Like a wisteria runner, Urban Earth
garden center has sprung up just down the street from its parent company, Greg Touliatos & Associates Inc.
The longtime landscaping firm has put its mark on the new business, located at 80 Flicker St., so well that the former Orion Credit Union that it once housed is barely recognizable. The building and land were purchased by Touliatos for $260,000 in 2012.
The Touliatos name is synonymous with landscaping in Memphis. Many will recall the bucolic Trees by Touliatos garden center, begun by Greg’s father, Plato, that once called Airways and Brooks Rd. home.
Urban Earth is an oasis among utilitarian buildings that are home to the Board of Education, fire department training and city police services. "There’s nothing like it in Midtown," said Sarah Terry, master gardener and store manager for Urban Earth. Intended to serve the Midtown area and East Memphis, she has been pleasantly surprised by customers from as far away as Germantown and Collierville already.
And what those customers will find inside its gates are fountains and art, stone patios with shaded areas and all manner of trees, shrubs and flowers. There are three spacious greenhouses on site. The store itself is stocked with tools for the trade, unique décor, bird feeders and gift items.
"We’re the only place in town that carries the Dr. Earth
line of organic fertilizers and soils, insect sprays, weed killers, and if you want a box of bat guano, we’ve got that," Terry said.
Bulk items such as mulch, dirt and stone are available as well, and there are plans to add koi fish and chickens. A large room in the back of the store will be used as a classroom to teach gardening tips to novice and experienced gardeners alike.
Urban Earth currently has four employees and will add more as needed seasonally.
By Richard J. Alley