According to The (Charleston) Post and Courier, Carolina Nurseries President J Guy gathered his employees before the start of Wednesday’s plant auction and told them last-minute deals to find a new lender fell through.
The result: The nursery’s 335 employees will be dismissed as the plant stock is carted away during over the next 90 days. Guy sent a final e-mail as a "Hail Mary" he hopes will produce new funding, but he realizes that the nursery is near the end of its life.
“I told [our employees] we struck out on refinancing,” Guy told The Post and Courier. “The deal we thought we had in hand reconsidered.”
Carolina Nurseries attracted 60 nurserymen to its plant auction Wednesday, and the first wagonloads of 5 million-plus plants – boxwoods, hydrangeas and butterfly bushes among them – received bids.
Live 5 News of Charleston also reported on the plant auction Wednesday. According to Live 5 News, some buyers got plants for less than a dollar each.
"Between 25 cents for some pre-finished product all the way up to $1.75 for 3 gallons that would normally sell for $10," says Brian Carter, Carter Landscaping in Augusta, Ga.
Another grower, Buster Green of Magnolia Gardens, purchased about 1,000 roses.
“I’m real happy with what I found," Green says. "I’m hoping [Carolina Nurseries] does not close permanently because it is a good nursery.”
Learn more about Carolina Nurseries in our June 14 story.