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Angie Wieck, Published April 18 2013

Shotwell Floral opens greenhouse doors early with Spring Preview

FARGO – Tired of snow and ice? Longing for the smell of soil and fresh plants?

Shotwell Floral at 4000 40th St. S. is opening its greenhouse doors early to customers during the company’s 125th anniversary Spring Preview on Saturday.

John Shotwell, who owns the business with his wife, Annette, said it is not uncommon for people to come in and ask for permission to walk around the greenhouse.

“People need it,” he said. “They’ll walk around a few minutes, then walk right out and leave. They needed that smell.”

Shotwell’s great-grandfather, Alvin T. Shotwell, started the business in 1888 as a small floral landscaping shop in downtown Fargo.

The Shotwells have called a few locations home over the years, but since 2003, the family has operated the business from their store and greenhouse at 4000 40th St. S.

A number of festivities are planned Saturday in recognition of 125 years in business.

The first 100 customers will receive a free Gerber daisy plant. Drawings are planned for gift items and a $125 gift certificate.

Grilled brats, cake and beverages will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., or while supplies last, in the greenhouse.

J.D. Shotwell, the son of John and Annette and heir to the business, will give a spring planting seminar at 1:30 p.m.

He will talk about the appropriate soil and fertilizer to use, depending on what is to be planted. Shotwell said those steps are important to ensure a nicer product at the end of the season.

Shotwell said the key for gardeners this year will be patience. For those thinking about starting plants inside, the effort will be futile without growing lights. Natural indoor lighting is not adequate to start healthy growth.

He added that hardcore gardeners would already have indoor growing operations started for the season.

Shotwell Floral did most of its planting in late February. It is now in the process of letting plants grow and nurturing them into healthy plants for customers to enjoy for what may be a shorter-than-normal growing season.

“That’s our biggest goal,” J.D. Shotwell said. “I just want to get the best product we can for those customers who have been able to keep us going for so long.”

His dad agrees.

“If it wasn’t for our customers,” said John Shotwell, “we wouldn’t be here. It all comes down to that, and we’ve been very fortunate.”


What: Shotwell’s 125th Anniversary Spring Preview

When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: 4000 40th St. S., Fargo

Readers can reach Forum reporter Angie Wieck at (701) 241-5501