Warmer weather is right around the corner and it’s time to start getting your garden ready! Decorah has lots of local greenhouses, gardens, markets, and shops to help you get growing in the Driftless this spring. If you need some help getting started, here are eight places to get your garden inspiration, right here in the crater.
Seed Savers Exchange has been growing, saving, and sharing heirloom seeds since 1975. As a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting seed conservation, it is their goal to get seeds into the hands of as many gardeners as possible. At their Visitor's Center, you can get everything from vegetable and herb seeds to flower seeds, trees, and transplants. Support their mission and shop their seeds today!
Established in 1876, Decorah Greenhouses has been in business for over 135 years. They are a full-service florist and offer everything from seasonal flowers to floral arrangements for things like weddings, funerals, anniversaries, and more. The best part? They offer same day deliveries. But there's more. Meandering through their greenhouse on a cold or gloomy day is sure to lift your spirits and fill you with a strong sense of zen.
If you’re in need of a little inspiration, head on over to the Luther College Campus & Community Gardens. With approximately an acre of land, Luther students manage all aspects of the garden including planting, weeding, and harvesting, with the help of Sodexo, Luther’s Dining Service provider. Complete with production gardens, high tunnels, quick hoops, and edible landscapes, Luther College is proud to produce locally grown, organic food in their campus dining locations.
LadyBug Landscapes and Decorah Floral Company is your go-to place for landscaping services, trees, shrubs, annuals, and perennials. You can also get garden tools, gifts, bird supplies, and fresh cut flowers. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and their own landscaping is sure to give you some great new ideas.
Pinter’s Gardens & Pumpkins has it all. Not only do they offer everything from petunias and pavers to pumpkins and parties, their seasonal activities, conference spaces, garden center, and bakery make this a must-see space for Northeast Iowans.
The Winneshiek h Farmers Market is another great place for ideas and inspiration. With over 40 vendors, there’s always a wide selection of fruits, veggies, and house and garden plants. Did we mention the frequent live music, tasty treats, and handmade goods? Be sure to stop by downtown Decorah Wednesdays and Saturdays this spring and summer! Pick up some healthy starts for your garden, grab some beautiful potted flowers, or ask your local growers about their own methods and plant varieties. You're sure to get inspired and learn something new.
Speaking of ideas and inspiration, the Decorah Community Prairie & Butterfly Garden is a 34-acre oasis of prairie plants and wildlife all along The Upper Iowa River. The paved walkways are open year-round for hikers, bikers, runners, skiers, snowshoers, and butterfly-watchers alike. Come see all the wide variety of native wild plants that are sure to add substance and sustainability to your home garden.
Started in 2008 as an educational program, the Pepperfield Project was awarded official non-profit status in 2010 as a place where people can go to experience good food, learn how to grow it, and enjoy all that Iowa’s natural wilds have to offer. Today, the project offers classes, workshops, retreats, and events on the 55-acre farm, complete with a restored 1851 log cabin and spaces for concerts and weddings. The Pepperfield Project also partners with educational organizations to enhance local food security and serve the community through outreach programs.
We’re so lucky to have all these resources right here in small town Iowa! They're sure to help you get growing throughout the Driftless this spring and summer. Warmer weather is on the way!