B&M Greenhouse: Beautifying Farmville
Published 9:52 am Thursday, June 16, 2022
In a town renowned for its rural beauty lives a garden center which has provided the community with gorgeous greenery for more than half a century.
Nestled at 1822 Greenhouse Road in Farmville, B&M Greenhouse provides residents with all the services necessary for a lush garden and a beautiful yard. Serving as a local greenhouse and garden center, B&M offers a variety of services from landscaping to container repotting, plant rentals and more. The business also carries a plentiful inventory of vegetable garden seed and plants for spring and fall planting.
From organic compost, potting soil and fertilizers to tropical house plants, annuals, perennials, herbs, trees and shrubs, B&M is paradise to any green-thumbed local. And while the greenhouse today has established itself as a staple in the community, its story began in the ‘60s.
According to B&M Greenhouse Owner and Operator Chris Rogers, the business was founded in the mid to late 1960s by residents Johnnie Bollinger and Harold Mathews.
Rogers began working at B&M when he was a high school student. After graduating from Virginia Tech in 1978 with a degree in horticulture, he continued to work at the greenhouse and, with the help of his father, Buck Rogers, purchased the business in 1979.
“Buck loved waiting on customers and carrying on conversation,” Rogers noted. “He was also a pretty good handyman and carpenter.”
Since Rogers took over, the greenhouse has remained a family business through and through. While Rogers acts as owner and operator, his wife, Jan, performs all of the business’ bookkeeping and other managerial tasks. The pair have two sons that also worked at the center from age 13 until college.
B&M Greenhouse also has a team of dedicated staff members who eat, sleep and breathe horticulture. The center has three full time employees and approximately 15 seasonal staff members.
Each member of the team brings something special to the business. Employee Charlene Houston has been with the greenhouse for more than 30 years and, according to Rogers, “has not one but two green thumbs.”
“Charlene oversees all of our crop production and keeps records on all of our plantings,” Rogers said. “From these records we are able to make adjustments for the following year.”
Another dedicated team member is Matthew Reames, a skilled landscaper with a creative eye for plant design and installation. Reames is also involved in greenhouse production and maintenance. Employee Debbie Wilkens offers friendly customer service in B&M’s retail greenhouse.
For Rogers, a passionate and kind staff plays a heavy hand in B&M’s success.
“We are friendly and develop relationships with our customers,” he noted. “We strive for quality plants and good customer service, and that’s what we hope keeps our customers coming back.”
In fact, when asked about one of the best parts of the job, Rogers is quick to point to the enjoyment drawn from talking with customers and helping them with exciting projects.
“We learn something new every day by listening to our customers’ experiences,” he noted. “We love plants and are always on the lookout for new plants that will perform well in our climate.”
When selecting plants for an area, Rogers and his team first ask some basic questions about the planting site, such as the amount of light exposure and what size a customer hopes their plant will grow to.
“By answering these questions and finding properly sized plants at maturity, we can avoid mistakes down the road,” he added. “If we only want a plant to grow to a height of four feet, for example, we wouldn’t want to plant a holly that reaches 10 feet at maturity. It’s much better to do a little research and buy a plant that can develop its natural size and shape without constant pruning.”
A mom and pop-style greenhouse/nursery, B&M takes great pride in its plant offerings.
“Since we actually grow a good portion of what we sell, we are able to offer unique plant varieties that you probably won’t see in the box stores.”
And with 24,000 sq. ft. of greenhouse space to work with, B&M is able to guarantee a healthy and reliable inventory filled with diversity, color and excitement.
While B&M is a household name in Farmville, plants grown at the greenhouse can be spotted across the commonwealth. The business even sells poinsettias to florist shops from Lynchburg to Richmond.
The service that B&M Greenhouse provides to the area is an important one. Not only does the business help to beautify Farmville and its surrounding counties; the greenhouse helps to bring folks of all backgrounds outside to connect with nature.
In early 2020, like many people, Rogers and his staff grew worried over the COVID-19 pandemic and how it would impact the greenhouse.
However, the business was deemed essential and remained open, and employees were blown away at how busy the garden center became.
“Everyone was staying close to home and planting flowers and vegetable gardens, and 2020 turned out to be our busiest year since we’ve been in business.”
And it’s clear the community’s passion for gardening isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
“We’ve seen more young customers during the last few years, as they’re discovering gardening and seeing the benefits of raising their own fruits and vegetables and enjoying the value of plants, both inside and outside the home,” Rogers said. “From reducing stress and providing both physical and mental enjoyment, plants are definitely essential to our wellbeing.”