Riverside Greenhouses in Farmington will transition ownership over the next couple years. Garrett Reynolds, seen watering mums he raised from seed, will be taking over from his father, Kurt Reynolds. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

FARMINGTON — Over the next year or two, Riverside Greenhouses will transition from Kurt Reynolds to his son, Garrett Reynolds.

“My dad’s not quite done yet,” Garrett said recently. “He plans on expanding while he’s got a little bit left in him, then let me have it in a couple of years.”

The business was for sale for a time.

“It’s nice to keep it in the family. I’m glad it worked out this way,” Garrett said. “It will be a long process. I’ve been here my whole life, always helped out.”

At Riverside Greenhouses in Farmington, Garrett Reynolds shows how poinsettias are pinched back to encourage more color. Garrett will be taking over the business from his father, Kurt Reynolds. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Riverside Greenhouses was founded in 1939. Kurt Reynolds began working at the greenhouses in 1973 when he was 21. After he purchased the business in 1986, he tripled its size.

Garrett Reynolds had been studying finance at Thomas College and was planning to go back.


“I saw an opportunity here, my dad wanted to get done,” Garrett said. “I like it, it really doesn’t feel like work to me. I dropped out of Thomas, am doing this full time.”

Garrett, who lives in Farmington, turns 19 in October.

“I tell kids you don’t always have to go to college, get a degree,” he said. “If you find something you really like, you can make it work.”

Garrett will learn flower arranging over time.

“My dad said that can come later,” he said. “He’s more concerned with the labor part of it.”

The finance part of the business is cool, but he also likes the labor and all aspects of the business.


“We’re starting some new stuff, will be expanding inventory a bit,” Garrett said. “This Christmas we will have Christmas trees for the first time. Next spring we’ll be adding shrubs and trees, that’s a whole other market.

“I’ve started social media pages, we’ve never done that.”

Working in a greenhouse business is a 7-days a week job, it’s definitely a lifestyle, Garrett said.

“I planted the fall mums in May,” he said. “Twice daily, Saturdays and Sundays too, I’ve watered them.”

There’s a lot of management and other business skills behind operating a greenhouse, Garrett said.

“We also sell flowers, do weddings, are a florist,” he said. “There’s a lot more than meets the eye. It’s fun but a lot of work.”


Riverside Greenhouses has 5 greenhouses with only one filled during the winter months, Garrett said.

Propane and oil are used to heat them, Kurt Reynolds said.

“As soon as spring comes, all are filled,” Garrett said. “My dad has said, ‘There will be times when a burner goes out at 3 a.m. A lot of merchandise can die in a couple of hours if you don’t get over here.'”

Poinsettias fill one greenhouse. They were planted about the same time as the mums and pinched back a few weeks ago to encourage more color, Garrett said.

Riverside offers perennials, annual flower and vegetable seedlings, hanging baskets and odds and ends, he said.

“The cut flowers we buy,” Garrett said.


Local flower farmers in the area are becoming a source for those flowers, mom Beth Reynolds said while working on a floral arrangement.

“We’re trying to tap into that resource, buy local,” she said.

“The mums are my favorite, I’ve been fostering them for so long,” Garrett said. “It’s nice to see them sell.”


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