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It was in the mid-70’s while running a lawn maintenance business and our customers were in need of plants that we decided to grow our own. In 1976, Robert & Lynette Davenport, started Davenport Nursery in our backyard using 1 gallon food cans from the stockade to pot the plants in. With a loan of $1000 (from Robert’s mother) we were able to purchase our first plants.
We later opened a retail nursery that grew and sold hanging baskets and landscape material. Lynette worked at the retail nursery and did the rooting of cuttings and continued to do propagation until 1999.
Our three kids Angie, Greg, and Jeff worked weekends, after school, and summers doing lawn maintenance and working in the nursery. Through the years the talk of the town was that Lynette did all the work and cuttings while Robert rode around in his truck!
In 1982 we hired our first full time employee, Mr. John Ward, to help on our 10-acre nursery off of Lake Trafford Road in Immokalee. In 1986 and 1988 Greg and Jeff became full time employees, and in 1988 we expanded the nursery with two locations in Naples, a wholesale nursery on Airport Road and a production nursery on Collier Blvd.
We expanded again in 1991 with a larger production nursery on Immokalee Road. During this time Sam Kennedy and Patty Martinez became full time employees. In 2007 two of our grandsons, Spencer and Hunter, began working summers at the Immokalee Road location. In 2009 Greg ventured out and started his own company Container Grown and that same year Spencer became a full time employee.
Two of our granddaughters, Miranda and Callie, started in 2010 doing propagation after school and during the summers. Even today Jeff has started teaching our youngest two grandsons (Diesel-6 & Slyder-5) how to pot up plants and work in the nursery.
Davenport’s Nursery has moved out of the backyard planting in 1-gallon ‘food’ cans to 200-gallon containers! Even though we’ve had struggles along the way, we continue to move forward with God’s help.