We Love Growing Plants
It all started with
"I want to sell a good plant, at a good price with good service.”
How it All Began
Bob and Kathy started Lovejoy Nursery in 1979 when they purchased a 3 ½ acre existing nursery in the Stillaguamish Valley near Arlington WA.
Located on the “Stilly” River, the property also had a small Rambler which became their first home. Bob was 25 years old and worked full-time at a large container nursery near Seattle. In the evenings and on weekends, he did all the things that beginning nurserymen do…cuttings, planting, watering, and planning the growth of his own nursery. Kathy did all the bookkeeping. There were a few greenhouses on the property, a stock block of plants to take cuttings from, their home, and the rest were fields that had once grown Rhododendrons.
The first crops were evergreen Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Pieris and Laurels. As Bob got busier, he hired kids from the local high school to work weekends and after school. He advanced in his full-time job, and he continued to grow his nursery by working in the evenings and weekends. When time permitted, he loaded the trunk of his Toyota Corolla with sample plants from his nursery, and made sales calls to the local retail nurseries.
By 1987, Bob was able to purchase an adjacent parcel to the south with 13 ½ acres. This piece was planted with field-grown Rhododendrons and Laurels. With more land, came the need for more help and 2 years later, he hired his first full-time employee, Glen Miller.
The next 10 years brought considerable change and growth to Lovejoy Nursery. In 1994, Bob rented an adjacent parcel (16 acres this time) which made Lovejoy Nursery a 33 acre business. There were 3 full-time employees but what the nursery needed was a full-time manager to move the business forward.
It was a difficult decision, but it became apparent to Bob that he needed to be able to spend more than just evenings and weekends managing his business. In 1995, Bob made the difficult, but necessary decision to retire from his full-time job and become a full-time nursery owner.
The next year, Bob hired a Propagator (that would be me) and Lovejoy Nursery became a manager and 4 full-time employees. Two years later, in 1998, he rented an additional 24 acres…then came more employees…and so goes the story. 40 more acres in 2000 and 41 more in 2005…and more employees.
Lovejoy Nursery currently averages between 35-40 employees year round and encompasses 114 acres, 70 acres of which contain nursery stock. That nursery stock has grown from just a few crops to a wide selection of ornamentals, trees, and perennials.
Curently, the nursery is divided almost 50/50 – field grown vs container grown stock. The clientele is also a healthy 50/50 mix of retail nurseries and the landscape trades. The customer base encompasses the Greater Seattle and Puget Sound region. (Most of the customers who decided to purchase plants from the back of Bob’s Toyota Corolla 40 years ago, are still our customers today.
Bob was once asked if he had a “Mission Statement” for his nursery. He simply said, “I want to sell a good plant, at a good price with good service.”