But throughout his time in corporate America, Johnson’s heart remained rooted in gardening. “I had a yearning to own my own retail garden center, so I started doing that on the side,” he said. “During the week, I was a senior project engineer. On the weekends, I designed whole landscapes for people and installed them with my friends.”
Eventually, Johnson hung up his corporate suit and tie to pursue his passion. Blooming Colors Nursery & Landscaping opened in 1994, and he has been “blessed ever since.” In 2016, he funneled some of the byproducts of his success into an endowment for the Sally Young Johnson Herb Garden in the Leach Teaching Gardens at Texas A&M, permanently honoring his mother’s love for gardening. Texas herbs are the plot’s backbone, with the garden displaying a wide array of herbs with culinary, medicinal and other applications. “My mom enjoyed gardening so much that my dad built her a greenhouse. I cleaned it and kept it up for her; in return, she let me find my passion there. This is my way of honoring her for letting me into her space and trusting me,” Johnson explained.
After almost 30 years operating Blooming Colors, Johnson has more than green thumbs up his sleeves. Below, he shares some tips and tricks for spring gardening for amateurs and agricultural aces alike.