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Our Team is Ready to Help You with Everything You Need! 

"Working with Helmi and the other members of our team has truly been an amazing experience. Our customers are terrific, the atmosphere here is so laid back, and we all just have a lot of fun! So glad to a part of Helmi's Gardens."


When you walk into our Nursery, our first priority is to welcome you into our oasis of green, growing plants, gardening decor, vintage items and so much more. We want to make sure that you find what your looking for or just enjoy browsing every nook and cranny of our store.

Our staff is available for whatever you need and will help answer any questions you may have. Visit our Garden Center and meet some of our garden aficionados that make it all happen.

Welcome to Our Staff...
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Helmi Sheely


I was the 7-year old kid that was always outside and started seeds for my own backyard garden – even though no one in my family grew plants, or really even gardened. My dad gave me a backyard corner out of sight, so if it went to hell the neighbors wouldn’t get mad. But really it turned out pretty well, I would collect any seed I could find (who could forget the year I found 1000+ silver maple seeds and planted them all – and then 2000 came up – a bigger junk tree could probably not be found!) This hobby became a career without me expecting it. Even now when I drive around I look for seeds, and I try to identify trees at 40 mph. Opening my own store was the culmination of my professional life – hobby to working for others to working for myself. I hope you enjoy the store and our different services we offer, and love being outside working with beautiful things as much as I do.

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Jeanne Clark

Product Procurement and Display

I am prairie-raised and inspired by that landscape. As a child I always loved gardening and have vivid memories of gardening with my mother. I began making floral arrangements as a child. But it was a friendship with Helmi that brought me to Helmi’s Gardens.


I have been part of Helmi’s Gardens since its inception and I have had the privilege of managing and displaying/staging the store.  I came to the garden center industry from an artistic standpoint and a belief that we can offer a one-of-a kind shopping experience. I have also enjoyed meeting and serving the best customers in the world who have a love for all things green. I believe that we strive to provide a constantly evolving and inspiring shopping experience. 

During my free time I love spending time at the farm, finding hidden treasures at vintage shops, traveling, and enjoying good food and wine as well as my family.

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Carly Cox

Lead Landscape Designer

Carly graduated fro Mizzou with a degree in Plant Science with an emphasis in Plant Science and Design.  Carly has worked for her father in the lawn mowing business since she was big enought to wield a weed eater.  She really enjoys being outside and taking a part in the complete transformation of outdoor spaces.

She's an integral part of the whole landscape process from consulatations, designs, installation, and even mulching and clean-ups.  Carly will be on site from start to finish.

Her special skills include picking up breakfast sandwiches, being Lynx's (our store cat) chair, and blunt force sarcasm.  She's proficient in AutoCAD, Sketchup-3D designs, Lumion, and digging holes faster than Jermyn.

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Jermyn Porter

Manager, Landscape Installation & Lighting

Jermyn graduated from MU with a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife.  He started mowing lawns before being able to drive, and worked that into a passion of hardscapes and landscaping.  A while back he was approaced about joining the HG team to oversee the landscape division.  Recently, he's fallen in love with landscape lighting and how it can give you a completely new landscape at all hours.

Everyday he gets to put his creativity and precision to good use building peoples outdoor dream spaces. He's very picky so he will get the job done right every time, even if that means ripping up the last 200 sqft of flagstone just to lay it again.  Jermyn's real passion is deer hunting with his son Owen, his #1 fan.

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Gaby Brown

Garden Center Operations Manager

I discovered HG when I first moved to Columbia with my husband and our 2 dogs. We were just driving around South Columbia and I noticed what looked like a greenhouse that we stopped to check out. The rest is, as they say, history – I’ve been here 2 years, and I have worked my way up to operations manager. My background before this includes a stint as manager at a rural Missouri garden center for 6 years. As operations manager I take care of the day to day functioning of the store, making sure the daily tasks are getting completed. I really enjoy engaging with the public and helping people pick out the perfect plant – trees, shrubs, or something from one of the greenhouses. When not at HG, I enjoy traveling, hiking, fishing and reading.

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Amanda Caldwell

Maintenance Supervisior

I came to HG after working at another greenhouse in Columbia, and now I have worked her for 3 years. I have probably worked every job in the greenhouse, from designing and maintaining people containers, to the retail store, to transplanting and dividing plants for production. I like that everyone seems to really enjoy being at HG, the atmosphere is a real serotonin booster. Before coming to HG, I moved every 6 months between Columbia and Olympic National Park, working seasonally for the Park Service and then Garden Centers in Columbia. Recently I have gotten into crafting, and I really enjoy cooking and preserving food, travel, and outdoor recreation.

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Ryan Barnes

Landscape Installation and Lighting

I’m originally from Missouri, and recently moved back from Denver with my wife, Christyl and our 2 dogs Barlow and Rocky. I’ve been working at HG for the last 2 years, and now manage several different areas of the landscape division. I take care of spring/fall cleanups, tree plantings, mulching, and installation of some landscape projects. I love working outdoors, grilling on my Traeger, and sports.

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Caitlyn Hulett

Landscape Designer

I graduated from Mizzou in 2021 with a Plant Science degree (emphasis in Horticultural Science and Design) and have been designing at Helmi’s ever since! I started working at Helmi’s because I wanted to use my creativity to help people transform their outdoor space into something they can use and enjoy. It’s like putting a puzzle together! Our crews have a great sense of humor and I always have a blast going with them to install the designs we produce. When I’m not at the garden center I like to spend my free time practicing lyra (aerial hoop) and playing with my cat Miko!

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Mike Tarka

Head Grower

When I owned my own landscaping company, I used to shop at HG for my plant needs. Helmi and I went to school together and when they started to expand the greenhouses, a position as head grower opened up and I took it. I grow the majority of our annuals and perennials and even some of our shrubs – it helps us control our quality, and we can provide more interesting things since we don’t have to rely on others to get our plants. Hobbies include weaving, camping and hiking with my wife and son.

Other Staff

Hector Figuero, Landscape Stone Specialist

Katie Phillips, maintenance

Mirei Marzolf, maintenance

Discover the Secrets of Helmi's Gardens

Call us in Columbia at 573-886-9419 and let us know how we can help you with your gardening, landscaping, container, and maintenance needs! 

Where You Find the Unique & the Unusual!

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