With widespread concern to slow the spread of disease, many businesses have shut down. However, there’s one industry that looks like it’s going to maintain steady operation.

“Gardening has not been canceled,” says Hand Nurseries owner Karen Hand.

Hand Nurseries has been in business since the early 1990’s and is run by husband and wife duo Scott and Karen Hand. Scott is a 3rd generation horticulturalist and grew up cultivating roses in Tyler with his father.

“It’s kind of in our blood,” said Scott.

However, it wasn’t until after his marriage to Karen that she convinced him to help her start a plant retail business.

Hand Nurseries is an open-air environment reminiscent of a Greek garden, lined with rock pathways, garden decorations, pottery, garden pillars and most of all, plants.

“In our busy lives, people have gotten away from staying at home and learning about plants,” said Karen. “Now that everybody is working from home, and kids aren’t in school anymore, all the busyness has been taken out of our schedule. Now people are getting back to finding out things that they love to do. They’re discovering time; and what better opportunity to start a vegetable garden or a flower garden.”

Hand Nurseries prides itself in the fact that it’s not just an average plant nursery, and it offers a variety of products ranging from vegetables, herbs, flowers and pottery to outdoor furniture.

“Our vision is to become an experience, it’s not just a place to come buy your flowers and leave,” said Karen. “We want people to come and enjoy and enjoy the environment out here, select their flowers, but also select outdoor living products, and we want to help them with that.”

Scott said that Hand Nurseries isn’t your typical garden center.

“We try to do specialty things like topiaries, espaliers, and accent plants, stuff that you don’t necessarily see in other places and that’s kind of the key with our marketing, with everything that we do,” said Scott. “We try to find something that nobody sees on a regular basis.”

At the end of the day, it’s all about the people for Scott and Karen. Their business has been built strategically on listening to what their clients want and finding new plants and outside adornments to provide.

“We are constantly changing our look. We are adding new stuff to our grounds every year. The shop gets a new change every year, and new plant material. We’re constantly looking for that new stuff that’s coming out, and that extraordinary that you’re not going to see anywhere else. That’s why they keep coming out here, because they know they’re going to come out here and find something that they’re not seeing everywhere else. And people like change, so we’re always trying to change.”

But one thing isn’t going to change: Hand Nurseries is going to do everything in their power to help their customers keep gardening no matter the circumstances. They now offers a delivery service so gardeners never have to leave their house to get the eclectic item that they need.

“We’ve just tried to evolve and really we’ve put it out there and want to know what the customer wants first. If a customer wants to put a drive-thru in for the shop, we’ll put a drive-thru in,” Scott joked. “I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

For more information, call 903-316-9356 or visit www.handnurseries.com.

Digital Multimedia Journalist

I love telling stories and making a difference in the people around me. Home-grown in East Texas, I have a Bachelors in Digital Media, and a Masters in Communication. Happily married to my wife Laura, and an active member of the Tyler community.

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