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Lincoln Avenue Nursery

by Pasadena Independent
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Photos by Amelia Favela

Photos by Amelia Favela

Lincoln Avenue Nursery is a family owned plant nursery that has been apart of the Pasadena community for more than 100 years. The business was established in 1903 by a German family, and is now owned by Ramon Franco who has been managing the nursery for more than 10 years. Working alongside Franco to sustain the garden center are his wife, daughter, and a small group of employees who Franco considers to be like family. The nursery offers a large selection of plants and unique inventory including dozens of succulent cactuses, Japanese maples, boxwoods, and a variety of vegetables, herbs, and natives. The nursery also carries gardening ornaments and supplies. Such as: small windmills, wind chimes, fertilizer, as well as many different styles of pottery including cottage, Tuscan, modern, mid century, and craftsman.

Lincoln Avenue Nursery, which is nestled between residential homes, was founded in 1903 by a German family who owned the business for 20 years. In 1923, a Japanese family bought the garden retail store and managed to keep the company in their family for 80 years. Daughter and son in law, Mary and Henry Takemura, bought the nursery from Mrs. Takemura’s parents in 1958. After remaining in the Japanese family for an additional 45 years, the company attained new ownership from a different family.

Photos by Amelia Favela

Photos by Amelia Favela

In 2003, current owner Ramon Franco purchased the garden center. Franco, who was a regular customer of the nursery for more than 20 years, said he and his employees have transformed the look of the garden center, “We’ve revamped the entire business… we’ve added roughly 95% of the inventory.” Rather than starting a new business, Franco said he was glad to purchase a nursery already rich in history, “I liked the idea of taking over from a generation… It was really nice of the previous owners to allow me to continue their business.” As a former self-employed landscape contractor, Franco had plenty of experience with gardening when he became the owner of Lincoln Avenue Nursery. Franco’s thorough knowledge in vegetation enables him to work side by side with his staff to service customers. “We’re a big family, we always help each other,” said Franco.

One of the obstacles Franco said the nursery is beginning to endure is in relation to the drought many Californians are beginning to take heed to, “The biggest issue is the water. Many people don’t want to buy thirsty plants.” As a solution, Franco encourages buyers, who are primarily homeowners, to purchase plants that need less water to sustain, such as succulent cactuses.

For over a century, Lincoln Avenue Nursery has remained a family owned business, and the current owner has no intentions of changing that. Franco said his future vision for the nursery is to remain a family operated company with quality specimens, unique inventory, and a friendly staff.

You can contact Lincoln Avenue Nursery at (626) 792-2138, via email info@lincolnavenuenursery.com or visit them at 804 Lincoln Avenue Pasadena, CA 91103. Website: www.LincolnAvenueNursery.com


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