21 green acres at Uncle John's Plant Farm

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For more than 43 years, Uncle John’s Plant Farm has been a go-to source for plants, pots, trees and shrubs.

By Ken McEntee

Amateur investors seeking success may try to mimic Warren Buffet’s trading strategy. Budding young pitchers might scrutinize and incorporate Corey Kluber’s intricate mechanics.

And home gardeners who want to grow vibrant, healthy flowers and vegetables may do well to imitate what many successful professional garden centers in four states do: Buy their plants from Uncle John’s Plant Farm.

“Our production greenhouses sell 70 percent of their plants wholesale,” reveals Marcia Hawkins, co-owner of Uncle John’s Home and Garden, and daughter-in-law of founder Uncle John Hawkins.

“We’re proud that our wholesale customers have trusted us to grow beautiful, hardy plants for decades. Our retail customers here at the home and garden center go home with the same quality plants.”


Many area municipalities also are sold on Uncle Johns’ quality. Marcia notes that the garden center’s large flowering baskets can be seen hanging on many cities’ lampposts.

The 90-year-old, 21 acre, Olmsted Falls greenhouse—nostalgic reminders of Northeast Ohio’s rich agricultural tradition—continue to grow annuals, perennials, herbs, houseplants, tropicals and flowering trees and shrubs.


The retail garden center, including its quaint gift shop and garden store, carries just about everything a home gardener needs to plant and maintain a successful garden, Marcia insists.

“All of our annuals and vegetables are grown on-site, and all of our trees and shrubs come from Ohio growers,” she emphasizes. “We don’t import them from Southern states because we want them to be acclimated to Ohio winters.”

But the fresh green products are only the beginning of Uncle Johns’ offerings, Marcia says.

“We provide expertise,” she explains.

“We don’t just sell you plants. We can tell you how to use them. We have a landscape design service where people can come in and talk with a degreed designer. Our grower, Brad Muck, has been with us for 34 years, and our other core staff members also have been with us for many years and know what they’re doing. They are golden.”

They’ll not only provide sage advice on how to do things—in some cases, they’ll do it for you.

“People love our specialty custom container services,” Marcia says.

“You bring in your own pots and tell us what colors or plants you like, and we’ll have your containers ready for you in a couple of days. We can help with suggestions for planting in a highly sunny spot, a shady area, soil issues, or using new varieties. All you have to do is maintain and enjoy.”

If you think that your new container garden would look nice on a new patio, Uncle John’s can help with that, too. Uncle John’s is a dealer of Belgard pavers, which are ideal for patios, walkways and retaining walls. Uncle John’s can create a design for you, and will refer you to a trusted installer that they have been working with for many years.

Uncle John’s carries soil products like dyed and natural mulches—including Sweet Peet, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and soil conditioners. It also has rugged high-end gardening gloves and tools that will make gardening easier for many years, Marcia promises.

“We have a variety of deer deterrents, including a new chicken-based product that has been getting very good reviews,” Marcia says, addressing an increasing problem for local gardeners.

Uncle John’s Home and Garden is located at 8579 Columbia Road (Rt. 252) in historic Olmsted Falls. For more information you can call 440-235-3252 or visit UncleJohnsPlants.com. The greenhouse, gift and garden store are open Monday, Tuesday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Categories: Westside Home & Garden