Bakersfield Life: Personality – Olga See

Recently, Olga See, owner of O.See-Em-Bloom Nursery, was featured in Bakersfield Life. Following is the story.

Olga See said she turned her brown thumb green and transformed a hobby into a booming business. Her company, O. See-Em-Bloom offers full-service landscaping and includes a nursery. See, 64, said her fascination with gardening began when she lived in Southern California.

“It really started in Long Beach,” said Olga See, owner of O. See-Em-Bloom. “Take a twig and stick it in the ground, and it will sprout there.”

Hailing from Namibia, South Africa, See’s retained a subtle British accent, though she’s been in the U.S. for almost 40 years. She called Louisiana and Mississippi home for three years before heading west to Bakersfield.

“I’m a plantaholic,” says Olga.


Drought Incentives Spur Turf Replacement

Arlene and Steve Johnson have a daughter who just finished college in Tucson. Their frequent trips to Arizona were the inspiration for a complete landscaping overhaul designed to conserve water in the front yard of their southwest Bakersfield home.

“We just fell in love with the desert,” said Arlene, 54. “And with the drought, it made sense.”

The yard is now a complex, integrated patchwork of flagstone, rocks, cacti, shrubs and desert flowers. Since the Johnsons ripped up 3,000 square feet of Bermuda grass in February, they have seen their monthly water bill drop. It was $15 last month, compared with $30 in April of last year. They also got to ditch a $70-a-month lawn service.

Environmentally conscious home and business owners have been replacing thirsty turf with low-water landscaping for years, but the trend has increased dramatically in this, California’s fourth year of drought.

Olga See, owner of O-See-Em-Bloom nursery, estimates she gets at least 15 phone calls a month from customers inquiring about low-water plants, on top of walk-ins poking around in person.


Eyewitness News: Plants for Dry Shade


Eyewitness News: Artificial Turf