Gardener moves on to greener pastures

Senior Isaac Lawrence has possessed a unique love for plants and botany for much of his life, and he can be seen tending the blooming greenhouse in the biology offices during a couple power hours each week.

Lawrence’s fascination in plants came to him on a whim one summer in seventh grade.

“I was digging through some drawers in my house and found an unopened packet of sunflower seeds,” Lawrence said. “I germinated them in wet paper towels because I remember seeing somewhere that that is what you do to get them to grow. I barely looked anything up.”

Lawrence did not expect anything to happen with them, and was very surprised when he saw that they had started to grow.

“When I saw that they actually started to grow, I felt very cheerful,” Lawrence said. “I realized that I was able to create life in a sense. If I hadn’t found them, they would have eventually died in that drawer.”

From there, Lawrence put them into red solo cups, but they kept growing. He took the biggest ones and put them into two liter bottles, and from then, nearing the end of the summer, he put the cream of the crop into a prairie in his backyard.

His fascination in plants continued to blossom during his days at Holmes as he continued to plant more and more seeds in his backyard.

“Deer were a pain in the ass,” Lawrence said. “With my dad’s help, I discovered that cayenne pepper or some other type of spicy powder could keep them at bay.”

Soon, Lawrence came to the high school, and he sought after more outlets to express his admiration for plants. From his sister, who also happens to teach at the high school, he heard about the greenhouse club, and he realized that he had found another way to learn more about plants.

“That first year, I went into Mrs. Considine’s room for the meeting, and I realized that I knew no one there, and there was a decent amount of people,” Lawrence said. “The first couple of weeks for that first year were spent cleaning the greenhouse, and I didn’t mind doing that too much. Then, we got into actual gardening.”

Lawrence’s knowledge of plants grew during his sophomore year.

“I learned that Mr. Wiechmann and Mrs. Considine are incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to plants,” Lawrence said. “I had already learned a lot through my own experiences with trial and error, but they showed me a lot about the intricacies and why some things of the little things are done. They told me why we start plants off in smaller containers and more things like that.”

Lawrence continued on his flowery path throughout the remained of high school, and garden club member Ethan Wiechmann did not fail to recognize the fact.

“Isaac has been the cornerstone of our club. To watch him take in interest as a sophomore to taking the lead role in the greenhouse as a junior and senior has been an added bonus. He took his interest to new levels with starting a variety of his own plants and a garden of his own at home.”

It is perhaps because of the garden club that Lawrence realized what he wanted to do in the future.

“I realized during garden club what I wanted to do in the future. I thought that I liked gardening and plants and I like science, which is obviously where all the girls and the money are at,” Lawrence joked. “I’m not exactly sure what I want to do for a career for biology and agricultural life sciences, but I know I would like to pursue botany. The most probable career is lab research specifically focused on plants and such.”

Wiechmann cannot say enough about how much Lawrence has helped the club.

“Lawrence helped in every way possible,” Wiechmann said. “He has been a great worker. A go to guy who consistently looked for new ways to operate and improve our greenhouse practices.”

Lawrence has lofty goals for the future.

“Obviously, world domination is the ultimate goal for my life,” Lawrence said with a smile on his face. “Really, though, I want to have a stable future while doing the things that I love to do.”

Wiechmann hopes that Lawrence was able to inspire others at the greenhouse club to do what he has done.

“We are hoping someone similar will catch the greenhouse bug so the Isaac’s tradition continues. I was just in the greenhouse on Tuesday for the last time with Isaac. It was hard to say good bye,” Wiechmann said. “We will miss seeing him around the greenhouse, his conversations and all he offered.  We wish him the very best and cannot wait to see and hear about what Isaac has propagated, crossed or grown next.”

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