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All in the (Horticultural) Family

Articles: All in the (Horticultural) Family

Nancy Schramm and her father, Ed Carman, i 1994 when Carman's Nursery was located on Mozart Avenue between Los Gatos and Campbell. Photo: courtesy of the Schramm/Carman family

According to family lore, Ed Carman, my dad, had his first memorable encounter with the plant world when he was about eight or nine years old. The family was living with Ed’s grandfather, Xavier Weltz, on his ranch in the Santa Cruz Mountains. One day the boys were playing in a nearby creek when a visiting older cousin innocently suggested that Ed collect “some of that creek mint over there.” “That creek mint” (Urtica dioica) is commonly known as stinging nettle. Despite learning at this early age that plants can indeed bite back, Ed became infatuated with them and went on to spend a lifetime working with and sharing his love of plants.

Ed’s dad, Hugh Carman, opened Carman’s Nursery in Campbell, California, in 1937. Ed and his three sisters all worked in the family nursery and the experience made a lasting impression. Returning from Europe after serving in the Army during WWII, Ed intended to teach at the local high school. But the ...

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