By Scott Thoma
Tracy Droessler, who has owned and operated Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center in Litchfield since 2017, has now expanded operations to Hutchinson.
Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center now occupies the former Dundee Nursery and Floral building after the previous owners decided to sell, as well as maintaining the Litchfield location.
“We will basically carry the same inventory at both locations,” said Droessler.
Droessler will continue to operate the Litchfield location, while retaining former Dundee manager Tammy Field to run operations at the Hutchinson location. Field is now entering her 12th season as manager of the Hutchinson location.
“I’m so happy to have Tammy running things here in Hutchinson,” said Droessler. “She does a great job. The employees at one place will also help out at the other place if they are needed.”
Both places opened for the season on April 13.
Droessler had no plans to purchase another garden center. But while traveling past the building on her way to Litchfield one day last year, she noticed a “CLOSED INDEFINITELY” sign outside the longtime garden center on the east side of Hutchinson.
“I was surprised it was closed,” she said. “So I tracked down Tammy, whom I have known for a few years, to talk to her about it. The next thing I know, I’m buying this place, too.”
And Field was excited about the transaction and chance to continuing to work in the business.
“I was hoping the building would stay a greenhouse,” she said. “We’re the only one in Hutchinson.”
The only change Droessler and Field decided to make was to eliminate the floral portion of the former Dundee operation.
“With COVID, fewer people are buying flowers for wedding, funerals, proms and other things like they used to,” Field said. “A lot of people just order flowers online now and have them delivered.”
Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center will still carry a wide variety of perennials, annuals, hanging baskets, planters, vegetables, fruits, herbs, trees, shrubs, roses, home and garden accents, pottery, statuary, bird baths, gift cards and much more. Also on hand are seed potatoes, bulk seeds (corn, peas and beans), and onion sets and plants.
“We also have ornamental, fruit and shade trees,” said Field.
The vegetables Stockmen’s sell, for example, aren’t limited to just one or two varieties.
“We carry 35 to 40 kinds of tomatoes, 10 of them being heirloom,” Droessler said. “And we carry 25 to 30 varieties of peppers, including the very hot Carolina Reaper and Ghost peppers.”
But the varieties aren’t limited to vegetables. Stockmen’s also carries over 30 varieties of coleus and verbena plants, 55 varieties of petunias, and over 2,000 hanging baskets. They also offer customer-requested items like bacopa, succulents, and a wide selection of ornamental grasses.
“We like to get feedback from our customers,” Droessler said. “We will bring in plants based upon their requests.”
And Stockmen’s will also take orders for bare-root trees and shrubs, which a lot of homeowners like because they are less expensive, you get the full root ball, and they are easier to plant.
“I highly recommend Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center,” said one customer. “The staff and owner are fantastic. They helped me through the process of getting the eight kinds of shrubs for my yard. They even went above and beyond to explain how to properly plant and care for my new landscaping.”
More people are landscaping, planting and gardening now than in the past due to the pandemic. Garden centers and greenhouse were among the “essential” businesses that government allowed to stay open during the pandemic last year.
“People want to get outside and do something because they have been limited in things they can do with the COVID,” Field said.
For those still wishing to maintain social distancing, both locations are accommodating. Customers can call or order online from the Stockmen’s website. Once the order comes in, the garden center teams will fill the order and then notify the customer when the order is ready to be picked up.
“We grow our own products here,” Field said proudly. “So we know everything that goes into it.”
Both locations have very capable and knowledgeable employees who are more than happy to answer any questions a customer might have.
“The one thing a lot of the customers say is how well we take care of our plants here,” said Judy Anders, now in her 12th season working for Stockmen’s. “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 water every day.”
Stockmen’s also offers a Seasonal Planter Program, which has become increasingly popular with its residential and business customers.
“If someone doesn’t want to go to all the work of making a planter for its business, they will call us and have us make one up for them,” said Droessler. “We will even deliver it for them. We can make them for any season, or they can just pick which season they want one for.”
The Cemetery Planter Program is similar to the Season Planter Program and also popular. Customers order a certain type of planter and the Stockmen’s staff will assemble and deliver it for them.
“It’s a great service for someone who lives out of town or is unable to get to the cemetery,” said Field. “We deliver them to cemetery and pick them up for them so they can be used for the next year.”
Wreaths in different sizes and shapes can also be pre-ordered for the holidays.
Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center also have classes for spring potting, bulb planting and having experts come in to teach customers things such as lawn care, herbs and canning. Those are currently not being offered due to the pandemic, but customers are urged to continue to check Stockmen’s website or Facebook page for updates.
Droessler is a native of Dubuque, Iowa, which is 20 miles from Dyersville which is famous for being the film location of the iconic movie “Field of Dreams.”
“This is my field of dreams,” Droessler said about owning a greenhouse and garden center. “I worked at a greenhouse when I was in high school and I’ve always wanted to own one.
From now until Father’s Day, the hours at both locations 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, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed on Sunday and Monday.
In Litchfield, Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center is located at 60973 Highway 12. For information, call 320-693-7787.
In Hutchinson, the address is 1150 E. Highway 7. For information, call 320-234-7673.
Visit them on their website at www.stockmensgreenhouse.com or on Facebook.
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