‘It breaks my heart’: Longtime Adams County nursery shutters greenhouses

Published 2:22 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

NATCHEZ – For the first time in 26 years, Mike Upton isn’t spending his March days in the greenhouse.

“It’s really tearing me up right now not being in there tending plants,” said Upton, who runs his family’s Upton’s Nursery in Kingston. That’s because Upton and his wife, Bebe Ann, made the difficult decision earlier this year to close the greenhouses for the Spring and Summer season.

“I’m kind of in limbo right now,” he said on Friday. “I’m not going to say we’re permanently closed, but I’ve got to take a step back.”

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Financial challenges and the economy have taken their toll on the business for several years, Upton said, adding that he postponed closing the greenhouses for as long as he could because he wanted to continue helping his customers.

“It breaks my heart,” he said. “I was on the phone just now with a customer who was looking for the ferns …”

Upton’s is known throughout the Miss-Lou for the quality of greenhouse plants, and especially ferns, creating a loyal following among gardeners. “I’m really, really thankful for all my faithful customers over the years,” he said.

While Upton said not ordering the plants this season “felt awful,” he is continuing to offer services for trees and shrubs, working with customers via phone for those orders. He can be reached at 601-334-4555.

“I want to be able to keep my foot in the door,” he said.

Meanwhile, Upton said he is leaning on his faith and guidance from God for the next steps for the business and his life during this season. “The Lord has taken care of us so many times in the last few months,” he said.

“Every night when I am on my knees, I just pray for the Lord to guide me where He wants me to be. But, whew, after being in this for so long, it’s hard to let it go.”