Cary’s Ultimate Haven for Plant and Tree Enthusiasts

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Garden Supply Store Photo courtesy of The Root Cellar Café & Catering



Nature connects us with our environment, bringing joy and improving our health, and research shows that the natural world boosts our well-being. In a 2021 study published in the journal Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 73% of people the team surveyed reported that tending indoor plants during the COVID-19 pandemic helped their mental health. Landscaping and transplanting plants can also decrease blood pressure and stress.

This is where Garden Supply Company comes in to provide a “happy place.” Starting as a local grassroots business (pun intended!), the store offers superior plants and products and guides people with planting projects. 

Keith Ramsey created Environmental Design and Management, a landscape and design firm in Cary, more than 20 years ago with grand dreams of owning a successful business. 

“I was born a serial entrepreneur, a dreamer and somebody who wasn’t scared to jump in,” Ramsey says. “People were always telling me I could be successful in business. The simple fact of the matter is, I never think anything through. I just do it.”

Ramsey was a natural salesperson, even at an early age. “When I was five, I got the idea that people would rather have sharp pencils, so I sharpened a bunch of pencils and went door-to-door selling them,” he says. “When I was 10, I mowed grass and fixed things I found at the curb before selling them.” 

“I was growing plants at home and selling them from an early age,” Ramsey adds. “It was through high school and early years of college working at the garden center that I realized that is what I wanted to do for a living. Most people don’t know what they want to do, even after college. But I knew when I was 15.”

Ramsey grew up in Richmond, Virginia, attended Ferrum College and worked for a landscape design firm after graduating. He moved to Raleigh and its “green horticulture oasis” in the early 1990s. 

“I was going to chase my dream of opening a landscape design firm in a garden center,” Ramsey says. “I was running a small design firm when I drove past a garden center that had just opened.” He met with the owners and produced an idea to design work out of their location. “It would be a way to enjoy the best of both worlds.”

Garden Supply Store
Outside entrance to the Garden Supply Company in Cary. Photo courtesy of Garden Supply Company.

Six months later, Ramsey jumped at the chance to buy the business. “I got my loan for the purchase of Garden Supply Company when the banker saw my business plan with a ‘staying-in-business’ auction,” Ramsey says. “When he asked what that was, I said, ‘Most people have gone-out-of-business auctions. We will have one in our first year to stay in business.’ 

After that, we had them for the next 15 years instead of a clearance sale. “In life, you should dream and follow your dreams,” Ramsey says. “You should take big risks when you’re young and continue to take smaller risks as you age, working hard and making it happen.”

With this approach, Ramsey laid the foundation for Garden Supply Company’s success. “In 27 years of business, I figured I don’t have a management bone in my body,” he says. His solution? Surrounding himself with amazing people. “Having good people around has allowed me to continue to chase my dreams,” he says.

Over 20 years later, Garden Supply Company has 40 employees dedicated to sharing their passion for providing residents with quality plants and reputable products. “We’ve grown hemp, and we started a farm in Virginia to grow plants for the garden center all because I wanted to recycle pots,” Ramsey says. “We raise oysters, renovate houses and run a few Airbnbs.”

Future plans include expanding native and pollinator plant offerings. “We are increasing our efforts and offerings in beekeeping,” Ramsey says. “We sell honeybees and the supplies to keep them; we also offer a host-a-hive program where we do all the work, and customers receive 10 pounds of honey and hands-on bee experience if they are interested.”

Ramsey quickly credits his staff with the success of Garden Supply Company. “I give team members tons of space, and I let them do the things that they want to do—because when people do the things they want to do, they do it exceptionally,” he says. “I think that’s the secret to success: Surround yourself with good people and let them do what they want to do.”

On a personal note, Ramsey looks forward to spending more time with his grandkids, fishing and hunting in the future. This balance in life allows him to continue to 
work into old age while keeping an eye on the local garden store that continues to provide residents with quality plants and trees.

“The last two years, we have made the Top 100 Independent Garden Centers in the U.S.,” Ramsey concludes. “I am proud of my team for this achievement.”

Located at 1421 Old Apex Road in Cary, Garden Supply Company has a variety of products and landscaping services available. To learn more, visit  

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Garden Supply Company offers landscaping services and a variety of products, including plants, trees and shrubs, annuals and perennials, houseplants, bonsai and edible plants.

Landscaping design consultation: Designs are customized to meet and exceed your specific landscaping needs. Garden Supply Company can design and install according to your specifications and deal with hardscape and drainage issues.

1, 2, Tree: A consultation includes walking through the company’s inventory to see what is best for your property. Garden Supply Company will dig and install the plants and trees you want at home.

Local delivery: You can shop in store or order online for plants, mulch, compost, pine straw, fertilizer or products in bag, bulk, or bale.

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