About Us

The Swipe Garden story

Our story began in 1999 when Mike and I established a retirement business from our beautiful gardens set back in the hills of southwest Portland Oregon where my friend was working as a groundskeeper. We wanted to share our knowledge of rare trees shrubs or vines so we did just that with Swipe Garden – a small project which aimed at making every garden “bloom” new plants by giving them love whenever you swipe over.

Our company thrived under the leadership of this enthusiastic team cultivating a remarkable band of devoted members both locally and online, all eager to learn from unrivaled knowledge about citrus trees- an ever-changing world that is never-ending with new information coming out every day.

I think everyone can agree on one thing: business has changed! We at Swipe Garden know there’s no better way for us than by spreading love through our website as well because it was designed thanks in part to Mike who brought his own passion into everything he did , while George and I provide nurturing care alongside them

“Although the business has changed, we at Swipe Garden continue to do what it does best.” Though you can no longer tour Portland’s impressive gardens with your own eyes (they are now closed), this doesn’t mean that our team is going anywhere! We’ve always been about acquiring new botanical information and sharing it so people like us have access.

We’re excited to announce that the Swipe Garden website now includes more than just Citrus tree! As custodians of this special place, we continue our rigorous investigation into all fruit trees. We investigate tips like these with careful scrutiny before giving them back out through our website (or other social media channels).

Whether it’s advice on how to keep cut hydrangeas fresh in a vase or which backpack leaf blower to buy, we’ve got you covered.

You’ve got to love a company that goes all-in on the word “blooming.” What better way is there than by giving our customers great advice and service, whether they’re looking for new ways to keep cut hydrangeas fresh in vases or help with choosing backpack leaf blowers?

We hope you liked learning more about “what makes us blooming” as much as we did share it with you.

Kelly & The Whole Swipe Garden team.

Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence

CEO & Founder

Kelly Lawrence, founder and executive content writer of Swipe Garden.

Kelly has extensive experience in gardening and has collected over 100 varieties of houseplants. Gardening is more than just a hobby for Kelly; it’s a spiritual belief and motivation that led her to create Swipe Garden as a platform to share her experiences and knowledge. She provides useful resources and best practices to help others navigate the challenges of gardening.

Kelly’s educational background has been instrumental in her success, equipping her with excellent writing and storytelling skills with her Journalism major, she applies her experiences to share gardening tips and tricks for beginners.

Read more

Janet Rory-Narcissus

Master Gardener

Janet Rory-Narcissus is a Master Gardener with 15+ years of experience in sustainable and urban farming.

Janet is a member of the Swipe Garden team, where she shares her knowledge of sustainable gardening and urban farming through her extensive writing.

She holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University and completed her higher education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Stockbridge and Kansas State University, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Plant and Soil Sciences and an MBA.

Read more

Mike Rastus-Josiah


Mike Rastus-Josiah is a co-founder of Swipe Garden and a horticulturist with over 30 years of experience in horticulture, plant physiology, and sustainability practices.

Mike’s unique combination of marketing expertise and horticultural knowledge led him to co-found Swipegarden, a garden-related website that seeks to provide a wealth of information and resources to gardening enthusiasts worldwide.

Mike Rastus-Josiah, a Harvard University of Marketing, and Media Analytics graduate pursued his passion for gardening with a second degree in Environmental Plant Physiology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Sorrel Alvarez

Content Editor

Sorrel Alvarez is a respected horticulturist, writer, and speaker with over 30 years of experience in sustainable farming and organic gardening practices.

Sorrel, an accomplished horticultural writer, combines his expertise in marketing with his love for gardening as a content creator at Swipe Garden, delivering engaging and informative articles. He is recognized as a prominent figure in the horticulture community, sought after for speaking engagements worldwide.

Sorrel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture from Pennsylvania State University, where his fascination with plant science and environmental interactions flourished. He furthered his education with an MBA in Marketing from the University of Pennsylvania, honing his analytical prowess and attention to detail.

Lensar Kade

Content Writer and Gardening Expert

Lensar Kade is a seasoned horticulturist and a content writer for SwipeGarden with over 20 years of experience in gardening and outdoor plant cultivation.

Lensar, a dedicated writer and gardening expert, focuses on organic gardening and promoting sustainable living. In his role at Swipe Garden, he educates readers about the benefits of organic gardening and empowers them to grow their own food sustainably.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University, fueling his passion for utilizing media to advocate for organic gardening and sustainable agriculture. He furthered his education with an MBA in Agribusiness from Kansas State University.

Shako Beatrix

Master Gardener

Shako Beatrix is a master gardener at Swipegarden with over 10 years of experience in horticulture, gardening, and sustainable gardening practices.

Shako, the Horticultural Specialist at Swipe Garden, utilizes her extensive knowledge to encourage gardening enthusiasts and foster sustainable practices. Her expertise in plant science, plant care, landscaping, and organic gardening enables her to promote the profound impact of gardening on the environment and individual well-being.

She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from North Dakota State University, followed by a Master of Agriculture in Agribusiness degree at the same institution, further deepening her expertise in the field of plants and agriculture.

Alys Delling

Head Gardener and Content Specialist

Alys Delling is a highly experienced horticulturist and gardener with over 15 years of expertise in perennials, annuals, houseplants, and organic gardening. 

As the Head Gardener and Content Specialist at Swipegarden, Alys leverages her extensive expertise in perennials, annuals, houseplants, and organic gardening to educate and inspire readers. With a focus on sustainability, she aims to empower individuals to create thriving gardens while promoting eco-friendly practices.

Alys Delling followed her passion for gardening by obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture and an MBA in Agribusiness Management from Michigan State University. Her educational background combines the art and science of horticulture with business acumen.