Felton (York County) — After years in New York City as a successful advertising man, John Shelley relocated to York County to pursue his love of landscaping.
For two decades, John Shelley's Garden Center and Nursery (23Mb file; click "run") has flourished in Felton, PA.
"Landscaping is a luxury," said Shelley on Sunday.
He created a niche market in hard-to-find trees and shrubs from around the world. But, after 21 years of catering to high end clients his business is drying up.
"We use to do high end landscaping jobs, said Shelley. "70-90 thousand dollars jobs, those have disappeared," he said.
At his garden center in Felton, his outdoor gardens are nearly empty, and his greenhouses have just a few remaining plants left from the summer season.
His staff of 23 employees that helped plant, garden and design has been reduced to three.
Shelley said the decline in business is based on one thing, "The economy." "Plain and simple," he said.
To manage and try and stay afloat, Shelley tried to jump start the business with his own money but after a few months of seeing profits decline Shelley said he was forced to make a tough decision.
"Itís hard to say goodbye," said Shelley. The business is now up for sale, and his last day of business is Friday October 28, 2011.
Shelley admits, it is hard to walk away and even harder for his loyal customer base, "We've broken down in tears several times," said Shelley.
John Shelley's Garden Center & Nursery will be donating nearly one million dollars of remaining trees and shrubs to 100 non-profit agencies in the Central Pennsylvania and Maryland.Copyright © 2011, WPMT-TV