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RIVERTON — The key to a happy retirement is planting a seed. Wilson Svedin’s spent his finding a purpose — watering a passion.
“I guess I’m the kind of person that just likes to be doing something,” he said. “It’s therapeutic for me.”
Svedin’s passion is for plants. Every day, you’ll find him spending hours in his yard, tending to his garden.
“If you don’t give them the attention they need, then it doesn’t work,” he said.
His backyard is filled with vegetables, flowers and trees — he says he’s been working on sculpting the space the way he wanted it since he and his wife moved in during the 1970s. But for Svedin, his love of breathing in bouquets began when he was just a budding sprout.
“My grandfather was a terrific gardener, and I always enjoyed walking through his yard and admiring the flowers,” he said. “My father had about an acre of ground dedicated to vegetable gardens, and so I learned how to work there. I don’t know if I appreciated it as much then as I should have, but I certainly do now.”
He’s put down roots in his retirement, absorbing every hour with horticulture.
“It’s given me some more time,” Svedin said. “I get to spend more time doing what I really enjoy doing.”
And more time in the yard meant more points in the present to ponder his problems — more time fighting his foe: grass.
“Anybody that has any experience with gardening knows that it’s difficult to keep the grass from encroaching in the flowerbed,” said Svedin.
Invading his irises — and his weapon was weak.
“I used a shovel a lot,” Svedin said. “That’s very labor intensive.”
Retirement may be about relaxation, but he wouldn’t unwind. Instead, he put his mind back to work — Svedin became an inventor.
“I saw what I wanted accomplished, and I saw how it could be done with one single tool,” he said. “I made up a prototype, and it works.”
He came up with something he calls the “Kwik Edge”: A tool that cuts the grass edge, rips out the roots, and scoops soil back in. It may not look like much to the untrained eye, but fellow gardeners flipped. In Svedin’s words, it’s “gone crazy.”
He’s got his own commercial and his own website. He sells on Amazon, and even on the shelves of Ace Hardware stores.
“I attended the Ace Hardware show, at their invitation, there in Chicago,” said Svedin. “They set me up with a company called ‘The Grommet.'”
They staged a launch for Svedin’s product, and Ace Hardware stores from “coast to coast” started stocking the tool. Business became so big that it started to cut into his gardening time.
“It became a full-time job,” he said. “But then I decided I wanted to get my time and my life back.”
Svedin signed on with a warehouse to handle much of the workload, ensuring that he’ll always have ample hours to spend digging in the dirt.
“Now my biggest problem is keeping inventory,” he said.
If the key to retirement is planting a seed of passion, the landscape of Svedin’s life has bloomed into a bouquet of business — but every day, you’ll find him right out in his backyard, enjoying the fruits of his labor.
“It makes me feel good to be out breathing the fresh air, working with the soil,” he said. “I’m happy right here.”