Just down the road from Kelley & Kelley in Long Lake, MN, is Otten Bros. Nursery and Landscaping, a large garden center, nursery and landscape design provider. I visited Kelley & Kelley and Otten Bros. on the same day last summer, and while they are very different places, taken together the two would meet just about any gardener’s needs.
Like its neighbor, Otten Bros. is a long-established, family-owned garden center. Founded in 1953 by brothers Bert, Joe and Leonard Otten, it is now owned by Leonard’s son, Cliff Otten. (You can read the firm’s history here.) From the beginning, Otten Bros. was a full-service landscape company, providing not only plant material and garden decor, but hardscaping, such as patios and stone work. The sprawling 12-acre garden center grounds include examples of brick fire pits, stone fireplaces and pergolas, as well as stone benches, acres of birdbaths, terra cotta pots and sculpture. The evening I was there, TV garden designer Jamie Drurie gave a presentation on human-scale design to a large crowd of gardeners.
The nursery also carries a large selection of trees, shrubs, perennials and annual plants. In addition, Otten Bros. owns the Flower Farm by Otten Bros., a 7-acre plant haven about 3 miles west of Delano, MN.
Northern gardeners are fortunate to have several large, independently-owned, great garden centers with a wide selection of plants and materials. If you are on the west side of the Twin Cities, Otten Bros. is one well worth visiting.