I have spent a couple of very relaxing visits this week at Pacheco’s Landscaping and Nursery. The minute you walk inside the greenhouse structure a peace quickly falls upon you! It must be a mixture of the various color arrays, the stillness, the beauty, and the aroma of the plants. The first day I was there the Angel Fire Garden Club ladies were celebrating National Garden Week. Max and Ernestina Pacheco both told me how important the Garden Club has been to them over the years. They have helped to educate not only the Pacheco’s themselves but the residents of the Valley as to what plants truly do survive in our Zone 3 to 4 climate.
The next day I sat with Max and Ernestina asking them about their business. I found out that Max had been working as a landscaper here since 1987. The Pacheco’s live in Chacon but move to Angel Fire for the summer seasons. They began their nursery by leasing Wheeler’s lot next door to the car wash about eight years ago because Max grew tired of hauling his equipment up and down the canyon pass. At that time it became a family affair involving Ernestina and their children, and they have been at the current location for the past four years. Max says their main business is landscaping but they also provide irrigation systems, tree thinning, drainage systems, retaining walls, water features, and they have added cost effective patios made out of riccobene stone. Ernestine turns her main attention, – at least when its not on the grandkids, the kids and Max, – to tending the nursery. She designed the greenhouse herself. She made it specifically so that plants could be housed early in the season, and would not freeze.
The next day I visited again, this time to learn how to pot a basket to hang over a deck. Daughter-in-law Lisa is the key arrangement botanist. She explained to me in detail the mixture of the soils to use and how to make an appealing arrangement. I got my hands in the dirt and loved it!
But my favorite story from the Pacheco’s came when I asked them how long they had been married. Max said, “We got married in 1981, how long is that?” Ernestina giggled and they told me how they met in 1978 when she was 17 and he was 19. He worked at a gas station in Mora and she worked as a waitress while going to school. He said she drove a hatchback Nova and every day would come into the gas station for $2.00 of gas. He told me he had to wash a lot of windows to get her attention! He wanted to ask her out but didn’t know where she lived, and she would only tell him that she lived across the river. Finally he asked a friend where this beautiful mystery girl in the hatchback Nova lived because he wanted to date her. Max found her house and went to the door, but Ernestina’s aunt mistook him for his older brother who was married and had two children so she ran him off. Ernestina cried. When her Dad arrived home to a crying daughter, he clarified to them that he believed they had the wrong brother. He was sure that the brother who worked at the gas station was the younger single Pacheco boy. And the rest is history!
The time to plant is now, so go see the Pacheco family at 3635 Mountain View Blvd, almost to the blinking light. They support the community of Angel Fire giving 10% discount to locals, 15% discounts to businesses, and 20% discount to contractors. They will take your orders early for fall, spring, and summer planting. The phone number is 575-377-1161.