Michael Donaroma began his landscaping career at the age of 14, as many industrious boys do with mowing local lawns. Neighborhood lawns kept him busy along with a job at Island Country club (Farm Neck). Michael goes to UMass. Stockbridge, with a degree in agronomy. Michael returns back to Martha’s Vineyard with an opportunity from his mentor, Mannie Nunes, superintendent of Island Country Club to be in charge of the grounds of the golf course he worked on in his sophomore year of high school. With technical knowledge obtained from UMass. and his working hands, his brother’s pick-up truck, and his grandmother’s lawnmower; Michael Donaroma is ready to launch his company. Off he went.
Thoughts of retail entered his destiny, needing a working, plant pallet to create his garden designs and landscapes. With a nursery and retail area he could offer a wider diversity and selection to his landscape customers. Michael learns about retail from his experience as the plant guy at Mercier’s IGA food store and working on planting projects at Woodlawn garden center.
Mike Donaroma is a man with many good fortunes, one being the initials of his name MD. Townies and clients called him the “Lawn Doctor” for his forensic knowledge of the greenest lawn in town. Michael designs his first logo for his “Growing” business. Virile men wearing pink T’shirts with a human hand shaking a hand from the lawn of this very mod squad design is what the Lawn Doctor wore heading up his crews, in the early 70’s.Somewhere between lawns, designing gardens and dreaming of owning a nursery someday, comes further higher education from The Radcliff Landscaping program and Harvard graduate studies.
In the late seventies, Michael Donaroma’s big dreams are becoming more tangible. Michael leases land from Emily Hendrickson’s horse farm. In 1977, Michael steps off the cliff and buys the Hendrickson’s horse farm to build his nursery and greenhouse. (photo) The shaking hand-lawn logo of the disco generation is redesigned with a more, earthy, organic, New England, wildflower feel. The new logo of Queen Anne’s Lace is the new sign in town for the launch of his nursery on Upper Main Street.
A new era for Micheal Donaroma awaits, far from the local kid with a borrowed pick up truck. “Donaroma’s Nusery” opening day which might have had a few locals (maybe 50) walking about…in contrast to our current “Evening of Enchantment” in which we host over 1,000 guests. Donaroma’s has been fortunate to be in the lead of gardening trends. Martha’s Stewart was given credit in bringing perennial gardening to the main stream gardener. By the time Martha was introducing us to what a perennial is; Michael Donaroma had been designing perennial gardens for over 25 years. Janice Donaroma joins Michael to make a power house design team to incorporate her style and input onto the next evolution of Donaroma’s growth. Janice brings community spirit and gala events to the retail faction of Donaroma’s. Returning something back to the community is an ethical principal, Donaroma’s strives to accomplish.
Donaromas’ season begins with: Palm Sunday, Open house, a tropical theme, including where whimsy meets subconscious plant education, and a party to herald the beginning of spring, nestled in a sea of spring color in the Garden Store.
Fall Frolic: the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend. Old fashioned, family fun time, let the kids go on a plant scavenger hunt, the amazing maze, treats and sweets, apple bobbing and face painting. Three acres of nursery are transformed into a kid’s paradise.
Evening of Enchantment: Friday Evening, weekend of Christmas in Edgartown: an inspiring walk through the nursery, with thousands of decorative twinkling lights. Trails of luminaries guide your way through exhibits and seasonal vignettes. The decorated town Christmas trees shine from around the pergola. Live music, refreshments, candles glowing in the spirit of celebration in the Garden Store. Decorating ideas abound, with different customs and alternative celebrations respected and understood.
Wreath making Workshop and Santa Visits the Garden Store: Saturday, the weekend of Christmas in Edgartown. Hands on wreath making workshop of diverse evergreens and decorations, boxwood trees made for long lasting holiday accents. Registration for wreath making required. (materials fee)
COMMUNITY OUT REACH
Flower design class for the Edgartown Elementary School:
Flower Arranging Class: The Anchors, Counsel on Aging.
Oak Bluffs, Counsel on Aging: Orchid lecture
New England Flower Show: Exhibitions/ Orchid lectures/ Fairy gardening Major retailer
The Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club /Floral design /Orchid Lecture
Martha’s Vineyard Mothers Club/ Floral Design
Speaker Multi-topics: Polly Hill Arboretum
Speaker panel at Vineyard Sustainability Day, Orchids, Artistic Floral Interpretation, Organic pest control, Bonsai.
Designing floats in Christmas in Edgartown Parade and Forth of July Parade.
Tabernacle restoration benefit: The Boston Pops. Floral site stage design for the most famous National orchestra.
The Yard: Floral site stage design for Alvin Haley’s Dance troupe. “Revelations”
In 1985 our logo changed to our current peony flower, created by Kolodney and Rentschler graphic designers.
The Orchid Collection. Donaroma’s has taken interest in this large family of plants. Orchids are a specialty of the Garden Store; personal advice, and instruction, available. Awarded exhibitions to include: the Cape and Islands Orchid Society, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Massachusetts Orchid Society.
A bit of Japan, and China, celebrating the ancient discipline of manipulating plant material into miniature landscapes.
1996 the completion of our largest greenhouse was opened to the public (photo). The Garden Store, which is our flagship greenhouse displaying unique flora including beautiful orchids, topiaries and other plant curiosities. The Garden Store’s reputation is a retail crystal palace featuring all things beautiful in the plant kingdom. Donaroma’s Nursery, landscaping services & The Garden Store is the reason why our business is about “Growing”