The garden center’s influence over good, better, best

Don’t get us wrong, we live in the hardware aisle and love the smell of fresh lumber. And marinated salmon steak and blueberry Danish samples can never be bad. But superstores are super because they pack their shelves with everything imaginable and things you need in quantities you really, well, don’t. So that’s great if you’re searching for a power tool, paint samples, closet organizers and a poop scoop. But not so great when you’re interested in fresh, healthy plants and the answers to keep them that way.

So while the superstores try to be everything to everyone, we’re keeping it simple. We want to be something special to people like you. This is our only goal. We aren’t worried about stocking up on the common stuff. We’re paying attention to really amazing plants—and the people who love them—and we’re helping you keep them that way.

Here’s why it’s so worth your while to come to an independent garden center:

1) We’re Local

zionsville-indiana-flower-pot-inspirationWhen you buy from Altum’s, you’re buying from local growers. Less fuel to transport, a shorter journey for your trees and plants and healthier plants that are acclimated to our soil and climate.

And for the special trees and plants we source from around the country? We’re paying attention to how they’re shipped, making sure we only accept the best and the freshest and we’re taking care of them once they get here. Sounds like a given. But in so many mass-market environments, it’s not.

2) We Handpick What We Buy 

Superstores take as much inventory as possible because they only pay for what they sell. That means if the plants die on the way or soon after, it doesn’t really matter. We visit our growers (or in some cases, grow our own) and handpick the finest plants for our customers.

3) This Is What We Do

Ask us how to plant, where to plant, why planting where you did doesn’t seem to be working. What that white scaly stuff is on your leaves, how and when to use those fancy new pruning shears, what type of ground cover would work best around your stepping stones.

Ask and you shall receive an answer.

We hear from people all the time who are tempted to buy a pretty plant because it’s pretty. Yes, there’s a tag to tell you shade vs. full sun, watering requirements, mature size and more. But sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and go for instant gratification. Knowing it can go terribly wrong. As in money down the drain. How many times has this happened to you?

We help you pick the right plant for the right place. We’ll ask you about your soil conditions, exposure, other plants in the area, how much space you have. We’ll also tell you how to keep it looking good after you get it home. Which is important when you’re making an investment in your outdoor space.

4) We’re Not Going Anywhere

Shake the hand of someone who has a stake in the success of your yard and garden. Today and two years from now. The same people who help you choose your plants in spring will be here when you return in summer, fall and during the holidays. They want you to be successful.   

5) The Details Make the Difference 

altums-grab-go-flower-containerLike cup holders and a heated steering wheel, the little extras at the garden center can really make your day. Every day. From free instructional workshops to popular hands-on Make & Takes with friends, this is a place to spend a little time. You do not need to hurry here. We repeat: you do not need to hurry. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Belly up to the Potting Bar with containers from home or something spectacular you just discovered here and scoop the soil you need, fill with new combos and never run short (does this happen to you at home as much as it does to us?). Sign up for a DIY Snapshot Consult for small spaces in your yard that have you stumped. You’ll leave with solutions, a shopping list and a $25 gift card toward your plants.

Walk with a planting expert, show them photos of a sick plant and they’ll point you in the direction of something that will help…or tell you the jig is up and you might want to consider something new.

Find nearly any tree you’ve ever heard of and have it delivered to the garden center in seven days or less. Any tree that will do well in Indiana soil and weather conditions, of course. Because we won’t sell you a tree that isn’t the right tree for you. 

And did we mention Grab & Go Porch Pots? They could easily warrant a reason to come in all on their own. Seasonal combos planted in fiber pots by a designer that are ready to drop into your containers, no questions asked. Switch them out anytime and say you planted yourself. Our lips are sealed. These don’t come by the dozen. They’re unique, fresh and new combos hit the shelves often. You can buy them online year round, but the best selection is in store. 

6) We’ll Plant for You

planting-services-zionsville-indianaYou might be a do-it-yourselfer, but the prospect of planting a tree—especially a larger, more mature tree—can be a little intimidating. How deep and wide do you dig the hole? Do you amend the soil? What do you use? What’s the ratio of soil to amendment? How close can you plant to another tree or to the site where a dead tree was taken down?

We know the answers to these questions. And we can help talk you through everything (gladly) or we can do it for you. Again, gladly.

We’ll send you home with a stake to mark the spot or we can even have a planting expert come out to walk your property, talk about goals, challenges and help you place your tree for the best long-term results. Then our crew will come to plant like they mean it, adding recommended amendment, topping with fertilizer and leaving you with detailed care and watering instructions.

Think about it. It might mean the difference between some of the lowest maintenance, long-term beauty in your outdoor space and another frustrating (and expensive) attempt to make it happen.


“[A superstore] is great if you’re searching for a power tool or a two-by-four, but not so great when you’re interested in fresh, beautiful plants.”

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