Meet Our Team
For over 30 years Ginkgo Gardens has employed passionate horticulturists, landscape architects + designers, woodworkers, masons and builders to bring you the highest quality plants, garden supplies, decor, as well as beautiful and sustainable gardens and stonework for your landscape. Read below to learn more about our talented staff!
Mark Holler - Founder and Owner of Ginkgo Gardens
Originally from North Carolina, Mark founded the Ginkgo Gardens business 19 years ago. He is incredibly passionate for horticulture and gardening, He studied Landscape Horticulture at North Carolina State University, as well as at University of Maryland. Previous to Ginkgo, he ran a successful landscape company called Holler Landscape, which has transformed to Ginkgo Gardens when he purchased the building on 11th St SE in 1999. Mark is also passionate about all animals, as well as travel and enjoying time with his sizable extended family. He most recently has developed a hobby for training and caring for bonsai.
Matthew Roberts - Store Manager and Horticulturist
Grew up in the Deep South in a small house with a big garden created by an LSU horticulture professor. His parents watched from the air-conditioned solarium as he learned how to mow (and weed & prune & fertilize & transplant). He received his BA and moved way up north to DC and promptly discovered he preferred digging in the dirt to designing buildings. It took all the combined wisdom of his MLS from G’town to figure out how to do that for a living and joined the crew at Ginkgo the year that it opened. After completing his Master Gardener work hours at the British Embassy gardens in Northwest he concentrates on his five thousand square foot roof garden overlooking Rock Creek and the National Zoo which he shares with his husband Michael, their dog Kip and their cat the Shadout Mapes. After an agonizing internal debate attempting to pare down his list of favorite plants to a single choice; he balked and had to deliver: dahlias, perennial hibiscus, and hyacinth bean vine!
Tom Hammond - Landscape Designer and Manager
Tom has been part of the Ginkgo team for over 10 years, working in every aspect of the daily routines of the business - including estimates for installation work, helps manage the store, product ordering and much more. Originally from Baltimore, Tom has bachelors degree in Plant Sciences + Landscape Management from University of Maryland. Tom lives with his wife and two daughters in Silver Spring, Maryland. His current favorite public garden is the High Line. He develops his passion of horticulture through designs that incorporate greenery into the urban environment [indoors and outdoors] to reconnect with nature. You can follow Tom on instagram at @tomhammond, where you can find his inspiration and passions for plants, woodworking, biking, travel, and music.
Kellie Cox - Landscape Designer and Artist
Kellie has been one of the landscape designers here at Ginkgo since 2018. She has also worked on creative projects with the Ginkgo staff for the last four years - including the creation of our Ginkgo Gardens store front signage. Kellie is incredibly passionate about native plants, garden design and art. She has a double major in Landscape Horticulture and Plant Science from University of Delaware. She has worked to create beautiful landscapes for residents and clients throughout the east coast over the last 18 years, including several historic museums in DC. Kellie resides in beautiful Takoma Park with her writer husband, very sweet baby girl and adorable dog and kitty. Kellie is also a botanical artist, you may have seen her work recently at the US Botanic Gardens, as well as on a recycle truck driving throughout the city. You can view more of her work at here. Kellie's latest project at Ginkgo was creating our new website and our new POS system!
Thomas L. Kapfer - Landscape Architect
Since joining the staff at Ginkgo Gardens in 2008, Thomas has used his background in landscape studies, history and archaeology, performing arts and other cultural studies to develop site-specific designs and landscape solutions for our clients’ unique needs and desires. He draws inspiration from as eclectic sources as wild, natural landscapes to elegant, modern design. Playing piano, making tea, and exploring natural areas in pursuit of finding native plants growing in their natural habitat bring him the utmost delight in his free time, and feed his soul. Thomas has been designing gardens since junior high, and further honed his professional skills studying landscape architecture at the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center of Virginia Polytechnic University and George Washington University.
Kenneth Wright - Store and Garden Specialist
Kenneth has been part of the Ginkgo team for the last five years. You can find him working in the garden center most days, where he helps with the day-to-day store operations, as well as helping local DC residents with their variety of questions about gardening. He is always ready to assist customers with a glowing smile.
Jean Manuel Wegimont- Store and Garden Specialist
Jean has been part of the Ginkgo team for over the two years. He is very passionate about horticulture and design. With his background in art + design, Jean brings a unique and artistic touch to the store displays and product. Originally from Washington DC, Jean has worked in several garden design projects including the creation of Sherwood park in 2011. He helped coordinate the installation of trees, shrubs and perennials to help improve Sherwood Community Center and Park. You can always find Jean with a smile on his face and always ready to help our customers.
Melanie Smith - Store and Garden Specialist
Melanie is the loving mother of two adult children, grandmother of two equally wonderful grandsons. Her favorite part of working at Ginkgo Gardens part-time is seeing customers leave the shop with an armload of plants, a smile on their faces, and a can-do attitude. Melanie has worked at Ginkgo for the last five years. She's the proud owner of 200 houseplants and she enjoys gardening with her grandsons and the neighborhood children. She is passionate about fitness and exercise.
Whitney Franklin - Store and Garden Specialist
Whitney (aka Frankie) joined the Ginkgo Gardens store staff in 2019! Originally from Richmond, VA, Frankie is very passionate about plants and people. She loves dancing, creating and enjoying life with her friends. While she is not at Ginkgo, she works as a life coach (Soulflexology) helping others live their freedom through soul reflection. She hopes to work at Ginkgo forever!
Ben Burkhardt - Store and Garden Specialist
Ben left a corporate career behind to join the team at Ginkgo in 2019, and is the newest member of the store staff. A longtime customer of Ginkgo Gardens, Ben grew up in Chesterfield, Virginia and attended Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina and Johns Hopkins SAIS in Nanjing, China. Ben bought his home in DC’s Hillcrest neighborhood in 2016 and has been joyfully transforming the previously empty quarter acre lot into a wildlife oasis filled with native trees, shrubs, and perennials. He assembled a greenhouse in his backyard with his dad and served on the Board of Directors of the National Capital Cactus and Succulent Society. Ben has been growing two of the Haworthias in his collection for over 25 years.