By Anna-Marie Menhenott
FORT PIERCE -- Ricky Ebner has grown up in the gardening world. Since he was a young boy, he would go to work with his parents, Ric and Denise, and learn how to properly take care of plants, flowers and trees.
Although he's graduated from school, tried different professions, his love of gardening, and his obvious green thumb, have brought him back to the family business.
"We've been here for 32 years," Mrs. Ebner said. "My husband, Ric, was a grower and Ricky has taken that skill and expanded it with germinating and cutting."
The large property has been a constant on U.S 1, with lots of other businesses coming and going around them.
"We are just the little guy compared to other larger stores that have garden departments," Ricky Ebner said. "But, we are homegrown. We are the ones who know the area and know how to properly grow plants, flowers and trees. We can answer all of a customer's questions, help them solve their gardening problems and in the end we have a customer for life," he said.
The premises, four acres total, is full of palm trees, fruit trees, shrubbery, too many plants to name, and one of Ricky's specialties; roses.
"Ricky has been learning the art of growing roses for what seems forever," said Mrs. Ebner. "He used to do his science fair projects on some aspect of gardening or another. Now he uses the knowledge he gained doing the experiments to grow better products."
The younger Mr. Ebner must get his quest for experimentation from his father. The elder Mr. Ebner created a fertilizer that is sold on the premises that can be used for every plant available except orchids. The fertilizer is sworn by and is used to produce all of the plants available at the gardening center.
"Raising a plant is like raising a child," the younger Ebner said. "You pour love and time into a tiny seedling and watch as it matures into something beautiful. It's something to be really proud of. We're proud of everything we do here."
Mr. Ebner has created a children's area that can accommodate children from summer camps and schools. The children interact and learn some of the many aspects of growing plants. There is a butterfly garden and an area where gardening engages all five senses of the children.
The quality of each product at Ric's Garden World is what sets them apart. It's obvious that gardening is in the Ebner's blood and they are passionate about every aspect of it. The tender loving care given the plants is noticeable in each of the final products.
Ricky is continuing the family tradition of friendly service and quality products. If you're in the area and are looking for gardening advice, want to spruce up your yard or want to start growing your own vegetables, start your quest at Ric's Garden World.
Ric's is located at 3135 South U.S. 1 in Fort Pierce. For more information, call (772) 465-2224.