MIDLOTHIAN — Hidden behind a history of an old farmstead, Rigby’s Garden Center is now growing into the hearts and on the front lawns of the Midlothian community.
“I’ve been doing landscaping for 12 years, so I needed a retail facility,” began Scotty Rigsby, owner of Rigsby’s Garden Center and Silverado Lawn and Landscaping. “We bought the property because the house was so amazing with being almost 100 years old and original, and still in decent shape.”
Built in 1920, the Midlothian Chamber of Commerce met in the newly refurbished 1,100 square foot home, welcoming Rigsby’s membership to the business community on June 7.
“Rigby’s Garden Center and Silverado Lawn and Landscaping are my two businesses,” Rigsby explained of the production format. “So Silverado has grown to the point where I needed a retail location. Mostly, it was meant for an invoice for the landscape business, but then it just grew into the nursery and the gift shop.”
“I like to use a lot of local artists,” he added to the list of products found within the shop. “The photographer of the photos is Ryan Varner, and he’s the city secretary’s husband, a lady that goes to church with my mom and dad makes all the iron work, and a local fireman he made my display case. I like to use local people when I can.”
Although the center produces fine shrubbery and vintage collectibles, the local merchandise isn’t the only thing that’s making this facility a “getaway garden,” as that is found in its deeply rooted history.
“We started working on the property about a year ago, and it was totally overgrown,” Rigsby told of the renovation process. “It’s 17 acres of land that bisects the Waxahachie Creek, so I have about eight acres on this side of the creek and eight acres on the far side, where there’s a 150-year-old well with a windmill on top of it and an underground spring.”
In addition to the well, the almost 100-year-old home had a few secrets of its own.
“When we started taking out interior walls, we found exterior walls, and we were like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ We guessed that they added one room at a time throughout the years and that’s when we found what they used for insulation,” Rigsby acknowledged.
“When we started taking the sheetrock off, the wallpaper we found was in between the sheetrock and the shiplap back 100 years ago. They used wallpaper and newspapers to keep the wind from blowing through the house. So we saved some of it and the thing is, they didn’t put it up with glue, they put it up with nails, and there were thousands of nails,” he laughed.
Restoring what could be salvaged, Rigsby conveyed that he kept as much of the charming characteristics of the original home as possible, even down to the paint color.
“One of the neighbors that grew up here said, ‘Oh, you’re painting it, I remember that same color from years ago,’” Rigsby recalled. “So we have original shiplap walls, kneeboard ceiling, hardwood floors, and a fireplace flew for what used to be a wood burning stove — but we totally had to remodel the guts of it all.”
And as all improvements go, Rigsby added a few things of his own to bring the home into the 21st century.
“It didn’t have heating and air, so I added brand new electrical, plumbing, and the deck all the way around. We also built a trail all the way through the front side and the backside of the property, so eventually it’ll be an arboretum,” Rigsby noted.
“We want to make this place a destination area for the community. We’re planning all kinds of things like weddings, wine tastings, and all kinds of stuff,” he added.
As Rigsby’s Garden Center thrives with potential, Rigsby invites the community to stop and smell the flowers.
“The community is still finding out about us, and so far everybody who comes out here really loves it,” Rigsby finished.
Rigsby’s Garden Center is located at 3080 Shady Grove Road, Midlothian. For more information, call (214) 477-4983 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer