His passion for plants is contagious, and he loves sharing it with visitors at the market. “I’m a plant collector—some might even say hoarder—as well as a seller, and when I start a conversation with someone who loves plants as much as I do, I never want it to end,” he says. This labor of love sustained Blount as he established his business. For the first seven years he worked at the market all day then came home and cared for the plants in the nursery all night.
When I start a conversation with someone who loves plants as much as I do, I never want it to end.
He is dedicated to growing everything he sells, even the exotic varieties he gets from overseas. As long as he has a tissue culture of a plant or a division, he can grow and sell them at the market. But he admits it gets discouraging when some of the people selling plants buy from out of state and ship the plants in to sell. “They’ll have a completely empty nursery all winter and suddenly March comes around and it’s filled with plants,” Blount explains. “I don’t do that. I grow everything I sell, and that allows me to have more reasonable prices.” He also believes that by growing what he sells, he can be more honest and helpful with his customers. “My theory is: ‘If you grow it, you know it’. For example, some sellers will tell you to just put ice cubes on a plant every few days, but that’s going to shock the roots and kill the plant. I always tell my customers to go back and ask that business to show them their ice machine. You have to practice what you preach.” Customers can hear more of Blount’s plant wisdom at the Growin Green Farmers Market booth, where they are open seven days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. Or you can visit his nursery in Nashville.