Bob Zimmermann and Beth Orling met in grammar school in Ohio many years ago and married in 2001. They now dedicate most of their time to the nursery and the gardening challenges of Chimacum Woods.
Bob and Beth work hard to keep a healthy, happy growing space for the plants they have propagated mostly from seed and cared for faithfully for many years. The mature two-gallon plants have been carefully transplanted from the germination pot in the potting shed to 2″ pots and a year or so later into 4″ pots in the greenhouse, then to one-gallon containers that are moved from the greenhouse to the hoop houses. A year or two later they are moved a final time into two-gallon pots, all by hand. This means that the two-gallon plants are at least five years old or older. A large area – often referred to as Sherwood Forest – is dedicated to larger plants, growing in larger containers under the woodland canopy and ready for those desiring more instant gratification.
Bob and Beth find the work a spiritual journey offering both challenge and peace. Although much of the work is solitary, they value time spent with visitors as well as staff. Customers not only sustain the nursery. They are valued friends whom Bob and Beth have come to cherish over the years.
Kim helps us with our babies, easing them out of their communal pot when they first germinate and moving them into their very own two inch pots, where they can establish themselves as plants ready to become an independent rhododendron. It’s tedious but rewarding work that Kim does well.