A green thumb’s paradise in the city

May 18, 2017 06:12 PM

It'd be hard to miss on your everyday walk: a house sitting between the greens, surrounded by a forest of plants and flowers.

That's Michael Hannen's home or habitat as he likes to call it.

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A self-taught plant enthusiast, Hannen has been perfecting his craft for decades. With a little love, a lot of water and some extra time, he's planted thousands of plants on his property.

Eventually, he started selling them too, turning his love for nature into a source of income.

“I’ve slowly been amassing plants over the last 30 years and I have a collection that's unrivaled, I think, in the area,” says Hannen. “I just turned my passion into my business.”

This plant-haven can be found on this small property tucked away on a city side-street off of Monroe Avenue.

It's not the most conventional of places to start a garden, especially one this big, but it works for Hannen.

“I think a densely planted garden also makes for less weeds and for a nicer habitat feel… It’s closer to what you see in nature,” said Hannen.

Hannen says a smaller version could work for you too.

“My advice is don't think big. Start with one patch of the garden get it double dug and prepped properly, making it as nutrient rich as you possibly can,” says Hannen, “use aged manure, anything over a year, the darkest stuff that you can find!”

The hobby doesn't have to break the bank either. Hannen says he gardens on a budget by making a point to re-fill used pots and use plant debris as part of his mulch.

As his garden continues to expand, Hannen doesn't plan on stunting its growth any time soon.

“What I've created here, people have told me I've done the impossible,” said Hannen.

If you'd like to buy one of Michael's plants you can come right on out to his house -- you won't be able to miss it -- it's just off of Monroe Avenue on Laburnum Crescent in the city.

To schedule an appointment to pick-up plants, you can call Hannen at 585-256-1124.


Michael's Facebook page


Brianna DiPilato

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