It started as a single greenhouse. The owner, a certain Max Elsner, grew snapdragons to sell at the brand-new Pike Place Market. The year was 1907. Today it has 11 greenhouses and grows a lot more than just snapdragons.
This is Zenith Holland Nursery, the oldest continually operating business in Des Moines. And this is Lyn Robinson, the owner of Zenith Holland for the last 40 years.
Lyn: "I came to work here as a college student in 1977. By 1980, I had worked here long enough to feel like I could buy it and run it as a nursery. I bought it from the previous owner and I had worked for him. This nursery has survived for such a long time. It's been through two World Wars, a pandemic, the recession. I think the people that know about Zenith Holland, who have lived here or just have recently discovered it or those who have known it for years have a sense of kind of wonder and pride because it is a unique property. There is nothing else quite like it anywhere."
Customer: "I'm Barbara. I'm from Des Moines and I've shopped here for years. I love to support Zenith Holland because it's local. They support our community and make it a better place and keep it green and beautiful."
Customer: "I love it here. I've been coming to the nursery at least 20 years. It's a unique spot and I think it reflects a little bit on Des Moines history and past."
Lyn: "People keep coming here because of their love of plants and flowers and beauty. And it's a place that they can come and be inspired, take a little bit of it home to their own garden. It's just a perpetual growth cycle."
Visit Zenith Holland Nursery in Des Moines.