Rooted In A Family History
How did The Greenery’s history all begin? In 1973, owners, Ruthie and Berry Edwards fell in love with beautiful Hilton Head Island while on vacation. When the couple relocated, they bought a small landscape nursery with a staff of six employees, a couple of old pickup trucks and the desire to do something different. They focused on growing their business by hiring the most knowledgeable and experienced landscaping and gardening staff in the Lowcountry.
One of the unique features at The Greenery’s original location – the garden center is an old church building, circa 1873. This charming, historic building was originally the Old Bethlehem Church just outside of Ridgeland, South Carolina. Ruthie Edwards saw the “For Sale” sign on the church, purchased it and had it moved by barge to its current location where it initially housed The Greenery’s office. Today it is part of our Garden Center and Gift Shop and remains one of the oldest buildings on the island.
Lee Edwards, son of Ruthie and Berry, started his career at The Greenery as a young boy working for the family business. Lee, now The Greenery’s CEO, is providing new leadership at the helm of this employee-owned corporation.
HOW WE CAME TO BE EMPLOYEE OWNED
Around 2003, The Greenery, Inc. founder, Berry Edwards, was ready to retire and looking for an exit strategy that would also reward the dedicated employees that helped The Greenery become so successful. He could have sold the company, but instead, he took a different path, establishing The Greenery as an employee-owned company. An ESOP – an Employee Stock Ownership Plan was created to give all employees the opportunity to earn ownership in the company.
Since becoming employee owned, The Greenery has flourished from 200 employees to over 800 and continues to grow. Employee ownership and investing in our people has proven to be the catalyst for our successful position as a thriving industry leader in commercial landscaping.
Edwards family when the church arrived at its current location.
Church being loaded on the barge to make the journey to Hilton Head Island.
The church restored as the Garden Center and Gift Shop today.
The Greenery Family celebrating employee ownership.
Berry Edwards receives the American Association of Nurseryman’s highest landscape award from Nancy Reagan.
The Greenery receives a national award from NALP for its work at Palmetto Bluff.