When Tony Avent announced that he was quitting his job to build a specialty nursery, his former horticulture professor begged his student to reconsider, telling him he couldn't possibly make a profit "without doing something illegal." More than ten years and 20 nursery catalogs later, Avent owns a thriving national business with nearly 30 employees --- and is the winner of the American Horticultural Society's Commercial Award. He wrote You Want to Start a Nursery to debunk myths about the ornamental-plants nursery business and what it takes to succeed, whether you're a backyard hobbyist or a wholesale grower. (And he still has a clean arrest record.)
Assuming that the reader has some basic knowledge about how plants are grown, Avent avoids excessive detail about soil mixes and greenhouse pests in this comprehensive overview --- he directs readers to other easily accessible sources of information on such practical matters. Instead, he focuses on the business and planning concerns of the nursery owner --- from considering whether to consult a lawyer about a partnership to whether to build your own greenhouses. While recounting humorous stories of his baptism by fire as a beginning nurseryman, Avent also provides a primer on the nursery industry as a whole, with discussions of the merits and disadvantages of retail, wholesale, mail-order, and liner operations, to name just a few. Readers of this book will obtain the tools they need to make a business plan of their own.
Avent's approach to the nursery business is witty, wise, and decidedly irreverent. Far from being a dry recitation on business practices, So You Want to Start a Nursery underlines the "people" part of the nursery trade. This book will be a must-read for horticulture students, industry insiders, and advanced gardeners who dream of turning their passion for plants into a job they love.
Excellent information. This is perfect for anyone thinking about starting up any sort of nursery business. It discusses the realities of running a business (not the technical aspects of growing plants - but everything else you need to consider - not plant related). I'm very happy that I found this book. It's made me rethink about things. Highly recommended, though!