Raintree Garden Center Ready to Spring Forward
new Eau Claire business set to sprout on April 1
Just as purple and yellow crocuses sprout through melting snow, the Raintree Garden Center – a new 15,000 square-foot mecca for gardeners – emerges from the snow in Eau Claire. Two huge greenhouses will soon be filled with hundreds of homegrown hanging baskets, vegetable plants, and flowers of all kinds in time for this new garden center’s grand opening on April 1. (No fooling!)
Raintree Garden Center has been owner Melissa Wiltrout’s dream for the past 20 years. In fact, the idea for the garden center literally developed from a dream she had. “The name and my raintree logo came to me in a dream,” Wiltrout said. “My love for nature came from my dad, who led us on nature walks identifying flora and fauna in the woods near our home in Chippewa Falls.”
The year 2020 was actually a boon for gardening, as many people during the pandemic have turned to growing their own food in backyard vegetable gardens, as well as sprouting flowers, to create some beauty in these challenging times.
RAINTREE GARDEN CENTER
A love for the outdoors is in Wiltrout’s blood, as her father launched a landscaping business when Wiltrout was 18 years old – which he and Wiltrout’s brother ran, while she and her mother handled the flowers and vegetables “back at the ranch.”
After working in her family’s business for 15 years, she enhanced her green thumb with an associate degree in landscape, plant and turf management from Chippewa Valley Technical College, graduating in May 2018. She also branched out and worked for the Grinde’s Garden Center on Eau Claire’s west side, starting as a clerk and ending by leasing the business from the Grindes for the past two years.
“The year 2020 was actually a boon for gardening,” Wiltrout said, “as many people during the pandemic have turned to growing their own food in backyard vegetable gardens, as well as sprouting flowers, to create some beauty in these challenging times.” To make that easier, Raintree Garden Center will offer online ordering with pickup or delivery options available.
Raintree Garden Center • 7470 20th Ave., Eau Claire (corner of Jeffers Road and 20th Avenue, two miles north of North Crossing) • raintreegardencenter.com • www.facebook.com/raintreegardencenter • (715) 579-8175