Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
For Fairfield’s Oakwood Nursery co-owner Terri Diers, working with plants and gardens has been a lifelong passion.
“My mother was an avid outdoor person, gardener, birder, naturalist type person,” Diers said. “Every time I looked at a different college, she kept pointing to horticulture. So, I went to school for that.”
Diers said that horticulture can lead to a number of different careers.
“I worked in the greenhouse at college and didn’t really like that,” she said. “I like to be outside and work physically.
“I started with my old little Mercury Comet with a wheelbarrow in the trunk and some gardening tools and went around and found some people who wanted gardening done.”
She and her partner, Terry Klein, started Oakwood Nursery 43 years ago.
“We bought some land and started a garden center in a two-car garage,” Diers said. “That’s what we had our business in for 10 years.”
They decided to build another building, this time with heat and a bathroom.
“We started this with nothing and kept building and building,” Diers said. “Now, it’s a menagerie.”
At their current location, 1000 Oakwood Blvd., Diers and Klein own the railroad right of way, and they lease it to be used as a trail that leads to Jefferson County Park.
“People can walk to the park from this side of town,” Diers said. “It runs right through our nursery, so people walking or on their bikes come across us.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on their business.
“The fruit trees have been really big the last two years because of COVID and people wanting to grow their own fruits and vegetables,” Diers said. “Last spring, we sold truckload after truckload of soil, because people were making raised garden beds to grow their own vegetables.
“When everybody was home and couldn’t be anywhere, the best thing they could do was go out into their yard.”