As part of our pre-show Cultivate’22 coverage, we meandered through the “Canoe Capital of the World,” then along the winding roads of Amish country on another destination-filled Garden Retail Tour hosted by AmericanHort. Check out some of the eye-catching plants, displays and merchandise that had attendees buzzing with new ideas.
The first stop on the Garden Retail Tour was Richardson’s Greenhouse, a 79-year-old IGC located in Loudonville, Ohio. Loudonville — also referred to as “The Canoe Capital of the World” — plays host to many hikers and frequent campers due to its proximity to the Mohican River, Mohican State Park and Mohican-Memorial State Forest. Currently in its third generation of ownership (and transitioning to its fourth generation), owner Rinda Sloan says the garden center is a popular pitstop for many seasonal and permanent campers looking to spruce up their campsites — or to bring back home with them. Hanging baskets are a particular favorite amongst this crowd, along with summer sale annuals. The IGC grows nearly 75% of its own annuals, vegetables and bushes, and also offers perennials, shrubs and houseplants. Four full-time staff members operate the business year-round, with two permanent part-time employees and six to eight seasonal staff in between March and June.
Located in the heart of Amish country, Sheiyah Market is an all-in-one marketplace consisting of more than 50,000 square feet of retail space and six different attractions: The Village Gift Barn, Sheiyah Style Boutique, Country Gatherings farmhouse vintage décor, Buggy Brew Café, The Gardens and a courtyard. A former dairy farm, owner Ruth Schlabach bought and converted the space into a retail store in 1988, expanding departments along the way. The garden department was added in the spring of 2016, and Sheiyah Market offers houseplants (which consist of 68% of its total plant sales), annuals, perennials, windchimes, statuary, planters and a wide variety of fountains. A popular tourist destination, many flock to its large fairy gardening department.
Baker’s Acres Greenhouse & Garden Center
Located just outside of Columbus, Baker’s Acres Greenhouse & Garden Center opts for the rare and exotic, and is a popular destination for many tropical and rare houseplant hunters. Owners Chris and Nancy Baker passed down the business to their son, Nick Baker, and his wife, Pam. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Baker’s Acres shows no signs of slowing down. The IGC grows more than 4,000 plant varieties – cultivating 90% of its houseplants and 65% of its annuals and tropicals. With unique signage featuring its rare houseplants, specialty begonias and a wide variety of coleus, customers from all over the state take a day trip to experience everything this destination IGC has to offer.