Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Duo hope to open greenhouse in Urban Hess

March 21, 2001

If all goes according to plan, Tonganoxie will have a new greenhouse in about six weeks.

Two Tonganoxie residents hope to open a retail garden center and greenhouse on a tract of land in the Urban Hess Business Center, along Laming Road, just south of Leavenworth County Road 5.

"We'll have a retail section that will be available and stocked with typical gardening supplies, fertilizer, pesticides, fungicides, some garden art," said Twila Hickman, rural Tonganoxie.

The greenhouse at least initially will offer mostly annuals.

"We'll have to see what the need is for this first year," Hickman said. "We'll have a wide variety of bedding plants for sun and for shade."

Hickman had been looking for property in Tonganoxie when she hooked up with local Realtor Art Hancock. The idea struck him as such a great one that he became her partner.

"I've thought about it for a long time," Hancock said. "She had really planned it into action. She met with me about some ground, and we drove around looking at sites. We had anticipated being open by April 15, and that's not reality. Hopefully, we'll be open by the first of May."

Retail sales will be conducted in a 1,500-square-foot building, while the greenhouse will occupy another 2,880 square feet.

The greenhouse also will include vegetables, Hickman said.

For the last 12 years, Hickman has been a corporate administrator for a cardiology practice in Johnson County.

"I have made a career change," she said. "I've been a personal gardener for over 10 years and have just fallen in love with gardening and helping other people as far as gardening tips go."

She recently completed a Master Gard-ener class, and she's taken other classes.

She's lived in Tonganoxie about three years, displaced from her home by the construction of the Kansas Speedway.

"We really have wanted to get into the community here, and this is one of the ways to do that," she said.

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