On a recent trip to Michigan, I made my first stop at Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven. Most homeowners may not have heard of them, but Spring Meadow is a liner producer of shrubs, primarily for the Proven Winners branded program. If you buy a shrub from a retailer in a PW white pot, it came from Spring Meadow.
Spring Meadow was begun by Michigan State graduate Dale and his wife Liz, in 1981, after Dale finished a stint with the now defunct mass market wholesaler, Zelenka Nurseries. Since that time, they have become the dominant player in the wholesale liner market, especially for the Northern tier of states.
Below are the folks responsible for all the perennials and shrubs in the PW program. Dr. Judson Lecompte (l), and Tim Wood (c) – shrubs, and Hans Hansen (r) of Walters Gardens – perennials.
Their headquarters, which gives the feeling of a large barn is recent construction, after a 2017 fire burned their entire offices to the ground. The rebuilt offices include all the typical admin features, but also includes a classroom where wholesalers and retailers are taught about their plants.
The sheer number of plants produced here is staggering, as you can see below.
There are so many plants that simply tasks like pruning becomes monumental. To solve that problem, hedge clippers are mounted on a trolley, which automatically traverses the greenhouses.
In 2019, Spring Meadow purchased mail order retailer, Great Garden Plants, from co-founder, Mary Walters. This became Spring Meadow’s retail outlet for their introductions. Below are the sections of the production greenhouse devoted to inventory for GGP.