About Tom Heald

I started the Wyoming Plant Company along with my wife Ruth in 2003. We operated it as a print catalogue, with no pictures, only descriptions, and had about 50 plants to choose from. We had a mailing of about 70 people, only accepted personal checks and then notified our customers that their plants were available for pick up at a lot we rented for the spring season. Those were simple days!

The motivation to start the business was that as an extension agent, I was repeatedly called out on yard calls that reflected the same inherent problem–the wrong plant for the site, whether that be poor soils, high wind, drought or combinations of all of the above. The question then was, what is the right plant? Unfortunately, in frustration people would call me back, unable to locate the plant I had recommended! It was from this frustration and my desire to introduce these remarkable plants to the Wyoming landscape that the idea formed for our company, the same desire that drives us today.

My career with the University has ended, and my next life chapter includes running the Wyoming Plant Company full time. For me, it’s an exciting time to be in such a business. I get to help my customers transform their landscapes into a very special place whether that is a beautiful perennial bed, windbreak or a treed sanctuary or combinations thereof.

It’s also exciting to know that this business is helping Wyomingites define their sense of gardening place. We are not Mid-west(ern), South West nor are we Cape Cod.  Our heritage is the high elevation grass prairie/sage brush steppe ecosystem. Our gardens need to reflect that element and thrive in it with extraordinary color and durability! Lastly, coming from the education field, teaching people about plants and gardening is what I do first and foremost. I don’t look at this as a job or even a business (per se), perhaps a calling.