When Emily Snyder left Broad Ripple nine years ago in search of land to plant a large garden, she found what she was looking for in tiny Fortville. A few years later, she grew a new business in town, Emily’s Backyard Blooms.
“Everything just took off after that. I was pretty good at it. I was good at growing things and starting vegetables and flowers from seeds,” Snider said.
Last year, Snider, a 36-year-old Master Gardner, set up her own table at the end of her driveway selling plants. Andrea McCaughey, creator of the Old Mill Flea Market in Fortville, saw her stand and approached her about setting up a stand at her inaugural market, which started this year.
“I’ve had people walk by (my market booth) and say, ‘Hey, are you the lady that sold on (Ind.) 13?’” Snider said. “I know people who go to the market just for plants and to come see me, which is nice.”
In time, Snider’s business blossomed into floral arrangements for weddings and workshops. For one bride, she’s growing a certain type of dahlia from seed to be used in the bridal bouquet.
“Those are starting to take off,” Snider said of the arrangements and workshops. “I’m getting ready to do a few more workshops here in town – a succulent class, a flower-arranging class, a flower crown class.”
Snider said she and her husband, Jason, moved to Fortville specifically for the small-town feel and expansive garden space.
“I’m originally from Plainfield and I lived in Broad Ripple in a tiny little house that I couldn’t garden in. I had a couple containers on the front porch,” Snider said. “We wanted a more relaxed atmosphere. We were tired of the hustle and bustle of the city and we wanted to be able to know our neighbors, whereas in the city people came and went and you never got to know your neighbors truly that well. We wanted space where we could have a yard.
“I didn’t know I was going to be getting into all of this. This has blossomed from liking to garden to, ‘Hey, I kind of want to pursue this.’”
The previous owner of the Sniders’ home also was a Master Gardener. Snider, who saw old polaroid photos of the former owne’s sunroom and backyard, recently completed training to become a certified Master Gardener.
Snider calls her gardening a side gig. She works in technology at McCordsville Elementary School, where she assists students with their iPads and Chromebooks. She eventually wants Emily’s Backyard Blooms to become her full-time vocation.
“I actually am able to bring my love of gardening to my school. I’ve worked with my librarian and built a huge terrarium in our library,” she said. “The kids love it. I’m working with one of the teachers to get a gardening grant. We are the only elementary in our district that doesn’t have a community garden.”
For more, visit Emily’s Backyard Blooms on Facebook.
Pursuit of becoming a master gardener
Emily Snider recently completed training to become a Hancock County Master Gardener. She has already enjoyed more success when growing her plants.
“The reason I wanted to was I’ve always just gardened with, not necessarily dumb luck, but trial by error,” she said. “I never knew why I was doing what I was doing. I just put plants there and didn’t know about soil and lost a lot of plants that way. I wanted to know the science behind things and wanted to know what to do to make certain flowers grow. I wanted to learn more of the science behind it, so for four months every Wednesday from 6 to 9 (p.m.) I took classes at the 4-H extension office.”
For more on becoming a Master Gardener, visit hancockmga.com.