Waikanae's well-known Gus Evans Nurseries is closing down soon after more than three decades in business.
Owners Gus and Glenys Evans feel the time is right to retire so have put their nursery land on the market.
"Running the nursery is a six and a half day a week operation for both of us," Gus said.
"It has been like that for 30-odd years.
"So it's time for a bit of a break."
The seed for Gus' love of horticulture, and the thriving plant business he would later create, started to germinate when he was a boy growing up in Silverstream.
"Our grandfather Frank Humphrey, from World War 1, lived with our family and he had a great love of gardening.
"And my mother Zita Evans was a very good gardener as well."
The passion became a career when he worked at Todd Motors, in Porirua, as the head gardener for 17 years.
After taking voluntary redundancy, and having a tidy sum in his pocket, Gus ventured to Waikanae on a wet Saturday afternoon in November 1983 and told a land agent he was looking for a piece of land.
"He showed me this land [in Utauta St] which was almost an acre.
"It was overgrown and you couldn't see from one end to the other.
"I thought 'this is it' and then we found it had a house that went with it too."
A bulldozer "flattened the site completely" before the nursery started to evolve.
To earn enough income Gus contracted his gardening skills to the Horowhenua District Council as well as Carol and Phil's garden centre in Rata Rd, Raumati Beach.
As the money came in, they were able to build tunnel houses, increase the propagation and more.
But then a friend came along and gave them some honest advice — they were doing everything but nothing properly — prompting Gus to work at the nursery fulltime.
And then, as the nursery started to grow, the friend had some final advice — the nursery couldn't grow bigger, but could get better.
It made perfect sense especially because the nursery had a boundary and couldn't spread further.
Over the years the nursery, focusing on quality, would go from strength to strength to become what it is today.
"We would easily get through 150,000 plants and bags annually and might have a quarter of a million plants in tubes at any one time," Gus said.
It hasn't always been a smooth ride though and sometimes akin to a roller coaster.
"There was a time when it was touch and go," he said.
"A car pulled up on a wet day when we were having lunch.
"The driver was from Palmerston North City Council and he said 'I need quite a few plants — I'll have all those, all of those, all of those' and we were back."
The couple have been generous to the people and organisations too.
"Some days we give away more plants than we sell," Glenys said.
The main highlight had been meeting customers with many becoming friends.
"The people have been fantastic and that's probably the main thing we will miss," Gus said.
"In all these years we haven't really had one bad customer.
"The great thing about it is they have this great love of plants so we're bonded the minute they walk down the drive.
"They love plants, love to share, and you learn something new every day."
Being part of the International Plant Propagators Society had been another highlight.
"It's an international group of like-minded horticulturists and we've travelled the world with them going to conferences and field trips," Glenys said.
"That has been a huge plus.
"The New Zealand region of the society is one of the strongest in the world and an amazing group of people who will be friends forever."
Gus added: "The society's motto is to seek and share so I knowingly can't hold back a secret if you ask me."
The couple will close their nursery once the land has sold but have no fixed plans on what they'll do next.
"Just all the things you can't do when you're working six days a week," Glenys said.