As you enter into the driveway of Shady Hill Greenhouses, you see a log cabin in a picturesque setting of unique trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and display gardens. This log cabin is the home and workplace of Ron and Kathy Hill, owners of Shady Hill Greenhouses of Londonderry, New Hampshire.
Shady Hill began in 1998 as a wholesale grower of annuals and perennials with just two greenhouses and a few acres of cleared land. Both Ron and Kathy were working full time at other jobs meaning that deliveries could only be made in the evenings and on the weekends. As the business grew, Kathy decided to make Shady Hill her full time job. When she did this in 2002, it was just her and one other full time employee while Ron was still in his regular full time job. Just for a trial period, Ron and Kathy decided to put a sign up advertising “plants for sale”. However, as soon as the doors opened up for retail, customers began flocking into the nursery, and thus the end of Shady Hill as a wholesale grower.
After a successful first Spring season, selling mums in the Fall was a natural transition with loads of traffic passing by their business from nearby apple orchards and farm markets. Ron’s extensive background in landscaping and garden centers soon led Shady Hill to become a complete garden center selling trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and some bulk materials such as mulch and top soil.
Ron attributes a great deal of Shady Hill’s growth to his phenomenal staff of employees coming from many different areas of expertise. While the employees may often be busy doing routine tasks, they are always available to answer customer’s questions and assist customers in loading or locating plant materials around the nursery.
While Shady Hill may appear to be just another garden center, it does much more to set itself apart from the rest. Shady Hill tends to grow the more unusual annuals that most growers do not want to grow. Most annuals are sold in 4” pots are larger. The expansive variety of plants and friendly staff of employees distinguishes Shady Hill from many other mass producers of plants and large chain stores.
Another unique characteristic of Shady Hill is that the Spring Season never ends. During the months of July and August when most garden centers have packed it in for the “season”, Shady Hill maintains a large inventory of annuals, perennials and nursery stock. The grounds are always filled with colorful, healthy looking, beautiful plant displays. There are many examples of display gardens throughout the property and around their home, which allows customers to walk around and get a clear vision of what can be accomplished in their landscape.
Shady Hill’s most recent expansion included two RGS 30 x 96 Nor'Easter free-standing greenhouses to keep up with the demand of growing. Ron loves the taller sides on these greenhouses for good aeration and ventilation, plus all trusses in the greenhouse support many of the unique hanging baskets that are grown. Ron’s staff also enjoyed the ease of construction of the greenhouses. Shady Hill has plans to expand again this Fall with another RGS greenhouse.
Now that Shady Hill is busy most of the year with growing and retailing, the garden center continues to keep and Ron and Kathy without much downtime. However, all of this hard work has paid off. In just a relatively short time, Ron and Kathy Hill have evolved their business into one of New Hampshire’s leading garden center for their customers, employees and the surrounding community of Londonderry.