Fear not, Lewis County gardeners.
Dirty Thumb Nursery may have sold, but its founders firmly believe their successors are ready to take over and, eventually, expand the business to new heights.
After running the nursery — marked by the iconic red barn welcoming westward drivers into Adna — since 1989, founders Connie and Spencer Davis sold the spot to Jena and Kyle Aselton, of Chehalis, in October.
The business is set to reopen for the season on April 1, with a “Rose and Refreshments Ribbon-Cutting'' scheduled for March 28 from noon to 2 p.m., where roses will be sold at a special price. Since the purchase, the Davis duo has trained the Aseltons in all the toils and spoils of the nursery life, seeking a smooth passing of the torch for their customers.
But perhaps more powerful than all the knowledge shared between them, the two couples have become friends.
“We keep finding all these funny parallels,” Jena Aselton said of the quartet’s relationship.
Jena and Kyle Aselton are the same ages Connie and Spencer Davis were in 1989. Both Spencer Davis and Kyle Aselton played baseball — the latter, a W.F. West High School product, was drafted by the Twins in 2004. And, both Connie Davis and Jena Aselton knew “nothing” about the nursery business when they first got their starts.
Jena and Kyle Asleton recall seeing the nursery for sale and daydreaming of the life they could build there, but thought their lack of knowledge would make it impossible. Connie Davis’ assurance that she was once in the same boat, they said, allowed them to consider the purchase seriously.
“She’s just this well of information,” Jena Aselton said. “She gave us the courage to pull the trigger.”
Jena and Kyle Aselton’s excitement for the future of their business is unmistakable. So, too, is Spencer Davis’ relief that someone is taking his place. With a laugh, he said, “I’m done. My body says I’m done.” He also wanted to give a “healthy shoutout” to realtor Heather Stewart, who managed the business’ sale.
Spencer and Connie Davis will stick around for the next two years to continue helping and teaching the Aseltons. Eventually, they hope to move.
“I’m very excited about seeing which new ways they’ll go,” Spencer Davis said. “They were gracious enough to leave the name.”
To this, Jena Aselton guffawed, “Gracious? We were honored. It was well-known and a reputable business.”
As seasons continue, the Aseltons hope to add landscaping services, a pumpkin patch, cut flowers and lawn ornaments to Dirty Thumb’s lineup. Eventually, they may expand sales of trees and shrubs, and possibly add vegetables. For now, though, they’ll focus on getting the classic flowers right.
“There’s too many directions to go down,” Jena Aselton said. “I’d love to sell fresh produce in the barn. Kyle wants to put a beer garden out here. There’s so many things, but we’ll see how it evolves.”
To learn more, check out https://dirtythumbnursery.com. Jena and Kyle Aselton will have the business open every day of the week from 9 a.m. until 5 or 6 p.m. from April 1 until Halloween.
Dirty Thumb Nursery, across the field from Adna High School, is located at 1580 state Route 6, Chehalis.