Valdosta Daily Times

December 16, 2012

The Urban Garden makes downtown a little greener

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Located right in the heart of historic Downtown Valdosta is a small nook of an outside, retail store called The Urban Garden.

Opened by owner Stacey Griffin on Thanksgiving Day, it’s the first of its kind and has brought a touch of green to a generally greenless area.

“Downtown offer a neat feel. It’s a good location,” said Griffin.

In 1996, Griffin started doing greenhouses in Nashville, Ga. He grew annuals and perennials for wholesale markets such as grocery stores.

“I had upwards to 90 accounts at one time,” said Griffin.

After being in wholesale for 16-plus years, Griffin decided he wanted to try his green thumb in retail.

“That was kind of a competitive market. ... With retail, you don’t have to travel as far for sales,” said Griffin. “Retail gives me a one-stop shop.”

Currently, Griffin has just Christmas trees in stock. He started out with 225 trees and now he’s down to about 100.

Costing between $30 to $150, The Urban Garden’s prices remain competitive to big box stores carrying trees that more times than not, are not grown locally or even in Georgia.

Griffin carries a variety of sizes, some trees as tall as 12 feet.

“We’ll trim the bottom and do a fresh cut,” said Griffin. “If we need to, we’ll tie it up or bundle it up.”

Aside from having the pride of purchasing your tree from a local grower and retailer, there is so much to do downtown after you buy your tree.

“Browse downtown, shop, dine,” said Griffin.

You can browse the Christmas decorations, finish up some last-minute shopping and pick one of downtown’s fabulous restaurants to fuel up strength before taking your tree home and pulling an all-nighter decorating.

While The Urban Garden is packed with trees, Griffin plans to carry much more after the holiday season.

“We are going to be year-round and sell seasonal goods,” said Griffin.

The Urban Garden will be a downtown hub to purchase hanging baskets, landscaping flats, fall mums, pumpkins and more.

Business has been so good over the past month that Griffin is even going to have to bring in some full-time help. After all, he’s a busy guy.

Aside from owning and operating The Urban Garden and tending to his greenhouses, he’s also a certified arborist, does landscaping, hardscaping and even installs ornamental fencing.

For a sample of his work, look no further than the Cotton Corner just across the street.

“I landscaped the courtyard of the Cotton Corner,” said Griffin.

If you have a sick tree, Griffin specializes in tree health.

“We focus on the health of the tree as opposed to removing them,” said Griffin. “There’s a need for the assessment and the health of trees. I’m more pro-tree.”

If you’ve been too busy to get a tree, stop by The Urban Garden located at 102 N. Ashley St., open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. More information: Call (229) 560-8922, visit www.GriffinPlants.com and like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheUrbanGardenValdosta.

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