Werkheiser’s Green Acres Celebrates 65 Years in Business

Growing plants and flowers takes more than just a green thumb. It requires a combination of dedication and knowledge – and a sprinkle of luck. For Lynn Werkheiser Sr., owner of Werkheiser’s Green Acres, the reward is rooted deeper than bountiful harvests and stunning blooms: It includes a celebration of 65 years of hard work. 

Located at 6666 Bay Shore Dr. in Egg Harbor, the spacious greenhouse draws loyal customers who appreciate not only Werkheiser’s expertise, but also his welcoming wit and hospitality. The space – filled with rows of starter trays and hanging baskets – feels like a peninsular jungle, yet like the many plant varieties it houses, the business itself began with just a few seeds. 

Growing up, Lynn Werkheiser Sr. can remember his family members cultivating their own food in the fields surrounding their home. The land’s crops helped to feed the family, but then a coincidental abundance led to a booming business venture. 

Inside Werkheiser’s greenhouse. Photo by Jennifer Much.

“When I was 12, we seeded too many tomato and pepper plants,” Werkheiser said. “My dad, Arthur, took the extra plants with him to work to see if he could sell them to his coworkers.” 

At the time, Arthur worked at the Christy Corporation, which is now Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.  

“The plants sold so well that he decided to grow and sell tomato and pepper plants the following year,” Werkheiser said.

The year was 1958, and Werkheiser’s horticultural venture was born. The greenhouse soon followed, as did Werkheiser’s reputation as a master who grew and sold flowers, vegetables and herbs at prices that kept the customer in mind. 

“As my wife would say, ‘Everyone should be able to afford a garden,’” he said.

Werkheiser would recommend any of the plants he grows, but there are two that are the most popular. 

“I would say that the hanging baskets would be a top seller because of their quality and low cost,” Werkheiser said. “After that, our tomatoes are what bring a lot of people in.”

Each year, Werkheiser looks forward to seeing faces both familiar and new.

“It’s very rewarding to have customers come back year after year, or return and say that their parents brought them when they were kids,” he said. “It’s also nice to meet new friends (customers).” 

As the business springs up to its 65th anniversary this year, Werkheiser has been reflecting on the many valuable lessons that have streamlined its success. He emphasized the importance of customer feedback and knowing customers’ needs. 

Trays of New Guinea impatiens. Photo by Jennifer Much.

“Listen to your customers, and know your products and what you sell in your greenhouse, and how they are meant to be grown,” he said. 

Werkheiser’s wisdom goes beyond horticulture and includes hearty advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and new-business owners. 

“The one thing you can never do is give up when the times get hard,” he said. “If something breaks, do the best you can to fix it. Keeping your business going is going to take a lot of work.” 

Werkheiser’s opened for the season May 1 and spent a weekend celebrating its anniversary and showing appreciation for the community with a two-day event that featured an afternoon cookout for customers on Saturday. On Sunday, children received a free plant to decorate and give to their mothers for Mother’s Day. 

The celebration was a continuation, however, and not an end: Werkheiser said he still has a few tricks up his sleeve.

“Hopefully, some day when I’m old – I’m a spry 77 years young – I will retire from this and have no regrets,” he said, chuckling. “Seriously, though, I enjoy growing the plants and trying new methods to grow them. I’m trying to pass on what I know works well to everyone who asks.”

Learn more by following Werkheiser’s Green Acres on social media at

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