Bob found the plants he sold at the The Tradin’ Post to be much more interesting and profitable than the second-hand items. He formulated the idea to open a nursery and approached Buddy Williams, to see if he wanted to join him in the new venture. Buddy immediately agreed, and they began driving around Northern Virginia looking for the right location to build their dream nursery. One of Bob’s greatest qualities was his ability to see beyond the present and visualize potential. He saw huge potential in a weedy, junk-strewn lot filled with scraggly brush and abandoned, rusty cars that was next to an Exxon gas station at the very busy intersection of Lee Highway and Gallows Road in Merrifield, Virginia. On April 9, 1971, Bob and Buddy opened Merrifield Garden Center with a quaint red barn, a small store and less than an acre of plants.