November 15, 2021 by Hope Gardens
UPDATE: Two Dog still has organic seedlings for sale. Contact them for this special sale at 323-422-3835.
L.A.’s only certified organic nursery is saying so long.
Two Dog Nursery and its stewards: the power couple Jo Anne and Alex Trigo, have been a fixture in the Los Angeles gardening scene since their inception in 2009. (Coincidentally the year I also started my business, Hope Gardens!) They have made the hard decision to close the nursery and I was moved to write this tribute.
Now where I’ve led a quiet life out of the public eye, Jo Anne and Alex have not. They’ve had quite the journey to starting Two Dog, an organic garden nursery at their home in Mid-Wilshire. An article in the LA Times in 2010 really put them on the map and they have been running (literally) ever since. Another appropriately gushing LA Times article came out in 2017 and that was followed by yet another article and being named Best Nursery by LA Magazine in 2020. Their accomplishments are astounding and the publicity so well deserved.
The beautiful Two Dog Nursery has been the only certified organic nursery in Los Angeles. Speaking as someone who sells her own seedlings that are not at all organically certified, I can tell you what an amazing feat this is. Seriously, it’s difficult.
In a larger picture, their nursery and their commitment to organic vegetable gardening has really helped create the current gardening renaissance going on right now in Los Angeles.
Their organic seasonal seedlings, which they made available all year, were the gold standard for organic fruits and vegetables. Personally, their blueberry bushes were my main draw, far out performing any other blueberry stock I ever procured.
Jo Anne and Alex’s passion for container gardening gave me a constant source of shared interest. I also love the anecdote that the two dogs of Two Dog, Jake and Lalo, would trample or rip out whatever she planted in the dirt so she placed her garden up off the ground in a container. And wow, how we have all benefited from her being inspired by her pups to do something different.
The “rising tide lifts all boats” quote really reminds me of the Trigos, and shout out to Rylan as well! You have all given so humbly and so generously. I have personally and professionally been lifted.
Jo Anne and Alex are completely unpretentious about their status. They are genuinely kind and caring people, to-a-fault generous with their time and energy. Every customer was given the upmost care.
Having been in the edible landscaping business for 12 years myself, Jo Anne has been a steady and reliable friend. Competition never crosses her mind. It’s rare I’m sad to say, that true friendships haven’t develop more readily for me in the L.A. gardening world.
However, that being said, I believe in the past few years, from watching other people gardening on social media and the pressure of the pandemic, I’ve seen more people apt to partner and share rather than compete.
I want to say thank you to Jo Anne and Alex and also shout out to Britte Brown at Finca Tierra Negra, Whitney Waid at Plant, Grow, Eat and Karen Klein at Grow. Gather. Give. and Jes McBride at Open Silo. These women have also fostered community and for that I’m grateful.
And to all the Instagram gardening friends, thanks for sharing your expertise. I feel that community connections are growing and will continue to do so.
And of course, bringing it back to Jo Anne. You have an unextinguishable passion for growing food and creating gardens and community. I can’t wait to see what you do next!
Thank you to Alex as well. You took such care of your customers: always happy to provide gardening knowledge and carry our new babies to our cars. And you modeled careful physical care of the plants which I admired. You are the gold standard.
You can probably tell, I don’t think this is a negative narrative. I don’t see this closing as a story about how all our best nurseries are closing.
It’s ok for people to take a break. It’s a very difficult job. I would say if we can take anything away from Two Dogs closing is a reminder that we all need to be more patient, slow down a bit, cut ourselves and our gardens and our educators and our nurseries some slack.
This isn’t a gold mine. There’s very little profit margin in gardening. Be understanding of that. Don’t ask for discounts. Don’t try to return materials. Know that plants die. For all kinds of reasons.
This is important to understand: gardeners and nurseries handle way more dead plant material than the consumer ever will. Plants we seeded and cared for and wanted to survive sometimes don’t. They often don’t. So if you have a dead cilantro or a dead tomato or whatever the fuck, compost it and move on. This is what the pros do.
And no one was more pro than Alex and Jo Anne Trigo.
I will miss your nursery. I will miss your smiles and dedication. I will miss Jo Anne’s visor. I will miss the lemonade and cookies. But I will always have a friend in you and vice versa. I will certainly see you around the bend.