Meet Tom, the lead Horticulturist at Vande Heys and a member of our ‘Green Team’. Tom has spent 35 years planting, growing, and finding ways to use all of our beautiful plants and landscapes. Tom finds joy in the usability aspect by taking the plants and helping people create ideas on how to use them.
“This is year two of our growing and it just keeps expanding We started with two growing houses last year and by the time we were ready to sell, we had six to eight houses of materials that we were growing at the time.”
The idea for this began because we want to control what we would be using in our landscapes. In Wisconsin, weather can be a headache, especially when a four-week time span has an April blizzard, and 90 degrees just weeks later! It really is a team effort with a variety of things that could go wrong, but with the knowledge and expertise of our growers, we are able to overcome the adversity by knowing when to start and heavily monitoring what is happening.
The ‘Green Team’ gets starts the process by meeting in the fall to map out the list of plants needed, to determine the exact varieties of plants and what’s available to grow. Preparation of the growing houses is next so they are ready by February and March when the real process starts. We then seed and create small plugs, while keeping a heavy eye on them by monitoring temperature, water intake, and food to produce the type of quality we can be proud of.
By being able to grow our own materials, we can absolutely control the quality that we are providing for our retail center, and have the freedom to determine exactly what we want to grow. Plus, it’s fun! During the winter months, it keeps people active and employed and involved instead of only pushing snow. These greenhouses create a beautiful stock, unique to the valley, that we love sharing with you. It gives us a step above when we’re able to deliver exact information to our customers on the growing process and materials so you can take them home and grow them yourselves.
Stop on by and ask for Tom, the ‘Green Team’ guy & let’s figure out what type of our plants will create the oasis you are looking for.