Evie Lynn is moving to greener pastures.
To be precise, she is staking out 55 acres of an old orange grove in Groveland that will be populated with bonsai, bamboo and beefalos.
The beefalos are her husband’s idea after spotting a herd of them on his drive to Groveland. The cows are a cross between domestic cattle and bison.
The couple are the proud owners of a baby beefalo, bringing their herd up to a count of one dozen.
Evie Lynn glowed with pride last week at the news of the calf’s first steps at the Lynns’ new pasture.
But, she was also deep into the details of shutting down Eve’s Garden Inc., after 33 years in Land O’ Lakes — and relocating her enterprise to Groveland.
The retail shop and garden, at 5602 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., are favorites of local gardeners who are looking for bonsai and bamboo plants, and who benefit from the expertise of Lynn and her staff.
But, the business primarily sells wholesale nationwide to gift shops, nurseries and large companies, such as Publix and Walgreens, and to Disney for the Chinese and Japanese pavilions at Epcot.
Eve’s is one of the largest bonsai nurseries in the nation.
On June 10 at 10 a.m., Higgenbotham Auctioneers will auction off about 7 acres of lakefront commercial property at 5602 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.
The site will be sold as two parcels. One is about 2 acres, and fronts U.S. 41. The other is nearly 5 acres, and includes the shop and warehouse. Following the auction of the land, plants and supplies, Koi fish, statues, entrance gates and more also will be auctioned.
A preview of the property, and its inventory, will be held on June 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Currently, Eve’s Garden is offering 30 percent or more off on everything in the nursery.
Investors representing potential hotels, restaurants, and even a day care center have made inquiries, Lynn said.
For many years she has been looking for a larger property that opened up more opportunities for her business.
When she started Eve’s Garden, Land O’ Lakes still had rural appeal. But, Lynn said her property is too valuable for a plant nursery now that development and growth are changing the landscape of Land O’ Lakes.
And, she is ready for a quieter lifestyle.
Lynn grew up in New York. Her interest in bonsai came early when her mother would drop her off at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. At age 8, she would spend hours learning the ancient art of bonsai.
By trimming, shaping and wiring, a plant specimen can become a miniature version of what is found in a natural landscape.
“It’s very relaxing,” Lynn said. “You become one with them. It’s almost like a work of art, but it’s living art.”
Initially, Lynn thought about keeping a small shop open in Land O’ Lakes, but instead she hopes that customers will make the scenic, one-hour drive to Groveland.
She is in early stages of building a garden and gift shop with an Asian theme. A greenhouse and a 25,000-square-foot warehouse and packing plant are new additions to the property.
When she first eyed the site, Lynn said, “It was weeds, and you could barely go through it.”
Long-term, she plans to tap into the growing trend of agritourism that is popular, especially in central Florida.
The customer base is growing, as people seek activities that are farm-based and pastoral.
Within about five miles of Groveland, developers are planning to expand The Villages, a retirement community outside Orlando. About 2,000 new homes will be built.
Lynn is planning ahead to a grand opening of the new Eve’s Garden in Groveland in December.
“We’ll make it a splendid Asian thing,” said Lynn.
Published June 1, 2016