Governor Bill Lee’s shelter in place order has changed many people’s lives. With parks closed and trails unavailable for use, there are fewer things to do out in the open air. But throughout this strange time, one popular activity has been gardening and landscaping. For those around the Signal Mountain area, Mark Bonastia and the Signal Mountain Nursery is the place to go if they want to get their gardening supplies.
“They can still come to the garden center, we have rules and procedures in place keeping the congested areas open so people can stand in line without being too close,” said Mr.
Bonastia, a manager at the nursery. “And as you walk around the greenhouses, you’re in open air.”
Mr. Bonastia said the nursery also does curbside pickup. People can look at the majority of their inventory on the nursery’s website, and then call in and order those plants or seeds or mulch. When asked what kinds of plants he would recommend people buy, Mr. Bonastia listed a cavalcade of plants prospective gardeners could buy.
“If they want a shrub that is ornamental and pretty for the summer, hydrangeas and abelias would be two summertime, blooming fun plants to plant,” said the manager of the Signal Mountain Nursery.
All of these plants are grown by the nursery, a point emphasized by Mr. Bonastia. He said “When you come into the garden center, you’re looking at plants that we grew here on Signal Mountain,” and are thus supporting a local small business.
While he said business has not been exceptional lately, he attributed much of that to dreary weather from the last two months. Mr. Bonastia said customers would usually get their pruning and mulching done during a sunnier time, so now those customers are coming into do their mulching and pruning alongside their normal gardening.
“There’s a lot of hands here, a lot of employees that are working very hard and have been working very hard all winter,” said Mr. Bonastia about the exceptional work employees of the nursery have done. “Walking across the snow, working in cold weather, getting in and out of greenhouses and growing all of these things. Now we have a lot of people working hard and putting those plants on display and selling.”
He said after Easter, the Signal Mountain Nursery will be expanding their hours to seven days a week, which includes being open on Sunday from one to five. The Nursery can be contacted at 423-886-3174, is located at 1100 Hubbard Rd, and their website is signalmtnnursery.com.
“I think what’s really important and unique about the nursery is that we’ve been here since 1947, and it’s a local family business,” said Mr. Bonastia. “Third generation is working here, and sometimes the fourth does. Being a growing facility is important to a lot of people and we take a lot of pride in that.”