Flower Shop Blooms in Spring

Editor’s note: During each Chips Quinn orientation and multimedia training in Nashville, Tenn., scholars are required to complete a mobile media reporting module, which includes producing videos and reporting and writing stories. Their work is displayed here.

0715_hernandezby David Hernandez

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Every spring, an empty lot on 12th Avenue South becomes a flower shop that helps city residents beautify their homes.

For six weeks in April and May, residents can choose from a wide selection of flowers and plants at the Flower Basket, a seasonal nursery. Some plants are arranged on a grassy area, while others are displayed on wooden tables set up in the open or under a shady tent.

The shop offers geraniums, begonias, dahlias, pansies, marigolds, petunias and other annuals, as well as tropical plants, herbs and more.

Patrons tend to buy plants that don’t require much work – “the low-maintenance ones that you can’t kill,” manager Curt Lamberth said.

0815_hernandez_flowerbasket

A tent at Flower Basket, a seasonal nursery at 12th Avenue South in Nashville, Tenn., protects plants from the sun. The plant retailer is open daily for six weeks in April and May. (David Hernandez/Summer 2015)

The plant retailer specializes in pre-made flower baskets, which are among the most popular items. A planted basket “keeps people from getting too much dirt — it’s all done for you,” Lamberth said.

The work keeps Lamberth on his toes. He participates in selling and maintaining the plants and flowers, and weather often makes his job difficult.

“Spring is never an easy (season) to predict,” he said.

Some plants must be watered regularly, while others need to be moved between the sun and the shade. “It’s all part of it — a lot of shuffling around,” he said of the maintenance aspect.

Flower Basket first sprouted at 2501 12th Ave. S. in the spring of 2014 after owner Jim McLeod decided to expand the lot’s use. McLeod has operated several Christmas tree businesses at lots throughout Nashville and Brentwood for 30 years, including the lot on 12th Avenue South, where he has sold Christmas trees and pumpkins during the fall and winter for about five years. McLeod has a seven-year lease for the lot.

The nursery is among several shops that have opened along 12th Avenue South in recent years, as Nashville businesses continue to expand.

“It’s really cool to see new areas opening up and growing,” Lamberth said. The avenue “is a hotspot now. It’s great for growing business.”

A second Flower Basket operates at 110 Gallatin Ave. in East Nashville, and both nurseries are open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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