Happiness is to hold flowers in both hands. – Japanese proverb
Matt McElroy stands in one of Newton Greenhouse’s 18 greenhouses watering rows of violets as he reflects on growing up where his parents planted seeds five decades ago. He fondly recalls how vacations with brothers Doug and Brian were spent watching poinsettias pop in California and orchids unfold in Hawaii.
When Tom and Nora McElroy first opened Newton Greenhouse in 1971, the business looked a lot different than it does today. While they are still using the same loom they did in the 1970s, Newton Greenhouse has evolved and grown over the lat 50 years.
In the 1970s and ’80s, they dabbled in delivering flowers to florists and supplying hardware and grocery stores that now buy from the big box outlets. Today, Newton Greenhouse services 35 florists regularly, as well as supplying the Flower Market and selling flowers to businesses and individual customers. Along with sprouting and selling millions and millions of posies over the years, Newton Greenhouse also features house plants, flowering plants, vegetables, and holiday props.
The McElroys spend their time on the 15-acre property toggling between training employees, getting ready for deliveries, fertilizing, watering, cutting flowers, helping customers, and navigating the 18 greenhouses. “We pasteurize and sterilize our soil,” says McElroy who learned the business through osmosis. His 79-year old dad studied horticulture at Ohio State University and still happily handwrites greenhouse growth in notebooks daily.
Newton Greenhouse is open six days a week year-round and daily in May and June. The family saw their business double during COVID. “The pandemic created a whole new market of people who want to add green to their homes,” says McElroy. He notes the following plants as great ones to add to your home.
The tropical beauty is a large plant that needs extra TLC in the winter but is worth the work spouting bright blossoms.
The climbing evergreen, a native of Central American rainforests, is a cinch to grow. The Monstera stands tall at two feet and has heart-shaped leaves.
The snake plant is one of the simplest houseplants plants to grow. The tall attractive plant improves air quality.
Succulents are fabulous indoor plants. Along with brightening your home, succulents can help purify the air, improve the humidity, and can improve your focus.
Just its name alone makes you feel good. Its attributes besides being beautiful include promoting restful sleep, purifying the air, and being low maintenance.
Since they launched in 1971, the McElroy family has been growing two to three plants a year. “We are always adapting and evolving. Always up for new ideas and still traveling around the country to see what is new, the McElroy family brings local knowledge and expertise to Newton Greenhouse. “It’s all consuming,” says McElroy. ”You don’t get many nomads in the business,” he smiles happily planted in the family business.