GET IDEAS
SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
daisylover_gw

My Dream Operation

DaisyLover
16 years ago

This would be my dream operation (and probably just that... a non-logical dream...translation - fantasy)

1. A ClearSpan SunStar Gothic Greenhouse (like in FarmTek catalog).

2. A couple hoophouses with/without shade cloth or poly for larger perennials and smaller shrubs.

3. A pretty path winding through display gardens to give customers ideas, including water features.

4. A large display structure covered with white shade cloth for small display garden sections set up like displays at a flower show (pots hidden by mulch, etc). This should in theory be easier to care for than outdoor flower beds which are exposed to more weeds, etc. Plus the customer is inside out of the hot sun.

5. All the plants for each small display garden bundled together on flats with the garden plan in the display structure so the customer could easily buy the garden they liked.

6. Larger shrubs and perennials outside on large ground cloth areas.

7. All the materials needed to design and assemble large pots/urns/barrels into breath-taking, irrisistable combos.

8. My woodshop set up to build all my plans for arbors, planters, obelisks, tables & chairs etc... and room to display them with all the beautiful urns I already created.

9. An adorable shed for storing all pots/soils/supplies etc...nicely landscaped.

10. A charming little building for a sales area with a lath covered porch roof, with lots of flatbed garden carts for shopping. This building is also nicely landscaped, of course.

11. Lots of colorful informative signage and educational handouts and garden plan sheets for the customers.

12. Automatic watering in greenhouses/hoophouses/garden beds.

13. Room for tons of hanging baskets and window boxes.

14. While I am in this fantasy I will wish for a huge, free-spending client base, a much longer growing season, and MUCH milder winters.

Lots of fantasy, huh? Especially when all I really want to do is have a small backyard operation to make between $3000 to $20,000 a year (eventually). You can tell from a lot of this fantasy that I have a very strong desire to design stuff. :)

Hey...we can all dream...right?

Comments (19)

  • vegangirl
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Who was it that said "dreams are the stuff that life is made of", or something link that:-)

    I dream of beautifully landscaped grounds, a completely finished house, a weedfree daylily patch, a couple of greenhouses (where there are NO pests and diseases), and time to enjoy my beautifully landscaped grounds and to sit in my lovely completed den and watch the birds and animals at the creek.

  • Pink_Petunia
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Daisy Lover you dream like I dream. 12 of the 14 you described are on my dream list too:) I even so much as drew out everything on paper as to where everything would go, the designs of the paths, gardens, etc....oh, if only to win the lottery:)

  • Related Discussions

    Ordering my dream sofa, but HELP, which length?

    Q

    Comments (30)
    If you are going for the longer sofa then you might consider a long narrow sofa table placed behind it that you can sit a tall lamp on to balance the window, along with a collection of framed prints or large sunburst mirror. I recommend a roman shade on the window behind the sofa even if the other windows have full length drapes. If the roman shade is made in the same fabric as the drapes they will be compatible. A plantation shutter painted the same color as the trim would also work well on this window. You may need a larger coffee table with the longer sofa especially if you eliminate side tables. You then could use a pair of small cocktail tables in front of the love seat in the bay. If you are going for comfort then add side tables next to the long sofa if the space permits. They are always more comfortable than reaching for a drink on a coffee table. A tight topped ottoman with a large tray is more useful in a living/family room than a coffee table.
    ...See More

    I have a picture of my dream shower enclosure but my GC is unsure how to build it

    Q

    Comments (5)
    I think your GC is right about checking with custom shower door places. It's very unusual so you're probably not going to find a photo of anything similar online. A place that specializes in shower doors though should be able to tell you how they'd go about it and what the cost would be.
    ...See More

    Oh my gosh,my dream come true.Is there really someone out there to help me with my livingroom??

    Q

    Comments (42)
    Those heat registers are a new thing to me. In the Netherlands houses sometimes have them, but they're often in front of floor to ceiling windows/sliding doors. Not a place where you would put furniture. So, I'm learning new and interesting things here :-) I can't see another spot for your TV either. If you could use that corner where the TV is now and create something similar to the cabinet in the attached picture, maybe by painting the current cabinet white. You could add decorative bookshelves above the TV so that it is incorporated more in one larger unit in stead of just being a TV on a cabinet. There are swivels available for on top of cabinets to put your TV on so you can turn it towards your seating area. http://www.walmart.com/ip/XL-Single-Swivel-Board-Black-Woodgrain/14301677 http://www.target.com/p/single-tier-swivel-black-xl/-/A-13131344
    ...See More

    Need help I want build my dream home for my future family with my wife

    Q

    Comments (2)
    I need help Renta venting my sisters house in sapupla ok signed anna riecken
    ...See More
  • Cady
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    DaisyL,
    Start to live the fantasy. Move to North Carolina! At least that's a start- you'll have that longer growing season and milder winter. Everything else sort of falls into place when you don't have to spend hours clearing snow out of the driveway and off your car every day.

  • DaisyLover
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Pink Petunia, you aren't the only one with complete plans! All these books say "First step - create a business plan..." So my first step was to draw everything out completely labeling 'stage 1', 'stage 2' etc. All beds were designed, greenhouse plants all assigned a space, ground display space allocated, roads, paths, sales building, shopping lists for plugs and liners, pots/soil/fertilizers, and all needed supplies. Everything I would ever want to buy was put into spreadsheets. Garden bed designs were also done on the computer in my landscaping software. Tons of designs for potting up baskets and pots were done. Also designed all kinds of sales display racks, and racks & bins etc for working in the greenhouse. All outdoor wood patterns organized along with the needed shopping lists. Etc Etc Etc

    Okay...don't everyone jump on me...I know that isn't exactly what they meant by a "business plan"...I don't think it would impress a bank. ;) But it sure was fun.

    vegangirl, I think that is called "paradise" :)

    Cady, I did once live in North Carolina. Fayetteville - when my brother was stationed at the airbase - but I was young then and only interested in all the military men! ;)
    Oh, I don't do snow anymore. I hibernate all winter. I try to never leave the house and hubby never makes me shovel anymore. :) I can't believe as a kid in OK I thought snow was the most wonderful thing! We would love a warmer climate but now we have little grandchildren we couldn't go that far from.

  • bruceNH
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You forgot dream #15.

    Plenty of young beautiful ladies and young handsome men, attending to the customers, working hard with no whining and who show understanding of the owners, managers stressful life.

  • mich_in_zonal_denial
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    ya I dream too.
    to be size 7 again +
    to live in a tropical paradise and to not have to work for others.

  • Cady
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'm gonna save up and buy an island in the Caribbean. No need for a greenhouse.

  • watergal
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I can't get the dh to move to a warmer climate - he wants to move to Vermont or Canada, for gosh sakes!

    My dream is a conservatory roughly the size of my home, with all the living areas in the plants, and just the bedroom and bath like regular construction, attached at one end.

    And a few handsome young male assistant gardeners...

  • DaisyLover
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    watergal, wanna buy a house with attached barn on 8+ acres, 4bed, 1 1/2 baths (jacuzzi), large kitchen w/brick hearth, living room w/brick hearth, and dining room...$125K? I'm on the Vermont border and about 45 minutes from Canada. haha

    Bruce, I think #15 is an absolute must to add to the dream list! I can see the sales soaring already. :)

    It's so nice we can all have such lovely dreams...

  • watergal
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    DaisyLover, house sounds wonderful, but can we do something about the zone 3/4???!!! BRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

  • mylu
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    No... They made a choice.... We can do nothing.

  • landman41
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    "To dream the impossibe dream....to fight the....oh wait sorry....carried away."

    The song notwithstanding...I don't believe a dream like those mentioned are impossible. Mine is to have my own design/build business...my own boss. Corporate America can live without my participation.

    The grass may be greener on the other side....but is it natural or a ceptic tank leak?:)

    My 2 cents
    Neil

  • DaisyLover
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You guys are a riot! :) Mylu is right...we made a choice (albeit maybe not a smart one!) to move to where he was born. I really believe if I hadn't been so stressed and non-functional at the time from losing my mom that I should have pushed for us to return to MY roots in Gene Autry, OK (if it is even still there!?)...especially since we didn't have grandkids at the time...now we do and it's too late.

    Guess I have to add this to the dream list:

    16. Idyllic, perfect weather year-round (not too hot, not too cold...just perfect) ;)

    Neil, you're right...they are not impossible...if you have enough time left in your life. (except maybe #15 and #16!)

  • trianglejohn
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    How can so many people be having MY dream???

    Also an ex-Okie now living in the gardening paradise of Raleigh NC my only goal is to make it all work. Where ever I live, whatever the climate, that projects get finished, products sell well, flowers bloom on time...etc

    ok, back to sleep to dream some more

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • DaisyLover
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Oooo...can't tell you how many times I feel asleep driving a long long very straight road that I think ran between Raleigh and Fayetteville! Very hypnotic. Thankfully my mother never slept while I was driving! :)

    I guess we ARE all having the same dream...hmmm...this bed is getting a little crowded! ;) I gotta wake up and get started.

  • bruggirl
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Better yet, move to S. Florida. You won't need the greenhouses.

  • barrie2m_(6a, central PA)
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The point is that a greenhouse creates Florida-like weather in the middle of March. When I planted tomatoes in my one high tunnel on St Patricks Day I had sauna-like conditions. I remember it was close to 100F inside at mid-day and close to 40F outside.

    I don't think the dream is too far fetched Daisylover. A bank might not get excited over your plans but start with a modest structure w/o the frills and work your way to those goals.I feel I have most of those items now with three greenhouses and although there is much work involved, you can usually pay a structure off the year you purchase it if you plan ahead. Just figure what the price of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers would be in NH today. I'm getting $3.75 a pint for toms and a neighbor is getting $4.95 in PA. You may find a use that would even generate better return.

    But don't move to Fl. The fire ants are miserable there in the spring.

  • susiq
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Haven't been to this forum in a long while, but your dream must have been calling me, because I started to have it about two weeks ago!

    I've been wishing for more land, and helpful (?) LOL!, friends w/ more money than God have said, "Why don't you/You should--set up a nursery at such & such place!".

    My first thoughts were to poo-poo the notions, then I started driving around and LOOKING at such & such places. Then I swear to God, I drew a plan, too! I woke up one Sunday morning envisioning a sign in one area that would read, "Kids in the Dirt", and then I missed church cause the design juices were in full torrent!

    I even drove by another potential place this afternoon, and hurried home to check out the professionals forum so I could see what's "new" on if/should/how to set up one's own nursery/giftshop/flower stand kind of place. The first thread I look at is yours, Daisy! How Amazing!

    There "IS" that "LITTLE" matter of 50-200 thou for start up costs, but hey! LOL! That's what dreams are for! Who cares if job security is iffy right now for DH, and that two of the four kids are starting college this fall, one a freshman, one in graduate school, etc etc, and silly ol us-es, can't save a nickle for 5 minutes,......but anyway, dreaming is fun!

    I would think Daisy, that if you have THAT detailed of a "business plan" in place, that any bank would be VERY interested in your idea. You may not have the "business plan" (whatever that is, specifically), but you HAVE gone to the trouble to price and item your proposed inventory & structures, so I'd think that would be pretty impressive to a banker. You could at least show up w/ that plan in hand, show it to them, and ask, in a professional voice, "what else do you need to finalize a loan." or whatever we're "supposed" to say to bankers!

    A customer came by the nursery where I work today and told me SHE had the "wouldn't-it-be-fun-to-have-your-own-nursery/neat-shop" dream like she'd seen in dozens of magazines. Competetitive me reminded her how much "fun" it is in nearly 100degree temps and no customers! (Besides, she's younger, probably COULD pull it off w/ her & her husband's current/future money, so envy monster in me ruled!) Then, as soon as she left, I started thinking about how much the costs might be to get started for "MY" dream nursery--JUST like your plan, Daisy, only in my head. Couldn't write anything down just then, had to water all the gasping-in-the-heat plants!

    So, here's a cyber glass of fresh iced tea raised to dreamers--seems to be the season for them, all across the country!

    SusiQ in NE TX

    I've been at this nursery for 4 years now, part time. Why didn't opening my own occur to me a long time ago!? LOL! I could've been SAVING some money! DUH!

  • DaisyLover
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    bmoser, I never thought of growing fresh produce until I had to pay a dollar for one very small cucumber the other day in the grocery store! All the tomatoes were over $3...and you only got about 12 cherry tomatoes in the box. It made me wonder where did all the old farmstands go? I am in farming country but there are no farmstands and the local farmers market looks more like a flea market with a lot of "made in china" trinkets and no produce. So I assume (maybe incorrectly) that the farmstands were not profitable in this area??? Maybe they disappeared because so many people today have home gardens. There has to be a reason there are no stands in this area.

    If I ever get to do this it will have to be started on a shoestring. I have discovered that deciding to live a no-plastic, cash-only life hurts your credit rating more than if you had buried yourself in over-extended plastic debt! My first goal is to finish fixing up this house to sell, then finding a better place (more open land, a better well, additional water source, etc.) Then I get to setup my first greenhouse (and my woodshop)! :)

    Meanwhile I still have a lot more planning and observing to do. I passed a small operation nearby the other day and was surprised to see it already closed. They have two very small hoop/greenhouses and open up the end of May selling mostly annuals I believe...and at the end of June the greenhouses are empty and closed. Rumor has it they make over $30K a year off those two little greenhouses. Which would be great income for one month of sales...but in estimating how many plants they could fit in there and estimating the prices...I don't come close to $30K...so the rumor mill must be wrong.

    SusiQ, welcome to our dream! Although in my dream the "matter of 50-200 thou" never came up...that would spoil the dream! ;) Funny...my dreams always have a sensible, second side to them. I know this sounds dumb but I dream the picture of the perfect nursery...but the voice in my head is saying "OK! Good dream, you CAN do this...here is $5K...make it work." That inner voice is why I will always be small and the ones who don't have it become rich entreprenuers (can't spell it or say it so can't ever be one!) My most basic dream is to someday just go buy something I want regardless of the cost...just because I want it...without once thinking "I can make that cheaper"!! In the middle of the country's current craze of buying "home-made" I am screaming inside "I want store-bought!!!" ;)

    SusiQ, that "wouldn't-it-be-fun-to-have-your-own-nursery/neat-shop" phrase would have to instantly set-off all of you who work in the trade! :) It really is funny how many people think you are all just having "fun". Maybe it is so they can truly believe the plants should cost a lot less.

    That public concept is the reason no matter how small I start I don't want it to look like a "backyard operation" where they expect to pay yard sale prices. :) If I can only have one greenhouse I want it to look like the ClearSpan Gothic Arch sold by FarmTek and others. I see places here with a small, shabby hoophouse in their yard with plants out on tables and the ground and a tacky cardboard poorly painted sign "Plants for Sale". I can see the public having the "yard sale" mentality. The largest operations in the area all still have some pretty tacky looking hoophouses (but they have a LOT of them) and they have a professional painted sign (with a real business name on it!) The public then is willing to pay their prices. So my thought train is get the 24'x 24' gothic arch (inflated double-poly, roll-up sides, twinwall 8mm end walls with double doors) which seems a great price at $1895 for a completely finished, professional-looking, greenhouse. Add a couple fans, benches, temporary heat for one-two months light usage, a NetaFim automatic watering system, and some carts/wagons for shoppers...and start with that. Later larger hoophouses could be added in back for growing greenhouses and the "fancy" greenhouse could become just a sales house. Complete it all with an attractive sign and well-landscaped & clean grounds...and the public should feel you are a professional nursery even if you are small. Plus I would have a little sales kiosk/shed (waterproof) where I would have the cash register and my credit card machine (so glad I didn't sell that when we closed our gift shop!) A yard shed would hold bales of soil and potting supplies. I designed a rolling potting cart that I would fill up with soil & supplies and roll it around with me in the greenhouse for the spring "potting up" to save valuable space. I have seen greenhouses with all their supplies, soil, and potting bench using up valuable space in the greenhouse! Outdoor perennial display sales benches, ground cloth area for larger pots, and a simple shade structure/canopy would increase the sales square footage inexpensively. Now I just have to make a plan for growing/selling the right things to make the sales season longer than one month. Yup, I could be happy with this arrangement. I know 24'x24' is small, but I could handle it myself, it's affordable, and it would produce a decent number of plants to start off. Most importantly it could be done for $5K-$10K. Maybe I am still dreaming but I think it would work and could/should pay for itself in one year.

    SusiQ, good luck with your dream! You have an advantage...you have trade experience. And if God is leading you to this dream...I don't think I would keep skipping church!! ;)