Gardening Road Trip: Woldhuis Farms Sunrise Greenhouse

Back when Nikabee and I went to the local nursery, I only purchased one plant, a Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower. I had a plan for the yard that was still in the early stage so buying a ton of plants without even the slightest idea is not a good idea.I know this for a fact after buying black-eyed susans one year and even though I tried to keep them alive, they died before I got them in the ground. My attempt to just bury them and cross my fingers for the following year failed too.

So this year was hack, attack, and start with a few spots. Redoing an entire section along the side of the house would be really amazing but also really out of our budget. I try to get the most bang for my buck, or should I say the most bloom for my buck, and so I watch the ads for when perennials are on sale. Yes, that is right, the ads.

I’ve had success with the garden centers of the big box home stores the last few years. As with any plants, some would die and other would come back with a vengeance. The heat wave summer of 2013 took a few as did last winter’s frigid weather, or Polar Vortex if you’d prefer. This year I had planned to thin out some areas and move some tiger lilies which meant I’d have some spaces to fill.

I know several gardening people who talked about Sunrise, a greenhouse that was a ways away but definitely worth the trip. Woldhuis Farms Sunrise Greenhouse is family owned and operated with three generations working within the seven acre greenhouse.


My thought was always that I’d eventually go but I didn’t know exactly when. When I mentioned a trip to Darth Husband, his reaction was like those opposite mirrors in some old cartoon. I was the excited crazy-eyed person and he was the calm one, though with a raised eyebrow. He knows how I can get with plant shopping. It is like the chorus of Want It All / We Will Rock You Mash-Up from the Sucker Punch soundtrack on repeat.

“I want it all, I want it all, I need it all right now, I want it all.
I gotta get it, I got gots to get it, yo-
I want it all, I want it all, I need it all right now.
I want it all, I want it all and I want it now.”

I knew he would go if I asked but after a while he’d be done and bored. I don’t think they have benches like outside of the women’s dressing rooms at some department stores. (Must try on all the clothes… and then buy like two things.) I wanted this to be a fun gardening based adventure and so I knew exactly who to talk to – Nikabee! Since she has been having success with her newbie plants, I had a feeling that she would think this was a good idea as well.

After a little coordinating work, we had a date set and that day also meant an early alarm. Usually pre-7am alarms on a Saturday have me grumbling and stumbling about.  Not this time since I knew earlier the better since this wasn’t a small greenhouse. The key was to be able to spend as much time as possible and not let the weather stop this.

Sunrise is SEVEN acres. Adding in that you are also inside a greenhouse means starting before the sun really starts blazing was ideal. If we had gone earlier in the season, the weather would (hopefully) been cooler but this was a hot day.

The early alarm was totally worth it. Believe me, I sleep in when I can. This place is amazing. If it was in a movie like Roger Rabbit, there’d be cartoon garden gnomes fluttering around on cherubic wings. Yes, I know me and garden gnomes.

Though their website is great and highly informative with an extremely useful plant finder search option, when we neared Sunrise I couldn’t help but be wowed by the actual size of the place. Reading seven acres is one thing, having the span actually stretched out in front of you is another.


We grabbed a double-decker cart with an attached map and once we got inside why there was a map made sense. If this was a cave, there’d be an awesome echo.


We wandered the garden tchotchke and planter sections a bit before finding the correct street to the perennials. The aisle have names and street sign inspired signs and so we started using them like driving directions.



Though I did want some annuals for my planters, my goal was to get some more perennials and to get some interesting ones. On the top of my list was Gaillardia Goblin. Nikabee was on the hunt for more perennials as well though our plants did vary mostly by leaf type. She goes for the more feathery types while mine were more on the ordinary side. We did share a similar warm color palette filled with oranges, yellows, and deep pinks. I added a bit of white and light purple to mine as well. 

Since we were winding down and our bill totals were moving up, we decided some would have to wait until next year. After a quick, or quicker than the earlier section, spin through the annuals, I had flowers for my pots and planters back home and we were ready to check out.


That is when I saw it – the gnome watering can. Did I already have a watering can? Yes, it is blue. Did I need another one? No, but it was a GNOME! Some people think they are tacky, or in Darth Husband’s case creepy, but I think they are hilarious. Onto the car it went. (I didn’t get a picture until I got home though.)


Our purchases just fit in the car so it was a good thing we decided to leave some things for next year.


Yes, there will definitely be a trip next year.


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