After spending his first 35 years as a dairy farmer in Viola, Phillip’s interest in greenhouse farming germinated when he started working at a local greenhouse and flower shop in 1993. His joy of farming moved seamlessly blossomed into greenhouse growing. Looking to find a way to grow quality plants without using the amount of chemicals that he saw being used in standard greenhouses, he converted the old chicken coop on his farm into his first greenhouse. Through trial and error, he found that using the right types of composts and natural fertilizers actually allowed his planters to maintain there vigor throughout the whole summer without the burnout that many synthetically fertilized planters showed by mid summer. Soon, friends and relatives were talking about the flowers he was growing. “Sure, I can grow some for you too”, were the words that caused him to quickly outgrow the chicken coop. In 2004, Phillip built a ‘real’ green house to expand his hobby to the next level. With a little help and encouragement from friends and family, he decided to sell his excess plants to the public in a yard sale held on his front lawn. To his surprise, strangers bought and fell in love with the uniqueness and quality of his planters. In a matter of days, all planters were sold and people were asking about next season!
Using his formula of natural nutrients and synthetic fertilizers, Phillip started a new retail business in the spring of 2006. Phillip’s vision of a new and unique garden center with a laid-back country feeling came to life. His artistic skills and distinctive creations, made planters that are very far from ordinary! Just like growing plants in the landscape, his business has now evolved into an online store for purchasing plants and custom planters. Viola Nursery now creates hundreds of custom planters for businesses and homeowners throughout the Rochester area.