Spotlight: Kent Petterson

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2016 issue of Northern Gardener.

Kent Petterson, owner of Terrace Horticultural Books, shows his support for MSHS in many ways. He’s a lifetime member, a longtime donor, a 150th anniversary sponsor, and Terrace Books is also an MSHS discount card partner.

Kent Petterson and one of his favorite garden titles.

Terrace is the largest seller of books, ephemera and periodicals related to plants and gardening in the country. From his store on St. Clair Avenue in St. Paul—which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016—Kent primarily sells used books. He also helps customers discover historic publications. “When someone is digging into the history of a plant, resources like old plant catalogs are great,” he says. He offers rare books at a reasonable price so people can have access to more information. Of course, gardening trends change over time, so Kent is sure to keep current titles in stock too. Kent says that gardening memoirs are great sellers. “I think it’s because gardeners not only like to share their gardening experiences, but want to hear about other gardeners’ experiences as well.” Currently, the store’s database lists over 26,000 items.

But Kent does more than sell books. “I’m a community gardener and president of the local business association, and part of that includes community beautification.” The store also has a charming garden of native plants to attract pollinators.

Kent’s support for MSHS reflects his respect for what the organization has provided him over the years. “Joining MSHS gave me a way to learn about horticulture and meet great people,” he says. “I’ve learned things I never would have if the hort society wasn’t around.”

—Brenda Harvieux

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