Larson’s Garden Center

November/December 2019
100 Years and Beyond By Kaitlyn Larson

From its humble beginnings on Lydia Larson’s ironing board in 1919, Larson’s Garden Center continues to grow.

Larson’s Farm was a familiar sight on Route 6 in Bristol, Connecticut, for nearly 90 years. The produce stand, which started on an ironing board, got its start long before highways were numbered. Larson’s has changed over the years, as does anything that grows.

Larson’s Garden CenterLarson’s is a far cry from the legendary ironing board. It is now a destination garden center located in the center of Burlington on Route 4 (26 Covey Road), where creativity and inspiration grows.

The legacy was started by Lydia Larson, my great-grandmother. It was a place that Lydia dreamed about — far from her native home of Sweden — where her family could work the land and she could provide for her 12 children.

She dreamed of fresh fruits and vegetables — and maybe even a barn with a root cellar! Little did she know that she would be starting a business that would still be growing strong a century later.

Memories Abound

It seems that many people in Bristol either shopped or worked at the farm over the years. There is no shortage of memories of Lydia’s sons, Eric, Bobby, Art, and Johnny (second generation), and, as the generations continued to pass, Art’s sons, Ralph and Stephen Larson (third generation).

Larson’s Garden CenterOver the years, the Larson team did everything from growing and picking strawberries, corn, beans, pumpkins, and more; winning awards for beautiful floats in the Bristol Mum parade; and raising money for the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation and American Red Cross with Haunted Houses and Hayrides.

Mixing the Old and the New

Now, 100 years later, Larson’s has expanded in many ways, and retired some of the old ways of doing things. While we are no longer crop farming, my family is still growing and providing beautiful plants (annuals and perennials), trees and shrubs for our large customer base.

One thing that has not changed is the same spirit of community, family and pride. We have always loved our customers and continue to spread that love today.

I am now the sole owner of Larson’s Garden Center, with the growing support of my dad Ralph, office manager/sale associate brother Zachery and garden center mom Sally. We continue to be a family business where the extended family (Uncle Eric, Aunt Elaine, and Cousin Heather and the rest of the growing family pitch in to get things done when extra hands are needed).

Larson’s Garden CenterI’m also blessed with an extremely knowledgeable and kindhearted manager, Jim Caron, who is assisted by a smart, talented, fun loving and creative associate, Sue Munger.

Landscape design is my specialty, adding a newer addition to the farm’s breadth of products and services. Larson’s Garden Center is the proud winner of two national awards for best bathrooms, and a local Burlington Beautification award.

Our mission is to provide creativity and inspiration, while servicing customers with the highest quality goods and services in a knowledgeable, helpful, friendly and fun way.

100 Years and Beyond

Larson’s is happy and proud to be 100 years old, and we expect many more years to come. One thing is for sure — one person sure can make a difference for many. Thank you, Lydia, for dreaming and making the farm a reality so many years ago and for the Larson family carrying it forward to 100 years and beyond.

To celebrate this huge milestone, events are scheduled throughout the year. On July 12, a History Night took place, where historian Bob Adamczyk came in from Bristol (the town where we began) and talked about the last 100+ years of Bristol. I also spoke at the event about the country as a whole, as well as about some fun things I found that went on in 1919 and the history of Larson’s Garden Center.

Larson’s Garden CenterWe also had an area set up in the store with a display of historical information about Larson’s Garden Center, full with pictures, newspaper articles, awards and more.

On Aug. 17, an actual birthday party took place for Larson’s Garden Center. We had cake and ice cream, sang to her (yes, the garden center is a she) and she even got a card. Friends, family and customers came to celebrate.

We had almost everyone from the third and fourth generations at the party. My Uncle Evan even surprised us and flew in just for the party. It was a beautiful way to celebrate a legacy, a family that is so strong and amazing, and a company that has been though its ups and downs and still stands tall!



Kaitlyn Larson

Kaitlyn Larson is owner of Larson’s Garden Center. For more information on Larson’s Garden Center, visit www.larsonsgardencenter.com.





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