By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
After operating in Brentwood for 17 years, Teson Farms Nursery will close its doors for good this month. Manager Jean Harkey said the store, at 8419 Manchester, might close as early as this week. She said it will definitely be closed by July 28.
Harkey said that store owners Elmer and Eric Teson will continue to operate Teson Farms Landscaping Inc. in Hazelwood. She said the Tesons are moving away from the retail side of the business to concentrate on residential and commercial landscape/irrigation design and installation.
Teson Farms Nursery is low on stock but on Saturday customers continued to drop by to look for bargains. One customer was Julie Quevreaux, of Rock Hill, who has shopped there for years. She said Teson Farms always had plants she couldn’t find elsewhere. “This is my favorite nursery ever,” she said. “Everyone always knew where to come to get a gift card for my birthday or Christmas. It’s a very sad day. Even when I lived in South City this was my favorite place to come to get plants.”
Andy Foerstel has worked at Teson Farms Nursery for six years and he understands Harkey’s sadness. “When you see the store bare bones like this it’s a bummer,” he said. “People have been coming here for years and now you see their disappointment and sadness when they walk in. You’re walking right into the state of the economy in some respects.”
Foerstel said he has his feelers out to find a job at another nursery, and he’ll probably do landscaping on the side, like he did before he came to Teson Farms. But he’ll miss working there. “This place is pretty loose,” he said. “Everybody has their little niche and everybody helps each other out. It’s been a pretty good working environment, which you don’t find at too many places.”
Foerstel hates to see Teson Farms close. “At the little-guy nursery I think you see more compassion for some of these plants,” he said. “We generally care more about that four-inch pot right there and what’s growing in it. Some of the other places, which I won’t name, they start off watering them but by May it’s forgotten about. But here we’re caring for them, fertilizing them all year.”
Teson Farms Nursery, (314) 961-5551, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.