LANDSTOWN — Some years ago, one of Fred Jordan’s sons came home with a Cub Scouts project. He had to build a birdhouse. Build they did.
“The next thing you know, we had 30 birdhouses in the house,” Jordan said.
Borrowing in part from Jordan’s skill as a train enthusiast who creates detailed, small buildings, they were more than your average birdhouse. A neighbor came over and offered $60 for one.
“I thought he was crazy, but I still sold it to him,” Jordan said.
There was something there.
So Jordan said his family went around selling the houses out of his truck at craft shows and the Virginia Beach Farmers Market.
“We went all kinds of places selling birdhouses, which was good, but I got tired of loading up the truck every Saturday,” he said.
The business began as The Nesting Box in 2001. It focused on the birdhouses and bird supplies.
Jordan noticed that some businesses sold hanging baskets, but they did not sell other items that went with the plants. That led to The Garden Box about eight years later, and ultimately the two stores were combined here.
The Garden Box, in addition to plants and classes, is known for container gardening and custom gardening beds from four to 360 square feet.
Fred Jordan and his wife, Linda Jordan, are the owners, and they are assisted by Joanie McGuiness, a clerk who also helps design gardens for customers.
“I’ve got the greatest designer on staff,” Fred Jordan said.
Both of the Jordans are retired Navy chiefs, and Fred Jordan, who served as a personnelman, still works as a government manpower analyst.
“If you’d known me 20 years ago, you never would have thought I would open a bird shop or a garden shop,” Fred Jordan said. “You would have thought it would be a train shop or a hobby shop.”
That said, he enjoys the work.
“It’s a happy store,” he said. “If you come in here, you come because you want to.”
And an element of the work is tackling challenges, the sort of thing a chief does well.
“You get to talk to people, and help them solve their problems,” Jordan said.
The Garden Box is located at the Virginia Beach Farmers Market, 3640 Dam Neck Road, Suite 814. Reach the business at (757) 368-0791 or visit it online via thegardenbox.net.
© 2016 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC