This fall will symbolize the end of more than just a season for John Shelley's Garden Center in North Hopewell Township.
The nursery plans to close at the end of the month, after more than 20 years in business.
The 20-acre garden center, 13579 Winterstown Road, is for sale as a turn-key business for $1.5 million, which includes the property, four buildings and seven greenhouses.
Owner John Shelley said the economy has taken a toll on the center, which offers landscape design and installation and a retail center that includes thousands of cultivars and varieties of trees and shrubs and other garden-and-landscaping-related supplies.
Economy: He said customers don't know if they're going to have jobs next month or next year, and the massive landscaping jobs in which he specialized are being pushed back for years.
The center thrived on jobs costing between $60,000 and $80,000, but is struggling with projects costing just a few thousand dollars. Over the past three years, he has had to pare staff from 28 to four employees, he said.
"It's a gut-wrencher to do this after 21 years, but I don't want to go into debt," he said.
Sale, donations: The center is having a going-out-of-business sale, with 35 percent off everything. Shelley is donating plant materials and hardgoods to 501-(c)(3) nonprofits to help liquidate the stock, he said.
"I'd rather see it in the ground and part of my legacy to York County than see it all dead in my greenhouse in spring," he said.
Donations have already been committed to several organizations, but acres of materials remain, he said. Interested organizations should call 246-1414.
-- Reach Christina Kauffman at 505-5436, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter at @dispatchbizwiz.