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waykoolplantz

Will your home, nursery & retail location be one & the same ?

pine island a bit isolated for retail

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bubba

All I have heard over many years on Palmtalk is the outstanding beauty and microclimate enjoyed by Pine Island. I know by reading that more than a few IPS Members have bought land there and some have been there for lengthy times. Only great comments and you would enjoy the company of some great colleagues on this Board as neighbors! Sounds like a homerun. Good luck and great decision!

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PalmatierMeg

Much of Pine Island is zoned agricultural. At one time there were a number of palm nurseries (many wholesale) located on it but some of them folded during the Great Recession. So you might be able to obtain an abandoned nursery and have a head start. Winters there push zone 11 whereas my location in Cape Coral is zone 10. What I don't know is how much walk-in traffic a retail nursery there can expect. There is one 2-lane road on/off the island and one 2-lane road that runs the length of it. Living-wise I really like it as it is still reminiscent of Old Florida. My former workplace is less than 2 miles from Pine Island Center. The County has restrictions in place to prevent rampant development that turns many parts of FL into a sea of asphalt and stucco.

I always advise anyone thinking of moving here to check the place out carefully. You should visit during Season (~Nov. thru Apr.) to assess level of tourist and Snow Bird traffic but also during the oppressive summer when the area dies back and visitors are much scarcer. Also bear in mind PI is subject to hurricanes and tropical storms (Hurricane Charley devastated the island). Its low elevation means even a tropical storm may require evacuation. If, like some people I meet, you or a member of your family are phobic about tropical storms, PI might not be the place for you. Otherwise, it's a great place.

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NC_Palms
On 11/30/2018, 4:08:05, waykoolplantz said:

Will your home, nursery & retail location be one & the same ?

pine island a bit isolated for retail

The nursery and retail location will definitely be the the same location. for the house, I am still undecided. 

On 11/30/2018, 6:47:30, bubba said:

All I have heard over many years on Palmtalk is the outstanding beauty and microclimate enjoyed by Pine Island. I know by reading that more than a few IPS Members have bought land there and some have been there for lengthy times. Only great comments and you would enjoy the company of some great colleagues on this Board as neighbors! Sounds like a homerun. Good luck and great decision!

Thank you so much. I’ll have to maybe reach out to the fellow IPS on the island. :) 

5 hours ago, RJ said:

Looks nice. i’ll have to add that the my list of places :lol2:

55 minutes ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Much of Pine Island is zoned agricultural. At one time there were a number of palm nurseries (many wholesale) located on it but some of them folded during the Great Recession. So you might be able to obtain an abandoned nursery and have a head start. Winters there push zone 11 whereas my location in Cape Coral is zone 10. What I don't know is how much walk-in traffic a retail nursery there can expect. There is one 2-lane road on/off the island and one 2-lane road that runs the length of it. Living-wise I really like it as it is still reminiscent of Old Florida. My former workplace is less than 2 miles from Pine Island Center. The County has restrictions in place to prevent rampant development that turns many parts of FL into a sea of asphalt and stucco.

I always advise anyone thinking of moving here to check the place out carefully. You should visit during Season (~Nov. thru Apr.) to assess level of tourist and Snow Bird traffic but also during the oppressive summer when the area dies back and visitors are much scarcer. Also bear in mind PI is subject to hurricanes and tropical storms (Hurricane Charley devastated the island). Its low elevation means even a tropical storm may require evacuation. If, like some people I meet, you or a member of your family are phobic about tropical storms, PI might not be the place for you. Otherwise, it's a great place.

Thank you for the advice. I am already looking forward to visiting Pine Island and a few other places in South Florida this January. I will also be down again in the summer to avaluate again. 

Hurricanes are probably my biggest fear with starting up on Pine Island. Before investigating the island, my original plan was to be further inland to prevent mass damage from the storms. My family and I are very familiar with hurricanes and have been through a few. We just never were close enough to get any major damage. Now with considering Pine Island, I am liking it more than anywhere inland. 

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NOT A TA

Want to live in a 10 B zone in S FL? Grow all kinds of cool plants? Landscape in a wide range of challenging micro-climatic conditions. Have other people risk weather related losses instead of you? Earn a good a living without struggling to make mortgage payments for years while waiting for things to grow and building a customer base/reputation?

There are areas in S FL where the above average wealth folks live. They're mostly in gated HOA's. A large proportion of the homes have small private courtyards in front of and in back of the residence. These areas are often ignored by everyone.  The "landscapers" (lawn maintenance business) typically don't open the gates or look over the walls unless the home owner asks to have a specific courtyard tree pruned or something along those lines. The rest of the yard is beautiful (to some), the weed free lawn is perfect, no weeds in the planting beds, bushes are sheared to wood stubs, the yard palms are over trimmed (butchered) by the "landscapers", driveways and walks are power washed religiously as are the roofs of the homes. They are examples of over maintenance partly fueled by overzealous HOA inspectors who is some cases actually measure the height of the grass!  Meanwhile the private courtyards are completely unkempt wasted space. Most are either overgrown full of plants that would be referred to as weeds or they're just sprayed with herbicides that kill everything so nothing grows. Yet they could be awesome micro climate gardens. Because they can't be seen from the street (due to walls) by the HOA inspectors in their golf carts the home owners aren't required to do anything with the courtyards.

Some of the courtyards are very sunny, hot, and arid due to being on the south side of the home with roof overhangs and gutters that are enclosed by concrete walls that wick moisture from the sand and release it to the atmosphere. While others might never get direct sunlight and be inundated with roof runoff and poor drainage every rainfall. There's all kinds of courtyard areas between the extremes. There's an opportunity for someone to operate a business catering to just these small areas with unusual micro climates.

A company could provide landscape design and maintenance of these areas. Think small jungle like habitats or desert type plantings, perhaps waterfalls, ponds, special lighting, etc. etc. etc.   I can foresee people easily spending 5 - 20 thousand to landscape a courtyard and then spending for routine maintenance. These homes are owned by people with $200,000 worth of cars in the driveway because their garage is full of Jet skis, expensive bicycles, motorcycles etc. that they don't feel like keeping in their rented area at a local storage facility with their motor homes, 4 X 4'S, air boats & other "stuff".   They have a cleaning service, a pool maintenance service, an exterminator service, a AC system service, a power washing service, an irrigation service,  a handyman service, heck, I've even seen a service that goes out to homes and removes the lint from clothes dryer ducts!!!!

You don't need lots of land or lots of inventory. A truck, trailer, some tools and a small inventory of showy unusual/exotic plants. Everything else you buy as needed, deliver, install, and then maintain. Typical plants you buy wholesale from local growers. For things like lighting, irrigation, waterfalls, ponds, etc you work with outside contractors you hire as sub contractors and make a profit from. There aren't even any rocks here so you can sell rocks!    "I've got a beautiful white marble boulder I bought yesterday on the truck. When I was working in your courtyard I started thinking one like it would really compliment your Betyacancan plant by the Orchid trellis, would you like to see it?"

So the customer gets a really cool outside amenity to their home that adds to daily life while also increasing value of the home. You get to design and maintain really cool gardens in S FL extremely varied micro climates where you can grow very exotic and expensive plants while getting paid to do it. If there's a huge frost or hurricane you get paid to fix it instead of losing money.  Once you do a job in a neighborhood, you'll do more because of the "keeping up with the Jones's thing". It's more recession proof than being a grower because the customers aren't affected as much as the general population and construction companies. 

Find out who the "niche" hobby growers are in the area and buy from them. We're in neighborhoods all over the place with back yards full of plants we'd love to sell. And we know others who grow stuff we don't. "Want a Jack fruit or Costa Apple tree that'll fruit in a year or two? My next door neighbor probably has some."

If I were a young man, I would do this. If you come over to the East side during your next trip to FL, send me a PM and I'll take you to these kind of HOA's and show you what I'm talking about.

 

 

Edited by NOT A TA
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Silas_Sancona
15 hours ago, NOT A TA said:

Want to live in a 10 B zone in S FL? Grow all kinds of cool plants? Landscape in a wide range of challenging micro-climatic conditions. Have other people risk weather related losses instead of you? Earn a good a living without struggling to make mortgage payments for years while waiting for things to grow and building a customer base/reputation?

There are areas in S FL where the above average wealth folks live. They're mostly in gated HOA's. A large proportion of the homes have small private courtyards in front of and in back of the residence. These areas are often ignored by everyone.  The "landscapers" (lawn maintenance business) typically don't open the gates or look over the walls unless the home owner asks to have a specific courtyard tree pruned or something along those lines. The rest of the yard is beautiful (to some), the weed free lawn is perfect, no weeds in the planting beds, bushes are sheared to wood stubs, the yard palms are over trimmed (butchered) by the "landscapers", driveways and walks are power washed religiously as are the roofs of the homes. They are examples of over maintenance partly fueled by overzealous HOA inspectors who is some cases actually measure the height of the grass!  Meanwhile the private courtyards are completely unkempt wasted space. Most are either overgrown full of plants that would be referred to as weeds or they're just sprayed with herbicides that kill everything so nothing grows. Yet they could be awesome micro climate gardens. Because they can't be seen from the street (due to walls) by the HOA inspectors in their golf carts the home owners aren't required to do anything with the courtyards.

Some of the courtyards are very sunny, hot, and arid due to being on the south side of the home with roof overhangs and gutters that are enclosed by concrete walls that wick moisture from the sand and release it to the atmosphere. While others might never get direct sunlight and be inundated with roof runoff and poor drainage every rainfall. There's all kinds of courtyard areas between the extremes. There's an opportunity for someone to operate a business catering to just these small areas with unusual micro climates.

A company could provide landscape design and maintenance of these areas. Think small jungle like habitats or desert type plantings, perhaps waterfalls, ponds, special lighting, etc. etc. etc.   I can foresee people easily spending 5 - 20 thousand to landscape a courtyard and then spending for routine maintenance. These homes are owned by people with $200,000 worth of cars in the driveway because their garage is full of Jet skis, expensive bicycles, motorcycles etc. that they don't feel like keeping in their rented area at a local storage facility with their motor homes, 4 X 4'S, air boats & other "stuff".   They have a cleaning service, a pool maintenance service, an exterminator service, a AC system service, a power washing service, an irrigation service,  a handyman service, heck, I've even seen a service that goes out to homes and removes the lint from clothes dryer ducts!!!!

You don't need lots of land or lots of inventory. A truck, trailer, some tools and a small inventory of showy unusual/exotic plants. Everything else you buy as needed, deliver, install, and then maintain. Typical plants you buy wholesale from local growers. For things like lighting, irrigation, waterfalls, ponds, etc you work with outside contractors you hire as sub contractors and make a profit from. There aren't even any rocks here so you can sell rocks!    "I've got a beautiful white marble boulder I bought yesterday on the truck. When I was working in your courtyard I started thinking one like it would really compliment your Betyacancan plant by the Orchid trellis, would you like to see it?"

So the customer gets a really cool outside amenity to their home that adds to daily life while also increasing value of the home. You get to design and maintain really cool gardens in S FL extremely varied micro climates where you can grow very exotic and expensive plants while getting paid to do it. If there's a huge frost or hurricane you get paid to fix it instead of losing money.  Once you do a job in a neighborhood, you'll do more because of the "keeping up with the Jones's thing". It's more recession proof than being a grower because the customers aren't affected as much as the general population and construction companies. 

Find out who the "niche" hobby growers are in the area and buy from them. We're in neighborhoods all over the place with back yards full of plants we'd love to sell. And we know others who grow stuff we don't. "Want a Jack fruit or Costa Apple tree that'll fruit in a year or two? My next door neighbor probably has some."

If I were a young man, I would do this. If you come over to the East side during your next trip to FL, send me a PM and I'll take you to these kind of HOA's and show you what I'm talking about.

 

 

:greenthumb::greenthumb: Have to agree, whole-heartedly with this.. As i am also on a similar path .. and have gone through all the thoughts as to what my business model should be once i launch. 

From the Nursery / growing side of things, moving to FL, i went through the " Start a nursery focusing on Edible exotic fruits, palms, orchids, etc phases.. just to see there are plenty of options around. Same with Natives, another niche that is well represented there. Then, of course, there are the more standard nurseries offering all things typical / usual fare, all over.. not a bad thing at all, but if so, what could i do different?.. What might make my "Mouse Trap" attractive enough to those looking, let alone profitable enough ? ..Is the best option here, or perhaps somewhere else, where what i'd like to do might be more profitable, of interest, currently lacking, or whatever...

While i enjoyed working where i did there ( sans the hottest days during the summer. Was out in it, tending our stock material most of the time) I'd get a lot of clients ( i personally aren't a fan of the term "customer" in the Hort. / Nursery / Landscape trade) looking for things that were harder to find or "cutting edge / ahead of the pack" options.. and would guide them to places who stocked such material / designed with such accordingly if we didn't / weren't pursuing, purchasing, growing, or whatever.. As well as advising them on just how hard it might be to obtain X specimen, let alone if it would survive in X situation..

Some would say that those same people wouldn't want the " wonky stuff" as a co-worker at the time described anything unusual, unique, whatever.. but attending all the plant related sale / events i have over the years there, here, and elsewhere showed otherwise.. very clearly in some cases..

Other times, obvious lack of interest / traffic to X booth / display was more a result of those promoting not showing much, if any enthusiasm.. Vs. others where those selling were energetic, passionate, welcoming.. well worth talking to / conversations with, whatever.. I always  ..closely observe how the promotional aspect of things are going when attending sales events, shows, etc.. Can't blame great plants, they're just looking to get out of those tight pots, and into a new place to grow.. 

Same observations apply here in AZ, and back in CA. There is interest in "..the wonky stuff"  Add in someone who knows how to grow it, ..and grows / sings about it well, and people will purchase.. Have witnessed people arguing over big, hard to find specimens ..let alone trying to out-bid one another.. Later on,  my head almost blew off when i heard what was paid..

On the design side, the above post states the potential benefit there very clearly, especially in suggested case.. and i have seen some great examples of this there in FL. and back  home in CA. Arizona is catching up.. Tucson currently does it better than what i have seen around Phoenix though, in my " Hawk Eyed " opinion..

As far as pursuing the desired space, I myself want a bigger property, not just for the space ..and not being able to see what my neighbors are watching / doing 24-7-365 ..but also to show people bigger / older examples of what i'm growing / offering them, on- site instead of saying go to X garden, park, etc to see X plant.. That helps, but most people ( inc. myself in some cases) would rather view a larger specimen of say Leucanea retusa close by, while grazing over a block of 5 or 15 gallon plants at my feet.. Property doesn't need to be huge, just big enough to afford, enjoy and accomplish desired goals from... and not have to commute to.  I can expand later, if i so chose..

Overall N.C., id say you're on the right track.. Good luck in the pursuit, and grow awesome things.. Look ahead, and do lots of homework while others sleep.. Future clientele will appreciate it :winkie:  :)

-Nathan

Edited by Silas_Sancona
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NC_Palms
19 hours ago, NOT A TA said:

Want to live in a 10 B zone in S FL? Grow all kinds of cool plants? Landscape in a wide range of challenging micro-climatic conditions. Have other people risk weather related losses instead of you? Earn a good a living without struggling to make mortgage payments for years while waiting for things to grow and building a customer base/reputation?

There are areas in S FL where the above average wealth folks live. They're mostly in gated HOA's. A large proportion of the homes have small private courtyards in front of and in back of the residence. These areas are often ignored by everyone.  The "landscapers" (lawn maintenance business) typically don't open the gates or look over the walls unless the home owner asks to have a specific courtyard tree pruned or something along those lines. The rest of the yard is beautiful (to some), the weed free lawn is perfect, no weeds in the planting beds, bushes are sheared to wood stubs, the yard palms are over trimmed (butchered) by the "landscapers", driveways and walks are power washed religiously as are the roofs of the homes. They are examples of over maintenance partly fueled by overzealous HOA inspectors who is some cases actually measure the height of the grass!  Meanwhile the private courtyards are completely unkempt wasted space. Most are either overgrown full of plants that would be referred to as weeds or they're just sprayed with herbicides that kill everything so nothing grows. Yet they could be awesome micro climate gardens. Because they can't be seen from the street (due to walls) by the HOA inspectors in their golf carts the home owners aren't required to do anything with the courtyards.

Some of the courtyards are very sunny, hot, and arid due to being on the south side of the home with roof overhangs and gutters that are enclosed by concrete walls that wick moisture from the sand and release it to the atmosphere. While others might never get direct sunlight and be inundated with roof runoff and poor drainage every rainfall. There's all kinds of courtyard areas between the extremes. There's an opportunity for someone to operate a business catering to just these small areas with unusual micro climates.

A company could provide landscape design and maintenance of these areas. Think small jungle like habitats or desert type plantings, perhaps waterfalls, ponds, special lighting, etc. etc. etc.   I can foresee people easily spending 5 - 20 thousand to landscape a courtyard and then spending for routine maintenance. These homes are owned by people with $200,000 worth of cars in the driveway because their garage is full of Jet skis, expensive bicycles, motorcycles etc. that they don't feel like keeping in their rented area at a local storage facility with their motor homes, 4 X 4'S, air boats & other "stuff".   They have a cleaning service, a pool maintenance service, an exterminator service, a AC system service, a power washing service, an irrigation service,  a handyman service, heck, I've even seen a service that goes out to homes and removes the lint from clothes dryer ducts!!!!

You don't need lots of land or lots of inventory. A truck, trailer, some tools and a small inventory of showy unusual/exotic plants. Everything else you buy as needed, deliver, install, and then maintain. Typical plants you buy wholesale from local growers. For things like lighting, irrigation, waterfalls, ponds, etc you work with outside contractors you hire as sub contractors and make a profit from. There aren't even any rocks here so you can sell rocks!    "I've got a beautiful white marble boulder I bought yesterday on the truck. When I was working in your courtyard I started thinking one like it would really compliment your Betyacancan plant by the Orchid trellis, would you like to see it?"

So the customer gets a really cool outside amenity to their home that adds to daily life while also increasing value of the home. You get to design and maintain really cool gardens in S FL extremely varied micro climates where you can grow very exotic and expensive plants while getting paid to do it. If there's a huge frost or hurricane you get paid to fix it instead of losing money.  Once you do a job in a neighborhood, you'll do more because of the "keeping up with the Jones's thing". It's more recession proof than being a grower because the customers aren't affected as much as the general population and construction companies. 

Find out who the "niche" hobby growers are in the area and buy from them. We're in neighborhoods all over the place with back yards full of plants we'd love to sell. And we know others who grow stuff we don't. "Want a Jack fruit or Costa Apple tree that'll fruit in a year or two? My next door neighbor probably has some."

If I were a young man, I would do this. If you come over to the East side during your next trip to FL, send me a PM and I'll take you to these kind of HOA's and show you what I'm talking about.

 

 

Thanks for the idea. I definitely would like to incorporate landscaping into my nursery. It would be great to green up some of these lifeless plots. When I am back down in Florida i'll send you a PM and we can get together.    

3 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

:greenthumb::greenthumb: Have to agree, whole-heartedly with this.. As i am also on a similar path .. and have gone through all the thoughts as to what my business model should be once i launch. 

From the Nursery / growing side of things, moving to FL, i went through the " Start a nursery focusing on Edible exotic fruits, palms, orchids, etc phases.. just to see there are plenty of options around. Same with Natives, another niche that is well represented there. Then, of course, there are the more standard nurseries offering all things typical / usual fare, all over.. not a bad thing at all, but if so, what could i do different?.. What might make my "Mouse Trap" attractive enough to those looking, let alone profitable enough ? ..Is the best option here, or perhaps somewhere else, where what i'd like to do might be more profitable, of interest, currently lacking, or whatever...

While i enjoyed working where i did there ( sans the hottest days during the summer. Was out in it, tending our stock material most of the time) I'd get a lot of clients ( i personally aren't a fan of the term "customer" in the Hort. / Nursery / Landscape trade) looking for things that were harder to find or "cutting edge / ahead of the pack" options.. and would guide them to places who stocked such material / designed with such accordingly if we didn't / weren't pursuing, purchasing, growing, or whatever.. As well as advising them on just how hard it might be to obtain X specimen, let alone if it would survive in X situation..

Some would say that those same people wouldn't want the " wonky stuff" as a co-worker at the time described anything unusual, unique, whatever.. but attending all the plant related sale / events i have over the years there, here, and elsewhere showed otherwise.. very clearly in some cases..

Other times, obvious lack of interest / traffic to X booth / display was more a result of those promoting not showing much, if any enthusiasm.. Vs. others where those selling were energetic, passionate, welcoming.. well worth talking to / conversations with, whatever.. I always  ..closely observe how the promotional aspect of things are going when attending sales events, shows, etc.. Can't blame great plants, they're just looking to get out of those tight pots, and into a new place to grow.. 

Same observations apply here in AZ, and back in CA. There is interest in "..the wonky stuff"  Add in someone who knows how to grow it, ..and grows / sings about it well, and people will purchase.. Have witnessed people arguing over big, hard to find specimens ..let alone trying to out-bid one another.. Later on,  my head almost blew off when i heard what was paid..

On the design side, the above post states the potential benefit there very clearly, especially in suggested case.. and i have seen some great examples of this there in FL. and back  home in CA. Arizona is catching up.. Tucson currently does it better than what i have seen around Phoenix though, in my " Hawk Eyed " opinion..

As far as pursuing the desired space, I myself want a bigger property, not just for the space ..and not being able to see what my neighbors are watching / doing 24-7-365 ..but also to show people bigger / older examples of what i'm growing / offering them, on- site instead of saying go to X garden, park, etc to see X plant.. That helps, but most people ( inc. myself in some cases) would rather view a larger specimen of say Leucanea retusa close by, while grazing over a block of 5 or 15 gallon plants at my feet.. Property doesn't need to be huge, just big enough to afford, enjoy and accomplish desired goals from... and not have to commute to.  I can expand later, if i so chose..

Overall N.C., id say you're on the right track.. Good luck in the pursuit, and grow awesome things.. Look ahead, and do lots of homework while others sleep.. Future clientele will appreciate it :winkie:  :)

-Nathan

Thanks so much for the advice. This is a good thought

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Dave-Vero

Florida has successful specialty nurseries and landscape/nursery businesses.  The Jones Landscaping Nursery is a pretty big example, with the owner a cycad expert.  In Sarasota, the amazing Tropiflora has bromeliads and much more, the result of a lifetime of collecting and growing.  Quite a few fine small bromeliad nurseries and a few big ones (Bullis, for example; their website displays amazing Christmas trees).  Quite a few great orchid growers.  Odom's Orchids in Fort Pierce does the garden show circuit, as does Tropiflora.  In SE Florida, Searle Brothers, a sizable wholesale nursery, has its famous Rain Forest sales twice a year with palms, cycads, crotons (crotons have become a thing), and landscape plants.  They're real familiar to Palm Talk.  

Tropiflora has sales a couple of times a year to which smaller growers are invited--a good way to meet the growing scene.  

A backyard operation on Merritt Island (no longer active) met your notion of having good specimens on site with a usually outstanding choice of palms on sale. 

In general, palm sales by local palm societies and sponsored by local garden clubs or botanical gardens seem to be in decline.  A relative newcomer palm nursery from Orlando has been selling well at the big Vero Beach Gardenfest (February) in the past few years.  I regrettably missed this fall's West Palm Beach sale at Mounts Botanical Garden.

The Stuart area (Martin County) seems to have several palm nurseries.  My yard is stuffed, so I haven't been checking.  

 

 

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