Laura arrived in the Willamette Valley after growing up on the family’s potato farm in Southeastern Idaho, the last of fourteen kids! She loved the beauty and solitude of the farm and nearby mountains. Those connections are expressed in her trees, her art and her gardens.
The Willamette Valley has been fertile ground for her for many years. During this time, she has shared her rich plant knowledge and creative energy with retail and wholesale nurseries in the Portland area. It was upon finding choice ground in Boring, Oregon that she began pouring her artist talents into Black Sheep Nursery, focusing on Bonsai and Niwaki. When not sculpting pine trees she’s in a studio sculpting clay or carving wood. Her other passions center around her family, veggie gardens, and fine food.
Tom discovered the pleasures of nature and gardening from grandpa, dad, and Herm, a close family friend. He played in the woods along the upper Alleghany River in Western, PA. It was a fun place to grow up but he soon discovered the big woods of the Northwest. After a brief stop in Idaho, to finish his horticultural education, Tom made a home in the foothills of Mt Hood. Following a career of maintaining public parks and private gardens, the notion to grow stylized pines was incited by Laura’s bonsai passion. Bending and pruning the branches of pine trees to generate motion and drama became an obsession and the genesis of Bentwood Tree Farm. If you don’t find him pruning pines, try the rivers of central Oregon!