Melanie has at times been called a "renaissance woman"
because she has so many interests and talents.
She grew up on a farm and ranch in the Texas Panhandle near Gruver where her parents and brother carry on the tradition. That experience taught her to work hard, operate many kinds of equipment including 18 wheelers, fix all kinds of things and be her own boss.
During those early years, she developed a strong connection with the land and learned to grow about anything which led to her love of plants, creating beautiful gardens and growing her own food.
After high school, she became a registered nurse and has always been passionate about maternal and child health. She worked in labor & delivery for a while before raising her own son and daughter. Later she returned to school and continues to practice as a Nurse Midwife, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Lactation Consultant. She owns her private practice, Beyond Birth ABQ, that allows her to support the motherhood journey.
During a break from nursing, she had her own landscaping business and planted trees on homesteads and public courthouses in the Panhandle. She had created her own gardens and began sharing her talents with others in the area.
Creativity is the life blood that keeps her grounded and happy. She enjoys creating with many different mediums including metal, stone, wood, clay, fibers, and plants.
Her love for creating jewelry began in 2004 when she helped a friend in Thailand create some silver beaded designs. It has grown from mostly donating beaded necklaces to benefit midwifery education to creating her own original jewelry designs.
Melanie's love for plants and native landscapes began in the Texas Panhandle and blossomed while living in Santa Barbara, California. There she designed public and private sustainable landscapes and fell in love with the Mediterranean plants including orchids and succulents. When she moved to New Mexico in 2006, the high desert plants that became her new favorites. She used the principles of sustainable landscaping and permaculture to create her magical garden filled with conversation spaces, food, grazing chickens and buzzing beehives.
Melanie has over 20 years of experience in creating all kinds of gardens in Texas, California and New Mexico. Native plants have long been a favorite of hers, from memories of collecting seeds to hiking among the native plants each place she has lived. Her gardens have always been pollinator friendly but now she makes a conscious effort to help others enjoy these gardens too.
She loves to sort through the metal junk pile at the ranch, remembering the days of driving tractor and cultivating the crops to find old equipment parts to inspire her welded metal garden sculptures.
Melanie never dreamed about being a beekeeper but that interest developed about 8 years ago when a local beekeeper placed some hives in her garden for a couple of seasons. When she tasted the honey from her garden, she was hooked!
She began to watch the local beekeeper check his hives and became fascinated with the bees. One year the bees didn't survive the winter and her garden just seemed dead even though the plants were thriving. She knew then that she needed to start learning how to be a beekeeper.
It has been a journey of successes and failures but now there is a bee house with 8 colonies in the backyard and the girls are thriving. They are producing awesome local honey that she can share with others.
2720 Charleston Street Northeast, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110, United States
By Appointment only
Friday - Saturday - Sunday: 9am - 5 pm