Ask an expert - business profile - Vern Goers Greenhouse

For more than 50 years Hinsdaleans have turned to the experts at Vern Goers Greenhouse for their gardening needs. And while things are a bit different this time around, owner Phil Goers said he expects this year to be just as busy, if not busier, than every year before.

While much of the world stood still in March and April, Goers and his staff were busy preparing for the months ahead by planting and growing seedlings and stocking the store with everything the at-home gardener might need.

"May is our second busiest month of the year," said Goers. With many people taking on gardening as a new hobby or as a means to ensure fresh, nutritious food for their families, Goers said this May could turn out to be even busier than years past.

Even before the unofficial start of the gardening season, Goers said he noticed an uptick in interest. With more time at home, more people are looking to their yards as a means of keeping busy and productive.

Classified as an essential business by the governor, the greenhouse began extended hours on May 1. Shoppers are welcome between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Senior shoppers have exclusive access to the store between 8 and 9 a.m. weekdays. Like everyone else, senior shoppers are required to bring masks and to wear them while shopping.

"We're all wearing masks," Goers said.

To keep things safe for staff and shoppers, the number of shoppers allowed in the store at any given time is limited, and checkout procedures are in place to ensure social distancing. That means some shoppers might endure a wait, but Goers said he hopes customers will understand that safety is his top priority.

For customers who prefer not to enter the store, curbside pickup and delivery also are available.

Phil's son, Christian Goers, has been busy updating the store's website at to allow online shopping from an extensive inventory of annuals, perennials, rose bushes, shrubs, bedding plants, herbs and supplies. With more than 20 varieties of petunias offered in 20 different colors, that inventory alone is vast, Phil Goers said. And new products and plants are arriving nearly every day.

Sales Sarah Johnson, vice president of sales, is Phil's daughter. She has worked at the greenhouse since high school and made the decision shortly after starting college to join the family business full time. After a short venture into the study of interior design, Johnson realized she preferred creating beauty outdoors rather than in.

Johnson carefully chooses the flowers, vegetables, herbs and plants available at the greenhouse. Along with staples like petunias and impatiens, peppers and tomatoes, she said customers can find more unusual plants to spice up this already unusual gardening season.

Things are a little different this year, but Johnson said customers can count on her family's business to provide the same expertise and quality of products they've enjoyed for generations.

- by Sandy Illian Bosch

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean