LAWN & GARDEN FOCUS: Old church becomes new home for Garden Center

The Garden Center has moved to its new home at 314 N. Cedar, and owners Sharon and Alan Boese are working to get last-minute details in place.

“I like to have identification cards beside the plants to explain what it will look like and the care it requires, but I just don’t have them all up yet,” Sharon Boese said.

And with several hundred different plants, over 80 types of perennials, a good selection of trees and shrubs, it might take a good while to get cards ready.

The Center’s building is the former Seventh Day Adventist Church. Boese said the building was moved to the present address in the mid-’80s.

The building itself houses pieces of antique furniture for sale, seeds, yard decorations, birdhouses, gift items and garden supplies.

A wide ramp from the store to the greenhouse area makes shopping for everyone possible.

“We have tried to offer perennials that aren’t from this part of the country, like Knautia, and also the ones you might have seen your grandmother grow, like hearty geraniums.,” Boese said. “They seem to be coming back into popularity.”

Perennials are flowering plants that once planted will blossom again year after year. She has the selections organized by color to help those who are working with a color theme in landscaping.

Some of the perennials Boese offers comes from Europe and others from the southern United States.

Boese says the most important thing to do before starting to plant is to know what type of soil you are working with.

She encourages people to test the soil by taking a sample to the Marion County Extension office.

“By knowing your soil, you will know exactly what you have to work with, what you need to do to improve the quality, and the types of plants that will grow there,” she said.

Secondly, plan your landscaping by drawing it out on paper, then taking the garden hose to outline the area. This way you will see how much space is needed and how it will fit into the rest of the area.

Boese reminded people that last fall’s dry weather was hard on plants. She cautions customers to carefully watch the spring plants coming up, especially with the great variances in weather temperature and wind.

She also urges gardeners to water the roots of plants by slowly soaking them.

“It is better to water the roots slowly and thoroughly instead of just sprinkling a little on the leaves every day,” she said.

The Center carries a wide selection of shrubs, including shrubs that were chosen by the Kansas Association of Nurserymen as Plant of the Year.

“They have divided Kansas up into three sections,” Boese said. “I have carried the plants from eastern and central Kansas since we are right on the border.”

Service Berry was chosen for central Kansas and Little Henry Itea, or Sweet Spire was chosen for the eastern half of the state.

Boese said they have also tried to carry plants with fragrance as well as flowers.

In addition to items offered at the shop, Alan Boese offers lawn installation services and landscaping.

“When people aren’t sure what they want to do,” said Sharon Boese. “They can just come in and we are very willing to help them in any area of their landscaping or gardening.”

The Boeses have been in the business since 1978 and in Hillsboro since 1987.

Sharon Boese, complimenting her employees, said the Garden Center works together as a team with Sharolyn Funk, who has been with the Center for the past six years; Wendy Jost, who works one day a week; and Nathan Fish, who helps with landscaping projects.

Store hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

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