Northern Landscapes, located at 2103 Hwy. 37 (1 mile east of the roundabout) in Hibbing, is a one-stop garden center. It is owned/operated by Peggy Jivery and her daughter, Liz Kolden, who serves as store manager.
Open since April 1999, here’s the details of business in the words of those who know Northern Landscapes best:
Describe your business/services offered:
Our store has a full greenhouse with annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, trees and shrubs. We also carry products that can be purchased in bulk, such as mulch, black dirt, crushed rock and concrete products. Our gift shop is filled with a wide variety of items for the garden — from yard ornaments to bird feeders and fairy garden supplies. We also have a landscaping crew that can do all the work for you.
How did the business start?
After numerous trips to Duluth while landscaping our own yard, we (Peggy & Tom Jivery) realized that there was a great need for a business like this in Hibbing. We already owned the property with our other business, Jivery Construction.
How many employees?
We employ 10 people.
Are you seasonal?
Yes, we are seasonal. Depending on the weather, we open toward the end of April and stay open until sometime in September. In the off season, we are open by appointment.
How do you define gardening/landscaping?
Gardening and landscaping can mean many things. It is a way to add uniqueness and your own personality to your property. Some like to keep it simple and just put a few annuals in pots, and others turn their yard into a canvas and make a beautiful design.
What has been your most popular item or service?
Unique varieties of Hydrangeas. We also try to find specialty plants that other garden centers do not carry.
One service we offer that has been very popular is that we will pot up containers for free. Customers buy the plants and the potting soil and our staff pots them up at no charge. This has been very popular with cemetery baskets also.
A new service this year will be planting people’s gardens at their homes. We will have a new employee this year who is an expert gardener. She can work with customers on a design and do the planting for them. This will be a great service for elderly or people that just don’t have the time to do it.
What do you predict will be the hot item/service this year?
The Invincibelle series of Hydrangeas. The three we will be carrying are the Limetta, Mini Mauvette and Wee White. They are more compact and only get 2.5 to 3 feet tall.
What has been the key to your success?
Good customer service, working one-on-one with customers and selling quality products. We are very picky about who our suppliers are.
What keeps you motivated?
Our customers. When they leave with a smile on their face and are excited about the products that they purchased.
What sets your business apart from others?
We work individually with customers. Our staff is well-trained. If we don’t know the answer, we will find it for you.
What feedback do you get from customers?
We get a lot of positive feedback. One of our biggest compliments is how healthy our plants are.
Are there any new trends?
One trend that we really like is that things don’t have to match like they used to. Instead of alternating plants, you can mix up numerous ones for a very unique design.
For new customers/clients, what advice do you give?
Many people are nervous to garden if they’ve never done it before. That’s OK. Bring in pictures of the area you want to change, and we can help you design it. You have to make it your own. If everyone liked the same thing, gardening would be very boring. Pick out plants that you like and we can help you choose combinations that will go well with them.
For repeat customers/clients, any advice for them?
We love our repeat customers. There are some that have been with us all 19 years and some that just discovered us last year but keep coming back. One of our favorite first signs of spring is seeing their cars pull in and getting to catch up with them.
Do you learn anything from customers/clients?
All the time. Customers are always teaching us new things. There are some very talented gardeners in our community. We love when people share ideas with us.
What do you like most about your job? Least?
Most: we like working with the public. Each day is different. Helping people is very rewarding.
Least: competing with big box stores. We try to keep our prices as low as possible, but it’s hard when we don’t order the quantity that they do. That’s why we try hard to find suppliers that sell quality products. You may have to pay a little more for something, but the end result will be well worth it.
~ Complied by Carrie Manner, staff writer