Struggles to find an affordable place to relocate is leading a longtime Manchaca-area nursery to close its doors for good.
It’s About Thyme, located off of Manchaca Road near the Hays County and Travis County lines, announced plans to close the nursery this summer, ending nearly 39 years of service to the area.
The nursery, co-owned by Chris and Diane Winslow, began as a business in 1979, and grew from a small vendor of specialty herbs into a fully-stocked garden center.
After losing the business’ lease two years ago, the Winslows explored relocation to the nearby Marbridge Foundation in Hays County. Marbridge is a place where Chris Winslow began his career in horticulture. But plans fell apart and with nowhere viable to move to, Diane and Chris Winslow have decided to close down their family business in the middle of this summer.
The nursery, which has seen a steady rise in profits in the past five years, has 4 full-time employees, 3 seasonal workers, and a weekly gardening newsletter that reaches 3,200 readers.
“Another iconic Austin business bites the dust because of the Austin condo craze,’ said Chris Winslow in a statement.
Diane Winslow started the nursery in 1979 from a tiny greenhouse attached to her house on Alpine Street by St. Edward’s University. In 1985 she moved her small business to FM 1626 behind the Railroad Barbeque in Manchaca and built two greenhouses. Again she outgrew the property, and in 1993 moved to the nursery’s current location.
But Diane Winslow is concerned about the level of development in the Austin area. She cites the two previous lcoations for It’s About Thyme, which have since been demolished for new development.
“Everywhere I’ve gone, they tear it down,” she said.
For the past two years the business has been in limbo, as different options presented themselves.
“It has evolved into acceptance, but I struggled with the separation anxiety for the last two years, and I have to accept it,” Diane Winslow said.
A highlight for Diane has been watching the nursery grow “from something small into a fairly big deal.”
“Our goal has always been to help gardeners create the vegetable patch or backyard landscape of their dreams,” said Chris Winslow.