When Sir Elton John was audited in 2000, the British court asked him to explain why he spent $380,000 on flowers over the previous year and a half. His answer was perfect: “I like flowers.” Who doesn’t? They’re brilliant things, colorful little bursts of light, delicate yet tenacious enough to have survived everything between now and the time of the dinosaurs. In Minnesota, however, flowers need a little help to flourish. Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery is here to provide just that.Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery first started out in the 19th century, when they began growing both edible and decorative plants for businesses around the Twin Cities. After World War I, when everyone was starved for a little color, they found a niche in flowers. They moved from their original location in Golden Valley to Maple Grove in 1971, and they opened their retail garden center to the public in 1982. Over the course of more than a century, Lyndes have always run their business. Ed Lynde is the fourth of his generations to run Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery, and his son Derek will become the fifth one day.
Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery now provides plants for a wide range of clients. With 32 greenhouses in operation, they service wholesalers, private businesses, cities, churches, and anyone else who could do with beautiful, well cared for plants.
Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery’s garden center is open every day save for during the first three months of the year, which is when their gardeners are hard at work getting the new year’s crops in order. There you will find a great variety of seasonal plants, all potted and healthy and ready to go with you to liven up your home. Their wholesale department is the perfect place for landscapers and retailers, as they not only offer all the annuals clients could want in bulk, but also deliver around the Twin Cities and to Wisconsin as well. Their commercial landscaping department is ideal for city planners looking to beautify their town. If you have been to Maple Grove or Woodbury, you have likely seen the Lyndes’ work in person.
Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery also has a fundraising department. There they help organizations like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and local sports teams by selling them plants for wholesale prices so they may turn around and sell them to their benefactors for retail prices. If your sports team needs new equipment and uniforms, a few of the Lyndes’ seasonal poinsettias are all you’ll need.
Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery’s residential landscaping department is their newest and most exciting venture. For only a nominal fee, they will send a landscaping expert to your home to assess your layout, take photos, and go to work researching which plants will best accent your home’s natural beauty. Should you choose to work with them after receiving their proposal, that fee will go toward a complete botanical makeover which will enrich your home for years to come.
“Temperate climates like Minnesota’s mean a lot of planning when it comes to landscaping,” explained Christina Timm of Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery. “You have to take the winter into consideration as well as bloom times. Our mission is for our clients to always enjoy color when they look around their grounds. In the spring, we advise azaleas and rhododendrons, as they’re vibrant and early bloomers. In the summer, we plant hydrangeas among other things. They’re relatively low maintenance, and our new Quick Fire varietal is stronger, blooms longer, and changes color from white to pink to merlot as the season progresses. We also have the Endless Summer hydrangea. You can purposefully change the colors of its flowers by adding certain nutrients to its soil. For the fall, we recommend Tiger Eyes Sumac. Its lustrous summer leaves brighten to a hot red in the fall. Our burning bush, with its unique boxy twigs, adds fiery zest to the autumn as well.”
“Most people think the winter is forfeit when it comes to garden color,” continued Christina, “but it doesn’t have to be. Our red twig dogwood is one of our many plants that bring color to the wintertime with its spindly, scarlet branches.”
If you’re looking around your home right now and pining for liveliness, this is a great time to consult with Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery. They not only have a garden center stocked with every kind of plant you could hope for, but they also accompany it with friendly and knowledgeable staff. Go there on November 18th from 10am to 2pm so you can enjoy the annual Christmas at Lynde celebration. There they will have Santa Claus to take photos with you and your family, complimentary hot slices from Frankie’s Pizza, and a balloon artist and a face painter for the kids. Go to pick up a festive holiday plant, and ask what they may do for you once the ground thaws.
By David Scheller