Finished Plant Conference Greenhouse Tour

Western Michigan is a hot spot for cutting-edge Greenhouse operations. The Greenhouse Tour will visit four of the best: Walters Gardens, Spring Meadow Nursery, Henry Mast Greenhouse, and Garden Crossings. These locations have a wide array of specializations, technology, and business models.
Walter Gardens Logo
Overhead photo of Walter Gardens
The Walters Gardens story began in 1942 when Dennis Walters and his new bride, Harriet, took over the family perennial business. Today, the company is run by the second and third generations of Walters aided by numerous other family members and dedicated employees including plant health experts, skilled horticulturists, capable customer care and marketing staff, and a pool of sales representatives and brokers nationwide.

Walters Gardens is well-known in the horticulture industry for their innovation, high-quality plants, and their perennial expertise. They currently sit at over 250 employees, 1,500 acres of land, and 500,000 square feet of greenhouse space. Over 19 million perennial liners are shipped annually to independent garden centers, wholesale growers, landscapers, and municipalities across the US and Canada. Each year, approximately 100 new items are added to their catalog of over 1,000 bare root and plug perennial liners.
Spring Meadow TM

Spring Meadow Nursery was founded in 1981 by Dale and Liz Deppe. What started as a small, primarily contract-growing operation has grown to become one of the largest and best-known woody plant liner providers in North America in only 35 years.

Despite their size, Spring Meadow remains a family business with family values; like providing great company culture for their employees, and high-quality plants and customer service to their clients. Spring Meadow is the sole grower for the Proven Winners’ potted shrub liners. They are a highly specialized business with a focus on potted liners from rooted cuttings.

Spring Meadow boasts impressive technology at their growing facility. For instance, each liner is graded by a robotic grading machine. Spring Meadow Nursery is the only shrub propagation nursery in the world using this technology to ensure uniform standards for starter plants. The grading machine evaluates 10,000 plants per hour, eliminating the possibility for human error.

Mast Greenhouse Logo

Henry Mast, Sr. opened his first greenhouse in the 1950s and started a legacy of quality plants grown in state-of-the-art buildings that operate year-round. Throughout most of its history, Henry Mast Greenhouses operated independently as a grower and distributor. Today, Masterpiece Flower Company heads the sales, marketing, and distribution while Henry Mast Greenhouses is one of the two suppliers of live plant products sold by Masterpiece Flower to Meijer, Home Depot, and garden center clients.

Henry Mast Greenhouses has four locations and includes over 30 acres of covered greenhouses and 10 acres of outdoor growing area. Their specializations included orchids, potted floral crops, and seasonal annuals. Their focus on quality is evident in every facet of the business; from the initial research into better genetics to specifically-designed greenhouses and centralized shipping and quality control.

Garden Crossings Logo

Garden Crossings is both an online garden center for gardening enthusiasts who are looking for new & unusual plants and a local, retail garden center in Zeeland, Michigan. They started in 2002 with a big passion, a small website, and 100 varieties in their catalog. Now they grow and sell over 1,150 varieties of plants.

At Garden Crossings, the whole family is involved. They are proud of the knowledge and passion that they and their staff have for gardening. Their plants are either grown in-house or locally in Western Michigan and are promoted through social media, blogs, video, and their online catalog. With their online presence, they are able to reach customers throughout the US.