Many of us are familiar with the all-day-long trip, to a farm or orchard far outside Louisville, to hunt down that perfect Christmas tree or Halloween pumpkin. We go out of our way because we appreciate plants and products grown in our own region, and we enjoy the experience of spending time in a pleasant rural setting with our families. We sometimes make the trip because we haven’t necessarily found that same quality of product or family-friendly experience in Louisville grocery or home-improvement stores.
But, as more and more Louisvillians are discovering, one local business is not only selling lush, regionally-grown potted plants and seasonal products like pumkins, gourds and even Christmas trees, it is also offering families the pleasure of an outdoor excursion, with the added touch of a personal connection that you won’t find at the large farms, right here inside our own city limits. Garden Angels Nursery, located at 131 S. English Station Road, offers the best of both worlds. Located inside the Landis Lakes shopping center in Middletown, Garden Angels Nursery sells seasonal goods and outdoor decor from some of the best regional farms and growers, but also includes an outdoor portion of the shop that provides a scenic, rural escape from the rest of the city.
“Everything we have is locally grown in the area,” explained the shop’s owner, Marty Kaiser, as we walked through the fenced-in outdoor space now crowded with colorful mums, cornstalks, pumpkins, gourds, bales of hay and even a larger-than-life pumpkin for kids to play inside. “These mums are grown in Borden, Ind. – just right there – and the straw is grown in Indiana. I get a lot of my pansies and things like that from Shelbyville. Everything is right here. Because I just feel like we have to support our (area) and our economy and all that. So that way, if it goes full circle, it sure makes it better for all of us right here.”
Kaiser, who is 72 years young and in no hurry to retire, has been in the business for 25 years and on English Station Road for two, and intends to make her current location the nursery’s permanent home. She prides herself not only in offering the best quality seasonal goods, but also in the personal touch and extra attention she’s able to offer her customers, many of whom come to her with special requests. Right now that includes custom-painting Halloween pumpkins, something the nursery brought to the area several years ago, long before it became a local trend. Customers can request cartoon characters, bring in pictures of images they’d like or even request a school or team’s name and colors. The designs are done personally by Kaiser and her employees, who can draw just about anything in a cartoon style with a two- to four-day turnaround. The shop also offers designer pots of perennial flowers, another customer favorite.
Once the holiday season begins, the shop and outdoor space will transition to include wreaths, magnolia leaves, holly and, of course, Christmas trees. Tuning in to the needs of her customers, Kaiser is making the decision to offer trees as early in the season as Nov. 15 this year. “The reason that I get them in that early is because it’s customer demand,” she mentioned. “Because they want to do Thanksgiving (with their Christmas trees on display).” She will also introduce a new item, beautiful wooden carved nativity scenes in a variety of sizes, and will even have her own life-sized nativity on display in the outdoor space for shoppers and visitors to admire.
“I’ve had so many people asking for nativity sets and scenes, so we’re going pretty big in that,” Kaiser enthused. “I’m working with a (carver), we’re doing all wood. …I am so glad people are asking for the nativity sets, I think we’ve lost so much of that.”
Open year-round with an ever-changing selection of seasonal indoor and outdoor decor, Garden Angels Nursery is the perfect place to find freshly-grown, locally-produced goods in a family-friendly environment. And you’d be hard pressed to find, even at the destination farms outside the area, an owner with more enthusiasm and true passion for her business, and her customers.
“We’re not huge or anything, but I sure do love what I do. This morning I got here at ten after 7 (a.m.),” she noted as we made our way through the outdoor space, past bushels of potted plants in every imaginable fall color. “Just because walking through here, if that doesn’t make you believe in God, there’s nothing on the face of this Earth that will.
“What I love about this business, my business, is that every season is a special event. …It’s just amazing.”
Garden Angels Nursery, 131 S. English Station Road, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 502.489.3939.