For Jake Seifert, it all started with an orchid.
As a child, Seifert received an orchid as a gift from a family member. He said that orchid became his passion and, almost 20 years later, that same orchid is still thriving.
"I got really into that side of it," Seifert said. "From there, it just kind of spiraled out of control."
From that sole orchid, Seifert's passion for gardening grew, eventually starting his own business and becoming involved with the Central Missouri Master Gardeners.
Seifert is in his third year as president of the Master Gardeners and said he really enjoys being a part of the group, though it can be a time-consuming endeavor.
"I think it's exciting," Seifert said. "It's just a camaraderie."
Through the Master Gardeners, Seifert has met many people who share his passions and has been a part of community service projects and classes that seek to teach others about the pleasures of gardening. Seifert said the group teaches classes for children on gardening basics, which he said is a great program he loves being a part of.
In addition to gardening, Seifert said he has developed a liking for garden accents, loving the idea of bringing unique objects to liven up the atmosphere of a garden to something beyond the plants themselves.
"I love putting something unique in your garden," Seifert said. "I'm a real avid person to bring the nature into the garden ... my all time dream job would be to design garden decor."
Seifert said after his current term as president is over, he hopes to let someone else take over as it's gotten difficult to balance the time constraints of his full-time job, business and the group.
"I want gardening to be fun and when you do it every day, day in and day out, it kind of can take some of the fun out of it," he said.
In the future, he hopes to step back and enjoy his orchid collection, but he said he wants to see more people get into gardening, adding anyone can do it as long as they put in the time.
"No one really has a brown or green thumb," Seifert said. "People just need to take the time to do it ... if you make gardening a priority then it's going to be something you enjoy."
"It'll be just like having a pet, you have to treat your plants like you would treat your pet."