US (CA): 46 years of growth for organic plant nursery in Pacific Beach

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As a college student pursuing a marine biology degree, Paul Backus never intended to own a plant nursery. More than 46 years later, Backus, the owner of Green Gardens Nursery in Pacific Beach, says he hopes to always have a place in the community.

Originally from Saratoga, California, Backus said he was living in PB while attending San Diego State University. He needed work, which he found at a local nursery.

“The owner was never there and had a bunch of young people running the place,” he said. “I was the waterboy.” His job was all the grunt work of the business, from watering plants to heavy lifting to whatever “no one else wanted to do,” he said.

Two years later, Backus was still at the job. “I realized how much of a passion I had for plants,” he said. He changed his college major from marine biology to botany, and between his courses and work, he learned all he could about plants.


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