Young women with black dog in the snowThis week, I celebrate the two year anniversary of taking the leap and buying an acreage to expand Plant Life Designs, the business I started back in 2006 while I was living in a two bedroom townhouse in Ankeny, IA.  Plant Life Designs started as a design-only business and couldn’t quite gain enough traction before 2008 hit and the economy was going through a recession.  In 2008, I picked up another full time position designing and learning how to install projects with a company out of Ames, while still pursuing freelance work through Plant Life Designs.  After three years, they decided to close abruptly and pursue other opportunities.  In 2011 Plant Life Designs launched again full time as a design/install company.  After a couple years, I moved to Windsor Heights where I ran the business out of a 1936 story and a half brick home.  A few years later, I discovered a dream property that came up for sale.  3.5 acres outside of Van Meter, IA with a quaint log cabin home, greenhouse and other out buildings perfect for a growing landscape company.  Taking that leap was one of the scariest and best things I have ever done.  I have dedicated my entire adult life to the growing industry and knew I was put on this earth to be a part of a bigger picture and the plant community.  This time of year I not only reflect on the time that has gone by, but also about all the wonderful things yet to come.

As a business owner and steward of the land, I am so excited about the opportunities in the future with the Plant Life Designs property.  Ultimately I want to create a space that inspires people to want to garden more at home and enjoy their outdoor living space.  The goal is to not only educate, but also to inspire.  In the years ahead, Plant Life Designs will be continuing to add more and more to our property, with the intention of bringing people into our space, enjoying conversation, food, and friendship.  Because that my friends, is what makes this world so wonderful to be a part of.


-Tara Dudley, Plant Life Designs

“live among your plants”