The fragrant lilacs that cover Parker Gardens in Scotch Plains have begun to bloom - just in time for Patch Readers to name Parker Gardens the best local garden center. Patch took a tour of the sweeping facility that houses over a dozen separate greenhouses carrying everything from clay pots to exotic flowers.
As customers wandered around the facility, Steve Parker, who co-owns Parker Gardens with his brother Rich elaborated on the history of the business.
“My father Leonard started this business 65 years ago in his basement in Long Island,” Parker said. “It wasn’t long before he bought a greenhouse in Ozone Park, Queens. In 1954, he and my mother Beatrice bought this 14 acre property in Scotch Plains.”
Nearly 60 years later, Parker Gardens has become the largest privately owned interior landscaper in the country. Parker Gardens 3D has designed and supplied interior landscaping for 9 out of the 12 of the Atlantic City Casinos, as well as corporate offices, airports, and malls across the nation.
The company also specializes in lighting and garden wall designs, having contributed to the design of large scale events in Dubai, India and around the globe.
Steve Parker stated that despite the company’s growing global presence, Parker Gardens continues to nurture a large, local and loyal customer base right here in Scotch Plains.
“This town has been good to us,” Parker, who still lives locally said. “We are here seven days a week to help novice planters or experienced landscapers with whatever they need. We take pride in the fact that if we don’t have the plant you are looking for, we can locate it and have it delivered to our store promptly.”
After pausing to help a loyal customer locate the perfect orchid, Steve and Rich reflected on their relationship with the Scotch Plains community.
“Scotch Plains is a great place to grow up,” Steve said. “This town has been good to us. I remember growing up right next to the Terry Lou Zoo surrounded by plants and animals. The world has changed a lot in 50 years and our business has grown so much. Hopefully we can stay here for another 50 years.”