Local Hero Profile: Sixteen Acres Garden Center

By Aja Lippincott, Program Associate
Published in CISA’s April 2016 Enews – Sign Up Here!

It’s a family affair at Sixteen Acres Garden Center in Springfield. Fifty-three years ago, after receiving his degree in horticulture from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and with the encouragement of his wife Joan to start his own business, John Bordenuk founded his new greenhouse and garden center on a piece of land previously farmed by his parents. While John remains the President of the company it is now owned and managed by their three children Judy, Steve and Debra. The business continues to flourish as the family keeps up the mission at Sixteen Acres to “help people feed their happy hobby.”

Judy enjoys the affect her family’s business has on people. “It’s nice to see how much joy people gain from beautifying their homes. We just make so many people happy.” The same is true for her. Her own garden is her refuge and she enjoys nothing more than spending time among her plants after a long day of work.

The nine greenhouses on the property are home to an expansive selection of foliage plants, annuals, perennials, berry bushes, fruit trees and potted flowering plants like geraniums, fuchsia hangers and New Guinea impatiens, to name a few. The Sixteen Acres staff prides themselves on offering unusual varieties along with the basics, plus seasonal offerings like poinsettias around Christmas time and mums in the fall. “We’re always in production,” says staff member Jim, referencing the thirty-five thousand potted flowering plants, five thousand vegetable starts and three thousand hanging baskets. “People come here because everything we grow is exceptional,” adds Judy. “It’s definitely a labor of love.”

IMG_0125Fifty-three years in the gardening business have allowed plenty of time for expansion and expertise – as they have added more greenhouses over the years, they have focused on creating a comfortable environment for shoppers and on expanding the variety of their offerings, including a gift shop with collectible and handmade items. And they are ready to answer even the most challenging gardening questions – most of the managers have years of experience, or degrees in horticulture themselves. Jim, who manages the greenhouse and has been with Sixteen Acres for thirty-five years, is also charged with showing newcomers the ropes. During the winter, they offer free Saturday morning seminars on topics such as herb garden creation, propagation from seeds, and using shrubs in landscape design.

In addition to carrying everything visitors need for their own gardens, Sixteen Acres has a full service florist who works on custom orders for weddings and other special occasions. They also have a landscape design service for those in need of some help with their creative vision and execution.

To get yourself in the spirit of gardening season, join Sixteen Acres for their Annual Spring Fling Weekend on April 23rd and 24th. Join the Saturday seminar on the care and maintenance of perennials, bring a sample of your soil for a free soil testing, have a walking tour of the greenhouses and ask questions about lawn care products from visiting supplier representatives. Special promotions, free raffles and food are available on site!

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