Meet Your Neighbors: Renny Reynolds & Jack Staub - Manalapan

Renny Reynolds and Jack Staubs. What aren’t those two into?

The part-time Manalapan residents also own Horatulus Farm Nursery in Wrightstown, Pa., a 100-acre 18th-century farmstead with 30 acres of formal gardens hosting up to 75 garden and touring groups a year. Yes, they are busy. They come to Florida to relax, or so they say …

Just to give some background …

Landscape architect Renny Reynolds, founder of Renny & Reed, with locations in New York City and the Jupiter Island Club in Hobe Sound, was, in his previous life, a party planner extraordinaire – arranging presentations for Yves St Laurent and Diana Vreeland, birthday parties in Turkey and Hall of Fame dinners. He’s written The Art of the Party and, since passing his design business to his nephew, Reed McIlvaine, he’s returned to his first love, garden design. His house and garden designs have been featured in Architectural Digest, House & Garden, W and Town & Country, to name a few.

Although an author of numerous gardening books, grass doesn’t grow under Jack Staub’s feet either. His latest book is 75 Exciting Vegetables For Your Garden, a unique primer of the world’s most beautiful vegetables. He’s a playwright, too. In March, his play, Running Out, was part of the Florida Stage New Works Festival. His earlier pursuits include soap-box acting, bartending and a career in advertising.

Committed to South Florida? You bet! These two not only own two charming homes in Manalapan, but they entice their back-east friends to become their neighbors!

10 Questions for Renny Reynolds and Jack Staub

Q. Where did you grow up and go to school? How do you think that has influenced you?
RR. I grew up in St. Louis, Mo., in the heart of the Midwest in a family where strong work-ethic values were important. I was lucky to go to a small private school, where the art program and the personal attention greatly influenced my life.
JS. Litchfield and Stamford, Conn., where I was a product of the Greenwich Country Day and Choate schools; they give me both a broader education and a more expansive view of the world.

Q. What is your favorite part of the work you do?
RR. The creative process of working with clients to beautify their living environments.
JS. In my role as playwright, working in collaboration with a talented director and cast, who breathe things into your words you have not possibly imagined.

Q. What advice do you have for a young person selecting a career today?
RR. Try to find work in an area that you really enjoy and can hopefully be passionate about. And then look for and take advantage of all the opportunities that come along.
JS. Ditto. Use heart and head. Don’t be irresponsible, but follow your dream with unwavering certainty.

Q. What inspires your creativity?
RR. The excitement of visual aesthetics in every realm. JS. Surrounding yourself with other talents and entering an unknown garden for the first time.

Q. What has been the highlight of your professional career?
RR. The happiness and satisfaction that it has given me.
JS. Being part of Florida Stage’s First Stage Festival this year has certainly been one of them. Completing my edible gardening trilogy another.

Q. How did you choose to have a home in Manalapan?
RR. Finding a house on the water that we loved and knew that we could create a fun and welcoming home for our families and friends.
JS. Sheer animal luck. We thought we would end up in the north end until our Realtor hauled us down to Manalapan and our little house on the lake.

Q. What is your favorite part about living in Manalapan?
RR. It is a very special and secure island with a great community feeling, beautiful birds, super security, and great beauty.
JS. The funky Key West-iness of our greater town of Lantana, yet just moments from Worth Avenue, and our view down the lake.

Q. What music do you listen to when you need inspiration? When you want to relax?
RR. Elton John, Tina Turner, Willie Nelson, and Patti Labelle.
JS. Aaron Copeland’s Appalachian Spring. Crosby Stills & Nash’s version of Woodstock. Chris Botti’s trumpet.

Q. Do you have a favorite quote that inspires your decisions?
RR. “Consult the genius in the place in all.” Alexander Pope
JS. “Stifle, Edith.” Archie Bunker

Q. Who/what makes you laugh?
RR. Whoopie Goldberg, Robin Williams.
JS. The Society section of the Palm Beach “Shiny Sheet.”

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