How it Happens: the Schell’s Gardens

When you think of Schell’s, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Good beer? Peacocks? Grain Belt? All good choices – but as we spring into summer we have one thing on our minds: the gardens!

Right around this time every year, we put our final touches on the grounds to prepare for the big transplant.

What’s the big transplant you may ask?

The big transplant is when we move all of the plants in the greenhouse (thousands of them) to the grounds. The growing process starts in early March, and these plants play a huge part in making Schell’s one of the prettiest places in Minnesota. For more insight on this exciting time, we were able to catch up with the mastermind behind the plants-Sean Gremmels (that handsome guy below).

Hi, Sean! What’s your job title here at Schell’s and what does that mean?

Hello! I’m the Gardener here and basically my job is to keep the grounds beautiful and safe for our guests.

Awesome! Could you give a quick overview of the greenhouse process?

For sure!

We grow all our own annual flowers each year. We start this process in early March and begin planting outside mid-May. We grow many of our flowers from plugs (tiny seedlings we transplant to larger containers), but we also start thousands of seeds ourselves. I think we have over 20,000 flowers growing…I lost count! 

Our seedlings begin their lives in the nursery (the Mansion basement) before graduating to the large greenhouse. 

Super cool! I never realized there were so many. So, how do you get the grounds ready for transplanting?

We amend the flower beds with compost in the fall so they’re rich with organic manner come spring. Right before planting, we cultivate the beds and then start planting according to our garden design plan.

One last question – what’s your favorite plant?

My favorite plant is Quercus Macrocarpa (see below), the bur oak. I’ve always been impressed with the strength and beauty of these trees. They’re also one of the most important species within the ecosystem. They provide food and shelter for countless other organisms. So, if you’re think about planting a tree or two, plant an oak!

bur oak, Quercus macrocarpa, in cemetery

Wanna see the plants in person? Stop by the brewery this summer to check out all the hard work Sean and the rest of the crew have put in. Just be sure to share any pictures you take – bonus points for pet pics. Prost!