Noah Yawn hones horticultural skills

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

Noah Yawn, a junior at HHS this fall, was hired to work weekends and after school at Myers Plants & Pottery this past April after volunteering there summer of 2015.

“When summer came around, I started working more often,” Yawn enthused, “And I’ve learned so much from all of the amazing people who work there. I learned how to propagate various plants via rooting cuttings, as well as dividing perennials and water plants.

Noah Yawn is a caretaker for the koi pond at Myers Nursery & Pottery. At feeding time, he demonstrated putting food pellets into a baby bottle and the ensuing excitement that reigns as they all swarm and thrash to get their share. (Contributed)

Noah Yawn is a caretaker for the koi pond at Myers Nursery & Pottery. At feeding time, he demonstrated putting food pellets into a baby bottle and the ensuing excitement that reigns as they all swarm and thrash to get their share. (Contributed)

“I had the chance to learn about all of the different pond and aquatic plants, as well as my favorite, the carnivorous pitcher plants.”

Some of the different aquatic plants, Yawn points out, include water lotuses, perennial water lilies, horsetail, arrowheads, water celery, azola and Alocasia (elephant ears).

“Mr. Stewart (Myers) has taught me the requirements and needs ponds,” he said. “In June I actually got to repurpose a pond at the nursery that was empty. This pond is completely natural, except for the water pump for the statue (a humorous one) in the center. It relies solely on plants to clean the water for the small mosquito fish.”

Lotus plants (Nelumbo) are hardy perennials that have beautiful blooms in the early summer. These plants grow via tuber and so they can be divided in the fall, producing two new plants, Yawn explained.

“The lotus plants can get massive, if given enough time and fertilizer,” he said. “I saw one plant that had flowers as big as a dinner plate—and smelled amazing too—with leaves as big as a small dining table, standing on stalks 8 feet high.”

One of the biggest projects Yawn has taken on was traveling to Fairfield with a couple other employees to work on their courtyard gardens and pond.

“This large pond was completely full of filth,” he said. “After working on it for two days straight, we finally got it in order—crystal clear and lush with plants. Seeing the look on people’s faces afterward made all of the sweating in the sun worth it!”

Yawn plans to construct a koi pond in his own backyard and he hopes to bring home Greg, a white and orange Koi, to whom he has become attached. He has named two other of the koi Bert and Ernie.

Yawn will study natural sciences, most likely horticulture, agriculture or conservation, saying, “As long as I’m with plants, I’m happy!”

Currently at school, he is also taking advanced photography and involved in Science Olympiad Club, Theater and various honor societies.

Coming up Sept. 1-4 is Myers’ annual half-price sale. For more information, visit Facebook.com/Myers-Plants-Pottery.