Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My Very First Nursery Business

David the Good selling plants, circa 1991 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
On yesterday's post Derek the Grower asked about starting his own nursery business and that got me thinking about my attempts to grow and sell plants.

My sister Rachel (in the photo wearing the pink dress) discovered this photo a couple of years ago and sent it my way.

That's me sitting behind the picnic table. My brother Brian is sitting to the left, holding my sister Stephanie. In the yellow shirt is my sister Linda, then to the far right is my sister Christi.

I have six siblings in all. Jessica, the very youngest, hadn't arrived yet. I was fifteen when she was born. That was a few years after this photo.

I've always loved plants. As I wrote before, I planted my first garden when I was quite young. In this photo it seems I have a collection of ornamentals. I can make out a couple of different Chinese dragon plants - a green and a variegated, a nice-looking dumb cane, some wandering Jew in green and purple, plus what appears to be some sort of arrowhead vine - also known as Syngonium podophyllum, which is apparently listed as a Category I invasive now.

Hope I didn't help with that.

I remember scouring the neighborhood for cuttings, asking old ladies if I could take a piece here and there out of their landscaping. I dug up spider plants and lily bulbs, chopped Dracaenas into plantable pieces, rooted Impatiens from cuttings. One time I brought home some sort of Opuntia cactus pad and planted it in the back planter. That grew huge and lived for years, much to my Dad's chagrin. He kept having to cut it back so it wouldn't hit the power line coming into the house, though he never pulled it out completely since it was mine. In retrospect, that was very kind of him. The tiny glochids on that thing would itch and sting for days if you ever touched it...

Another time I remember air-layering my Grandfather's orange tree. Much to my wonder I got the branch to grow bright yellow roots into a plastic-wrapped lump of damp sphagnum.

My siblings and I were always close. We held yard sales together, invented games, rode bikes to Grandma's house and generally had a wonderful childhood.

I really miss South Florida sometimes. It's a crazy, mixed-up bustling city with too many regulations and too much crime... but the climate is marvelous for gardening.

As for my first nursery business, I never made all that much money but I did have a lot of fun propagating and selling plants. I don't know why I didn't stick to it. Somehow I took a wrong turn into radio production and advertising for a bunch of non-profits with serious problems... but I'm back on track now.

Thank God. Plants are a lot more pleasant.

Though I'm still not making all that much money, my soul is content. If any of my family is reading this today - thank you for being part of my life. We've had way too much fun together.

Which reminds me... one of these days I'll have to tell you guys about the dangerous combination of soccer and hockey we used to play in the front yard with tennis rackets, baseball bats, trashcan lids and many, many injuries...

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At February 4, 2015 at 7:22 AM , Blogger Derek the Grower said...

Very cool! Thanks for sharing your beginnings!

At February 4, 2015 at 8:00 AM , Blogger Cristy said...

Thanks for sharing this story. I love this!

At February 4, 2015 at 3:19 PM , Blogger DFW said...

Sounds like you had a great childhood!

At February 4, 2015 at 3:21 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

We really did. My mother's decision to stay home and homeschool all of us, plus my parents' commitment to their marriage and our Christian faith truly made for about the best upbringing you can get here on this fallen earth. Because I wasn't stuck in a classroom and wasn't allowed to watch much TV or play videogames, I spent a lot of time reading and experimenting as a child.


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