Nelson Twp. – Always in Bloom in Nelson will celebrate 10 years of meeting the community’s gardening needs this year. Owner Angie Smithburger said it was a dream that she didn’t really have, that just sort of fell into her lap, so to speak.
Eleven years ago, Angie was living the rat race of life shuffling her five year old off to school and juggling her full time job as a floral designer at Breezewood Gardens in Bainbridge. She said she had grown weary of the shuffle. After some gentle persuasion from a friend she bought his greenhouse and set-up shop. She admits she really didn’t know very much about running a greenhouse but with the motivation to get out of the rat race, she learned quickly. The idea soon began to grow into a great home business.
Now ten years later, her business is thriving. Angie uses local suppliers and starts many of the plants from seeds herself. She has a variety of traditional plants and some unique ones as well. She prefers not to use chemical pesticides but does use Miracle Grow on her plants. She treats her customers like her family. She greets them every year, taking out a few moments to catch up with their lives, and then she assists them in making their garden selections.
On arriving, they will first notice the herb garden and water fall outside the greenhouse. To the left is a swing and a building where she keeps her seeds. Even if you’re not looking for seeds, go into this building; it has a lot of interesting things in it, including the old seed rack from Irwin Hardware. Pretty cool to have a piece of history being displayed. The outdoor area has beautiful hanging baskets and is more like an oasis than just a greenhouse. Shopping for your garden needs there is an experience, not just a shopping trip.
She is a one-woman operation so to speak, she has a few friends that volunteer to help her now and then but it is mostly just Angie tending to the plants, along with her customer’s needs and wants. She grows most of her plants from seeds right there in her green house. Smithburger says, she just loves watching life spring forth from the seeds.
When I asked about the types of veggies she has, she claims just about anything one might want for their garden. A lot of her customers like the heirloom varieties, so she has a lot of the peppers and tomatoes grown from heirloom seeds. She has melons and cucumbers, as well as hanging baskets, annuals, perennials, maple syrup and herbs. She even has seeds for those who prefer to start their own plants.
She will plant a planter for you if you want. Just bring in the container, tell her what you’re looking for and she will do the labor for you making you one-of -a-kind container gardens.
In the ten years she has been in business, she has seen a lot of changes in the industry. When she first started ten years ago plants were $6 a flat, now they are $11 a flat. Smithburger says the cost of supplies has skyrocket in the last few years forcing her to raise her prices so she can survive. That being said, unlike other places that have 30 or 36 plants in a flat she still offers 48 plants in a flat and you can mix and match a flat without paying a surcharge.
She has seen a trend where younger folks (teens and twenty somethings) are taking an interest in gardening, particularly vegetable gardening. She says she is unsure if it is out of necessity, the chemicals that are now in our food supply or just the joy of watching stuff bring forth life. She said whatever the reason, folks are starting to garden again and she has enjoyed helping them get started.
New this year is “An evening in the Garden” slated for Friday June 14, 2013 at 7pm. This evening will feature a lighted garden and food samples, and non-alcoholic drinks from items one would find in the garden. She will show folks how to use the herbs they have grown as well. The event is free and opened to the public. For more information on “An Evening in the Garden” or any other gardening needs call 330 326-2897.
Always in Bloom is located at 10027 Silica Sand Road in Nelson and is open 10 am until 6 pm Monday – Saturday or by chance. She is closed on Sundays.