The Georgia Virtue Business Spotlight Series features local businesses that function as the backbone of our communities. The series is sponsored by Bulloch Solutions.
It’s a family affair for Debbie Odom and her daughter, Lindsey Holland, at Blackcreek Nursery & Garden. They only recently opened their doors, but the three acre spot on their family land has more than most could want with the added benefit of the expertise of their family, too.
Debbie has been a local wholesale grower of all things garden and yard for decades, which meant Lindsey, an only child, developed a green thumb pretty early on in her life. For years, Debbie’s passion has been driven by the growing end of the process and they have grown camellias and other plants to be shipped all over the country. For upwards of thirty years, they’ve also grown tea plants for small growers and themselves, a process they have refined.
The new retail location in Ellabell on the Bulloch-Bryan County line just opened to the public at the end of March, but it’s been a live-work-play site for the family for generations.
The idea to have a nursery and a farm shop evolved during the pandemic when the two wanted to hone in on where exactly they wanted the business to go. They’ve been growers on the family property for years, but the idea of having a nursery that customers could visit in their community while also focusing heavily on plants that provide food came together fairly quickly.
The thriving camellia business with blooming shrubs, annuals, and perennials transitioned into an addition of edible landscaping of all varieties – plums, pears, persimmons, blueberries, olives, herbs, and teas. Offering people what they can’t get anywhere else and shopping with local vendors whenever possible are both priorities at Blackcreek, which is a member of GeorgiaGrown. Even still, the plan at the nursery is to experiment with new plants each year and adapt to what the community around the family-owned business desires.
The pair love doing as much as they can of their own crafts and projects and the farm shop on site is stocked with all kinds of goods made by the mother-daughter duo and a few other local vendors. Customers can snag homemade soaps, dog biscuits, t-shirts, coffee, teas, and seeds in addition to the plants sold in the outdoor nursery.
Debbie even published a book on the process of growing, cultivating, and infusing with tea that’s suitable for experimenters and beginners who want to learn on an in-your-own-backyard level.
You can grab a copy online or at the shop if you visit the nursery.
Debbie’s husband, Ben, designed and built out the inside of the building on site, has helped with irrigation and sprinklers, and is the all-around go-to guy for making any vision a reality for Debbie and Lindsey.
“We couldn’t do it without him. Not any of this,” they said in their interview.
Photos from the Spotlight on Blackcreek Nursery & Garden.
Before too long, the hope is to host classes at the location where people can spend a few hours learning about what can be made out of tea, the health benefits, and the best ways to cultivate the plant that is a thriving host for bees. They say most people don’t realize that being a grower doesn’t mean you have to have a field full of tea and education and awareness are the missing link. Down the road, Debbie says she hopes to partner with the local 4-H organizations, too.
As is the case in most situations when you live where you work, it can be hard to ‘stop’ and turn off the workday – especially since this part of the business is so new and a great deal remains to be done. But neither can imagine doing any other job or working anywhere else and they love that they are partners in it together.
“I think when you grow up in it, you’re just different,” Debbie said. “It’s a part of you.”
“Yeah, we are different.” Lindsey laughed.
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