After almost 40 years with Rogers Gardens during which Lew Whitney served as both President and Chairman, Lew describes himself first and foremost as a “hands in the dirt gardener.” He inherited his passion for gardening from his mother, who introduced Lew to some of favorites, Dahlias, Sweet Peas and Majestic Giant Pansies, all of which Lew still grows today.
When Lew was in his teens, his family had a house in Newport Beach, where Dave Bush was the gardener; coincidentally the same gardener who took care of Gavin Herbert Sr.’s home. Later, Dave Bush joined Roger’s Gardens as its first creative force. Eventually, Lew went to work for Roger’s Gardens as an outdoor salesperson in the original Costa Mesa store. Soon, Lew was promoted to General Manager, in which he managed the construction of the current Roger’s Gardens location.
When Gavin Sr. purchased Casa Pacifica, he asked Lew to help him with the landscape and gardening, a role he has enjoyed ever since, calling himself the “unofficial curator.”
Today at 72 Lew is semi-retired, still serves on the Executive Committee and interfaces when requested by both the Retail and Landscape divisions. He enjoys semi-retirement, a state that enables him to pursue his passions in gardening, sailing and stand up paddle boarding.