Lunch is at Mark’s on the Channel
34326 Johnson Landing Road| Scappoose, OR 97056
AGENDA 6/2/2016–Joy Creek Nursery
- Call to Order: Pledge and Prayer
- Introduction guests and new members
- Nancy – Secretary’s Minutes for April Meetingwill be Read
- Michelle – Treasurer’sReport
- OLD Business:
- Karen W. – Garden Tour Homes Update
- Joanna – Plant Sale Results
- NEW Business:
- Membership Renewal Forms & Deadline
- Joanna – Rose Buddies
- Karen W. – Annual Meeting/Potluck
About Joy Creek
Joy Creek Nursery is all about people, plants, and a strong sense of place. Knowledgeable and friendly nursery employees welcome customers with a map of the site, a current catalog, a clipboard, and an exhortation to have fun exploring the six acres of gardens, trial beds, and retail offerings.
Nestled amid Oregon’s rolling hills and pastoral farmland, the nursery rambles down a sloped site, paying homage to distant views of the mighty Columbia River and majestic Mt. Hood. Lush beds line the driveway. Seasonal displays frame the retail area. A picturesque old barn serves as the centerpiece of the property and the jumping-off point for a shopping extravaganza or a quiet stroll down a garden path.
For owners Maurice Horn and Mike Smith, the nursery was a late-life calling. Mutual friends who knew they shared a passion for plants introduced them in 1986. Seeds of their shared vision for a mail-order nursery were sown in countless conversations about being unable to find local sources for plants they wanted to grow. Their vision became real when Mike took early retirement, sold his house in the city, and purchased 38 acres alongside Joy Creek in rural Scappoose, a 30-minute drive from downtown Portland. The property was the perfect site to realize their dream. Maurice left his stressful position as a paralegal, and Scott Christie, who had years of experience in greenhouse operations, joined them as a silent partner. (He eventually moved on to other opportunities.) The nursery’s motto reflects its inception: “We are creating the nursery we always wanted to find.”
In the early years, all three men worked full-time at the nursery and moonlighted at other jobs to pay the bills. Maurice recounts that they had been in business for seven years before any of them had a real day off. Small ads placed in select gardening publications advertised the release of the first Joy Creek catalog in May 1992. With 200 entries, it was more pamphlet than catalog. The current catalog lists 1,000 plants; the Joy Creek Nursery Web site, 2,500. In the early days, on-site sales were the farthest thing from their minds. As their reputation grew, however, local customers who wanted to see plants before ordering began to seek them out. Up the driveway they came, eager to purchase plants from the stock beds. Maurice says he didn’t know what to do or how to handle the exchange of currency—they weren’t set up for it. He remembers finally saying to Mike, “I think that we are a retail nursery.” Mike concedes that, having left the hustle of the city for a rural retreat, it took him some time to get used to daily walk-in customers—but who really needs privacy?