Ashcombe Farm and Greenhouses, a long-standing establishment in the heart of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, is currently celebrating its 60th spring in business. This independent garden center is a local favorite with loyal customers and dedicated employees.
Glenn and Mary Ellen Gross founded Ashcombe in 1962 as a roadside vegetable stand. The business thrived as a small farm market manned by one or two employees. Between 1970 and 1978, the business underwent a major expansion into a garden center. As the business continued to expand, more departments were added, including garden supplies, a gift shop, a café, and a bakery. Unfortunately, along with its flourishing, Ashcombe faced many hardships, including two fires. The most devastating occurred on May 22, 1989, destroying the retail store. However, the employees of Ashcombe rallied and continued to operate out of tents in the parking lot. Following the fire, the Ashcombe you see today was born.
Each spring, Ashcombe is home to local gardeners looking to fill their gardens with colorful annuals, perennials, garden supplies, and more. In the production department, Ashcombe grows annuals, vegetables, herbs, and hanging baskets. Springtime fills the greenhouses with thousands of flowers, including dozens of varieties of spring favorites like petunias and dahlias. In the past 60 years, the business has adapted to the changing market and demands of the consumer while maintaining its personable, family atmosphere.
Ashcombe is a local favorite for Mechanicsburg gardeners and families. The business offers classes and events every week to help teach the wonders of gardening to its customers. In its 60th year, Ashcombe is bringing back its garden-themed summer camp, Ready, Set, Grow, which is designed to immerse children into the wonderful world of gardening.
Other classes include floral arrangements, potting classes, and informative demonstrations by Ashcombe’s knowledgeable managers and local gardening experts. Ashcombe is also home to Fern, the mobile plant bus bringing plants to those who can’t always make it the brick-and-mortar store. Fern is a renovated mini school bus that visits local nursing homes and retirement communities as a pop-up shop. During its 2021 tour, Fern visited seven living centers in the Mechanicsburg area.