Statement of Grimm’s Gardens Goals and Philosophy:
Our goal at Grimm’s Gardens is to provide beauty through plants and landscape to those around us by providing quality plants and the best customer service. Our philosophy is God first, family second, and hard work will make us all successful.
Planting: In the Beginning
Doug & Jeryl began their married life in 1976 on a dairy farm five miles from their current greenhouse nursery operation. They purchased the current location in 1984 and began exploring other means of revenue besides typical livestock and row-crop operations. Early on it became apparent that we needed to be very good stewards of our land, conserving water which is our single main yield-limiting factor. Along with irrigation, no-till farming practices and adding earthworms to the soil, they began to increase tilth and, ultimately yields, leaving the land at the end of each season better than it was the year before.
Sprouting: The Growing Years
In the mid 80’s a group of graduate students from Kansas State University came to our farm and did a study on options for us to produce revenue to help support our growing family. They had two recommendations. One was not to get into the retail garden center business, and the other was to produce hydroponic tomatoes. We began to follow their advice with one 3,000 sq. ft. tomato house, a year later we added another one, and each year added another one for the next four years, thus ending up with 15,000 sq. ft. However, over the years we slowly began to offer a few annuals, a few perennials, a few shrubs and a few trees and each year they increased as the demand grew, until now we no longer have any tomatoes. Through the years the business has evolved into the largest retail garden center in the area in addition to providing landscaping, water features, tree care, and lawn services to our customers. No job is too large or too small; we appreciate all our customers!
Watering: Regular Education
Just like watering plants, we understand the importance of continuing to educate and invest in our staff. After all, if you don’t water, it won’t grow! Grimm’s Garden’s staff attend many schools and seminars, and tour many trial gardens throughout the year. They have traveled to Louisville, Kentucky; Ames, Iowa; Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Wichita, Manhattan, and Kansas City, Kansas; Columbia, St Louis and Springfield, Missouri; Stillwater, Oklahoma; Chicago, Illinois and Portland, Oregon—all in search of the right information to install a paver patio to last, or to grow a particular plant as successfully as possible.
Doug and Jeryl have traveled to eleven countries in Europe and met with salesmen. They have toured experimental fields and viewed firsthand some of the flowers of the future! They discovered how other cultures sell flowers at their farmers markets and especially remember the town crier announcing the coming of the local flower grower to sell his flowers. They also toured an operation similar to Grimm’s Gardens, in Devescar, Hungary and were impressed that part of their greenhouse was eight feet underground! A single layer of plastic covering about 4 foot above the ground kept the heat in during the wintertime. This setup was used to grow plants in the winter. Touring the famous Kew Gardens and Abby Forde Gardens was an experience that Doug and Jeryl were awestruck by—truly an experience they would recommend if you ever get the opportunity.
Growth: Where We Are Today
Today we are a diversified business. Our Greenhouse and Nursery provide many choice plants, including heirlooms such as lilacs, tomatoes and geraniums. We have all sorts of vegetable starts for your garden including peppers, tomatoes and squash. We also have annual and perennial herbs which give meals so much richer flavor than dried spices.
Our annuals and perennials have been carefully selected over the years to perform in our region. If a plant does poorly in our trials, then we stop carrying it. Our plants, if planted where they belong, should thrive in this ever changing Midwest climate. We carry fish for ponds as well as native prairie plants that are beneficial for native wildlife.
By far, we are experts at trees. We carry well over 200 different kinds of trees and just about every shrub that will grow and thrive here. We have tree stakes, tree ties for planting your tree, as well as tree wrap for protecting your tree from rabbit, deer or winter injury. We also have all the supplies that are needed for landscaping your home or setting up a display for your front porch both in bulk and individual quantities.
We have expanded to include landscape design services where we visit your home or business and then draw up a plan for the landscaping. This is followed by professional installation by Grimm’s Gardens crews. As the years go by, we can also maintain it for you, even manage your lawn, install irrigation and night lighting systems, and remove your snow.
I guess you can see how having five sons can make a hobby turn into a small business!