Developing Your Green Thumb in the Willmar Lakes Area

By Bailey Hovland

Spring has finally sprung in the Willmar Lakes Area. And although we Minnesotans appreciate winter for all it has to offer (ice hockey, sledding, ice fishing, snowmobiling, etc.), it’s time to say goodbye to the snow and ice and hello to the green starting to appear everywhere. And the best way to say hello to this new atmosphere is to embrace the budding greenery hands on by developing your green thumb.

Succulents are the best way to ease into gardening, requiring little maintenance and thriving in dry, sunny environments.

Whether your gardening space is your whole backyard or is limited to the windowsill just above your kitchen sink, this spring is the perfect opportunity to perfect your gardening skills. And one of the best places to start is at Stacy’s Nursery in Willmar. Founded in 1977, this family-owned business is operated by two generations of experienced gardeners who have followed in Stacy’s footsteps, learning from his expertise in horticulture. Their knowledgeable staff members will help you pick out plants for your gardening space, catering their selections to your wants and needs. Stacy’s also hosts happy hour events where you and your friends can spend an evening drinking wine, snacking on olives and cheese, and creating adorable succulent planters. But if you aren’t looking to add succulents to your home, Stacy’s has much more to offer. Rose bushes, tomato plants, apple trees, feather reed grasses—you name it, and Stacy’s can probably help you find it.

Add a few crab apple trees to your backyard to add a bit of life and color, blooming right around Easter every year.

Tom’s Nursery in Spicer is another great local business that can help you hone your gardening skills this spring. They have everything from trees, shrubbery, hardy perennials, decorative and edible annuals, roses and more! Plus, you can get landscaping and gardening advice from the master gardener himself (Tom, of course). If you’re hoping to create a garden that will put food on your table this summer, Tom’s Nursery is a great place to go. Their annuals include fruit and veggie plants for the aspirational farm-to-table gardeners, plus fruit trees for those who have a little more space to fill. And with Tom’s helpful tips, your summer garden is sure to be plentiful.

And just down Highway 23 is the Green Lake Nursery, who boasts of the largest selection of northern-grown nursery stock in western Minnesota. With over 40 years of experience in landscaping and garden décor, Green Lake Nursery’s roots in the community have grown deep.

Fresh strawberries from the garden could be yours after one stop at the nursery.

Perhaps you’re looking to redo the landscaping just outside your front door because the rabbits have destroyed your hostas. Or maybe one of your summer goals is to fill your backyard with a variety of gorgeous flowers. Regardless of what you’re looking for, Green Lake Nursery will be more than happy to help. Their friendly staff will help you pick up the perfect ‘rabbit-proof’ shrubs or enough petunias, geraniums, and begonias to fill your car.

After visiting all these wonderful nurseries, you’ll be unable to resist the urge to develop your own green thumb this spring. You might start small with a few pots of herbs on your kitchen counter to spice up your home-cooked meals, or you might go big with an entirely new row of pine trees on the edge of your lawn. Regardless of what you decide, your green thumb will thrive with the help of the nurseries around the Willmar Lakes Area.

Fish our lakes

The possibilities are endless on our 30 recreational lakes…boating, swimming, fishing, water skiing, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating, hydro biking, paddle boarding and so much more!

Fishing Report

Explore our Trails

Surrounded by beautiful lakes and scenery…who wouldn’t take a hike or a leisurely bike ride to enjoy the view? With miles of trials to choose from, you can always find new places to explore.

Trail Report