CRESTVIEW — A stop at Crestview Nurseries on Houston Lane seems to brighten customers’ day.

Niceville resident Pat Jernigan makes it a point to visit at least three times a year.

“I love this place,” she said. “I come here when I need a pick-me-up.”

“This is the only nursery I use,” Crestview resident Linda Scoggins said. “I love their plants. I have been coming here for years.”

Alicia Rivera, who grew up in Crestview, and her daughter, Aaliyah Uhl, visited Crestview Nurseries this week with Alicia’s mother. Alicia and her family, who recently moved back to Crestview from the Seattle area, enjoy the picturesque flowers and plants.

Customers love to stroll through the nursery and browse the selection of perennials, flowering shrubs and trees, container annuals and a varied selection of glazed and terra cotta pottery.

With 10 acres of flowers, plants and shrubbery, and 20 greenhouses, Crestview Nurseries has grown into one of the largest family-owned retail nurseries in Northwest Florida.

How did it all begin?

Tommy and Jeanette Horne started potting azaleas in their backyard in the 1960s. With Tommy’s degree in horticulture from the University of Florida, their love of plants and a vision, the couple opened Crestview Nurseries.

While Tommy worked full-time at Eglin Air Force Base and the couple raised their family, they grew their own plants to ensure the highest level of quality and variety for their customers.

Over the years, Crestview Nurseries, like its plants, grew.

Today, Tommy and Jeanette’s son, Dusty Horne, runs the family business along with two of his siblings.

“I came back after college and I have always worked here,” Dusty Horne said. “I enjoy it. I get to meet a lot of nice people and I get to work outside. Generation after generation of families continue to come through our nurseries.”

Sister Bebe said that being outside working with the plants is her favorite thing about the job.

In the spring, Crestview Nurseries usually has about 10 employees; they have five in the off-season. The Horne siblings work alongside their employees.

The nurseries are divided into sections such as sun-loving plants, shade-loving plants, fruit trees, greenhouses, vegetables, tropical plants and spring color. Crestview Nurseries also sells mulch, bark, compost and dirt in bulk.

Their many years of experience include extensive knowledge about the plants and growing condition conducive to Northwest Florida.

Crestview Nurseries is open Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Planting instructions and a map of the nursery are on the website, Crestviewnurseries.com.