Every day is a magical day at Rozet Nursery in Tucson, but even more so on Sundays.
The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the plants are... listening to music?
Sundays are when boutique nursery owner Abby Wing updates Rozet's weekly watering playlist with five new “global grooves” for Tucsonans to jam out to while doing their daily plant watering. You can find the new additions on Rozet's Instagram, and find the full playlist in their Linktree.
It’s a newer concept from the nursery, but one that Wing says can be beneficial for both people and plants.
“There's been a lot of studies that plants respond to music,” she says. “Some say it might be more like classical music, but I mean, every plant is different, I think. I would like to think that they like music, especially if you're singing and having fun with it. You know, they can definitely feel our energy, especially if you're taking care of them while you're jammin’. I would say definitely play it out loud.”
The Spotify playlist features nearly four hours of music from around the world. Since the playlist’s start in August, the track list has grown to 60 songs from various artists, genres and places.
Despite the millions of songs on music-streaming services, Wing says the selection process is more organic than it seems. Some weeks she makes the weekly playlist thematic, with music like the classic punk band Dead Moon during Halloween week and tunes from Middle Eastern artists in a show of support for the women and girls of Iran.
Other times, it’s just songs she discovers and connects with while browsing Spotify or her friends’ playlists.
“I think the most difficult thing is I like to pick a lot of songs from around the world,” she says. “And so I have to make sure the lyrics are PG-13, at least, you know, so (I’m) spending a lot of time looking at lyrics in other languages to make sure they're OK to put on a playlist.”
Wing hopes that the playlist will help create a connection among all the plant moms and dads, the plants themselves (or “plant babies” as she likes to call them), and global music.
“I think they should check it out because it's kind of all over the place,” Wing says. “And hopefully, they can really connect with at least one of the songs, you know, and get inspired by an artist they didn't know about from the past or someone current. ... I think a lot of times people listen to the same music all the time, but it's good to always be learning new things and just kind of pushing yourself.”
There's always room to grow 🌱
Rozet Nursery is fairly new to the Tucson plant scene.
Together, the husband-and-wife team have a combined 40 years of experience in gardening and landscape design, according to their website.
“My husband ran huge-scale nurseries in Southern California for, like, 20 years with, like, hundreds of acres and so he always wanted to get back to that and, you know, dreamt of having our own nursery and bringing so much experience (to a nursery). And I always had that dream, but I didn't really think it was in my cards.”
After a couple years of renting a small space for their landscape company, their landlord asked if they wanted to rent out the whole area instead. At the time, Wing and Riese insisted that they only wanted to keep the small area.
But then COVID-19 struck and pushed everyone to pivot and find other endeavors, including Wing and Riese.
So, when their landlord again asked if they wanted to rent the whole area instead of just a portion, the duo had a different answer this time — yes.
“He kept asking, and finally we're like, ‘Well, we've always wanted to have a nursery,’” Wing says. “We just did it. And it was during COVID, it was during the pandemic, and we thought, ‘Oh, we'll take our time. We'll build it out, we'll make it really cute. We'll be able to have a retail space.’ So it took a while to open, we were kind of scared. You know, we didn't really want to interact with the public and all the hurdles that COVID brought. But I think it was actually the perfect moment to do it. Especially because so many people got into plants during COVID, during quarantine.”
The Rozet Landscape Design team spent a year slowly putting together the boutique nursery because they wanted it to be “as close to perfect as we could before we opened the doors,” Wing says, adding: “There's so many gorgeous nurseries in Tucson that have been there so long and new ones and just wonderful people. We just feel really proud and excited to join that community.”
Now, the nursery features an old 40-foot shipping container that they transformed into a little store that they like to call the “vessel,” which houses plants and other goodies like artwork from local and global artists.
They also have a small kids’ area fully embellished with a sand table, bubble wand station and even a few coloring books to keep the kiddos entertained.
Even if you’re not the biggest plant enthusiast, you can still have fun at the nursery by stopping by their potting bar for a pottery workshop, grabbing a latte (or a vegan treat) from the Espressoul Cafe coffee truck that’s parked at the nursery on Thursdays and Fridays, or playing a round of table tennis at their new Ping-Pong table.
“So there's fun things to do, fun things for people that aren't necessarily even that into plants, but maybe it'll rub off on them,” Wing says.
'We made it for everyone' 🌳
A big part of the nursery’s mission is to help educate the community about plants, how to properly take care of them, and what they need to thrive in our desert climate.
“What we're really trying to do there is educate people, so people feel excited to interact with plants on whatever level they're at,” Wing says. “Whether they want to try out this plant for the first time or add to your collection or, you know, add to their yard or get something in the desert soil for the first time, we just really want to support people in it because we're pretty much plant addicts, and it's what we think about and talk about and want to talk to people about.”
With an influx of people moving to Tucson in the last few years, Wing and the rest of the Rozet Nursery crew want to show the Tucson newbies that there’s no better place to be than here.
“A lot of them are not coming from desert regions, so sort of everything feels really foreign to them in terms of landscaping and plant life,” Wing says. “So there's some fear sometimes and some excitement. And we like to just tell people, ‘Hey, it's gonna be OK. This is a great place to be and you can do a lot, you can grow a lot of things that you probably already have.’”
Aside from providing locals with plant knowledge, Wing hopes to help create a sense of community on Tucson’s east side through the nursery and its events.
“We just really want to create a really nice experience for people,” she says. “I don't care if they buy anything from us, ultimately, I want them to come and (enjoy themselves) like, this place has good vibes, that's what we hear a lot. And we try really hard for it to have (good vibes). So just a place where people can go and maybe it can just add something good to their day. Or they can tell a friend and share it. And as far as the music (playlists), kind of the same thing. I mean, there's a lot of things to be concerned about or bummed out about right now and so I think it’s fun to find the music and it can change your mood and change your day.”
The nursery has hosted classes, workshops and even a small Halloween festival where community members came out in costumes to explore the nursery and mingle while shopping from a few local artist vendors.
In honor of Rozet Nursery’s first birthday, they are hosting an anniversary party from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13 at the nursery. Admission is $15 per adult.
There will be music, belly dancers, Persian food, mocktails, a plant raffle and a silent auction at the party. In true community-driven fashion, the event will also benefit two local refugee organizations, Owl & Panther and the Iskashitaa Refugee Network.
While Wing wants to keep the boutique nursery on the smaller side, she already has big plans for future events, including a vendors' market every other Sunday starting next year.
As for the weekly watering playlist, Wing has no plans on stopping that any time soon and will continue adding new global music to the playlist each week.
“We made it (the nursery) for everyone,” she says. “We really just want it to be a cool place for you to come check out, so come check it out. It may or may not be for you, but we're there and we're really excited to share it with people. We've worked really hard (and) it's a real labor of love. It's hard to have an outdoor desert (nursery), it's either really hot or cold. Like, this is the sweet spot right now. It's a great time to come out.”