Refreshing scents rush forth as you walk into Hastay’s Greenhouse & Flower Shop, accompanied by bright reds, purples and pinks. Seven greenhouses in the back showcase a variety of annuals and perennials with different colors and scents.
We try to keep up with what’s popular,” said co-owner Barbara Hastay. “Oranges, greens and citrus colors have been favorites for the past couple years.”
“It wasn’t the plan,” said Hastay, who attended Central Michigan University (CMU) with plans to pursue the retail business. “But it’s a happy surprise.”
As a teenager, Hastay assisted her parents in tending to the business, but only to earn a little money. She did transplanting in the spring and a little work in the front of the shop. After graduating from CMU, Hastay worked in the wholesale end of the flower industry in Detroit.
“I’ve always had my fingers in flowers,” said Hastay. “Our dad still comes in and checks on us all the time.”
Now, Hastay manages the front end mostly, while her brother tends to most of the growing. The most important aspect of gardening, according to Hastay, is knowing your environment and the areas of sun verses shade. It’s also good practice to rotate crops and put beds together early, so they are ready to be planted.
“There is a lot of variety here, and you have color all year round,” said Hastay. “I don’t get the winter blues like everybody else.”
Hastay commented on the large selection of both hanging and porch pots.
“Customers can customize the selection into anything they want filled,” said Hastay. “We try to make it a very personal experience and try to walk around with customers to price.”
They try to make it a point to use different containers every year. According to Hastay, there are newer, environmentally friendly containers coming out and they plan to utilize them in the future. “My personal favorite flower is hibiscus. I grow dahlias and snapdragons, too,” said Hastay.
Hastay also likes to mix annuals and perennials. As far as customers go, they get a lot of regulars, but love seeing new customers mosey through the door. Though the greenhouse is planted in a small community, Hastay believes that every day is different and no flower arrangement is the same.
“You’ve got to have a little artistic ability for arrangements,” said Hastay.
Hastay’s Greenhouse & Flower Shop’s spring hours continue through May and June. Hastay noted that the shop creates flower arrangements for holidays and big events, such as weddings.
Neither Hastay nor her brother has children of their own, and Hastay predicts they are probably the ends of the line for the family business.
“Hopefully a Michigan State University student will take it over one day,” said Hastay.