SHERIDAN — Landon’s Greenhouse, Nursery and Landscaping celebrates 40 years of service this year. In addition to that celebration, the business also earned the honor of Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Award of Excellence in the small business category for 2019. The business and the team behind it greet customers with a smile and a helping hand, despite how the weather might turn.

The business is somewhat unusual among modern-day garden centers. Most no longer grow plants but order from wholesalers. However, Landon’s has an extensive production facility at the original Landon’s Greenhouse location on Landon Lane off Highway 335, in addition to the retail store across from Sheridan College.

Every year, Landon’s grows hundreds of thousands of plants. With each plant, they focus on quality; in fact, their motto is, “Where quality counts.” While selling plants may be their business, what they really treasure are people: the customers who have become life-long friends; the employees who, in some cases, started with them as teenagers and now manage a huge department; the “retired ladies” who work seasonally at the production facility and are so fond of one another that they meet regularly for luncheons; and lately, the farmers market vendors who have become an important part of the Landon’s family.

Landon’s Greenhouse was founded in 1978 by Kathy and Jack Landon Jr. In those days, if you lived in Wyoming, you mostly did it all yourself: It was impossible to get trucks to come here with the small volume a business might sell. So, out of necessity and passion, the Landons and subsequent owners grew their own plants from seeds, cuttings and division. While the market has changed and some of the most spectacular annuals are propagated via tissue culture (Landon’s orders these patented plants in as plugs), the old-timey growing facility on Landon Lane remains a popular destination for tour groups from area schools.

In 1997, Wayne Gray, his sister, Janelle Gray, and her husband, Phil Gilmore, purchased Landon’s Greenhouse from the Landons. As the business grew, the three partners bought land closer to town and opened the new store in 2001. In 2012, Keith and Jennifer Kershaw left successful careers at Oregon Pride Nursery in Oregon and partnered with Phil and Janelle, while Wayne retired.

Today, in addition to a two-bay store, Landon’s has nine hoop houses between the two locations, plus a seasonal greenhouse in Gillette. They employ 6-12 people year-round, and in spring, their workforce swells to around 60 for a couple of months. Aside from all of the plants, Landon’s sells nearly anything related to gardening and offers a full-service landscaping department.

Over the years, Landon’s has had a hand in much of the beautification of Sheridan County, donating Trees for Trash seedlings, planting trees for the city’s Arbor Day celebration, serving on the Tree Board and participating in Chamber events. Landon’s regularly sends employees to trade shows and seminars with the intent that they keep abreast of market trends and encourages employees to gain appropriate professional certifications. Landon’s currently has three ISA certified arborists and seven Master Gardeners. Keith Kershaw is an ASHS Certified Horticulturist.

As the local foods movement gained momentum in the early 2000s, Landon’s sought ways to become involved, first hosting a small market during the summer. Today, up to 12 vendors attend Landon’s Saturday Market nearly every week of the year, and in the fall, Landon’s, the vendors and the Downtown Sheridan Association host a Harvest Festival. Landon’s also sponsors an annual garden tour.

The folks at Landon’s said they are deeply honored to have been nominated for this award and hope to continue to be a vital part of the Sheridan community for many years to come.