Native gardening firm blooms throughout pandemic


When some businesses struggled during the pandemic, Starnes and Jacobs saw their flower business thrive.

INDIANAPOLIS – What better way to grow your business during a pandemic than planting flowers?

Two central Indiana women, Mary Starnes and Gretchen Jacobs, have sown the right seeds in the past 18 months to benefit from so many hoosiers working from home and now they are starting their businesses with Windowbox Gardener and Porch Pot Direct to really bloom.

“I started the business in 2004,” said Starnes. “It was a hobby, to be honest, just container gardening. I loved it and I only did it for friends and family. Next, landscapers called me and we just grew organically. “

Starnes founded The Windowbox Gardener, a full service custom container gardening company that has professionally designed and manufactured bespoke flower boxes and containers for nearly two decades.

“I never meant to be where we are now,” said Starnes. “I am blessed and feel happy. We just grew and grew! “

As her business continued to grow, Starnes brought Jacobs on board in 2015.

“We refer to ourselves as ‘Soil Sisters’,” says Jacobs proudly. “We have a lot of long, hard, hot days, but we work women.”

When some businesses struggled during the pandemic, Starnes and Jacobs saw their flower business thrive.

“More customers stayed at home so they may have added additional containers or referred us to their neighbor who was also at home,” said Jacobs. “I think that was huge for our window box business. Porch Pods Direct’s business was purely a delivery business. Customers could be comfortably at home, go online, choose what they wanted, and then have it delivered to their doorstep to serve customers.

And the ladies also offer a service where they look after and care for your flowers after they have been sold to you.

“We’ll be back with our maintenance package, which includes pruning, fertilizing and trimming,” said Jacobs.

What’s next for you?

“World domination,” said Starnes with a laugh, maybe only half joking.

With world domination, Mary and Gretchen are now successful enough to expand their flower delivery service beyond the north side of Marion County all the way down to Greenwood.

A map of the delivery and service area can be found here.