This Market Bloomed Into a Premier Garden Center

Clermont, GA |

With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, green thumbs around Georgia are making their way back into the garden. That means plants are flying off the lot of Full Bloom Nursery, a staple of the Hall County community that was started up by a husband-and-wife team looking to follow their passion.

“We decided, let’s open a nursery. So, in 2003, we opened to the public. We built all of this ourselves. We built the greenhouses. We laid it all out and wanted to just have a nice place with shade trees and off the highway where it just feels like you’re in a garden. It was a pipe dream, but you know the saying, ‘if you build it, they will come.’ Well, that’s very true in the world of flowers and gardening because gardeners are really, seriously passionate about gardening,” says Kellie Bowen.

That belief, along with plenty of hard work, has resulted in this business growing from just a single greenhouse into the expansive, award-winning operation it is today.

“We’re pretty much the biggest retail garden center in North Georgia. We have customers who come down from South Carolina and Tennessee and Atlanta and all over as they’re coming through or if they moved away, they come back. So, it’s just really grown into, we have I think twelve greenhouses and we have five acres of retail space for the customers to shop from,” says Bowen.

In order to keep up to date with the season and provide the largest variety of plants for their customers, those twelve greenhouses stay busy throughout the year. It’s a process they say is truly a labor of love.

“When you start that little plant, it starts out as this little, tiny thing and you’re seeing no visible evidence of growth and then, you’re three weeks, six weeks, eight weeks in and you see what you’ve done and put your hard work and labor into. It’s just great to see where you start and end up,” says Julie Bowen-Grizzle.

“We’re doing year-round production. We grow a lot of our own plant material here. So, we have some production greenhouses where that goes on all through the Winter to get ready for Spring. The Fall is a big season for us too because that’s the time of year you want to plant trees and there’s two big seasons for us, Spring and Fall. So, we’re always producing for the next season,” says Bowen.

That’s one of the major differences between a local nursery and the big box store, as the selection of plants and flowers to choose from are specifically curated to maximize the chance of success in the difficult growing conditions Georgia provides.

“Unfortunately, sometimes if you go to a big box store, you might find plants that are shipped in from Washington state or Minnesota and they’re not acclimated to this southern heat, humid climate and our big swings in temperature. In the springtime, we can go from thirties at night to seventies during the day. That’s a forty-degree swing. That’s hard on plants if they’re not acclimated to that. So, everything we have here will grow here,” says Bowen.

Despite that peace of mind, the prospect of choosing the right plant for the right spot in your garden can still seem daunting. However, with a little help from these trained professionals, it’s a job that is far from impossible.

“We’re here. We want you to succeed. It’s a lot of fun but it is scary. For someone like me, I’m still very new, green into this. Yes, I grew up and my parents are great and have done a great job with this, but I learn something new every day. So, don’t be afraid to come out here. That’s what we’re here for. We’ll help you and guide you to be successful,” says Grizzle.

“So, we encourage them to bring pictures of the areas. Brind some measurements. We’ll even sketch it out on paper and help them lay out what’s going to work for their situation. The number one rule in gardening is put the right plant in the right spot,” says Bowen.

By: Damon Jones