Sarah Greene has 20 years of experience in the landscape industry. She has been an account manager, floriculture manager, business development manager, garden manager, landscape designer and consultant.
Greene acknowledges that her career path has been unconventional, but she was intentional about taking on all these different roles. She notes that her different jobs have helped her look at the business from different aspects.
“I get excited about new opportunities and just always have my eyes open to see what else is out there,” she says.
While she’s always had a love for plants, she didn’t get into the industry until she attended the University of Georgia. She was an undecided agriculture major and her older brother, who was studying horticulture, encouraged her to attend a horticulture club meeting.
Greene says after studying under professors Allan Armitage and Michael Dirr, she knew she had found her passion.
“The creative side, the professional side, it hits home for everything I wanted in my career,” Greene says. “I knew that this is where I wanted to be for a very long time.”
Aside from her professors, Greene says Joe Burns with Color Burst taught her a lot about color, how to run a flower division and how it’s such a special item to offer your clients. When she worked at Post Properties, she learned how to be systematic with maintenance.
“It really helped me see a clearer picture of how to be successful and also be creative and continue to look for new plant material, how to change up your designs,” Greene says.
Currently, Greene is the director of floriculture for Landscape Workshop, based in Birmingham, Alabama. She joined the company in May 2022 and says she loves how while Landscape Workshop is a growing company, they’re still focused on the horticultural side of things.
“We’ve worked with our staff and team members internally to train and really focus on making sure we’re providing the best product,” Greene says. “So not only focusing on client relationships, we’re really looking at our product too.”
In her role, Greene works with almost ten branches throughout the Southeast. She is over all the flower accounts for the region and has a specific floriculture crew that she works with directly on a daily basis. Greene also communicates with their vendors on bulk pricing materials.
“We really strive to be competitive there and work with our vendors to make sure that we’re getting the best pricing possible,” Greene says.
One of the major things Greene has learned over the course of her career is the importance of communication and relationships.
“Continue to have strong relationships with everyone that you come in contact with,” Greene says. “I think that’s what I strive for every day, but I think that would be really important entering into the industry.”
She also encourages listening to clients and understanding your company’s business model and goals, as not every client will fit. She advises using a client questionnaire to get a good feel for the person your company is looking to work with.
“I think that solves a lot of headaches down the road and also helps you to be successful if it is a good fit,” Greene says.
Greene’s favorite part about working in the industry is working with growers and new plant material.
“I get to really have fun every day thinking about flowers, textures, colors, selling a product to my clients to get everyone excited about our company and our services,” Greene says. “It’s all how you look at it, but you can really do whatever you want in our industry.”
In five years, Greene wants to keep growing with Landscape Workshop and installing world-class flowers. She also wants to promote the different career possibilities and attract more talented people to the industry.
“I knew that when I graduated from college and looking at the options, whether it’s the nursery industry, landscape industry, there were just so many options to choose from,” Greene says.
This article was published in the March/April issue of the magazine. To read more stories from The Edge magazine, click here to subscribe to the digital edition.