Keeping Florence Growing for 30 years

Laurel Bay Gardens owners Lisa Walter-Sedlacek and her husband, David Sedlacek.

Spring is the perfect time to visit one of Florence’s most interesting and visually appealing businesses, Laurel Bay Garden Center, located at 88493 Highway 101.

The well-known full-service landscaping and gardening business is owned by longtime Florence residents Lisa Walter-Sedlacek and her husband David Sedlacek.

Lisa and David are pleased to be celebrating 30 years as Florence’s premier garden center and invite friends, neighbors and their many satisfied customers to stop in to see what’s new for this years’ spring plantings.

“We’ve been in business for 30 years. It started out with me doing dried floral wreaths at night, because we had two little children,” Lisa said. “I worked from home and grew herbs and flowers and then I started doing landscape maintenance, and then I got my contracting license and 15 years later, we opened up the nursery.”

Over the past three decades, Laurel Bay Gardens has grown dramatically, primarily due to the team’s dedication to providing excellent customer service, a desire to offer plants that are well suited to local growing conditions and the knowledge and skill of the garden center staff.

“We focus on plants that do well in our area, which allows us to stand apart from our competition. You can go to the valley and get plants, but those plants won’t always do as well in our area,” Lisa said. “And we love to get plants in that you can’t find anywhere else. That is really fun, because to me, that’s what gardening is all about — having something that gives you joy when you walk out into your garden.”

Lisa and David have a wealth of knowledge they gathered over the course of growing their family-oriented business from a small home-based enterprise to an endeavor that includes a full-service landscape and nursery company specializing in design, maintenance and installation.

Laurel Bay Gardens now has a number of full-time and seasonal staff and a client list that includes many of Florence’s highest profile businesses and private residences.

“We have installed or renovated over a thousand landscapes in our area, including Three Rivers Casino, the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce and Burn’s Riverside Chapel. We love our work, we love plants and we treat our customers the way we want to be treated, with respect,” Lisa said.

Both Lisa and David have spent their lives studying the interaction between plants, soil and climate and the results are impressive. David is one of the state’s leading experts on bamboo cultivation and Lisa has served on the Oregon’s Landscape Contractors Board. Lisa is also currently board president of the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association, the first woman to hold that position.

 A visit to Laurel Bay Gardens Center is a treat for all the senses while the staff works on adding seasonal plants to the mix as the season progresses. The first thing one notices upon pulling into the large gravel drive way, designed for easy parking and product pick-up, is the fragrance. Hundreds of trees and shrubbery that are starting to bloom fill the air with wonderful scents.

Within the center, there is an amazing selection of hard-to-find succulents and hardy plants for low water use areas.

“We also try to focus on year-round color; we have lots of heather and other plants that bloom in the winter, and we like to have new things available as we move through the seasons to help keep the garden fresh and alive year-round,” Lisa said.

Outside, big beautiful baskets of hanging flower arrangements greet visitors upon entering the spacious outdoor display areas.

Here there are hundreds of trees of many types that stretch to the back of the property, budding in pinks, bright greens and vibrant yellows. Greenhouses at the rear of the display area cover more delicate plants and those requiring a shaded environment.

Bird songs mix in the trees and bushes, forming a symphony of natural harmony as they flit from tree to tree and aromas from the flowers and blooming plants are thick and complex, mixing earthy and florals notes with the brisk tang of the near-by ocean.

Row after row of well-tended starts are available on the numerous shelves that sit outside the retail part of the business.

These shelves hold hundreds of small plastic pots containing vegetable, herb and medicinal plants that are ready and waiting to be planted.

One of the strengths at Laurel Bay is the garden center staff’s familiarity and experience planting and growing plants that do particularly well in this specific geographical location. It is this knowledge and the variety of plants especially well-suited for the Oregon coast that draw customers to purchase the many varieties of rhododendrons, heathers, kalmias and azaleas in stock.

There are traditional and modern types of outdoor décor positioned throughout the display areas and other gift items available at Laurel Bay’s indoor retail area. These include statues, pottery, metal sculptures and unique artisan items created and designed in a variety of different styles and colors.

Additionally, Laurel Bay Gardens offers bark, compost and a variety of hardscaping materials for home and business applications.

Over its 30 years, Laurel Bay Gardens has created a welcoming and relaxing nursery where it offers a wide variety of trees, plants, flowers and décor items for customers to select for their home or business.

Lisa, David and the staff invite the community to stop in with questions or special projects anytime.

Laurel Bay Gardens Center is a licensed, bonded and insured company that operates seven days a week and can be reached at 541-997-5973. For more information, visit laurelbaygardens.com or follow Laurel Bay Gardens Nursery on Facebook.