Mar 4, 2016
Groovy Plants Ranch to Open Retail Store

Groovy Plants Ranch, a wholesale specialty plant nursery in Cardington, Ohio,  will open its first retail store April 13 at 4140 County Road 15 in Marengo, Ohio.

Located next to a 150-year-old schoolhouse, the Groovy Plants Ranch garden shop will feature hundreds of succulents and other unusual plants in an upbeat, Western/1960s-themed atmosphere.

“We’re definitely purveyors of plants and hope to hook a whole new generation of gardeners with our unique mix of plants,” says owner Jared Hughes. “Here, we’ll feature quality, craft-grown plants that shoppers won’t find elsewhere.”

“We’ve had such an overwhelming response to our business through farmer’s markets, wholesale clients, open houses and online sales that we’re now ready to open a retail location,” says Hughes. “It’s amazing to see how popular succulents have become for their ease of care, low water needs and fascinating shapes and colors.”

Hughes and his wife Liz Hughes recently purchased the schoolhouse, seven greenhouses and three-acre property from Tami Russell whose late husband Jeff Russell ran Fargo Herbs farm on the property. Hughes is a member of the Class of 2013 of GPN’s 40 Under 40.

“We’re honored to carry on Jeff’s passion for plants and friendly service that endeared his customers at Fargo Herbs for the past 15 years,” says Hughes.

The Ranch shop will sell hundreds of succulents and also will carry a large selection of organically grown herbs and vegetable plants. Shoppers will also find a large variety of garden plant classics with everything from petunias to tomatoes. The couple’s two Australian Shepherds will serve as the Ranch’s welcome committee.

Hughes started Groovy Ranch Plants when he was 19, “with nothing more than a few cuttings of succulents.” Ten years later, the one-man-business annually produces 25,000 four-inch succulents, 2,500 cold hardy cacti and 10,000 one-gallon perennials.

Hughes built his business while gaining his associate’s degree in landscape design and architecture from Columbus State Community College and working at Foertmeyer and Sons in Delaware where he served as retail manager for the past five years, until stepping down this January to pursue the new venture.

He discovered succulents when he purchased a nursery rack of various succulents from his employer Mark Foertmeyer.  Drawing on lessons from his propagation classes, Hughes promptly cut the cart of plants into hundreds of little pieces and planted the cuttings.  He took the finished succulents to a farmer’s market, and was encouraged by customers’ interest in his “groovy” succulents.  Thus, Groovy Plants Ranch was founded in 2009.

Besides growing and selling unusual plants, Hughes is hybridizing and isolating new and unique plant varieties which will be offered at the store before national distribution.  This season, the Ranch will exclusively offer one of Hughes’ newest hybrids ‘Canary Wing’ begonia (an all-gold variety of the garden favorite ‘Dragon Wing’).

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.