By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor

Whether you’re shopping for ferns … colorful hanging baskets … or a selection of flowers to prepare your own potted arrangements, there are many choices at the Designer’s Garden Center!
Wreaths, wall décor, furniture pieces, and lots of unique primitive and farmhouse accessories draw the eye and make visiting the gift shop a great experience. Merchandise changes seasonally there too, so you’ll always see something new.

It’s that time of year for the Designer’s Garden Center located on Meadowbrook Road to kick into high gear.  This is a busy season for owner Robert Bell; however, now starting his 4th season, he has expanded during these years and it seems like just about every season has added to his business.

What began as a lawn care service has now grown into a business that caters to needs for every season!  In the Spring, there are flowers to brighten up your outdoors, shrubs and trees as well as mulch to freshen bordering areas; and summer brings fresh Amish-grown produce delivered three times weekly. In the fall, he stocks up on pumpkins and gourds in all sizes, and as winter arrives, there is a wonderful selection of Christmas trees!

“During January, February, and March, our business slows down a lot, and just like everyone else, we count down the days until the process starts all over again,” Bell said.

Bell continues to add unique items at the Designer’s Garden Center.  He began with storage buildings and has added dog houses, chicken coops, rabbit hatches, straw and hay.  In addition to bark and shredded mulch, both bagged and bulk, he now carries bagged rubber mulch that is growing in popularity.

“The rubber mulch also comes in colors and some of its strong points are that although it is a little more expensive, it doesn’t disintegrate or fade in color and it has a 10-year lifetime.  So considering these features, it doesn’t have to be replaced yearly and that reward counteracts its higher price,” Robert added.

He also sells rubber edging border and rubber mats for playgrounds.  This year, customers will find poly play/swing sets for kids and outdoor furniture – also Amish made!

Last year, Bell enlarged and opened an indoor space with a gift shop.   Merchandise within the gift shop changes with the seasons as well.  Right now you’ll find some unique planters, gardening signs and colorful flags as well as lots of gift ideas for those who like adding a somewhat country flair to their living space.

You’ll want to take some time when you visit the Designer’s Garden Center because there is a LOT to look at and you won’t want to miss anything – whether you’re planning to spruce up your interior or exterior.

Since the spring, summer and fall seasons encourage us to spend more time outdoors, many people today concentrate on landscape makeovers that add appeal to their outdoor space.  Whether you’re looking to do a small DIY project or a more major improvement, you’ll find many choices – even rocks (both LARGE and small) to add to your outdoor design.  You’ll find a lot of ideas and inspiration here!

There is something very pleasing about the process of choosing your flowers and plants that will add color to this approaching ‘outdoor season’. Nice weather keeps teasing us but will soon be here to stay, so many people are beginning to think about improving their landscapes to make them more enjoyable through the coming months.  Stop by and browse at the Designer’s Garden Center … ask questions … get some suggestions!

Bell’s business has grown largely because he has made it such a full-service business year-round.  He’s familiar with the A-B-C’s of running a successful business … and he’s been smart enough to offer the D-E-F-G’s as well – Delivery if needed … Expert advice … Friendly service … and Good pricing!

“There’s nothing wrong with shopping around, but I know that people who are not shopping here are paying too much,” he continued.

Mother’s Day is just a few days away, and Bell has a large pavilion stocked with ferns, bedding plants, and hanging baskets.  He says he will also have a great selection of dogwood trees in time for Mother’s Day as well.  And don’t forget to visit the gift shop inside where  you’re sure to find something that Mom will love!

The Designer’s Garden Center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. – and sometimes, by chance, you may catch him on the premises on Mondays as well!  Call 304-672-2208 with your inquiries.