About the Book
Why ask Why (adapted from So You Want to Start a Nursery)
There are certainly several books that address different technical aspects of the nursery in great scientific detail. Most focus on the intricate technical details of the nursery business, some detail soil mixes while others summarize studies of pest control. What I have attempted here, however, is a thought-provoking book that will touch on the broad range of issues that you will encounter as a nursery owner.
The issues to be covered here are less technical in nature and include rarely discussed topics, from selecting land to writing a catalog, and from the affect of the nursery business on family relationships, to marketing your plants. You will still need plenty of generally available technical information which is not covered here, when you get underway, but at least you will now know the questions to ask.
I am often asked which group or groups I am targeting with this book, and the answer is simply, anyone who wants to know more about the nursery business. This group is incredibly varied, including curious students, nursery workers contemplating going it alone, unfulfilled workers in other fields contemplating a career change, backyard hobbyists with excessively large plant collections, landowners looking for an income opportunity, farmers looking for a change in commodities, micro-nurseries looking to expand, and even retirees looking for a second career.
The nursery business is truly one of the most rewarding careers for anyone who has a fondness for ornamental plants. It can, however, be a difficult career if you start down the long and often treacherous road without a good map alerting you to potential hazards. While nursery owners certainly do their share of complaining, you would be hard pressed to find even one that would trade careers for a more lucrative and less stressful occupation. I know a local nurseryman who had turned down several multi-million dollar offers for his nursery, all the time being quite aware that he will never realize the same financial freedom by operating the nursery himself. This dedication and love of the business speaks to the soulful attachment of nursery owners to their business. If, after reading this book you are still determined to start or continue in the nursery business, you have both my best wishes and condolences. At least you will now be going forward with your eyes wide open.