“Seasons,” Bed-Stuy’s first full-service garden center and nursery for plants is now open for business.
Seasons's owner Deborah Young opened the center on Mother’s Day at 358 Stuyvesant Avenue on the corner of MacDonough, after almost 25 years of only dreaming about it.
“I’ve been growing since I was four years old at my dad’s knee,” said Young, a licensed New York State Department of Agriculture grower and a 50-year resident of Bed-Stuy.
“People like my parents and most of the older folk in Bed-Stuy are first-generation from the South. So in this neighborhood, community gardens were a very big thing. Not only did we garden in our back yards, but there were a lot of vacant lots that the city leased out to block associations and community groups. Most people got their collards greens at Christmas and Thanksgiving from their own gardens.”
Seasons has an ad-hoc greenhouse in the back, constructed from a huge tent that lets in sunlight while protecting the plants from nature’s sometimes-fickle elements. The greenhouse also is where you’ll find the plant “hospital,” and nursery, a place where residents can drop off their sick plants while Young coaches them back to health.
Seasons sells pretty much everything the veteran or novice grower needs: Potted plants, top soil, potting soil, mulches, hummus, annuals, vegetables, perennials, gardening tools, hanging plants…
“…And plenty of answers,” said Young, who studied marine biology in college. “Answers are free; and we’re very happy to give those away.”
The prices are outrageously cheap at Seasons, ranging from $2 for a four-pack of broccoli buds, to $150 for some of the larger plants. Young takes special orders, and they do deliver once you make a purchase and cannot carry it all home yourself (all deliveries are made in a vintage red, radio flyer wagon that she's held onto from the 70s). And for now until the end of the month, the first plant you buy from Seasons, you get one free.
Bed-Stuy, no more having to trek all the way to a big chain (I won’t mention names) for your gardening needs, when you can purchase it much quicker and much cheaper around the corner. And, what about the challenge of getting a worker from said big chain to provide expert advice? Good luck there!
“I've been in the dirt for over 40 years, and the reason why I love this is because I’m always seeing and learning something new,” said Young. “I’m trying to bring a service to the community, but it’s not just that. It’s like bringing my blessings to the community so that I can keep them.”
Seasons is open 2:00 p.m. to dusk, Tuesday-Friday; noon to dusk, Saturday and Sunday; and on Monday, by appointment only, 347-770-5053.