About Us - Del's Garden Center
Del Brockshus grew up in May City, Iowa and married his high school sweetheart Charin Woodrich of Melvin, Iowa. Del attended Iowa State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the College of Agriculture in May of 1965. Del Brockshus was hired by the Earl May company of Shenandoah, Iowa where Del worked primarily in the seed department. Earl May Company was an early pioneer in the garden center industry after decades of sales of horticulture products via mail order.
Del and Charin thought the idea of a garden center in the area where they both grew up would be successful. The top two cities they considered creating their garden center were either Worthington, Minnesota or Spencer, Iowa. By chance a garden store was in the process of getting into business in Worthington so Spencer, Iowa was the choice.
The Spencer Golf and Country Club had constructed a new 18-hole golf course on the west side of Spencer. The previous 9-hole Spencer Golf and Country Club on the southeast side of Spencer had been purchased by the newly created St. Luke’s Nursing Home. St. Luke’s was willing to sell off a five-acre parcel of the former golf course to Del and Charin to build their garden center. In 1966, Bill Stevenson was hired to build the main building for the garden center which included a small five room apartment in the rear of the building for the you family including sons Todd and Ross.
Del’s Garden Center officially opened their doors April 1st, 1967. Sales that first short year totaled $22 thousand dollars. The community of Spencer and surrounding area became a blessing to Del and Charin and their business grew rapidly. Greenhouses and a flower shop were added and Charin became involved in growing greenhouse crops and working as a florist. A Morton Building and addition to the store happened in 1974 along with more greenhouse space in the 70s. Del’s was incorporated in 1971 and more employees were added to the garden center; nursery; flower shop. The landscape department was headed by Ken Ferguson. Angela Hetrick and Gary Fisk joined the store staff and the business continued to flourish thanks to the generosity of the customers in Spencer and Northwest Iowa. Christmas trees were offered during the holidays and flocking fresh green trees was popular.
Todd Brockshus joined the company in December of 1981; Beth Brockshus in May of 1984 and Ross in May of 1986. Even during recessions and times of inflation the business continued to grow and improve. Dozens of customers became best friends and cheer leaders for the Del’s brand. Mark Peters, Glen Simonsen, Bob Fullhart; Kent Sandven; Trevor Kunzmann; Nicole Craig and others pushed forward new technologies; new tools and growth in the 2000s.
Countless horticulture professionals have worked at Del’s Garden Center part time, full time or as college interns. Horticulture professionals who learned about the business first at Del’s, include national sales managers for large companies; garden center owners; landscape professionals; greenhouse growers; florists; and related horticulture professionals. Del Brockshus started the Iowa Certified Nursery Professional program and he holds certificate #1.
Del and Charin were truly blessed by the choice to build their dream garden center in Spencer, Iowa. A second generation of the Brockshus family is now leading the large operation.
What is Del’s Garden Center today? For some Del’s Garden Center helps feed their family with seeds and vegetable plants. For others green and growing things provide respite from a fast-paced American culture. Still others just love plants and their care. For some their dream home comes with a dream landscape created by Del’s. Employees at Del’s have the joy of serving the community through wedding bouquets; birthday gifts; Valentine’s Day roses; Mother’s Day hanging baskets and funeral casket pieces.
We welcome you to join Del’s Garden Center in this marvelous story. Celebrate God’s creation of green and growing things and the people who enjoy them.