Great Garden Centers: Squire House Gardens

Editor’s note: We love a great garden center and Minnesota has many worth visiting. Throughout the spring and summer, we will profile a few of our favorites in Minnesota. Do you have a favorite garden center? Let us know in the comments and we’ll check it out. 


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The plantings at Squire House Garden look lovely from spring to fall.

Squire House Gardens, a garden center specializing in unusual plants and accessories for home and garden, is located in the quaint village of Afton, along the St. Croix River near Afton State Park. This is a garden center well worth the drive. I’ve visited Squire House in winter and in summer and the gardens and house/shop are always pretty and filled with ideas for the creative gardener.


Water, sculpture and plants blend into the design at Squire House.

Squire House is owned by garden designer and occasional contributor to Northern Gardener Martin Stern and his partner Richard Meacock. Martin  describes his style as “English, but not formal.” The paths in the garden intersect at right angles, but each bed is less formally planted with perennials, annuals and shrubs that bloom in sequence. Martin has orchestrated a series of blooms from bulbs to peonies to iris to lilies to gorgeous late-summer perennials. There’s also a vegetable garden that demonstrates ideas on trellising.

Martin has a talent for placing art and structures in the garden and Squire House Gardens offers plenty of ideas for folks interested in creating new gardens. Squire House also hosts events throughout the year. In March, there was an art show. This Saturday, there will be a tasting of Cherith Valley Gardens food products. For inspiration as well as plants and products, Squire House Gardens is worth a visit.

For a complete list of great garden centers in Minnesota, check out the MSHS list of commercial members. These stores offer discounts to MSHS members; bring your card!


Walk the paths at Squire House Gardens.

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