Welcome to Forest Lake Greenhouses!

We’ve been connecting the people of South Carolina with the beauty of the natural world since 1989.

Our story began over 30 years ago when Tim and Lisa King sought out the help of local entrepreneur Ed Young to see their greenhouse dream into a reality. A partnership was born with the Kings and Mr. Young’s four daughters — Claudia Venable, Harriet Charles, Virginia Gene, and Rebecca Madden.

After decades of building, growing, and making a profound impact on the community of Florence, the Kings decided to retire. To carry on the legacy of Forest Lake Greenhouses, two of Mr. Young’s grandson’s, Luke Venable and Austin Charles, came together with their mothers Claudia and Harriet, and long-term friend Hunter Robertson to form a new partnership and keep the doors open.

Over the years Forest Lake Greenhouses has grown and evolved in many ways, the new leadership team seeks to offer the same superior quality of plants and extraordinary customer service everyone has come to know and love. We look forward to sharing more growth, more happiness, and more beauty with our community!

Our mission

is to cultivate growth and happiness by connecting people to the beautiful offerings of the natural world through horticulture.

Our vision

is to create a business that is sustainable and harmonious with the natural world.

We seek to

be open-minded…
be grateful…
appreciate beauty…
do the right thing…
& be the happy place.

We are deeply committed to treating our staff and customers like our family…
and we look forward to welcoming you into our beautiful gardens.
Luke Venable
Owner & General Manager
Harriet Charles
Owner & Retail Experience Director
Austin Charles
Owner & In-House Counsel
Claudia Venable
Owner
Hunter Robertson
Owner
Laura Hoefer
Marketing Director
Luke Venable
Owner & General Manager

Luke Venable was born and raised in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Later becoming an Atlanta-native and graduating with an Industrial Engineering degree from Georgia Institute of Technology.

After graduating, Luke worked around Atlanta building greenhouses, growing food, and working in Hydroponics. Shortly after this growing stint, he start working as a consultant in logistics and software application for a small tech start-up called Logfire, later acquired by Oracle. Luke has traveled the world implementing logistics software and working for some of the largest global companies like Accenture.

When the opportunity arose to get back into growing, Luke jumped at it. His background in logistics is perfect for analyzing all the moving pieces of Forest Lake Greenhouses and steering the business into the future with more growth, more success, and more efficiency.

Harriet Charles
Owner & Retail Experience Director

Born in Florence, SC, to a farmer and gardener, Harriet fell in love with nature at an early age. Her parents, Ed and Hatsy Young, taught her that there was always hope in seeds and beauty in all of nature.

Harriet started her first garden at age 23 when her eyes were bigger than her stomach. She had more vegetables than she could eat that year and calculated each tomato cost more than a week's worth of groceries, but she was hooked.

For the last 21 years, with a passion for people and plants, she has had a boutique exterior landscape design and container gardening business, South Gate Design. In 2015, Harriet added floral arranging workshops to the mix
Where students learn not only how to arrange flowers but learn the art of slowing down and seeing the beauty in nature’s minute details.
She is thrilled to be at FLG!

Austin Charles
Owner & In-House Counsel

Austin is a practicing corporate attorney based in Atlanta, GA. In addition to his legal work, Austin speaks on mindfulness for attorneys and teaches yoga and meditation for organizations across the country.

Born and raised in Myrtle Beach, SC, his mother Harriet Charles instilled in him a deep love of the outdoors and an appreciation for the garden. Austin spent time every summer working on his grandfather, Ed Young's, farm in Florence often joined by his cousin, Luke Venable. Ed Young was Austin's hero. Growing up watching his grandfather, Austin aspired to support and uplift the community through entrepreneurship and development. From Ed, Austin learned to plant deep roots and dream big.

Partnering with friends, family, and the FLG team to keep the greenhouse alive in the Florence community has been the experience of lifetime.

Claudia Venable
Owner

Born and raised on a farm nearby, Claudia’s earliest memories are being with her grandmother in the garden. After high school, she left Florence for college and went on to study medicine. She graduated from Stanford Medical School in 1980, and completed two residencies both in Pediatrics and Anesthesiology at Mass General Hospital in Boston.

For the last 18 years of her career, she has practiced Pediatric Anesthesiology and Pediatric Pain medicine at Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta. Having retired last year, she loves being on the Forest Lake Greenhouse team. At present, with more time to pursue her passion for cooking, she is studying culinary medicine which combines the study of nutrition and food and she enjoys thinking about the sun, the soil, the plants and how to live healthier, happier lives. After all, plants do so much for us!

Hunter Robertson
Owner

At his day job, Hunter is an investor focused on supporting early-stage tech companies. While based in London, his work takes him around the world where he gets to support and learn from incredibly driven founders on a daily basis. In his free time, he is an avid runner and loves all things music.

Hunter is originally from Myrtle Beach, SC, where he grew up with Austin and the rest of the Charles family. His mom was a devoted gardener and his spent most of his childhood outdoors, whether at his grandparents’ farm or in the mountains of North Carolina. He is passionate about building and growing, helping others bring their dreams into fruition along with his own.

Hunter was welcomed with open arms into the Forest Lake Greenhouse family in 2019 and has fallen in love with the beauty and community that this special place creates.

Laura Hoefer
Marketing Director

Laura was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. She is a dedicated yogi, creator, and gardener.

At 15 she got her first camera, a prized possession that went everywhere with her to document people, places, and beautiful scenes. She attended Georgia State University and received a BBA in Marketing then later went on to study Art Direction and Visual Advertising at the Creative Circus in Atlanta.

She loves sharing the beauty of Forest Lake with the community through photography and digital content creation!

Forest Lake Greenhouses

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