Great Garden Centers: Gertens

geraniums at gertens

Gertens has a huge selection of plant material, including lots of annual geraniums.

For gardeners on the east side of the Twin Cities metro area, Gertens Greenhouses and Garden Center is a mecca for all types of plants, garden decor and other landscaping needs. Despite plenty of parking, cars are often parked on the road on busy weekends in summer, a tribute to the store’s popularity. With more than 40,000 square feet of retail space and rows of greenhouses, it’s hard not to find what you are looking for at Gertens.

Now in its third generation of family owners, Gertens started in the early 1900s with Frank Gerten, who ran a truck farm that sold mostly to local people. His motto was “buy from the grower,” and Gertens still grows much of the plant material it sells. The company continues to expand and last year, it built a greenhouse encompassing more than 2 acres.

gertens

Even on rainy days, Gertens is busy with shoppers.

Gertens takes its responsibility to help gardeners grow plants well seriously, and it provides a lot of educational material, both on its website and through classes and programs at the store. The how-to section of the website includes a variety of articles on everything from attracting birds to winterizing your water feature. There’s even a tip sheet on building a backyard hockey rink! Now, that’s Minnesotan.

Because Gertens is fairly close to where I live, I’ve bought perennials and shrubs there in the past, and have found the workers to be knowledgeable and helpful. For east side gardeners, Gertens is a great garden center.

—Mary Lahr Schier

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