The Business Though three large garden centers have moved into the area, none has taken root in the remote little town where this retail nursery and garden center has flourished for 48 years. Business blooms seasonally; half the annual revenues are raked in from Apri l through July, and staffing and hours of operation fluctuate accordingly. Sales of plants and flowers account for 55% of the green stuff, and landscaping for 38%. A house, a retail-store-and-office building, three greenhouses, outbuildings, inventory, trucks, tractors, and five acres of land make up this package. The current owners are ready for an easier row to hoe.

Financial Summary 1993 1994 1995*Gross revenues $479,000 $484,500 $548,400Recast earnings before $59,346 $73,309 $63,583 depreciation, interest, taxes, and owner compensation *projected

Price $1 million (seller financing possible)

Outlook The $12-billion nursery and greenhouse industry is springing back from the recession as the fastest-growing agricultural sector. The roughly 12,000 to 15,000 full-service garden centers that have sprouted nationwide count on baby boomers to fertilize sal es when they upgrade their property or move. This center specializes in the unusual, and the status-conscious citizenry in its neighborhood have plenty of disposable income. The sellers have neglected their advertising, leaving certain segments of the bu siness to lie fallow. A new owner could plant the seeds of interest with promotions that would nourish floral sales.

Price rationale The terms are flexible, and the price is pretty close to the fair market value of the inventory ($100,000), equipment ($130,000), and real estate and buildings ($800,000). Experts consider the price to be inflated, however, because of the real estate's i nclusion in the deal. Consider buying the business assets for less than $200,000, then leasing the land from the sellers.

Pros Exercise, fresh air, sunshine, and beautiful sights and smells; no commute; and business has been good.

Cons You'll be monitoring the weather for the rest of your life, and although the busy times are very busy, the slow times are v-e-r-y s-l-o-w. -- Robina A. Gangemi

Inc. has no stake in the sale of the business featured. The magazine cannot confirm the accuracy of financial or other information offered by the seller. Inquiries should be directed to the Burbank Group at 508-791-5600. n