Mod earth mother

Jayme Jenkins digs dirt. But she’s not the country type. That presented a problem when she sought garden accessories for her Eugene home.

“I wanted a garden store that had more of a modern aesthetic,” she says. 

In 2008, she started one, or at least a virtual version, with She offers unusual finds such as the white ceramic or glass Frank Lloyd Wright inspired birdhouses. Or a chic wood and glass mortar and pestle for muddling fresh garden herbs for cocktails.

Jenkins got serious about gardening when she bought a home eight years ago and no longer had to ask landlords for permission.

“I like to tear up a place,” she says. She’s built pergolas, chicken coops, dog runs and hanging planters.“I stop just short of patios,” she says.

Her website not only peddles product but also offers information on garden projects such as turning old rain gutters into hanging tier planters, or growing fresh herbs for cocktails. She’s put some of those ideas into Garden Rules: The Snappy Synopsis for the Modern Gardener (Cool Springs Press).

“I was going to save the world through counseling,” says the psychology major. “Turns out, that’s harder to do than I was thinking in my head.”

But her education, marketing experience and passion for gardening come together in her online business venture. “Gardening can free your mind,” she says. “I know that sounds woo-woo.”

But digging in the dirt, she says, reminds us where food comes from, teaches kids about the environment and provides a psychological break from the daily grind — all without going any further than our own back yards.

“I don’t just want to sell things,” she says. “I want people to start a garden.”

Garden Rules, $9.95; Amazon, Borders, Target and elsewhere