landscape may evolve and the trees drop their leaves, one thing will never change, and that is our desire to share our passion with you.

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