Last Updated on May 23, 2019 by Angela Colonna
Since 1984, Brantley Nurseries has been a family venture as the Klinger brothers carried on their family legacy in horticulture production. This legacy stemmed from Brantley Nurseries’ parent company Garden Arts Nursery, Inc., as established in 1960.
The Klinger family then merged the two companies and over time built the foundation for the nursery to grow into what it is today.
“We are passionate about family and business,” said John Klinger, owner and operator of Brantley Nurseries. “I grew up in the business and it is what I know.”
The Klinger brothers are Bill, John and PJ. Each brother has their own role and area of expertise.
PJ is now retired but is the nursery’s honorary plant expert, helping develop new plant cultivars and even was inducted into the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association Hall of Fame.
Bill runs the administration and sales team while John and Dan manage the day-to-day functions of the nursery outside of the office.
Brantley Nurseries initially focused on commercial landscape industry with cold hardy varieties but evolved its product line of over 250 plant varieties to meet market demands.
Now, the nursery works with garden centers and rewholesale nurseries in the Southeast to sell shrubs, annuals, perennials, ground covers, azaleas, trees, palms, tropicals and ornamental grasses. In general, Brantley Nurseries products are shipped to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama and Mississippi.
Klinger noticed there is also an uptick in demand for native plants for Florida clients, but shrubs continue to be popular among all clients, in and out of state.
“Our plants with lots of colors always do well depending the buyer’s taste that season,” said Klinger.
Brantley Nurseries has three locations in Central Florida: 135 acres in Sumter County at their Center Hill nursery, 25 acres in Winter Garden and 45 acres at their Bushnell location, the newest production area.
In Winter Garden, a section of the property with oak trees is even utilized as a shade house to cool off plants in addition to aesthetic value.
“Oak trees grow perfect plants; they are nature’s shade house,” said Klinger. “Over time, we plan on planting a few more to protect our plants.”