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what would be the best garden center setup???

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by swing blade, May 25, 2003.

  1. swing blade

    swing blade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    Ok I am seriously thinking about purchasing some land and starting a garden center to work my landscaping biz out of. What i want to know is how much land do you think I would need, what things should I have on site; things like mulch, gravel, topsoil, a good supply of water, etc. I work mainly for small commercial businesses and medium to high end residential in the 250k to 800k range. The customers want an instant garden where they do not have to wait for things to grow to look good. I do a lot of shrubs and trees, so i do not know how much space i should alot for them. I am thinking probably 2 greenhouses for the flowers and such. I am also thinking of a barn/office in the 30*60*16 size. I have 2 bobcats 2 dumps and a pickup that I want garaged. I also have some trailers ( 3 ) and a tractor with loader. let me know if you guys can think of any ideas, or even describe your dream site.


    swing blade

    LA LAWNS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    the bigger the better. check into buying land with the option of purchasing additional adjoining acerage later down the road. I dont own any land but this seems logical to me...LA LAWNS
  3. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Messages: 776

    What services do you offer? Do you want to make your own mulch, or screen your own loam? Do you want to get into custom soil blends? If so, those things all take a lot of room to do because of the various piles, room for machinery, etc. Do you spray? If so you are going to want to plumb your building with a couple of probably 3 - 4" diameter water lines for easy tank filling. Do you want to be involved with firewood? That takes room as well. Excavation? You're definately going to want areas with different amounts of light for plants with different requirements. Probably a facility to store pesticides. Some form of meeting room for your crews, and a sales area for customers. Also if you're really wanting to get into this, a demonstration garden or two that you can use to showcase your work.

    Basically, what services do you want to offer, and to what extent do you want to offer them?
  4. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    I know this has been discussed in the past at this site, and I'm almost positive there were some great conversations with a lot of "do's" and "dont's"... check the search feature.

    I like fblandscape's idea about a display area to show your work, especially if you are looking to generate sales for your installation business.

    I do know that if you are planning on putting this in an area with upper-end homeowners, you should definitely have bagged mulch and soil. Sounds funny but I know a guy who sells so much of this stuff bagged because there are more "do it yourself" types than before. They, for some reason prefer to buy 20 bags of mulch to put in their SUV than have a dump come and drop how ever many yards thery need.

    Good money maker...small and simple, but still good money.
  5. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    There's a garden center I visit thats sitting on about an acre of land and he's got probably 5 greenhouses plus a shop/barn. It's a little cramped, but he does pretty well. He doesn't do mulch/soil/gravel though.

    Sean Adam's has it dead on, I finished up a home owners putting green this spring and i needed some playground sand for the sand trap. I went down to a mulch place who said they had bagged sand, (i didn't have a trailer/dump to just take bulk). I went down to pick it up and it was like $3.50/bag for 50# bags. I needed 36 of them, so it was $126 plus tax. I said i'd have to think about it. I went home and built a homemade insert for my trailer out of some 2x4's and a 8x8 tarp with a ratchet strap to hold it inside. I went back to the place and took 1/2 yd of sand (about 36 bags) home for $21.

    Most people (consumers) don't even think about the HUUUUGE price difference there is between bulk and bagged.

    Good luck.
  6. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    I am about to start a field nursery where i can grow all of my own B&B trees and shrubs. I have about 2 acres worth of field and guestimate i can get about 1000 shrubs or trees to the acre. All i want to grow is the trees and shrubs that i use the most in my landscape installs. I already have my water source and truck access to the fields so its ready to go.
  7. Clay

    Clay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

  8. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    We have over 20 acres ... 4 acres of covered greenhouses. A large construction shop.
    The greenhouse/garden center is run completely separate. That portion sells just about everything you could think of.

    Down at the construction shop we have our 6 offices and a construction display area (also under a portion of a covered greenhouse) we built last fall. In our yard for construction we keep our own supply of loam, sand, crushed stone, boulders couple other sizes of rainbow rock, mulch that we buy in at 150 yards per time and an irrigated area for shrubs that we order in weekly for the upcoming jobs.
  9. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    I work at a garden center owned by a Landscaper. He has shrubs, full size trees, all sorts of trees, perennials, mulch, stone, pavers, soil.....a bunch of things. This is great cuz come time to do design for a customer for a landscape hardscape job they can come on down and talk with him and pick out everything he can lay everything out and if they don't like something he can change it right there, order things, everything. Its a perfect setup and then of course he can sell the stuff to other contractors which he does and other citizens. Any type of material you use on a job you want to try to have at your center.

    If you have any questions, pm me.
  10. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Messages: 776

    Do you have a designer? That is a skill which is really good to have. Because even if you don't sell the install to the people, you can still sell the design, or set your nursery apart from the others in the area by being able to offer the ability to design for your customers.

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