By Michelle Cassell
The community is losing one of its oldest, most treasured businesses.
After 32 years, Niche Gardens, an oasis of botanical plants and native flowers, is gone, closed for good.
Located eight miles west of Chapel Hill and surrounded by gently rolling hills and dairy farms, Niche Gardens permanently shut its doors on Oct. 18.
“We are closing for a variety of personal and financial reasons and we’ll be hanging up our clippers and shutting our deer gates for the last time,” the business’ Facebook page explained.
The Niche Gardens web site now reads, “Thank you to all the customers and staff who made Niche Gardens possible for 32 years. This website will remain up for informational purposes, but the shopping cart has been disabled.”
The Local Reporter was unable to contact the owners for additional comment at this time.
Many who frequented Niche Gardens were stunned by the news.
Elizabeth Ellison, an artist who painted the Niche Gardens catalogue covers every year, said, “I didn’t even know it was closed until I saw their website.”
On the Facebook page, customers shared their thoughts. Niche Gardens was “a resource to be missed by all who shopped and visited there,” wrote Donna. “So sorry to hear. The best plants anywhere,” Bonnie said.
Locals and tourists often visited Niche Gardens for the beauty and ambiance it offered as a day-trip destination, with its display gardens and artwork featuring local artists and craftsmen, always open for strolling.
Niche Gardens was a mail-order and retail nursery, specializing in nursery-propagated wildflowers and natives, perennials, ornamental grasses and some unusual trees and shrubs. They also grew a wide variety of native plants, such as black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, native azaleas, asters, roses, burgundy cross vines and many others. The display gardens included sun and shade areas, wet and dry beds, a bog, a traditional medicine wheel bed and a native meadow area among much else.
The property address, 1111 Dawson Road, is listed for sale, according to their Facebook page. However, no realtor or price is posted. According to the site, all details will be given to individuals by prior arrangement only. Those interested should contact Blair Durant (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.