Grimm’s Gardens 2020 – A Look Through the Gardens

Here at Grimm’s Gardens, I have had the pleasure to maintain and help re-imagine the gardens around the office, sales shed, and greenhouses for almost 10 years!

Grimm's Gardens garden center
Looking west from the Sales Shed areas

Keeping these gardens and my client’s gardens beautiful is a task I willingly undertake each season. 2020 was a big year for Grimm’s, and not just because of the changes brought by COVID. We added an addition to the shop and changed the sales area by Greenhouse 1. We moved the Monarch Waystation last fall to the Little Arboretum by the greenhouses.

Let us take a look at the gardens through 2020.

Monarch Waystation

In the fall of 2019, we moved the Monarch Waystation from along Greenhouse 1 to a 16 foot diameter circle in the middle of the Little Arboretum. This was necessary for the remodeling of the landscape by Greenhouse 1 and to give more room for the plants. Inside the circle, I made 3 pie wedges, one each for perennials, grasses, and annuals. These are the 3 main proponents of a good pollinator garden.

Monarch waystation spring
The Monarch Waystation in early spring 2020

We used mostly perennials that were left over in 2019, including salvia, blazingstar, geum, blanketflower, and catmint. From the original waystation we moved common boneset, butterfly milkweed, culver’s root, swamp milkweed, and beebalm.

Monarch Waystation early summer
The Monarch Waystation in early summer

For grasses we used only natives including little bluestem, big bluestem, prairie cordgrass, and switchgrass.

Monarch Waystation mid summer
The Monarch Waystation in mid summer (blazingstar blooming in foreground)

Because perennials do not bloom all season long, it is important to have annuals. We used alyssum, tropical milkweed, dill, zinnias, firecracker plant, and helenium. These annuals bloomed great all year and provided nectar and pollen for many butterflies and insects.

Monarch Waystation late summer
The Monarch Waystation in late summer

Entrance Island

If you have ever been to the nursery, you are well aware of out manure spreader planted up each year. This year was a tough year, we had heat in the 90s from mid-May to August. And we sold out quickly of many of our annuals. That being done, I barely was able to get the spreader planted up with supertunias.

Island planter
The manure spreader with Supertunia ‘Vista Bubblegum’, surrounded by penstemon ‘Dark Towers’, Daylilies, ornamental oregano, and iris ‘Caesar’s Brother’

And, because there is no irrigation to that bed, I had to hand water and rely on the rainfall, which quit after August 10th. However, the petunias did very well, even competing with crabgrass! The perennials around the island are well established and needed no supplemental irrigation.

The Little Arboretum

This collection of trees planted by Grimm’s founder Doug Grimm contains some very nice trees. One in particular is a seedless white-flowering redbud, which has been developed into the cultivar ‘Mr. America’. Other trees in the collection include paperbark maple, golden raintree, several varieties of sugar maple, a Persian parrotia, and a purple beech.

The Little Arboretum (‘Mr. America’ redbud blooming white in the center)

This winter we will be working on a new identification project. Will be tagging the trees in the branches so we do not lose the names due to stake loss.

Greenhouse 1

The biggest changes came to Greenhouse 1. After the removal of the shade garden for the new shop addition, Greenhouse 1 became the new Shade House. Here you will find our shade perennials, dogwoods, hydrangeas, and other shade loving shrubs.

The new retaining wall (on left) and sales area by Greenhouse 1

In front of Greenhouse 1, the pink granite wall was ripped out and replaced with a larger, cleaner-looking limestone wall. The new area is accentuated with trees, shrubs, and perennials that are pot-in-pot for sale. Below the wall is a new sales area, showing off different mulches among the newest plant arrivals.


I find that I did not take as many photos of the nursery and gardens as I normally do. So look for more photos in 2021!

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