Pine Forest Florist is closing its Glennville doors after 45 years in business.
Judy Blanton opened Pine Forest on June 29, 1977, on downtown Barnard Street where the present Glennville H&R Block office is located now, with the rent just $100 a month, paid to owner Mary Moore. Within two to three years of opening the business, which originally only specialized in plants, she and her husband, Jody, moved the business to an older house at 111 N. Veterans Drive (next to Kicklighter Realty), which Marcus Stanfield owned and had been planning to remodel for two apartments.
“I recall that I had to take a two-week course in Savannah to earn my Floral Design Certificate, which allowed me to arrange fresh flowers and make corsages. I remember that Vickie Blanton Kersey, Lynna Hilliard, and Janis McCurdy were in the class, too,” she said.
“We rented the old house for $250 per month, and then the rent was increased to $350 per month, but it never went over that. When Mr. Stanfield died, his grandson, Joey Stanfield, in 1998-99 sold us the building and the .49 of an acre for $50,000,” Judy said. “In 2012, we sold the building to Rod Kirkland for $1,000, and he moved it by a pond near Sammy Kirkland’s house off Albert Rahn Road. We built the new building in 2012, and I continued to work there until December 2015, when my husband, Jody, became so ill that I needed to be with him. Our daughter, Amy Lands purchased the florist in December of 2015. However, I officially retired after Jody passed away but I did come back last Valentine’s Day to help her.
“Over the years, we have provided flowers and plants for weddings and hundreds of funerals, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events in people’s lives. We also sold fully decorated Christmas trees and even went in people’s homes and decorated them for Christmas,” she said.
They added yard art to their inventory in 2006, actually starting with Judy’s own yard, which to this day is festively adorned each Christmas season.
“When Jody was alive, even though he worked at Rayonier in Jesup until the decline of his health in 2008, he would take a lot of our deliveries for us. He also did a lot of landscaping, and he credits a course taken in Tifton and the help of County Extension Director Max Smith for teaching him so much about landscaping and plants,” Judy said. “We have had some really good and faithful employees during the years, such as Mark Burke, who died from COVID in 2021.
Amy is married to Derek Lands from Claxton, Georgia. Amy’s son, Dawson Cromer, age 15 and a tenth grader at Tattnall County High School, recently opened his own balloon business, called D & M Balloons. Amy’s daughter, Caitlyn Crispell, is a registered nurse at Optim in Reidsville; Caitylyn and her husband, Christian Crispell, have a 22-month-old son, Rhett.