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Roses aren’t always red: Local hardware store fills parking lot with perfect Mother’s Day gift

By COLLIN BROOKS

Staff Writer

[email protected]

A local business is heading into its 18th year of providing color to the region as Olde Towne Ace Hardware recently began filling its parking lot with a plethora of roses.

David Sell, owner of Olde Towne Ace Hardware, has continued a family tradition that has lasted 18 years.
David Sell, owner of Olde Towne Ace Hardware, has continued a family tradition that has lasted 18 years.

The “Run for the Roses” as owner David Sell calls it, is a culmination of months of growing the flowers from their early stages.

Sell took over the process of potting and taking care of the roses a few years ago from his father, Frank. Since then, Sell and his wife, Vicki, pick out the varieties and plant them in February as bare roots and then they are cared for in a greenhouse until they are ready to make their appearance in front of the store just before Mother’s Day.

It’s a long and tedious process, but one that Sell and his family enjoy.

“From that point on, up until now, we just kind of baby them and take care of them every day,” Sell said.

Seeing all the roses in front of the store has become a much anticipated  annual tradition, according to Sell.

“It’s very popular and it’s kind of our niche that we do this time of year,” Sell said. “We started with a couple hundred and then we kept getting such a strong demand that we kept adding to them.”

Sell said that people come from Greeneville, Kingsport and the surrounding area to buy the roses. Customers will even bring pictures to update Sell and his family on the progress of the roses they bought.

They started with around 750 to 800 roses, Sell said.  There are numerous types of roses too, from climbing to knockouts with a variety of colors.

A bunch of colorful roses align the parking lot at Olde Towne Ace Hardware.
A bunch of colorful roses align the parking lot at Olde Towne Ace Hardware.

Sell said that some of the most popular roses are named after celebrities and new to the bunch this year is one named Miranda Lambert.

But that isn’t the only country celebrity that has a rose named after them.

They also have Dolly Parton roses and a very popular John F. Kennedy rose that is white.