I have spent my life self employed in various “homemade”businesses. The first I started at 14, a pony ride business with a sign painted on an old bed head proclaiming “PONY RIDES 30c”. I made over $100 that summer traipsing around a small paddock in the suburbs of East Coast Bays with 2 ponies and crowds of local children aboard.
Later my older sister and I started up a pet shop which we ran for nearly ten years, interspersed with other horse businesses, buying and selling, giving lessons, even selling bags of their manure to local gardeners kept me solvent one year.
When my children arrived, I was slightly (not much) more tied to the house and the gardening genes inherited from both my parents came into play and I started getting into gardens as well as horses and farming.
As I also appear to have inherited their ‘waste not, want not”philosophy in life, I soon
found myself potting up excess plants when clearing up the garden. Then what to do with them? and my natural business acumen came to the fore and I set up a little stall at the end of the driveway. More hand painted signs and soon I had a booming little side line selling free range eggs, various animal manures and plants. I made cuttings of various things to see what happened and somewhere along the line as I had become somewhat obsessed with roses I started trying cuttings of some of these, and voila “Grass Roots Roses”was born.
5 years ago when we bought our present property in the North Waikato and I began the job of building my ‘forever’garden. I had to give up the side of the road business as I was too busy darting from farm to farm. I did however keep on with making the rose cuttings and selling the plants on Trademe and to established customers.
Then old friend Malcolm came along with our excellent new website and things started moving. Now 90% or more of the
orders are posted (though we’re perfectly handy to Auckland for pick up)
When you are building a relatively big garden, it takes many plants to fill it, so for the first few years all extras were transplanted into the many gaps, but now things are getting established here, the current winter clean up produces many surplus. Perennials which have gone rampant often need digging up to clear out the ubiquitous buttercup intertwined with the roots etc and many of the irises etc will benefit from being broken up and replanted.
As time has gone on, I have considered adding perennials to our rose plants for sale, and now, I am actively potting up those special perennials and garden plants to share with the world.
As it takes some time for the plants to be ready for sale, I have also been working on the web site to add a perennial section. We will sell the perennials, Irises, shrubs etc alongside the roses so they can be ordered and sent together. For the cooler months we will post the perennials in the same way we do the roses, partially bare rooted and wrapped in damp newspaper. this keeps postage costs down.
It is now almost ready to go live. Watch this space!