As spring struggles to break through, a local garden center opened its new greenhouses overflowing with plants.
Creamers Garden Center at 1706 W. Osage offers a large assortment of vegetables, bedding plants, decorative annuals and perennials, tropical plants, hanging baskets and planted wrought iron decorator pots.
Open for its fourth year at this location, the garden center replaced its tents with three commercial greenhouses that fill the entire back of the lot.
“We’re getting in new inventory every day,” said Mike Creamer, who owns and operates the center with his wife Carol.
“We got four deliveries today,” he said.
Mike Creamer worked at the Fenton Chrysler plant and looked to a new livelihood when it closed. He attended Meramec Community College for two years where he earned a degree in horticulture.
He bought the former Treeland tree farm at No. 1 Denton Road and leases the West Osage property for retail sales for seven months of the year.
“We actually have three seasons here (on Osage),” Creamer said.
“In the spring we have vegetable, bedding and decorative plants. In the summer, beginning about mid-July, we’ll have the fresh vegetables that we grow on Denton Road and in the fall we have pumpkins, gourds, hay bales and lots of mums.”
In July, when the homegrown produce is ready, Creamer said the greenhouses will be transformed.
“Boy do I have tomatoes,” he said.
On Denton Road, Creamer also has planted corn, cucumbers, berries and pumpkins.
“We do buy peaches, watermelons and cantaloupe, but everything else we grow and all our produce and plants are top quality,” he said.
In front of the greenhouses, waist-high tables are covered with vegetable plants, including individual plants from asparagus to strawberries and 15 varieties of tomatoes.
On a recent day, Joan Spafford was at the garden center looking for zinnias, which she will plant in every available space in her yard where trees are too young to give off shade.
“Zinnias do really well in wind and sun,” Spafford said, “and I have plenty of that.”
Carol Creamer, who shares her husband’s penchants for plants, works full time at Fahr’s Nursery in Wildwood.
A trained horticulturist, Carol plants decorative baskets for sale at the garden center with mixtures that complement each other and fill small spaces with splashes of color. Return customers also bring their own planters for her to plant.
Mike Creamer also is a teamster driver.
“We’re not where we give ourselves a good paycheck yet,” he said. “But we’re growing and cultivating a good following.”
The garden center is open April 15 through Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.