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Green Thumb Nursery in Martinez is closing

Owners get ready to retire after nearly 11 years

Posted: February 14, 2016 - 12:02am
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Robert Brand checks out azalea plants at Green Thumb Nursery on Thursday, the first day of the store's retirement sale.  The owners will continue the sale for about six weeks.  Photo By Valerie Rowell
Photo By Valerie Rowell
Robert Brand checks out azalea plants at Green Thumb Nursery on Thursday, the first day of the store's retirement sale. The owners will continue the sale for about six weeks.

A mainstay garden center in Martinez will soon be closing its doors.

David and Donna Bokesch, owners of Green Thumb Nursery in Martinez, invited customers to the first day of the garden center’s retirement sale on Thursday.

“I’m sad to see them go,” said customer Pauline Utsch, who was taking advantage of the sale.

The Bokesches bought the garden center, which has operated on Davis Road near Washington Road for 38 years, from Barbara Botts in 2005. It was the second location of the original Green Thumb garden center, which opened in 1951 behind Daniel Village in Augusta.

“We always felt it was an honor to have purchased it,” Donna Bokesch said. “We did. It was an institution here. I always thought it was an area attraction here.”

Robert Brand was looking for some azaleas at the garden center on Thursday. But he’s typically shopping for roses, a specialty of the former owner.

“I grow roses, so I got my roses here,” Brand said. “Mrs. Botts, she loved roses. So they always had all the different kinds. I try to buy local instead of ordering them.”

The Bokesches said they worked hard to improve the business, but running a business takes a lot of time and effort.

“It’s a huge undertaking and it keeps getting bigger,” Donna Bokesch said. “It’s like a baby that never grows up.”

After nearly 11 years of operating the garden center, the Bokesches chose family and retirement.

David Bokesch has back problems, a factor in the decision to close.

It was a tough choice, but the couple wants to enjoy retirement, using their boat and spending time in their own yard.

“I am looking forward to gardening,” Donna Bokesch said. “Who knows what’s going to be after this. There’s more fire in us. We’re just going to refire.”

In preparation for the closing, the Bokesches opened the doors on what they expect will be about a six-week sale.

They are looking to clear the store, selling every item in the store including trees, plants and shrubbery, fountains, pottery and containers, fertilizers, soils and
house plants as well as fixtures, furniture and equipment.

“(Shoppers) can earn points in order to qualify for prizes,” Donna Bokesch said. “We also have a food drive in conjunction with it. Any day, they can bring food in and get extra points.

“The prizes are awesome. Flat-screen TVs, sound bar, weather station. Some really nice stuff.”

The couple expects to finish the sale and have the doors closed by March 19.

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