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Small Michigan Business Started 75 Years Ago is a Blooming Success

For three generations, Bordine’s has been growing and growing and growing. Now, it’s one of the busiest garden centers in the country.

Bruce (Albert) Bordine and Calvin Bordine, the second- and third-generation owners of the family business, are shown among thousands of plants that will end up in gardens throughout Michigan. (Photo submitted)
Bruce (Albert) Bordine and Calvin Bordine, the second- and third-generation owners of the family business, are shown among thousands of plants that will end up in gardens throughout Michigan. (Photo submitted)

Bordine’s, the largest family owned grower and retail Garden Center in Michigan, is celebrating 75 years of delighting customers with Bordine grown plants.

The president of the United States was Franklin Roosevelt, the American Flag only had 48 stars, and Bordine’s sold its first plants from a small stand on the side of Rochester Road. Although many things have changed since 1939, the seeds Darrell and Marion Bordine planted have grown and are still thriving.  

The original location in Rochester Hills is one of the nation’s busiest garden centers and has expanded thru the years to offer more than just high quality home grown plants.  

Everything for outdoor living can be found in the garden store, including furniture, Weber grills, garden art and giftware. That’s in addition to the areas largest selection of organic fertilizers, pots and planters, soil amendments and lawn care products.

“As the company kept on growing, so did our garden store,” said third-generation owner Calvin Bordine. “Many customers are surprised by all the choices.”

In 1977, a second location was added in Clarkston.  

“It was a huge risk, something my father was leery of,” said second-generation owner Bruce (Albert) Bordine. “But I knew we needed more space to continue growing our own plants.”  

The Clarkston location on Dixie Highway was a perfect fit and the Rochester model of having retail in the front with growing in the back proved successful. A large expansion to grow more trees and shrubs quickly followed.

In 1999, a 100-acre farm was purchased along US 23 in Grand Blanc. Fondly known as the Bordine’s Farm, this is where all our seedlings and cuttings are nurtured to the high quality plants we sell. A retail greenhouse was added in 2001, the same year the Brighton location was purchased.

Today, with four locations, the family owned and operated business seasonally employs over 600 “purple people.”

Looking back on the past, Bruce (Albert) Bordine smiles at how far the family-owned business has come.

“This little company my parents started has become an efficient, state-of-the-art, plant industry leader that has made many people smile,” he said.

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