Hittin’ The Town: local flower farm brings beautiful color to our corner of the world

GardenView Flowers in Grand Rapids is a family affair.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 7:50 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Northwest Ohio is home to some gorgeous gardens. And there’s a special place where you can enjoy huge fields of beautiful blooms.

There are acres and acres of flowers at GardenView Flowers in Grand Rapids.

“It’s a magical place,” said Jenny Van Houtte lead wedding designer.

You can stroll through the gardens and even take some of its beauty home with you from the U-pick gardens.

Ellie Van Houtte, creative director, and operations manager said the team has created quite the experience.

“We’ve created an experience that isn’t just rows and rows of flowers. It’s more of a garden experience, more immersive and textural,” Houtte said.

Vibrant colors are everywhere you turn and Houtte said that’s by design.

“We curate the garden so there is always a nice mix of flowers,” Houtte added that some of her favorite variations are grown in the larger production fields.

Houtte and her sister Jenny come by their love of flowers honestly. “We attribute everything to our dad who started flower farming in 1972. So we’ve been here in Grand Rapids for decades,” Ellie said.

After college and other careers, both girls are home. Ellie said they haven’t looked back since. “We are proud to build something that can inspire other people.”

Jenny described her job as a labor of love. “Everything ties in with nature and you’re doing what you love and also being where you were raised, too,” Jenny said.

There are about four acres of U-pick flowers. “People find all these nooks and crannies and really are lost in the garden,” said Ellie.

13abc was at GardenView before everything was in full bloom. Which is hard to imagine when you see just how beautiful it was.

“You don’t always understand how hard it is to cultivate things from seed until you do it yourself. Every day you see miracles in action,” said Ellie.

And Ellie points out that preparation to get the gardens ready begins long before spring arrives.

“The garden starts in the middle of winter. We start ordering seeds when it’s snowing. Then things go into the greenhouses. So every plant you see started as a seed in the greenhouse,” said Ellie.

It’s about much more than U-pick flowers and farmers’ markets at GardenView.

Weddings are also a big part of the business. The sisters work on about 100 weddings every year. Many of those flowers are also grown on the property and it’s a lot of work to keep all this beauty in bloom from constant weeding to watering.

“We’re grateful when people appreciate all that goes into making this happen,” said Ellie.

It’s tough to pick a favorite in the midst of all this beauty, but Jenny has a few. “I love peonies in the spring and dahlias so do I have a favorite? Not exactly, but I like to mix things with color and texture,” she said.

The garden also serves as a beautiful backdrop for all kinds of activities.

“We have yoga in the garden, you can kayak to the garden and U-pick. We have U-pick and painting. We also added a special flower and feast farm-to-table dinner. We do that with our local partner Cork and Knife,” said Ellie.

So many opportunities to enjoy nature in one place. “

It’s truly magical here. Some mornings when I wake up early, I go walking in the garden. I hear the birds and see the butterflies. It’s absolutely beautiful. What a wonderful place to be and to share with others,” said Jenny.

In addition to the U-pick gardens and the sales at farmers’ markets in Perrysburg and Toledo, you can also buy bouquets at a flower shop right on the grounds of GardenView.

To learn more about all of it, click here.

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