We are very proud of our staff, to help you to get to know us here are our portraits. To find out when a particular specialist will be at the nursery, please call us at 303-939-9403.
Alfredo Ortiz originals hails from El Salvador, but has been a mainstay at Harlequin’s for 14 years–propagating, potting up and keeping our plants beautiful. Back in El Salvador he has a coffee farm with cows and other animals, as well as a loving wife. Alfredo grew up on his grandfather’s dairy farm where he began learning to take care of plants and animals, and we feel blessed his skills grace us now.
Amy Scanes-Wolfe spent seven years farming on the East Coast before returning to her Colorado roots. After two years at Harlequin’s and with Boulder County Parks and Open Space, she now runs a micro-farming/landscaping business, Left Hand Landscaping, and helps facilitate the Boulder Permaculture Design Course. She helps here with special projects and occasionally filling in at retail.
Ann Zelnio is loving the chance to help Harlequin’s Wholesale customers learn about plants right for CO. She is grateful for all she is learning in return from her colleagues and customers at Harlequin’s. A long-time teacher and advocate for organic gardening methods, Ann also has interests in regenerative agriculture and gardening to nourish the living soil; tap-dancing; cooking nourishing whole grain food; sleeping; and (ahem) accounting.
Chas Moore fell in love with the natural world as a young boy in New York, filling his bedroom with plants and wandering in his front yard, aka Central Park. Since then he has planted roses and herb gardens everywhere he’s lived, in France, DC and eleven different states, on his journey to become a specialized generalist. Working as a chef, restaurateur, operations manager, gardener, designer, teacher, lecturer, writer, and consultant, what has connected all his diverse interests and occupations is a desire to help others connect to something larger than themselves—call it nature, the divine, or what-have-you. With nature as model, mentor and measure as Harlequin’s Office Manager he strives to help keep our business growing and flourishing, while also delighting in sharing his knowledge of Biodynamics, PermaCulture and sustainable food systems.
Elaine Walker has a degree in landscape architecture with an emphasis in ecological practices. She has her own landscape design practice, and her recent work includes designing outdoor living spaces, retaining & boulder walls, water features, native and drought tolerant plantings.
Engrid Winslow has a degree in Urban Horticulture and has taken Master Gardener training. She is an excellent and educated gardener, and she propagates organic veggie starts for us.
Eve Reshetnik-Brawner has always had a passion for gardening and for studying, growing and drawing plants. She has a degree in landscape architecture and over ten years of professional experience in that field. She has a special love and knowledge of roses, fragrant flowers, ornamental grasses, clematis, natives, vegetables and herbs. Eve, with Mikl, designed the rose garden at the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House. In her “spare” time she is a musician, a ceramic artist and loves to cook.
Gary Meis spent 20 years as the head propagator at Country Lane Wholesale Nursery, before helping establish Harlequin’s Gardens wholesale growing operation, which supplies the retail operation, local governments, and landscappers with pesticide-free plants. He has a special interest in and is extremely knowledgeable about edible and medicinal native plants. When not managing operations “down below” in wholesale he’s probably out in the woods finding mushrooms or other delights.
Jeff Edson has a degree in biology and spent much of his professional life directing the cleanup of toxic waste sites, like the Rock Mt. Arsenal. Jeff is an avid gardener and has been growing wine grapes for the past 20 years.
Jose Escobar has been working at Harlequin’s Gardens for seven years. He loves to watch plants grow, and has been gardening since he was a teenager back in El Salvador.
Kerstin Hoesel holds a B.S. in Biology and is a certified crazy plant lady. Her fascination with native plants began while she was the Ecology and Plant Ecology Lab Instructor during her years at Texas State University. She has also served as the chair and a lead teacher for her kids’ school’s organic vegetable garden program back in Austin. Just recently, she installed a pollinator garden (using all Harlequin’s grown plants, of course!) at her kid’s BVSD school in Superior. If she isn’t frolicking about here at Harlequins, at the school garden, or her own gardens then she can likely be found on trail runs and bike rides with her kiddos and dog, Murphy.
Kristina Williams is our resident beekeeper and entomologist. She opened her first beehive 35 years ago and has been hooked on bees ever since. She has an undergraduate degree in biology and a master’s in honey bee behavior genetics at CU. Beekeeping has taken her to 5 states, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada. While living in Washington she co-owned a pollination business with both honey and mason bees. Currently she keeps about 10 of her own hives and has a business mentoring beekeepers along the Front Range. Here’s her website: Beehave She’s available in our Bee Barn to answer your questions about both native and honey bees and the equipment to keep them.
Mimi Yanushas grown vegetables and flowers for the Farmers Market and for a CSA. Her class at Harlequin’s on Veggie gardening is always popular. Talk with Mimi about growing vegetables and cut flowers.
Matt Patrick is trained as a CSU Master Gardener and has operated his own landscape business for the past 10 years. He has a strong knowledge of plants for our area. He has worked for the Boulder County AIDS Project, Boulder Human Relations Comm., & Foothills United Way. He excels in recycling.
Mikl Brawner got his initial training along the creeks and woods of eastern Iowa. He studied biology at the University of Iowa, then went to India with the Peace Corps. Back in America, he managed a small organic apple orchard, and started a tree care business. Studying plants, researching alternatives to pesticides, and developing a xeriscape garden led him from the tree tops to a plant nursery. Now the evolving Harlequin’s Gardens is his life-work, helping the gardening community to bring nature into their personal lives and homes using sustainable plants, materials and methods. His current passion is soil health, and designing an energy-efficient greenhouse. He was honored with the 2009 PaceSetter Award for the Environment.
Olivia Spada spent most of her life frolicking in her hometown in Connecticut, always finding a way to grow and forage plants. Since moving out to Colorado, to pursue PermaCulture, she is now a propagator and resident seed saver at Harlequin’s Gardens wholesale operation, as well as a farmer and an herbal enthusiast.
Rebecca Chance has degrees in fine arts and landscape architecture and spent 25 years teaching university courses in both areas. Concurrently she managed a landscape design practice bridging the art of design and sustainability. Born in India, Rebecca developed a special interest in plants of the Himalayas and now, having moved to Colorado, in Rocky Mountain natives. Rebecca’s current focus is plant description.
And we’re delighted to have occasional help from: Deb Kelner, Garima Fairfax, Linda Moore, and Heron Stombock.