For business or for pleasure?

Karolina11(6b Central PA)January 26, 2013

So I personally do not do any sort of professional gardening. However, I do have three nurseries within a few miles from each other that are so different that it makes me wonder whether most nursery owners tend to lean one way or another - is it business or is it pleasure?

Nursery #1 - Owned by a landscape company. Does none of its own growing. Advertisements online, updated website, and the place is very well presented when you are there. Have a niche in the wholesale market with a person dedicated specifically for it, special hours for wholesalers, and special promotions for them. All the plants are lined up in rows with very informative tags, you watch workers move plants around to make sure the blooming ones are in front constantly. However, no one through phone, email, or in person really knows about the plants, growing habits, or can make suggestions. Simply put, the place looks great, knows their market, well run, but is not employed by who I would consider to be gardeners. Hence I see it as a nursery run for business, not necessarily out of the pleasure for gardening.

Nursery #2 - Nursery two is kind of a mix of business and pleasure. They grow some of their own plants. Small little place but always well stocked and plants are identified. If you catch the owner there, they can tell you about the plants but a majority of their workers don't know too much. Their website is never updated and it is impossible to reach them by email. From talking to a few people it appears as if it's a low scale operation with not too much emphasis put on tons of business success (workers are not aware of what has been selling, what is being ordered, what needs moved, etc), but besides a few workers, not everyone there seems to be big on gardening.

Nursery #3 - This one is clear on the other side. Most of the place is gardens in which they seem to grow everything. I frequent often and there are always workers digging up divisions from their plants and putting them in nursery pots for sale and then placing them back in the ground in the fall for the winter. All of the workers seem to be able to answer any and all questions about any random plant you pick up. However, it is close to impossible to find a worker that is not working in a flower bed and then getting them to help you is like pulling teeth. They have plants scattered around everywhere with no rhyme or reason and a lot of them don't even have tags, for example, they will have just "daylily Chicago Apache" scribbled in silver sharpie on the pot. Their prices for mulch, soil, delivery are significantly higher than any of the other nurseries as if they weren't even worried about being competitive. It almost feels to me as someone just wanted a very large garden and decided to sell plants from it with not a lot of business desire. Hence for pleasure and not for business.

Is this common throughout other places - do you feel as some people definitely do it for different reasons and thus it becomes apparent in their business? If you own a nursery, do you feel like you struggle with one aspect or the other? Do you try to correct it?

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