Clark County Scarff Nursery sold to Franklin-based turf supplier

Scarff s Nursery in New Carlisle has been sold after 130 years in the same family. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Scarff s Nursery in New Carlisle has been sold after 130 years in the same family. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

A western Clark County nursery that has been owned by the same family for six generations has been sold to a turf supplier based in Franklin.

The acquisition was completed in the end of May with ownership of Scarff’s Nursery, which operates 540 acres of property just south of New Carlisle, being transferred to Henderson Turf Farm. The sale covered the entire operation of Scarff’s, which grows trees, shrubs and evergreens for wholesale as well as offers landscaping services.

Neither party disclosed the amount of the transaction. The address of the nursery, 411 N. Dayton Lakeview Road, and associated land parcels were listed as being sold for a total of $2,136,500, according to the Clark County Auditor’s office.

Scarff’s nursery has operated in some capacity since 1889 and has been owned by the Scarff family since its inception. However, the decision to sell the business came after the death of Peter Scarff, who operated it until his passing from cancer last year.

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His sister Carrie Scarff said that following her brother’s passing the family decided that selling the business would be the best decision.

“It was very tough. All of us grew up on the nursery. It is not a business that happens over there. We all lived it our entire lives. My brother loved it dearly,” Carrie Scarff said.

“To have to make that decision was extremely difficult. But we knew it was the right decision and everyone was in agreement that it was what we needed to do,” she added.

Henderson Turf Farm first approached the Scarff family last fall looking to either lease or purchase land to grow sod.

Scott Cline, the president of Henderson Turf, said that the family expressed interest in not only selling the land but the business as well. He said that Henderson Turf has seen an increase in sales over the last few years and was looking to expand.

General operations of Scarff’s Nursery will remain relatively the same and will still operate under the same name for the time being, said Cline. A portion of the land will be used to grow sod and more technology is expected to be added to Clark County operation, he added.

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“They will still offer the same type of quality service and plant selections right now. The biggest change is that we are a pretty tech savvy company with the use of automation and software,” Cline added.

The Scarff family as well as their business is known for its involvement in the community, including a small portion of the land being used as a community garden. Cline said that Henderson Turf will continue to honor that arrangement.

“We couldn’t ask for a better arrangement and sale,”said Carrie’s father William Scarff Sr.

Cline said that the previous employees of Scarff Nursery were transferred over with the acquisition and that there is a total of 32 employees including some added by Henderson Turf. He said they hope to have over 50 employees at that site in the next two to three years.

Henderson Turf has been in business for about 60 years and prior to the acquisition of Scarff had operated over 400 acres of land.