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About Bates Nursery and Garden Center

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About Bates Nursery and Garden Center

As a supplier of quality plant material in middle Tennessee, Bates Nursery & Garden Center provides not only superior plants, but also expertise and selection unmatched in the region. Our inventory is unrivaled.  With our extensive network of suppliers we offer the ultimate experience in horticultural shopping.  Since we sell exclusively container-grown plants, we help our customers meet their landscape needs year-round.

We carry everything from groundcovers to large specimen container trees.  We offer the widest selection of seasonal color with annuals, as well as the most complete selection of perennial plants for year-round enjoyment.  Woody ornamentals for the landscape are available in a vast array; whether you need broadleaf evergreens, deciduous shrubs, or eye-popping conifers we have it all.  Of course we carry everything else you could want: Ornamental grasses, Japanese Maples, Edible (fruiting) landscape plants and topiary plants to compliment any landscape.

An extensive inventory wouldn't mean much without information to back it up.  Here on our website, we offer state-of-the-art information.  Our entire inventory is searchable and is updated daily.  The listings of what is on-hand at Bates are accompanied by the quantity available as well as pricing.  Additional product information is also provided when available so that we can further help you find the perfect plant for the area you are hoping to fill in your landscape.

Since we have been growing plants for generations, we understand the vital nature of growing media.  At Bates Nursery & Garden Center, we sell only EarthMix® brand soils and amendments.  The success our customers experience begins at the ground level. 

Container gardening is a vital part of any landscape.  We carry a great selection of containers for your home, office or apartment.  Container gardening gives everyone an opportunity to exercise their green thumb.

Whether you are a homeowner or a landscape professional, Bates Nursery & Garden Center is here for you.  We look forward to helping you create beauty in your garden!


History of Bates Nursery and Garden Center

In 1932, at the height of the great depression, Bessie Bates embarked on a most visionary and at the time, seemingly dubious quest. She convinced a skeptical Byron Bates that they should mortgage their house for $200.00 in order to buy cinder block, lumber and glass to build a "hot house" to grow plants in.

The fall of 1932 looked grim. Byron was still convinced they would lose everything they owned. "At least we had a home once", he was heard to say. But Bessie persisted. Bessie Bates was so persistent with her love of growing plants and the love of people that the five year mortgage was paid off after the first spring season. Byron Bates was then heard to exclaim, "Look what we have done!"  (He really didn’t have anything to do with it.)

Time passes and the "old home place" at 26th Avenue and Charlotte is outgrown. The family business was moved to Gallatin Road. Bessie Bates, with her two sons, Earl and Wilburn, opened Bates Florist. Earl and Wilburn added landscaping to their floral efforts.  In 1955 they separated the two businesses. Soon afterwards, property is bought on Whites Creek Pike. Earl B. Bates Nursery comes to life.

Through many years of good times and bad, Earl Bates diligently taught the values of character and work ethic to his children, as he had learned from his mother. Today, Bates Nursery and Garden Center exists as a direct result of these values. We gratefully acknowledge the many lessons our founders and personal experience have given to us as we celebrate our 82nd year. We dedicate our efforts to the memories of Bessie M. Bates and Earl B. Bates.

It is with much pride, in their memory we can say "Beautifying Nashville since 1932."


Plant Philosophy at Bates Nursery and Garden Center

My grandmother always said, “If you are going to buy a two dollar plant, dig a ten dollar hole”.  She had a gift of overstatement, but her point is clear; success begins with the soil.  My dad would always refer to planting without amending the soil as, “False economy”.  

It makes little sense to purchase the best plants and not give them the best opportunity to achieve their maximum.  Our plant philosophy must therefore begin at the ground level.  With that in mind, we have taken matters into our own hands…literally, to bring the best soils and amendments to the market.

Years ago I became frustrated with what was being sold in the marketplace.  Many products labeled “Topsoil” and “Potting Soil” are so inept, they will barely grow weeds (I’m not kidding). The biggest problem with bagged products labeled “Topsoil” is that they have NO topsoil in them at all.  That is difficult to understand. Since we have been unable to discern why a product labeled “topsoil” does not contain topsoil, we have taken a decidedly different approach of formulating EarthMix® brand products.    The ineptitudes of many bagged soils provided the impetus to begin our own soil mixes.  As a result, we began our EarthMix® soil products over a decade ago.  Our topsoil products have…you guessed it, real topsoil. 

We have a complete array of EarthMix® products for all landscape applications.  Plants grown in EarthMix® don’t just survive…they thrive!  EarthMix® products have no chemical fertilizers, only natural nutritional sources are ever used.  EarthMix® products are equally at home in the vegetable garden or the landscape.  We’re so confident of the benefits of what EarthMix® give you that we the following commitment: If for any reason, you are ever unhappy with the results you achieve with EarthMix® brand products we will issue you a full credit for product purchased.

Now that you know we are committed to helping you achieve success in gardening, that commitment is furthered by our relationships with our vendors.  We sell the best plants: Period.  We are proud to be a Monrovia Boutique.  We are proud to sell plants grown by: Iseli Nursery, Imperial Nurseries, Bert Hybels, Inc., as well as many other high quality growers.  We offer the greatest array in gardening.  You will not get a better combination of quality plants, friendly professional help, and selection.  We believe these things add up to one thing: Value.

We look forward to helping you successfully grow your garden, no matter what kind of garden you have!


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About Bates Nursery

A third-generation family business rooted in Nashville. Discover the Bates Nursery story.

Frequently Asked Questions

Delivery zones and policies, plant size information, warranties, and more.

EarthMix Garden Products

Organic & sustainable garden soils, composts, and amendments made in Nashville, TN.

Browse Native Plants

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