SUPPORTING YOUR GARDENING JOURNEY
Seven Bends was founded in 2019 by a pair of friends with a talent for growing plants and a passion for protecting the environment. We have backgrounds in science, large-scale land management, botany, and outreach. We want to enhance our local communities and help us all reconnect with the earth in a meaningful way. We believe in science education and use our backgrounds to make informed choices with our clients that suit our landscapes and wildlife. You will not only thrive in the living space you create for yourself, but will contribute to a healthier, integrated habitat for our pollinators, monarchs, hummingbirds, and other species that depend on these plants to survive. Allow our expert gardeners to be your guides as we undertake this mission together!
WHO ARE WE?
Iara Lacher, PhD
Iara is a scientist currently working on issues of sustainable land use and biodiversity protection. She brings a wealth of knowledge in her understanding of ecology, plant communities, ecological restoration, and invasive species. She is an avid gardener and a self-proclaimed plant nerd who seeks out creative outlets in her art and music whenever possible. At Seven Bends Nursery, Iara is an idea maker. She also tackles jobs related to inventory selection, plant care and propagation, and graphic design. She is also the chili-head of the group. Her favorite Virginia native is the paw paw (Asimina triloba)
Kyle Rhodes (Co-Owner)
Kyle Rhodes is a lifelong resident of Shenandoah County and 2010 graduate from Bridgewater College with a degree in Environmental Science. Kyle is passionate about land management and creating habitat for wildlife, especially pollinators and grassland birds. He has been creating and selling Eastern Red Cedar nesting structures for over 20 years. At Seven Bends, Kyle is all about planting, working with shrubs and trees and creating seed banks. He enjoys fishing and taking his dog Max on hikes and to the river. His favorite plants are partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) and American chestnut (Castenea dentata).
Eric is an English teacher by training with a long love of hiking and camping. He began to realize the power of native plants when a little cultivation dramatically increased the numbers of fireflies he saw in his yard. His love for natives was cemented after seeing the striped caterpillars chomping away on milkweed, tucking themselves into gorgeous emerald chrysalis, and emerging as stunning Monarch butterflies. Now Eric helps in organization and problem solving wherever an extra pair of hands are needed. His favorite plants are milkweeds.
Sarah was born and raised near Warrenton, VA and grew up exploring the mountains of Shenandoah National Park. She has a B.S. in Conservation Biology from George Mason University and is currently developing techniques using drones to aid research in forests and grasslands. At Seven Bends Nursery, Sarah aids in organization and greenhouse production. She enjoys gardening in her own small backyard, as well as continuing to explore near and far. Her favorite plants are Coleus and the Alegheny Monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens).
Hutch (Co-Branch Manager)
Hutch is always hard at work making sure the yard is safe from the intrusions of squirrels, groundhogs, and intrusive sticks. So far he has never found a ball he wouldn't chase until well past exhaustion.
Max (Co-Branch Manager)
You might see Max as a blur running around outside helping his dad, Kyle. A seven year old puppy, his favorite activities are running, running, swimming, and running. Max is known to be partial to native grasses where he can chase field mice.
Boo is a very small chihuahua who loves to help out in the garden while Eric and Iara are hard at work. When he isn’t sunning himself on a lazy summer day, he is chasing butterflies or very small tennis balls into and around native flower beds. He is our trusty guard, keeping the flowers safe from harm.