Abbi's Garden

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 4-20-05, by Julie A. Short

``Learn creative, unique gardening ideas at Abbi's Garden

AVON -- Dust off that green thumb and get ready for the spring planting season. Abbi's Garden (formerly Allen Greenhouse) on Long Road re-opened last weekend and offers a new twist on the familiar Avon greenhouse scene.

Co-owner Louise Allen and daughter Larrynn Jasko understand that today's garden hobbyists need a different approach. Their concept caters to backyard and patio gardeners who have less time to spend gardening, but still want to enjoy the outdoors and have the advantage of fresh, homegrown vegetables and flowers. Abbi's garden offers plants that do well in small spaces and expert advice on planting and caring for them.

"We want people to enjoy our greenhouse, as well as learn the techniques that will make them successful gardeners," Jasko said. "To do this, we have created a space where people can enjoy a relaxing, rural setting and chat with our staff as they select their plants. We have scheduled special events and classes to help people be successful with their gardens and more fully enjoy the experience."

The Allen family has operated successful greenhouse and produce businesses for over 75 years. Charles Allen, Larrynn's great-grandfather began a produce business in the 1930s in Rocky River. The business and family later moved to Avon where Larry Allen, Larrynn's father took over. He passed away in 1986 and Louise took over running the operation. Last year [2004], the name was changed from Allen Greenhouse to Abbi's Garden, (Abbi is Louise's nickname from her maiden name, Abfall).

"We are a seasonal greenhouse," Allen said. "Our spring grand opening emphasizes our commitment to make this a place where people can come learn about plants and enjoy flowers. We enjoy working with people and our learning garden is an extension of that. We want to offer people that personal service you don't see at larger, more commercial shops such as the big box stores."

Abbi's Garden offers low cost or free classes in its new indoor learning garden. On April 23 at 11 am, A Tea Party and Fairy Garden program is scheduled. Sip on tea (hot or cold), sample tasty treats and listen to a professional storyteller of folklore and fairytales. Guests are invited to make their own fairy garden to take home. The event is open to everyone. Cost is $25 for one adult and one child and includes one fairy garden kit (container, soil, plants, decorations) ...

Contain Your Enthusiasm will be presented May 21 [2005] at 11 am with creative and unique alternatives for container planting. Learn to mix it up with annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetables. Feng Shui techniques will also be explored.

Summer programs include Growing, Cooking & Grilling with Herbs (June 11 at 11 am, free) and Garden S.O.S. (July 9 at 11 a.m., free).

In the fall, learn how to put your garden to bed for the winter at special classes on Sept. 24 and Oct. 15. Tips for preparing your yard for winter and hints for bringing plants and bulbs indoors will be covered at the free events.

Other regular events during May and June will be "Tuesday Evenings at the Potter Bench" from 6-8 pm. Abbi's Gardens will provide the space and assistance for you to plant your own container gardens. Perfect for people who live in apartments or condos, you only need to bring a container. Purchase your plants and soil then plant your container on the spot. Leave the mess at Abbi's Gardens.

"You see a lot more people opting to use containers rather than lots of flats for a flower garden," Allen said. "As more people buy cluster homes and condos, they may only have room for a few nice pots in the yard. You'd be surprised how much you can grow in a container. You can grow herbs and even vegetables."

There are nine greenhouses on the Abbi's Gardens property featuring flowers and herbs. "We still have a wholesale business," Allen said. "We also do group fund-raisers and I am available to speak at schools, garden clubs or church groups. Education is very important to us."

Allen and Jasko take continuing education classes and attend seminars throughout the state. Both are members of the Greater Cleveland Flower Growers Association where Allen served as the first women president.

Abbi's Garden is located at 3500 Long Road.

Spring hours are in effect as of April 30 [2005]: Monday-Saturday, 9 am - 4 pm

May and June: Monday-Friday, 9 am-7 pm, Saturday-Sunday, 9 am - 4 pm

July 1 - 16; Monday - Saturday 8 am - 1 pm

Closed July 16 - August.

Open September - October, Friday - Monday, 9 am - 1 pm

Closed November 1 - mid-April.

To register for classes or more information, call 934-6480.

For more information: Abbi's Gardens

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