Maggie Baran, The Todd Group

Maggie joined The Todd Group in April 2015 as an enhancement manager, which she describes as the “ultimate career” because she get to work with plants, be creative, and enjoy the outdoors. She works with homeowners and business owners to create containers and planters—of all sizes—that bring out the essence and colors of each season. She also manages gardens for The Todd Group’s estate clientele. Maggie made her way into the industry as a self-trained gardener with a love for nature. She completed the Rutgers Master Gardener program in 2012, and is a Certified Master Gardener. Through Rutgers Master Gardeners of Essex County program, Maggie has volunteered extensively with the Branch Brook Park Alliance and in the gardens of the Thomas Edison Estate in West Orange. She completed the New York Botanical Gardens Landscape Design Certificate program in spring 2016. Maggie takes pride in designing and managing natural spaces that clients love coming home to.

Deep Roots with Maggie Baran

Keeping-it-real job title
Guardian of the Gardens

What are you passionate about?
I love being able to transform outdoor spaces into something beautiful. We might see a small garden that’s overgrown and by removing plants and adding others and paying special care to plants’ health and well-being, we can give it a whole new feel.

Why The Todd Group?
When I was in school at New York Botanical Gardens, I came across The Todd Group’s website and was immediately impressed. I thought, “This is a level of excellence I want to be part of,” and I knew I’d reach out to them one day. Working here is literally a dream come true.

What makes you good at your job?
I take what I do very seriously. My ultimate goal is to make clients happy and I’ll do whatever it takes to do that. I’m very eager to do right by them and help fulfill their vision.

How would coworkers describe you?
Easygoing! I really don’t get too worked up about things. I’m even and I don’t overreact.

What was your first career?
I worked for 20 years in the medical industry, first as an Emergency Medical Technician and then as a medical assistant. I left that career when my daughter started middle school, and got into gardening as a hobby. Then I realized it was something I would absolutely love as a career.

Favorite plant?
I love them all but I’m a big fan of pollinator plants that will bring bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to my yard. Right now, the winner seems to be my Monarda (Bee Balm). I experiment in my own garden, and I’m always trying new plants and moving things around.

Education
Master Gardener Program, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Essex County, 2012
Landscape Design Certificate, New York Botanical Gardens, 2016