Randolph’s Greenhouses, Jackson, Tenn., will close its doors at the end of September. Rita Randolph shared a letter on Facebook explaining the closing of the 70-year-old operation (see the full letter below), citing the economy and costs of repairing old greenhouses as causes.
“I want more time to do what I love most — gardening, writing, lecturing about plants, spending time with family and friends (and sleeping through cold winter nights instead of fretting about antique greenhouse heaters going out in the middle of the night),” Randolph writes.
Randolph plans to open Rita’s Rare Plants, a mail order company. “I just want life on a smaller scale than 10 greenhouses on 20 acres,” she says.
Here is the full letter, which is posted on the Randolph’s Greenhouses’ Facebook page:
“To all our friends,
“We’ve decided to close Randolph’s Greenhouses as a retail business and I wanted to let you know personally so that you won’t hear it as ‘rumor.’ Our last day to be open is September 30th, 2012.
“I hear some of you asking why (or was that ‘How could you?!?’). It wasn’t an easy decision, because Randolph’s has been a fun endeavor, continuing the family business that began just after WWII. But seeing as the business grew so large and all encompassing of our lives, we realized we were not able to restore old glass greenhouses and 50-year-old plumbing, and still make a profit in these economic times.
“I want more time to do what I love most — gardening, writing, lecturing about plants, spending time with family and friends (and sleeping through cold winter nights instead of fretting about antique greenhouse heaters going out in the middle of the night).
“I have dozens of articles and books I want to write and several new lectures in the works. I plan to continue working in horticulture to see what new plants I can produce or promote for others. I may do some design work for other businesses creating displays, container combinations and such.
Additionally I plan to open Rita’s Rare Plants as a mail order company. I love growing and propagating… it’s in my blood. I will never stop growing plants… I just want life on a smaller scale than 10 greenhouses on 20 acres.
Thank you for your support, encouragement, and patronage these past twenty-five or thirty years. It’s a pleasure to work in a business that does so much to support fellow gardeners and growers, sharing ideas, passion, pain and pure joy with each other openly and freely.
“Please keep in touch. One of the most wonderful parts of having been Randolph’s Greenhouses is that I’ve gotten to know you and your gardens. You can continue to reach me on facebook as Rita Randolph, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Again, thank you for the patronage, friendship, generosity, and kindness that sustained us while we worked here. We couldn’t have done it without you.”