Second Time Around Gardens:
Bringing Magic Back to the Family Farm
On 43-acres of land in Greenville sits a farm with much more than just evergreen trees and plants. The West Methodist Road property is home to the rich history of the Savchuk family, and Patsy Savchuk is honored to bring some of that back to life through her business, Second Time Around Gardens.
The Story of the Savchuk farm begins with the late Theodore ‘Ted’ Savchuk and his wife, Violet. The couple had three children: Karen, Jeff and Jim, and owned family land that Ted bough from his mother.
With a successful career as a senior manager for the JC Penny company for years, retirement proved to offer a different form of retail for the Greenville natives - one in the Christmas tree industry.
Retirement kept Ted busy as he and Violet tended to the land on their property, known as Lazy S Tree Farm. Ted spent his days caring for each and every tree, from planting to pruning in preparation of the Christmas tree season, while Violet and Karen worked on crafts and antiques to sell.
The family operated the tree farm until Violet died of cancer in May 1998. After her passing, Ted closed the business. “Ted lived on the land in the house, and everything was shut down. The trees became overgrown, but he stayed on the farm until he died in December 2013,” Patsy said.
After Ted’s passing, his son Jeff and wife Patsy decided to move onto the family land. The couple had already lived in Greenville and the Savchuk siblings agreed that continuing the legacy on the farm was best.
“We moved into the house around Memorial Day 2014,” she said.
The couple talked about reviving the property to what it once was in its tree farm days, but after moving in, Patsy and Jeff were given news that changed their entire plan. “In June  we found out that Jeff had lung cancer,” Patsy said.
Prior to Jeff’s diagnosis, Patsy served as the Director of Operations for Perkins restaurants. “I did that for 37 years, but when Jeff got sick I decided to step down. At that point in time, all that mattered was Jeff. I was luck that we had eight great weeks together.” In September 2014, Jeff succumbed to his cancer.
“I had never planned anything like this before,” she said. “Jeff and I gardened together and I used to joke about being a perennial gardener after retirement. Little did I know…”
In November 2014, Patsy jumped into making visions a reality through her first business venture - crafting live wreaths from the overgrown trees. It was official - Second Time Around Gardens was born. “We decided on Second Time Around because we are a second time around Christmas tree farm.”
“I talked with my son and we decided to start selling shrubs, trees and flowers. We learned that there’s a lot that goes into the nursery business. People bought our products and by the summertime we bought a hoop house to add more trees, plants, hanging baskets and annuals,” she added.
2015 kept Patsy on the learning curve, constantly researching different plant types and properties, as well as how to maintain them. And as she continued to bring life back into the old farm, her late husband’s siblings were reminded of the joys of Lazy S. “My sister-in-law and brother-in-law both say that they are so happy to see the farm alive again,” Patsy said. “They have been so supportive of me. When Jeff and I first moved here and even after he passed, I wanted to stay here because I just felt like I belonged here.”
Day-to-day, Patsy works hard to care for her plants and keep them in the best shape for her customers, just like Ted did. Each season provides a different focus and she and her team strive for a new goal. Last year, opportunities to use Second Time Around Garden's’ products for school fundraisers proved to be a success. “Last fall we added a greenhouse to the farm. With the greenhouse, we were able to start more plants and expand our products. It also gave us the opportunity to do a fundraiser of hanging baskets and vegetables for students at the school. What that did for us was, 100 customers visited and 90 said that they didn’t even know we are out here,” she said. “Then in the winter, a lady was in [the shop] and asked about a poinsettia and wreath fundraiser, so that was the second opportunity. I made round and candy cane wreaths and swags.”
Made from white pine, cedar and Fraser fir, each live product receives extra care when created by Patsy and her team. “I cut everything fresh as I go, so I have a lot of special orders,” she said.
After she attaches the sprigs to the wreath, Patsy then jazzes it up with ribbon, decorations and more to create a stunning piece for her customer. She allows her creative eye to take lead, often decorating as she goes. “Being crafty is something that I didn’t know I could do,” Patsy said, smiling. “I just keep trying things and I go with it. I don’t always know how it will turn out, but that’s what is fun - you never really know what is going to sell.”
Second Time Around Gardens has a slew of products for each season and closes during peak winter months - January to March. But, even when Patsy’s nursery products change, her gift shop is consistent to provide everyday products like local honey, goat’s milk soap, candles, succulents, air plants and more.
When she looks at the success of Second Time Around Gardens, she credits her family (sons Jeff Jr. and Ethan, her parents and Jeff’s siblings) for support and her customers for their repeat patronage. “When customers come back to visit and bring their friends, it is a really good feeling,” she said.
As a self-taught gardener living out the legacy of her family’s land, Patsy is grateful to have the opportunity to do something that she has grown to love.