Peace was hard to find in the late 1960s in Baltimore. But as a young boy growing up there, Brent Antrim found it in his grandfather’s greenhouse. Brent joined our team in October as our newest gardener, and we are so grateful to have him.
Brent comes to us from Monroe, Ga., just outside Athens, where for 20 years he and his wife, Kim, owned a garden design, installation, and maintenance company called Chauncey Gardeners — a nod to Peter Sellers in the film Being There. Brent’s call to gardening came early in his youth as he spent time with his grandfather.
“He started with roses, but in Baltimore, you can only grow them four or five months out of the year,” Brent says. “So he built greenhouses and started growing award-winning orchids. Whenever I went to his house, the first thing I said was, ‘Let’s go to the greenhouse.’”
For vacations and day trips, Brent and his grandparents went to prominent gardens, including Kensington Orchids, Longwood Gardens, and Sherwood Gardens, where tens of thousands of tulips are planted each year.
“What 8-year-old asks to go see the tulip display? That was me, every year after the first time I saw it,” Brent says.
He lived just around the corner from his grandparents, and as he grew older, he did landscaping tasks for them, mowing the lawn and trimming hedges. He learned to prune while climbing his grandfather’s cherry tree.
Brent graduated from St. Paul’s School for Boys in Brooklandville, MD, in 1983, and then earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Georgia. There, he spent two years as a student assistant at the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia.
After graduation, Brent joined Sedgefield Interior Landscapes in Atlanta, where he would become operations manager, supervising the installation and maintenance of tropical plants in malls, hotels, and office building atriums. He later worked as the sales manager for Chisholm’s Quality Foliage, a wholesale greenhouse in midtown Atlanta two blocks from the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
From there came the move to the Athens area and the establishment of Chauncey Gardeners. The venture required the patience and attention imbued in the soul of a true gardener, and together Brent and Kim built a successful and well-renowned business.
Brent and Kim have been married for 25 years and now live in Pisgah Forest with their two labs, Gracie and Andre. He enjoys reading, hiking, gardening and is an avid follower of all sporting events.
“I did 20 summers outside in Georgia, and I was ready for a change,” Brent says. “This has been the perfect spot.”