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  • Karry King

Holiday's Nursery: Experts in Landscaping, Nursery Plants and Florida Gardening

Updated: Mar 5

George Harrington, owner of Holiday’s Nursery in Jacksonville, Florida, has been in the nursery business for over 50 years.

He began helping his father in a small greenhouse in their backyard in Maryland at the age of 12. By the time he was 16, Harrington was selling plants to local grocery stores on consignment.

“I’ve always had the desire to be an entrepreneur,” Harrington said. “That’s where it all started.”

Fifty years later, Harrington owns the largest independent nursery in northeast Florida. He has two permanent locations that are open year-round and several locations that are open seasonally. His knowledge and selection of flowers and landscaping materials are unmatched. His competition is mostly big-box stores such as Lowes, Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

“There are very few independent nurseries left,” Harrington said. “The thing that has kept us in business more than anything else is that we bring in more merchandise than even the big box stores, and I have people who are very skilled and knowledgeable that have been with me for a while.”

The displays at Holiday’s Nursery are impressive, with dozens of rows of colorful flowers and hundreds of varieties of landscaping plants. The vibrant healthy-looking flowers, foliage and shrubbery are evidence of the care that Harrington’s employees put into their work, keeping them watered and properly pruned. Elegant cedar spirals, large trees, foliage, grasses, flowers, whatever the project calls for, Holiday’s Nursery probably has it.

Harrington says he works with a lot of homeowners and lawn care professionals. He keeps large quantities of each variety on hand to accommodate landscapers and big projects. For example, Harrington says, if a homeowner wants 50 Viburnums for privacy, big box stores only keep 10 or 15 on the shelf, whereas Holiday’s might have 100 in stock.

Harrington likes to share his knowledge and advises customers on what plants to put where and helps them navigate landscaping plans, a service he provides at no charge.

“I’m the one that goes to people’s houses, and I’m the one that talks to the homeowner,” Harrington said.

Architectural landscaping drawings often do not consider Florida’s unique, and sometimes harsh, growing environment, Harrington says. Many plans are drawn up by architects in other areas, where growing zones are different, and the sun is not as intense. They often specify plants that don’t grow well here or call for plants in sunny areas that do better in shade.

He explains to customers that he can provide what the drawing says but that means more maintenance. Sometimes they still want what the blueprints show, but oftentimes, they shift to something else.

After 50 years in the nursery business, Harrington knows plants, and he enjoys sharing what he has learned about growing in northeast Florida. Holiday’s Nursery provides a level of customer service and expertise above and beyond any nursery or big box store in the Jacksonville area.


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