Milwaukee’s independent garden centers

It is tempting to shop for the garden at places like Wal-Mart and Home Depot, as their prices are sometimes lower than those at small garden centers. However, a garden gnome once said that the information and greenery available at smaller “mom and pop” centers goes beyond the shackles – and there’s a good chance there is some truth to that. So if you haven’t finished digging in the dirt this year, take a look at one of these little centers. Happy planting!

Batzler Garden Center
8762 N. chemin Granville, (414) 354-9749

A family business for over 35 years, Batzler’s is a small garden center with a fine selection of perennials and annuals and a focus on hanging baskets and vegetable plants. The family also owns an adjoining bar and restaurant called Batzler’s Trackside Inn.

Bayside Garden Center
400 E. Brown Deer Road, (414) 352-6159
For over 50 years, the Bayside Garden Center has grown almost all of its greenery, which includes annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs and more.

Bluemel Florist and Garden Center
4930 W. Loomis Road, (414) 282-4220

A family business since 1955, Bluemel’s sells annuals and perennials and other landscaping supplies. However, they do not have shrubs or trees.

Capitol Drive Nursery and Garden Center
9802 West Capitol Dr., (414) 461-2867

Capitol Drive Nursery is a small family business with a nice selection of annuals, perennials and vegetable plants.

Fred’s Garden Center
6238 W. Appleton Ave., (414) 442-4492

Family owned for 35 years, Fred’s offers annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, cut flowers and more.

Garden Room
2107 E. Capitol Drive, (414) 963-1657
Garden Room offers a small selection of annuals. They also have tools, houseplants, and more.

The falcon nursery
12217 W. Watertown Plank Rd., Wauwatosa, (414) 258-5525

Founded in 1875, Hawks is a large family business. (The Hawks family no longer owns the business; Joe Kresl, a Wauwatosa resident, bought it a few years ago.) Hawk’s offers a wide selection of annuals, perennials and trees, including figured out things that were hard to find. It also offers landscaping, maintenance and planting services.

Kellner Greenhouses
3258 N. Humboldt Avenue, (414) 264-6605
If you haven’t been to Kellner this season yet, don’t miss the new and improved Riverwest Greenhouse. Kellner offers a great selection of annuals, perennials, succulents and more in a beautifully renovated space. Like many of the stores on this list, they have very friendly and helpful staff.

Mega Discount Nursery
1901 E. Rawson Avenue, Oak Creek, (414) 571-6565

This family garden center has been in existence for twenty years. They specialize in shrubs and trees and the prices are exceptional.

by Milaeger
4838 avenue Douglas, Racine, (262) 639-2040
8717 Route 11, Sturtevant, (262) 886-2117

These huge garden centers are run by second generation Milaegers, who continue to offer some of the most beautiful greenery in the region, from the most basic to the hardest to find. They offer a spectacular selection of everything you need for a lush garden, as well as a huge selection of gardening supplies, furniture, gifts and more. The Racine location also has a nice cafe.

Miner’s garden center
7777 N. 76th St., (414) 354-4886

Family owned and operated for 57 years, Minor’s is a full service garden center with a wide selection.

Shady Acres Perennial Nursery
5725 S. Martin Rd., New Berlin, (262) 679-1610

Shady Acres has a good selection of perennials, vines, and ground covers. They don’t offer annual apartments, but they do have a small selection.
Shady Lane Greenhouses
W172 N7388 Shady Lane, Menomonee Falls, (262) 251-1660

A falls staple for 30 years, Shady Lane is a full-service center with a great website and seminars to help both novice and expert gardeners.

Stein Garden & Gifts
3725 S. 108th St., (414) 328-5600
5400 S. 27th St., (414) 761-5400
8801 West, Brown Deer Road, (414) 362-7878
14845 W. Capitol Dr., Brookfield, (262) 783-2323
Maurice Stein founded the company in 1946 and his son, Jack Stein, currently operates the 15 family stores. Each Stein store is located on a five-acre site, with a huge selection of nursery supplies, landscaping, garden ornaments, gift items and more.

Sweet earth
1571 W. Forest Home Ave., (414) 384-7995

Sweet Earth opened in 1956 as Bauer’s, but a few years ago it was bought and renamed by a resident of Milwaukee. Sweet Earth offers a nice selection of annuals, perennials and more. They also have a flower shop and upbeat, knowledgeable staff.

Wayne’s Daughters Farm and Greenhouses
Location of the farm
2429 43e Rue, Caledonia
, (262) 835-1376
City location
6207, avenue Douglas, Calédonie, (262) 752-1088

The motto at Wayne’s is “exclude the middleman” because Wayne’s, an eight-generation family business, grows virtually everything it sells.