The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 13, 2012

Rising from the ashes: Greenhouse gets new start

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Greenhouse owner Connie Smith understands a life spent growing plants is not an ordinary life.

That’s why she wanted to help another greenhouse owner whose specialty cactus business was wiped out by arson in July.

Virgil and Naoma Nimrod have had a greenhouse and cactus collection since 1972. Their business in Covington, Midwest Cactus Co., was Oklahoma’s largest cactus greenhouse. The Nimrods grew foliage plants, too.

Smith’s own business, Plants-A-Plenty, has occupied the time of three generations of her family. Her father began the business when she was a teenager, then she and her husband, Bill Smith, took over in 1980, and her children also work in the business.

Smith’s father also had a special love for cacti. Her favorite photo of her father is one where he’s holding up a Teddy Bear cactus and grinning.

Smith has purchased cacti from Nimrod in the past, and she understands his love of plants.

On Friday, she gave several plants to him to help him in the rebuilding process.

“Her generosity is gratefully appreciated,” Naoma Nimrod said.

Others have also given cacti to help in rebuilding the collection, Naoma Nimrod said.

Covington Fire Chief Cory Rink said the state Fire Marshal’s Office still is investigating three arson incidents that occurred in July, including the fire at the Midwest Cactus greenhouses.