Health challenges did not stop the local woman from building one of Sonoma’s top gardens

A well-managed garden seems to be in perfect condition. The whipped flowers roar, the rich green leaves prevail, and there are no weeds. When visitors enter these quiet places, and the garden becomes a symbol of life.

According to Down Smith, general manager of the cornerstone Sonoma Garden and general manager, “People are often returning to the memories of comfort, peace and happiness. They are places where people can be happy, whether they are rich or poor. Gardens are available to everyone. ”

Her garden and her team continued her

It was not just a profession for Smith, plants and gardens. The energy and satisfaction she felt with creating and caring for these places with her loved ones allowed her to spend years with health issues associated with kidney failure, dialysis and organ transplantation. She took care of the gardens and the group and they took care of her.

Drawn into art and painting, Smith initially studied graphic design, but after meeting some gardeners he was drawn to the plant world. She did not like it and looked for work in many nurseries in Sonoma County, eventually finding a job in the Rose Garden in Ptolema. Smith gave her husband The Sunset Western Garden Book and told her to look for anything she did not know. She said she learned a lot from that book and from her boss, Smith.

A few years later, Reyford Reddell hired him to manage and renovate Rose’s kindergarten in the famous Garden Valley. Reedel’s partner, Robert Gallian, was in a state of shock after his death, and the scale of the business was too large for one person to manage. In a carriage, Redel graciously handed Smith Gallian’s old manuscript. There she found your old garden records and plans and used them to restore the neglected gardens, which became a lucrative part of the wedding venue. She reassembled the nursery. Reddale focuses on the cut rose business and writes columns for the San Francisco Chronicle. Five years later, he retired and sold his property.

About that time, a friend of mine gave a piece of paper to Smith about a cornering Sonoma project. On a rainy day, Smith went to the corner with her appointment. His wife, Chris Haugi, visited the site, and piles of rubbish and empty buildings were being built. He explained the vision of garden exhibitions at the Garden Festival in Chamounton, France, where a series of concepts are created each year. He warned that the project could be crazy and difficult to get off the ground.

Two months later, Smith received a call from Dave Aquilina, a project manager for Cornerston, to consult with the gardeners as many would not grow up. After giving some effective ideas, Smith He was hired in 2004. Her life revolved around building gardens and replanting new plants. She loved him. “It was the hardest job I have ever had,” she says.

Designed for heavy winds, winter humidity and summer heat, and unconsolidated heavy blue clay soils and cement-like clay pots, designed for challenging growth and work environment. Since many do not know much about plants, designers and landscape architects provided Smith’s designs nationally and beyond to build all the plants that needed to be corrected. The theme of our weekly staff meeting is “How Do We Make Money?” He said. Smith’s experience as a gardener in a valley garden led to a fine wedding garden. But between retail stores, weddings, advertising, and new gardening, the owner often changes his mind by trying to identify a larger, more complex type of business.

“But we are all happy because we love each other, and that includes budget deficits and a new startup,” Smith said. The business matured and Smith became CEO. She is very grateful to her teacher, Akulina, for her advice and how she can manage business and people. He said he would still train her, and she would still look at him.

Health failures

During the initial construction of the plant, Smith developed a terrible migraine headache. Finally, a doctor told her the bad news that she had a kidney failure. Smith said she was still feeling good and was in denial. The doctor said that when her kidney function was reduced by about 20%, she would live for two years without dialysis or transplant.

The first transplant lasted just over four years, and the second transplant lasted only three months. After her body rejected a second transplant, the dialysis test was especially tax-paying. Three nights a week, Smith traveled to San Rafael for treatment. Life became a roller coaster of being good and then scary. It came in the morning with nausea and vomiting.

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