Residence gardening blooms, grows neighborhood


SANTA ANA – Ashley Irene, Certified Landscape Architect and Kitchen Gardener, gave our cameras a close-up shot of her front yard being turned into a beautiful edible garden.

“One of my neighbors just said casually, you know you could do this for a living?” said Irene. “So I just put out a few feelers and the demand was there.

Irene now teaches foodies and chefs how to successfully grow edible ecosystems in their gardens.

“It enables us to change our relationship with food and with nature,” explained Irene. “We are beginning to be interested in what we put in the ground. And how that in turn goes into our bodies.”

Her landscaping company called Heirloom Potager transforms rooms into kitchen gardens through individual coaching.

“Heirlooms and history have always fascinated me,” said Irene. “More about the connection to the past. I find it amazing to know that we can grow something and eat things that our ancestors had.”

Irene started her culinary garden design business in the middle of the pandemic last year.

“This is one way of changing the world,” said Irene. “A garden can really inspire an entire neighborhood.”

Her love of gardening and her inherited “green thumb” came from growing up on her family’s 40 acre farm in Wisconsin.

“I’ve killed so many plants,” said Richard Chiarini, who recently hired Irene to help his Santa Ana home gardens thrive. “I love gardening, but I don’t really know what I’m doing.”

“My grandmother was really the first person who inspired me to garden like this,” says Irene. “I never realized that people didn’t know that was the way to garden.”

Discover a love of gardening and heirloom by visiting HeirloomPotager.Com.

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