There's something new at the Crossroads Mall. Stone Creek Landscape & Nursery Inc., 2620 200th St., has opened a showroom and store at 117 S. 25th St., a location that for many years housed a Blockbuster video store.
The outlet is designed to make Stone Creek's many offerings more readily visible to a wider audience of potential customers, said Shirley Seagren, co-owner of the company.
"What motivated us was to bring some of our plant material to the hub of the shopping area," Seagren said. "Because, when people go to the nursery, they are on a mission. They pretty much know what the want and why they are going there. We are probably missing a little bit of that spontaneous buyer. So, we decided to bring it here."
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Stone Creek Landscape & Nursery co-owner Shirley Seagren, left, along with Dani Doty, right, look through a book of landscaping ideas while surrounded by monuments featuring various branches of the armed services at their new retail location in the former Blockbuster building by the Crossroads Mall.
Stone Creek's Crossroads Mall store has only been in operation for a short time. It was launched March 22. Even so, Seagren said she is bullish about its potential.
"The exposure is great," she said.
The new showroom displays a sampling of the much-more extensive plant selection available at Stone Creek's nursery. Seagren said in addition to offering a variety of popular standards, Stone Creek has put an emphasis on stocking items that are not readily available elsewhere locally.
"We look for unique items, whether it's in the store or in the nursery," she said. "We have a lot of different things that you probably wouldn't find unless you ordered it."
The selection of plant material in the store reflects that approach.
"What we have in this store right now are shrubs and perennials," Seagren said. "New this year that you probably aren't going to find anyplace else are potted perennials. We're kind of replacing the hanging annual baskets with perennial baskets.
She said customers are gravitating toward container planting in part because the plants can be moved around. Additionally, the potted perennials have the advantage that they can be planted in the fall.
More than plants
The new store has a diverse array of products. Seagren said she and her co-owner husband, Dell Seagren, decided to feature in the Crossroads Mall outlet only products made in the United States
"We've got the plant material," Seagren said. "We've got outdoor, made-in-the-USA, maintenance-free lawn furniture. And we've got our own line that we've designed and manufactured of metal yard decor."
The lawn furniture is something that is very much in sync with today's emphasis on environmentally friendly merchandise.
"It's made from recycled milk jugs by a company in Minnesota," Seagren explained. "It is guaranteed for 35 years not to fade, rust or crack."
She also said the contoured backs and seats of the chairs make them a more comfortable fit for the human body than are some competing products on the market.
The metal yard decor is not only made in the USA, it's produced right here in Fort Dodge.
"We design it and have it manufactured in Fort Dodge," Seagren said.
She said this product line was added by Stone Creek this year.
"We've searched for the last two seasons to find American-made metal decor and we couldn't find it," Seagren said, explaining the company's decision to produce metal decor items locally.
Decorative stones are also proving a big seller for Stone Creek.
"We've got our poured-concrete stones that are made in Iowa," Seagren said. "They are made in the Des Moines area."
She said these items can be customized vis-a-vis size and the message they convey. Particularly popular are decorative stones that celebrate the collegiate background of the homeowner.
Consistent with the made-in-the-USA theme, the store even offers a line of jeans produced in Texas that are 100 per cent American-made. "The cotton is grown here," Seagren said. "The thread is made here, and the rivets that are on the back of the jeans are also made in the USA."
Wall of Honor
Anyone who visits the store will quickly discover that it also features a commemorative Wall of Honor.
"That's for all military to come in and sign the wall," Seagren said. "I would really like to make people aware of our Wall of Honor. It's part of what Stone Creek is. ... I love to talk to military people. Their stories are awesome. ... I would like to get 500 names on that wall before Memorial Day and 1,000 by July 4."
She said the Wall of Honor is way to pay tribute to people who have served the nation in the military in years gone by or are serving now.
About Stone Creek Landscape & Nursery
Stone Creek Landscape & Nursery, founded less than a decade ago, has become a multifaceted enterprise.
It offers extensive landscaping services, has a large garden and nursery, provides an array of irrigation options and markets yard and patio furniture and a variety of decorative products to enhance lawns, gardens and patios.