In a lot of ways, we are a moving company. We are in the business of moving trees and shrubs from our house to yours. Some of those trees and shrubs are small and you can move them from our place to yours and we welcome that. Some of our trees and shrubs are larger (some really large!) and you ask us to do the moving. We welcome helping with that move as well. So yes, we are in the tree and shrub moving business… but this is ridiculous!
Over the past several years we knew it was a possibility. For the past couple of years, we knew it was a probability. Over the past year we knew it was an inevitability. Now it is a reality – we are moving an entire tree nursery! It’s a good thing we are a moving company!
You may be asking “Why?” At points in this journey, including about 10 minutes ago, I have asked the same thing. What in the world possessed us to move a tree nursery? Well, let’s try and make some sense of this. We have grown a successful business at our Willow Green Gardens Rogersville location; we hate to leave it behind. Twenty years ago, my father looked at a lot of property before he settled on Willow Green Gardens’ location. He hauled a tractor and auger around and dug pilot holes on various properties trying to find ground good enough to grow trees on, that can be a challenge around these parts. When he came to this piece of property on the south side of 60 highway in Rogersville, he found his prime piece of real estate – GOOD SOIL. No rocks. Highway visibility. Available for purchase. Bingo! Contracts were signed. The land was purchased. The dream realized. But a few years into it, Dad hit a bump in the road. He was late on a couple payments and the landowner took the property back. We went from landowners to leasing the land. No big deal. We just kept at it. Kept working hard and kept growing. We tried to forget about the fact that we didn’t own the land. But, in the back of our minds, we knew the day would come.
The new highway interchange was the beginning of the end. It brought two changes; the access to our property was relegated to a hard-to-get-to side street, and that side street was slated for commercial development by the landowner. Soon the back portion of our land was taken back by the landowner for a housing development. We talked to the landowner about the purchase of all or part of the property we still maintained. The cost was prohibitive. In the meantime, we had been looking at several possibilities for a new landing spot. We wanted to stay in the same general area, for we are ‘that tree farm in Rogersville’, find a place with good highway visibility and access, and a place that would enable us to continue to progress as a business. We looked at several possibilities, but it came down to one spot that made perfect sense. We decided to move to a piece of property with highway visibility and an already thriving second business. We decided to buy the Wildwood Antique Mall property and move our tree nursery and retail location to that spot.
The papers are signed. The move is underway. We will maintain the antique mall – a business my wife, Karen, and I have always loved – and create a unique destination around the existing mall. A place that includes an antique mall, a garden center, a great selection and display of trees, shrubs and flowers. Growing fields with thousands of trees. Walking trails, scenic places to sit and relax, and much, much more. The “move” will take a long time. It will be far from completed this spring. But we are going to be open Spring 2020 at our new location, and we couldn’t be more excited!
We hope you will come and check it out. We hope you will make it a regular destination. We hope you enjoy the new and improving Willow Green Acres. Because, well, what we are doing, is…ridiculous!