Business Blooming For Tulsa Nursery

Saturday, March 21st 2009, 10:13 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Despite the sagging economy some Tulsa businesses say they are bucking the trend.

Business has never been better at Southwood Nursery. Gardeners are out in force, and parking is at a premium.

"People want to do more do-it-yourself," said Stephen Smith, Southwood director of information.

Laura Tyler of Owasso is one of those people.

"We're looking at doing some different things in the front garden," she said.

Her project of choice is to grow onions and tomatoes. She says there are a number of reasons she wants to start a garden, but saving money on groceries is at the top of the list.

"Absolutely, absolutely we definitely need to save money," Tyler said. "Vegetables are usually very expensive, so starting a garden is a great way to save money."

Tyler's story is common at Southwood, where Smith says business is up 15 percent from a year ago. He calculates homeowners can save more than $300 by doing their own gardening instead of hiring a professional.

"People are now coming in and saying 'I can do that and save that labor dollar, just tell me what I need to do and when I need to do it,'" he said.         

Smith says it's more than just the do-it-yourselfers who are helping Southwood make it through the recession. He says any business, whether retail or restaurant, can follow his lead if they treat their customers right.

"Give them good information, trustworthy information," he said.

Tyler's not worried about getting her hands dirty. She says it's time for some home-grown fun.

"There's too much information on the Internet nowadays," she said. "Any questions you have you can always go to the Internet."