40-Year-Old Plant Nursery Helps People Discover the Art of Gardening

By: 
Catalina Garcia

When you first drive onto the property you are welcomed with the vast view of green and colorful plants that stretches for just over five acres of land. Customers are walking around with trolleys with their desired plants stacked on them and the sound of wind chimes from the store ring through the air. Cindy Bartle, the daughter of the owner, is handing out tickets alongside their front desk employees at the line while also helping their customers put their potted plants in carrier boxes for easier and safe travel.

They have their employees tending to the plants in the greenhouse and helping customers choose the right plant for their homes and gardens. Jeff Shibata, the founder/owner, walks with his foremen and his clipboard tucked under his arm to make sure the inventory is perfect and everything looks spic and span.

In September 2021, H&H Nursery won Silver in the Beachcombers annual Best of Long Beach Contest. They are also an eight-time winner of the section “Best Garden Center” of the contest.

The family-owned business, H&H Nursery, was founded in 1976 by Jeff Shibata. The business originally started in Downey, Calif. They then moved to their current 5-acre location in Lakewood in 1986 and have resided there ever since.

Shibata and his wife started out with plants as landscapers until they stumbled across the opportunity to purchase a retail business. So, Shibata decided to pursue the dream of a plant nursery. Today, Shibata and his daughter, Cindy Bartle, run the nursery with Bartle as the manager.

While being in business for almost 40 years, H&H Nursery has a sense of community they have gathered throughout the years. They are always welcoming new customers that have found their way to the nursery during the pandemic or just through the love and art of gardening. “We are thankful for our regular customers,” says Bartle. “Many new people have found gardening as a hobby during the pandemic. They may be people who remembered their grandparents or relatives that would garden or they did it as kids and they kind of brought that back in a sense. It’s something they can do with their family and spend that time outdoors.”

Luckily, H&H Nursery wasn’t hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic, unlike many other businesses that suffered deeply or ultimately had to close their doors for good. “The pandemic brought more people because it made more people touch on and explore the hobby. It is something that people can do and stay preoccupied. They don’t have to be surrounded by a lot of people while being outside,” says Bartle.

During this time of year, H&H Nursery is super busy due to many people wanting to get their gardens and homes looking beautiful for Easter and Mother’s Day. Their most sold items during the spring are their vegetables and fruits plants which they are most notable for. “We get customers that come in and get sad when we have a low inventory of our veggies, fruit trees, blueberries, raspberries, stuff like that,” says Bartle. “Our succulents and houseplants are popular year-round. We also get a lot of customers that also come for our roses as well.”

Shibata and Bartle welcome all who wish to start their path in gardening or those that wish to expand their gardens. They and their employees are more than willing to assist you with all your plant and gardening needs from vegetable, fruit trees, succulents and house plants to soil, fertilizer, potting and gardening tools. Make sure to stop by to make your garden the best it has ever been.

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