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Business Profile

Van Wingerden Greenhouses

For Ron Van Wingerden, gardening is in his blood.

“If someone Googles my last name, they’ll find nurseries and greenhouses all over the country,” he says. “I was born and raised in this business.”

When he moved to Spirit Lake, Idaho to set up his own wholesale greenhouse business 25 years ago, he was starting from scratch. Armed only with a plot of land and generations of know-how, he launched into a career growing the most attractive and popular plants he could, and building relationships with the retail outlets that sell them, both large and small.

“I have Mom and Pop shops who come out and get their hanging baskets and other plants from me,” Ron says. “And then I have huge shipments to all the Fred Meyer locations from Yakima to Coeur d’Alene.”

Though he started small, Van Wingerden now sells 15,000 hanging baskets per year—about 12,000 of which fly off shelves in the first couple weeks of May. That’s a lot of color bringing smiles to Moms’ faces, and brightening up front porches all over the Northwest and Montana.

“In those weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, it’s a 5am-till-9pm daily routine. It’s the craziest time of the year, but we love what we do,” Ron says. “Later on in the summer, we get to kick back and go enjoy the lake. But from January to July, it’s all plants, and especially May.”

If you want to go see Ron and the flowers out on Spirit Lake Cutoff Road, RVW Greenhouses welcomes visitors and retail shoppers Monday through Friday, 9 to 4. They love to show off their plants to the public, but it is primarily a wholesale operation. You may have purchased their plants before, without knowing the local, family-owned business behind those vibrant colors.

This year, Ron is also tending to some special flowers that won’t be sold retail or wholesale.

“I’m working on some plants we will hang on to,” says Ron with a hint of pride. “We’ll save those for my daughter’s wedding, which we’ll host here at the property later on this summer.”

For generations, flowers have been a part of the Van Wingerden family, and the tradition continues to be passed down. As the Inland Northwest moves into warm weather and those outdoor living spaces need adornment, Ron and the crew are proud to offer their flowers to your family as well.