Jennifer Thomas, owner of Thomas’ Greenhouse and Gardens in Mukwonago, is ready to help customers. (Tracy Ouellette photo)

Garden center work runs in the family for Thomases

By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

Gardeners who might have been dismayed when 3D Greenhouses and Gifts closed in Mukwonago last year can rest easy with the opening of Thomas’ Greenhouse and Gardens in the same location.

Jennifer Thomas, owner of the new garden center, said talks with ProHealth, which owns the land, began almost as soon as 3D announced its closure.

“Our lease started in January and we’ve been working hard ever since to get things ready for the planting season,” Thomas said.

Thomas is leasing 12 acres total with about 5 or 6 of them are in operation at the moment.

Thomas grew up around greenhouses with her father running a gardening center for about 45 years.

“And now my son’s working with it, so we’re third generation in the business,” she said.

Thomas’ husband is also a long-time gardener with 25 years of experience in the business and has been instrumental in getting everything planted for the season.

“Of course we’re the owners and we’re biased, but it’s just awesome,” Jennifer Thomas said. “We grow almost all of our own flowers and perennials even for the baskets, which we have in every shape and size.

“To see all we’ve accomplished, especially in our first year, it’s very exciting. We’ve had a few growing pains, and we’ve learned from them. It’s different growing at this level.”

The gardening center runs eight full greenhouses and offers a large variety of flowers and plants.

The Thomases gave the retail space a full makeover when they came in and stocked it from top to bottom with everything a garden enthusiast could want.

“We’re really excited about the different things we have here,” Jennifer Thomas said. “And if someone is looking for something specific that they don’t see, we want them to let us know and we’ll get it in. We want our customers to have a good experience.

“They might be looking for something 3D had and we don’t, so we want to be able to get it for them.”

 

Plans for the future

Jennifer Thomas said the garden center is also ramping up to offer workshops and community events.

“We plan on having one or two workshops a month, starting in June,” she said. “In addition to that, we want to host a winter market because people like farmers markets all year round and we don’t have something like that in this area.”

Other activities on the planning board include a ladies night, classes on succulent planting in containers, Christmas classes and more.

“We’ll be fully stocked for the holidays too,” Jennifer Thomas said. “We’ll have live and artificial trees, Christmas shopping, wreaths, all the greens people use, ornaments, poinsettias and more.”

As part of the greenhouse’s community outreach, Jennifer Thomas said she’s been working with Next Step Life Coach Connie Lelivelt in Waterford and giving the students an opportunity to work at the garden center. The students, who Jennifer Thomas said are “differently abled” have been putting in hours all winter and spring.

“They’ve been a huge help,” Thomas said. “We’ve had them planting, tagging, pricing, anything they can do. We love having them.”

Thomas’ Greenhouse and Gardens is at S108 W28220 Maple Ave., Mukwonago. For more information, call 414-397-8453 or find them on Facebook.

 
 

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