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The Jonathan Green Family Saga

The story of a man named Jonathan Green began before the middle of the last century in the North of England. Born in December of 1836 in the small Yorkshire village of Kirkby-Malham, Jonathan Green was first employed as a gardener. At the age of 43 Jonathan Green, who had recently been widowed moved his five children to the small industrial town of Chorley in Lancashire. Here he began a new life and a new business; one not centered on the manufacturing trades, but on growing turfgrass.

During these years, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, one of the few sources of recreation available to working men was bowling on the green. Just about every town had its bowling green on the town square. Men formed bowling clubs and during the long spring and summer evenings would enjoy this form of recreation.


It is doubtful whether anyone today can truly comprehend life, as it was lived, in the last half of the nineteenth century in northern Europe. It was the sum of old cities with great factories, melancholy rows of red brick houses, people awakening to the sounds of factory whistles and clogs on the cobblestones. It was against this gray industrial background that the young widower began a career destined to restore some natural beauty into people's lives.


Jonathan Green experimented with different grasses and combinations of “grass families” in an attempt to improve the quality of bowling green turf, eventually constructing greens in towns all over the north of England. Eventually Jonathan Green’s sons joined him in the family business. In 1907 Jonathan Green’s youngest son Hubert sailed for America taking with him many years of turfgrass experience learned working side by side with Jonathan Green. A few years later in 1912 Jack Green also set sail for America.


In the five generations which have passed since Jonathan Green began experimenting with turfgrass varieties and grass seed mixtures, the family business was run by Jack Green, then his son Barry.


Today, Jonathan Green’s great-great-grandson Barry II and his brother-in-law Todd Pretz remain committed to producing and providing superior lawn and garden products to other independent family businesses. In more recent times, Jonathan Green Inc. has also committed the company to an organic approach to lawn and garden care. The ultimate goal of organic lawn and garden care programs is to improve the soil, making it more hospitable for lawn grass plants and garden vegetables and flowers.


In the words of our founder, Jonathan Green, “There is nothing lovelier on this planet than a flower, nor more essential than a plant. Without green plants, we would neither breathe, nor eat, nor know true beauty.”


It has been a long road from the founder’s vision to the diverse modern company of today. At Jonathan Green, however, we remember our history. No matter how large the company may become we will remember that character, determination and zeal sustained our founders from the earliest days. These virtues are no less valuable as we look forward to the challenges of the twenty-first century.