2010-07-29 / Business News

Look no further for your plants

SHOP TALK

The next time you’re driving along Elliot Street in Punta Gorda, make sure you stop to take a little stroll through Powell’s Nursery. Well, it’s not like people just happen to be whizzing by on Elliot Street. You need to make the 10-acre plant oasis a goal.

My mission was simple. I’m always on the prowl for pretty, colorful, potted plants to place around the pool. The trick is finding plants that don’t constantly drop flowers and leaves into the pool, and they must tolerate high heat and sunshine. As much as I love our tropical bougainvilleas and hibiscus,

h lf i dl they are not pool-friendly.

After being warned by owner Joseph Powell to listen for the sprinkler system turning on, the search began. It was easy to get sidetracked from the task by unique plants tucked away down each path and row. I am far from a Florida master gardener, but I like plants. Adhering mostly to the Florida-friendly policies, my landscaping is very lush, even after a hard-freeze winter and with no irrigation system.

As I ducked stag horn ferns and long-rooted orchids, and parted away limbs and fronds, a nice lady named Jo, dressed in long sleeves and a straw hat, asked if I needed assistance. I explained my mission and we discussed several options before I resumed my search. Though nothing beats the earthy heat and humidity of our subtropical climate combined with the smells of a lush nursery on an early Saturday morning, it wasn’t long before I was hoping to hear the sound of the sprinkler system turning on.

And then I saw it. Stepping gingerly over and under several other plants I pulled out what I knew to be a croton of some kind. There were several colorful croton varieties already around my pool, but not one of these. Quite proud of my find, I made my way back to the green metal office building. Jo met me along the driveway and immediately nodded approvingly and beamed. “Ah, that is very rare. That’s a ‘Picasso’s Paintbrush,” she explained.

Jo and Carl Powell, and son Joseph, have owned Powell’s Nursery for more than 40 years. With trusty beagle Shadow, by his side, Carl mans the computer desk in the office, even if it is for the occasional game of solitaire. He he’s a fantastic resource for horticulture information — and local stories, as well. Anyone can have plants, but the Powells have a passion for plants and it shows in their business. They are more than willing to assist non, so-called, experts. In fact, it seems to me they actually prefer the non-experts. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the sign of a good business. Take that drive along Elliot Street and find out for yourself.

NewBits

… Happy 17th anniversary to Gregg’s Automotive Repair Center …ERA Advantage Realty Inc. June top performers are Jeanie Goldmann and Danny Halaby … Fawcett Memorial Hospital was recognized for achievement in using evidencebased guidelines to provide the best possible care to patients through The American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines program … WilsonMiller has been acquired by the design firm Stantec … Mike Martin of State Farm Insurance moved his office to 425 Cross Street, Suite 114, Punta Gorda … Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau is one of 18 finalists for Florida’s highest tourism marketing achievement, a 2010 Flagler Award … Tidewell Hospice announces that Beth A. Reilly, MSN, ARNP ACHPN is the Administrative Director, Children’s Services, and Karen McGough, ARNP, AOCN, ACHPN passed the Hospice and Palliative Advanced Practice Nurse Certification making her one of only 418 ACHPN certified professionals in the country … stop by Centennial Bank in Punta Gorda Friday, from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, July 30, for its Hotdogs & S’Mores Cookout. ¦

Go-To Sites of the Week ¦ charlotte.ifas.ufl.edu/ ¦ floridayards.org

— Teri Ashley the busines s development of ficer f or C entennial Bank in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. She can be c ontacted at tashle y@my100bank. com or 347-3321.

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