Garden center prides itself on quality products, customer service

Some of the staff members at Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center include (front row, left to right) Judy Anders, Rose Bauer, Joyce Kellogg (back row, left to right) Tracy Droessler and Jeanie Read.

Now in her fourth year operating Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center of Litchfield, Master Gardener Tracy Droessler is gearing up for another busy season.

While improvements, new products and renovations are ongoing each season, it’s the quality customer service that keeps customers coming back.

“I highly recommend Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center,” said Coral Kenyon of Minneapolis. “The staff and the owner, Tracy Droessler, were fantastic. They helped through the process of getting the right kind of shrubs for my sunny yard. They even went above and behind to explain how to properly plant and care for my new landscaping. Very grateful and I will be going back.”

Garden centers and greenhouses are approved to be open to the public under the governor’s updated mandate.

Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center opened in mid-April and renovated its front parking lot into an outdoor greenhouse in order to adhere to the social distancing some customers may prefer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eric Mathwig prepares the lot for curbside pick-up service.

“We will be bringing most of our flowers and vegetable outdoors in the front of the building so customers can look through them and pick out what they want without coming inside,” said Droessler. “We also prepared a pickup area where customers can get any items they want without getting out of their vehicle.”

Customers can simply call ahead with their orders or order online from their website. Once the order comes in, Stockmen’s team pulls the order and calls the customer back to let them know their order is ready to be picked up.

Droessler is a native of Dubuque, Iowa, which is only 20 miles from Dyersville, Iowa, where the famous movie “Field of Dreams” was filmed.

“This is my field of dreams,” Droessler said about the greenhouse she now owns and operates. “I worked at a greenhouse when I was in high school, and I’ve always wanted to own one. I went to college for accounting so I would know that side of the business when I owned a greenhouse.”

Stockmen’s is now in its 34th year of business on the northwest side of Litchfield. Droessler purchased the business from Fred and Marilyn Rau in early 2017.

“They were amazing,” said Droessler about the Raus. “They taught me so much. They were always more than happy to answer any of my questions and to teach me anything I needed to know.”

Stockmen’s Greenhouse owner Tracy Droessler waters the young plants.

Even the 18 employees at Stockmen’s, some who are also going through the process of becoming Master Gardeners, appreciate working in a comfortable place where they feel appreciated.

“The one thing a lot of the customers say is how well we take care of our plants here,” said Judy Anders, who is in her 11th season working at Stockmen’s Greenhouse. “Tracy is amazing to work for and she really wants to have quality plants here. So we really try to take care of them and we water every day.”

“Tracy likes to have a lot of varieties on hand,” said Jeanie Read, who has worked at Stockmen’s for 10 seasons. “And the customers really like what she comes up with and that we have so many choices.”

Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center offers an abundance of greenhouse items and services, including annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, vegetables and herbs, shrubs and roses, fruit and shade trees, grasses, lawn and garden décor, metal garden art and gift cards.

Rose Bauer prepares the pots for replanting.

Recently, they began selling products made locally, too, such as jams and jellies, beeswax candles, wooden wishing wells and birdhouses.

“We grow our own vegetables and herbs from seed here at the greenhouse,” Droessler noted. “And we transplant everything else that we get as plugs into larger containers. So we really have a hand in all the plants we sell here.”

d customers appreciate the quality and care Stockmen’s takes with its plants.

“I’ve bought several plants from Stockmen’s and all are still thriving,” said Jane Bohn of Darwin. “Great greenhouse, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and a huge selection.”

Variety is the spice of life at Stockmen’s Greenhouse. The vegetables they sell, such as tomatoes and peppers, aren’t limited to one or two varieties.

“We carry 35 to 40 kinds of tomatoes; 10 of them being heirlooms,” Droessler remarked. “And we carry 25 to 30 varieties of pepper plants, including the really hot peppers, Carolina Reaper and Ghost peppers.”

They also carry 30 varieties of coleus and verbena plants, 55 varieties of petunias, and over 600 hanging baskets. And they offer customer-requested items like bacopa, succulents, and a wide selection of ornamental grasses.

Joyce Kellogg re-pots some of the young plants.

“We like to get feedback from our customers and bring in plants based on their requests,” Droessler said.

Stockmen’s also holds classes for making planters, bulb planting and spring potting, as well as having experts come in to teach customers about things such as herbs and canning.

This spring’s classes have been cancelled, though, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers can follow them on Facebook or their website (www.stockmensgreenhouse.com) for upcoming classes and events.

And they can design planters or baskets for customers, too.

“If you bring us your planter or hanging basket, we will make it beautiful for you,” said Droessler. “We will custom-design hanging baskets for our customers in the spring, fall and at Christmas time.”

Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center can assist customers in decorating the gravesite of a loved one with its cemetery planter program. With this program, Stockmen’s employees will plant a planter each spring and deliver them to the gravesite in time for Memorial Day.

And as fall approaches, an employee returns to the gravesite and removes the planter and stores it until the following spring.

Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center is located at 60973 Highway 12 in Litchfield. Contributed photo

“It’s a great service for those who are out of town or unable to get to the cemetery,” Droessler explained.

Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center is open from mid-April to mid-November.

From now until Father’s Day, the hours will be Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. After that, the business hours will be Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They will be closed on Sunday and Monday.

Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center is located at 60973 Highway 12 in Litchfield, MN. For more information, call 320-693-7787, visit them on their website at www.stockmensgreenhouse.com or on Facebook.

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