The Flemke family always had a large vegetable garden to feed the family, with enough extra to sell to the local grocery store. By the time Joel was a senior in high school, he had started a business selling tomatoes and other vegetables. The plants were grown in wooden flats and when purchased, were carefully dug out and wrapped in newspaper. After high school Joel attended the University of Minnesota, Waseca, majoring in horticulture.
That is where he met his wife Nancy (also a horticulture major). They married in 1976. Joel had purchased the property across the road from the family farm the previous year and together they focused on growing the best quality plants for their customers.
Joel often visited his brother during the cold Minnesota winter, and they started collecting and studying the native succulents. Ron has since moved back to Pine Island and the two brothers continue to grow succulents. With over 100 varieties, you don’t want to miss seeing this extensive collection, and maybe taking a couple home with you.
Through the years they added more greenhouses and new varieties of annuals, perennials, vegetables, and succulents. Joel has two favorite plant groups, sun coleus and succulents. Over a decade ago he saw his first sun coleus, and it was love at first sight. He decided that the beautiful foliage that they offered, with the reds, yellows, dark bronze and greens are something special that he would like to share with others. Joel’s collection has grown to over 80 different varieties, which he is proud to offer to his customers.
Joel has his brother, Ron, to thank for his collection of succulents. Ron was also interested in plants, studied horticulture at the U of M Waseca, but found himself doing business in New Mexico.
From the meager and simple start in 1971, Joel’s Greenhouse has grown to be a thriving business in rural Pine Island with ten greenhouses (over 12,000 square feet), a large outdoor perennial area, and the shop, with a big selection of pots, soil, fairy garden supplies, and garden art. Our friendly staff can help you find just the right plant for your needs and solve your gardening problems. C’mon out and say hi. We want to help you have beautiful, bountiful gardens.