Spring is in bloom in Sturgeon Bay – you just have to head indoors to see it.
This spring, Char, Michael and Steve Sullivan, of Sully’s Produce, unveiled their largest and most colorful greenhouse yet: a 10,000-square-foot facility dedicated to Char’s passion for flowers.
The greenhouse marks an important milestone in Sullivan’s burgeoning floral career – one that began a decade ago with “only 300 geraniums and some begonias that I killed.”
But with the help of online research, vegetable conferences, UW-Extension programs and gardening magazines, those days of overwatering plants are now behind her.
When the greenhouse opens on their property April 27, winter-weary visitors will behold a sight for sore eyes: more than 20,000 flowers, plants, succulents and cacti.
“There’s nothing better than walking through that greenhouse when there are flowers,” Sullivan said. “It’s my little heaven.”
That little slice of heaven has been in the works since last November, when construction on the project began. The Apex-style greenhouse, designed by Westbrook Greenhouse Systems, has concrete walkways for visitors to stroll unobstructed aisles (watering hoses are mounted on the ceilings), along with covered gravel patches to allow drainage from the tables.
Since it was completed in January, it has been Sullivan’s green thumb facility. Customers can find pre-planted pots and hanging baskets, landscaping plants, perennials, more than 16 varieties of herbs, and dozens of succulents.
“When I was young I used to look through cookbooks all the time,” Sullivan said. “And now that I’m older, I’m looking through seed catalogs all the time!”
More experimental gardeners will find a few unique offerings to add to their gardens this summer, including tobacco.
“It’s supposed to grow a beautiful flower, which I’m not familiar with but this is something we thought we would try,” Sullivan said. “And then we do have the cactuses. Some of them are four years old already and those we started from seed. My son went on a vacation one winter to Arizona and he brought back a package of cactus seeds and said, ‘Here, see what you can do with those.’”
The flower greenhouse is also an opportunity for visitors to travel beyond the Sully’s Produce roadside produce shed. The family will also host the next Door County Buy Local mixer on May 2 starting at 5:30 pm.
“It’s a real exciting time for the family and it truly is a family business,” Sullivan said. “Even if I do most of the planting and I start and end my day in that greenhouse, I’m not doing it myself. Everybody in the household is helping.”
Sully’s Produce is located at 7054 County Road C in Sturgeon Bay.