Meet The Team
Our Countryside – Elburn team consists of the same staff you have grown to love as they are the same team who helped you when we were known as Shady Hill Gardens, with the addition of a few more! Our passionate and dedicated staff strives to provide you with both the accurate advice and quality plants that will make your garden a success. Our main purpose is to beautify your home inside and out.
A twenty-five year veteran of the industry, Johanne Pieterse (JP) began his career working with his family’s cut rose greenhouse in Amstelveen. At the young age of 26, he purchased and managed his own expansive greenhouse operation which produced 10 million stems annually. In 2012, JP came to the U.S. to manage an 8-acre orchid facility producing 1.8 million Phalaenopsis orchids yearly. His successful career continued when he became the General Manager of a 85-acre facility at Colorpoint, the sixth largest commercial greenhouse operation in the United States. JP comes from strong family roots. He credits his parents for his success as they were most influential in demonstrating the value of hard work, respect for people, and the blessings of quality family time. Quite active in various industry associations, JP subscribes to an open style of communication, enjoys setting clear goals, and believes in a whole-team approach to create quality, successful projects.
Like JP, Brent planted roots early in the industry, at the tender age of 15 as an employee of a big box garden center. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a degree in Horticulture. Brent began his career as an assistant grower at Sawyer Nursery. This quickly led to head grower positions with several leading companies including Costa Color, the second largest greenhouse growing in the U.S., and Four Star Greenhouse in Carleton, Michigan, home to the famed Proven Winner brand of annuals, perennials, and Color Choice shrubs. Brent is busy father of two teenage boys who love a variety of sports. When time permits, he enjoys his love of the outdoors with fishing and beekeeping. As a professional grower, he is excited to bring more home-grown plants to the Countryside line of products and help modernize some of the facilities at countryside and Garden Valley, Countryside’s growing facility in Woodstock.
My love for plants started at a young age. I have fond memories of planting fall bulbs and tomatoes with my Granny. I also loved to help out my mom in the vegetable garden. I knew then that I really liked plants and I wanted to be outside. I attended McHenry County College for horticulture and started my Career at Countryside in 2003. I worked with annuals for ten years, and I would help out on the perennial production in the spring time. I eventually became the perennial manger and now the General manager for the Elburn location. Through the years, Countryside helped paved the way for my personal growth and advancement in the company. My mission is to provide the best quality plants and exceptional customer service.