Wichita's 4th Generation garden center started as a small fruit and vegetable stand in the 1920s on the outskirts of town at the corner of Douglas and West street in Wichita, KS. As the business grew, Harold Johnson, with his father Orie, bought 5 acres of land on west 13th street, and opened Johnson's Garden Center. This location is still operating today! With the ever changing demands of the customers, and the surrounding neighborhood growing by leaps and bounds, Harold and Orie decided they needed to renovate and expand the current location, and finally had to add another location in the 1970s to accommodate customers on both sides of Wichita.
This second location was opened at Central and Edgemoore, and was later relocated to the current east location, near the corner of 21st and Woodlawn in the spring of 1983. In 1995, Johnson's added 2 more locations, a seasonal/flower shop in Derby (which closed in 1996), and the current location at 802 N. Ridge Rd. Today, Johnson's continues to operate out of the three locations, online, and also operate a landscape distribution center, serving landscape companies not only locally, but around the state as well.
Johnson's Garden Centers FAQ
Q: My kids are interested in having a garden. How easy is it to grow your own food, and where do we begin?
It's really encouraging to hear about families gardening together. While it can be hard work, the rewards are so worth it. We would suggest by starting small, yet getting creative with it. Maybe plant a "Pizza Garden" that includes peppers, onions, tomatoes and any other ingredients that go on a pizza. They will love watching the vegetables grow, and will have a greater appreciation for where our food comes from. We also recommend planting one experimental crop, something that you've never eaten or grown before. By doing this, everyone gets to try something new!
Q: What's the secret to really beautiful patio planters?
Any container will work, but you need to make sure there is a drainage hole in the bottom. Be creative with your plant choice, using a variety of plants that offer an array of color and texture. Plant taller plants near the back or center of your container, and plants that are spillers near the front. This will add a great contrast of height and visual stimulation to the container. Place it in an area that is suitable to its sun exposure needs.
Q: We want to create a landscape that is interesting to our kids, what do you recommend?
Kids love watching butterflies in the garden. By using plants that attract both butterflies and caterpillars, your kids will have a summer filled with natural entertainment. Caterpillars enjoy a menu that differs from adult butterflies, especially plants like Queen Ann's Lace, Parsley, Dill and Rue. They also like Milkweed, Passion Vine and Butterfly Weed.
Butterflies, on the other hand, like single-petal flowers, vibrant in color. Fast growing annuals like Zinnia, Lantana and Heliotrope are butterfly favorites. Perennials like Cone Flower, Yarrow, Sedum and Coreopsis are great food sources for Butterflies.
Q: Our energy costs are outrageous. I've heard that trees can be beneficial for energy savings, is this true?
It is! In fact, studies have shown that the cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. Trees can also increase your property value as much as 20%, not to mention they are great for climbing!
Q: What's the difference between an Annual and a Perennial?
An Annual is a plant that lives for ONE growing season, usually from the spring until a hard freeze in the fall. Annuals complete their life cycle in one growing season. Perennials, on the other hand, live for multiple seasons. The plants will go dormant with a hard freeze, and regrow the following year.