New business caters to customers' green thumbs by David Lias When Julie Strathman needs to find a place to relax, she seeks out the bench located near a bubbling waterfall.
The waterfall feeds a small stream that fills a rock-lined pond that hosts water plants and gold fish.
Strathman, the former owner of From the Ground Up, doesn't work near a creek in the middle of a forest. She's the manager of the new Ace Hardware Landscaping and Lawn Care business, which officially opened Saturday.
The business features a small greenhouse that is filled with a variety of garden flowers and plants, herbs, and small trees and shrubs.
"We have a full-service landscaping department and feature all types of plants and trees � we have over 200 trees," said Gregg Peters, co-owner of Jones' Food Center and Jones' Ace Hardware.
Gregg, his wife Nicole, and Strathman have been recently creating the new garden center. Josh Koller, the center's full-time landscape employee, has helped create an idyllic setting adjacent to Jones' Food Center.
People who visit the garden center enter the greenhouse and follow a stone path to the artificial waterfall and pond.
The work helps showcase the types of services the new business offers. People interested in their own stone garden path can get ideas and materials from the landscaping center, or hire the business to design and install the improvements.
"I think our vegetable and herb selection is going to be really special, too," Strathman said.
"We have several knowledgeable people on staff," Gregg Peters said. "If anyone has any questions about gardening or plants, Julie is the person to talk to."
Staff members strive to make plant selection a easy process for customers, he said. Plants that thrive in sunny areas, for example, are grouped together and clearly identified. Plants that prefer shade are segregated to separate part of the center.
"You can easily find the things that you are looking for," Peters said.
"We also offer trees that are up to six and seven feet tall, and we can install them," Strathman said. "We carry more larger trees."
"We can design as well, and do the entire landscape work for customers," Peters said.
Ace Landscaping and Lawn Care is planning an open house during Mother's Day weekend, May 10-11.