Growing is a tradition at Flower City Nurseries, and it all began with the mysterious deaths of several cows in 1887. The animals died after seeds of the mountain allspice plants blocked their small intestines. Local farmers enlisted the help of some New York scientists, who, while determining the cause of death, developed a fascination with the allspice plant and they purchased a bushel of seeds for $5 from the cows’ owner, John Henry Harrison Boyd, who then offered more of the seeds in a local farm journal and word spread around the world. In fact, Boyd Nursery began receiving orders from Germany, France, England and Japan. Boyd expanded his business to selling trees and other plants. Business mogul George Vanderbilt bought 1 million trees from Boyd to plant on his 146,000-acre Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. John Henry Harrison Boyd and subsequent generations never looked back.
John Henry Harrison Boyd's grandson, Joseph Tallman Boyd, carried on the tradition and began growing flowering shrubs and founded Flower City Nurseries in 1939. His son, Joseph T. Boyd, Jr. (middle photo) operated the nursery until he retired in 1986 and his son William J. "Bill" Boyd purchased the nursery.
Joe was a fourth generation nurseryman who received an honorary lifetime membership in the Southern Nursery Association and Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association. He served as a commissioner with West Warren Viola Utility District and was chairman for a number of years. He was a volunteer fireman and worked to establish the Smartt Fire Station that became part of Morrison Fire Department. He served four years in the United States Air Force.
Today, Bill and his wife Neva continue in the footsteps of previous generations who worked hard to build a wholesale nursery known for supplying quality Tennessee grown plants and providing superior customer service. Known as "The Nursery Capital of the World", McMinnville offers fertile soil, a mild climate and a geographic location within one day of shipping to 80 percent of customers east of the Mississippi.
The nursery is primarily a field-grown operation providing garden center and landscape size material, as well as bareroot seedlings and liners. Container grown plants (deciduous and evergreen shrubs and trees) are offered in 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15 gal.