The family-owned company is set to open its sixth location in Metro Detroit on March 1, 2019. | Press Release
DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. – English Gardens, No. 10 on Garden Center magazine’s 2018 Top 100 Independent Garden Centers list, has acquired Plymouth Nursery in Plymouth, Michigan. The announcement was made jointly by John Darin, president of English Gardens and Jeff Jones, owner of Plymouth Nursery.
This marks English Gardens sixth location in the Metro Detroit area. The family-owned company currently operates stores in Clinton Township, Dearborn Heights, Eastpointe, Royal Oak/Troy and West Bloomfield.
“English Gardens has been looking for a new location in this market since we lost the lease on our Ann Arbor store in January 2018,” Darin says. “We are very pleased about this opportunity and look forward to servicing customers who frequented our previous store and meeting current Plymouth Nursery customers.
“Jeff and his team have built a beautiful operation. We plan to continue his tradition of offering high-quality products and services, while expanding upon the store’s selection.”
English Gardens will continue to operate the landscaping portion of the business, as well.
“We hope that many of Plymouth Nursery’s current team members will continue on with English Gardens,” Darin says. “We’re also looking to hire additional people to work in the store and landscaping operation.”
Plymouth Nursery closed on December 30, and will re-open on March 1, 2019, as English Gardens Plymouth Nursery.
After owning the company for 32 years, Jeff Jones will be retiring.
“It is with mixed emotions that I am selling Plymouth Nursery & Garden Center,” Jones says. “I am sad that after 55 years this wonderful company will no longer be in the hands of my family. However, it is with great joy that I turn the reins over to English Gardens.
“I am certain that English Gardens will continue to serve the loyal Plymouth Nursery customers with the same high-quality products and services for which Plymouth Nursery has become known.”
The Plymouth Nursery name dates back to 1931. Jones’ parents, Wayne and Nancy, purchased Plymouth Nursery in 1963 from Pete Christensen of Christensen’s Plymouth Nursery. The Nursery was moved to its present location in 1973. Jones purchased the company from his parents in 1986 and has grown and diversified the business.
English Gardens Plymouth Nursery is on a 19-acre site at the corner of Ann Arbor Road and Gotfredson Road. The store features a 12,000-square-foot retail space and 12,000-square-foot enclosed greenhouse. The outdoor selling space is approximately 9 acres. The store will offer a complete range of garden products and plants for indoor and outdoor living spaces. The new store will also offer other special services, including: Garden Pharmacy, where associates diagnose plant troubles and provide solutions, as well as a Patio Furniture Design Center for custom orders and design services.
The Outdoor Living Department includes patio furniture and accessories, and garden décor such as fountains, statues, accessories and garden art.
During November and December, the store will transition to a Christmas Center with an extensive selection of fresh-cut and life-like Christmas trees, wreaths and greens as well as Christmas lights, decorations and gifts. English Gardens award-winning Landscape Company will also offer holiday decorating services for lights and decor.
English Gardens Plymouth Nursery will also offer free weekly seminars and host monthly workshops and Kid’s Club events.
Tropical plant retailer sells Plants.com domain to 1-800-Flowers.com
The owner of Stokes Tropicals sold the URL to the online floral and plant retailer for $450,000. | By Giovanni Castelli
Glenn Stokes, owner of Stokes Tropicals in Jeanerette, La., has been a tropical plants enthusiast for decades. He has offered tropical plants online since 1996 through Stokes Tropicals, his mission being that “wonderful, exotic tropical plants should be available and accessible to everyone,” including “the average gardener,” according to the company’s website. As retirement nears and operating costs continue to rise, Stokes decided it was time to part ways with the online business and the domain name Plants.com.
“In general, people are not as excited as they were 20 to 30 years ago about tropical plants. In the 1970s and ’80s they were more novel, whereas now they are more common,” Stokes says.
Stokes recently reached a deal with 1-800-Flowers.com to sell the coveted domain name to the online florist for $450,000.
“$450,000 is certainly a newsworthy amount,” says Andrew Allemann, editor of DomainNameWire.com, who published an interview with Stokes about the deal Dec. 11, 2018. “Seventeen domains [in 2018] sold for at least $500,000.”
According to Allemann, the median price for a domain sale is under $5,000, but the best ones sell for a lot more.
With the deal now complete, a spokesperson from 1-800-Flowers.com says the company is excited to add the URL to its collection.
“Plants are an important and growing part of our business,” according to a spokesperson from 1-800-Flowers. “Now, Plants.com is among the 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc. portfolio of URLs.”
Stokes explained that another reason for his decision is the fact that tropical plants are now being supplied from warmer spots of the U.S. to big box stores across the U.S. and Canada. This makes it tough for his business to compete as an independent, he says.
“Heating the greenhouse in the winter is also a big expense,” Stokes says. “My kids are more interested in the landscaping side of the business, but we will still advise on tropical plants and partner plants.”
Stokes, who has written numerous books about tropicals, started with a print catalog of tropical plants, which included common names and picture descriptions to accompany each plant. As the years passed, postage and ink began to rise, and the introduction of the world wide web pushed his print catalog to digital.
Eventually, Stokes’ website and his investment in local advertising replaced the catalog. Now, Stokes feels that he has accomplished all he set out to do with tropical plants and is ready for the next chapter of his life.
“We felt like we hit on everything in the industry,” Stokes says. “We decided it was a good time to sell [the domain name] with my son taking over the landscaping end of the business, and I plan to assist him.”