Scented herbs, freshly arranged flowers, seasoned vegetables and fruits and desert trees fill a 3.5-acre lot at Rillito Nursery and Garden Center where employees daily care for the plants. For many years now, the nursery has served people by providing well-grown plants, landscaping, educational tips and a garden center.
Beth Hargrove and her husband David Hargrove, took over the nursery from her parents in 2005. Since taking ownership, the two have increased their assortment of plants and have added the service of landscaping, which offers customers the option of having their plants delivered and planted.
Rillito Nursery and Garden Center offers a vast arrangement of seasonal flowers that are available in four inch, six packs or one-gallon sizes. Also available are vegetables, herbs, roses, trees, and desert plants such as cacti, agave, and sages. Those who visit the nursery can also find outdoor garden art, fountains, wheelbarrows and gardening attire. Though selling plants and other gardening equipment is important, Beth always makes education a priority.
“Education for the customers is most important,” said Beth. “Especially for the younger people to make it as non-intimidating as possible because it can be very easy to grow your own food.”
Some of the nursery’s youngest visitors are fourth graders from Hendricks Elementary School who stop by every year to learn more about gardening. The nursery donates seeds to the school every year as the fourth grade class takes care of a large garden at the school. Beth loves being able to support them as the students learn more about the benefits of gardening.
“We want to get the kids outside and let them taste where their food comes from and let them tastes how wonderful it is coming out of the garden, because it taste so much better,” said Beth.
The nursery is also active in serving the community. One recipient is Catalina State Park who has received about 55 trees over the past two years from Rillito Nursery and Gardening Center. Whether people buy or just visit the nursery, Beth says that their quality and service is what has helped them stay in business for so long.
“It’s our quality and service. You cannot give the best quality and the best service for the lowest price,” she said. “We will offer the best quality we can and the best service we can.”