The Weed Lady


Spring is in full bloom at The Weed Lady, a unique greenhouse, florist, gift shop and landscape design service. The roots of business are deep, going back to the days of the old Farmers’ Market in Flint where Jan Swanson sold herbs, produce, and fresh and dried flowers for many years. Jan was dubbed the “Weed Lady” and was especially well-known for her unique dried-flower arrangements. Now, Jan and her daughter, Erin Walli, are partners in the business they opened on Fenton Road south of Flint in 1998. After a cold and dreary winter, visiting the greenhouse was like a breath of fresh air. “People want to spend time here,” laughs Erin. The greenhouse is heated year-round which allows the growth of succulents, geraniums, Bird of Paradise and Calla Lilies throughout the winter months. In the spring, the greenhouse is filled with annuals, perennials and tropical flowers and overflows with cascading hanging baskets and unique pots made from moss.


Jan handles the gift shop, which is filled with unique and unusual items, and she welcomes everyone who walks in the door. Erin oversees the greenhouse and the landscape design. And business has changed drastically in the last decade, according to Erin. “People are more careful about their choices,” she explains. “They are not buying on impulse. They want to create a haven at their home, a place that is long-lasting – where they can connect with nature,” Erin says.

The owners are proud of their unique offerings and they attend landscape shows and other events to stay abreast of what is new and trending. “We are always looking for ideas that are fresh and inspiring,” Erin says. What’s trending this year? The trend in florals is bold and bright colors. “Bold is beautiful!” Erin exclaimed. The use of succulents is also very popular right now. The Weed Lady has a large assortment of succulent plants – they store water in their leaves, making them very low-maintenance and drought-resistant. They come in many colors and forms, and are very versatile. Another trend is the use of succulent plants in bridal bouquets, instead of foliage.

Landscape design is a large part of the business. “Our focus is on the artistic and the unusual,” Erin explains. “It’s not your everyday landscape. We use unusual vegetation and architecture to create something very special.” Their landscape construction services include: trees, shrubs, groundcovers, perennials and annuals; stone and brick work including construction of steps, patios, and retaining walls; design and installation of water gardens: ponds, fountains and waterfalls, and accent lighting.

The talented team at The Weed Lady offers landscape maintenance services: mulching, edging, pruning, pre- and post-emergent weed control, fertilization, integrated pest management, spring and fall clean-ups, leaf removal, annual flower maintenance, and tree and shrub care.

The greenhouse staff is gearing up for the spring flower sale which begins this month. Pansies, dragon wing, begonia and ivy are big sellers. “People are looking for hardier plants, something more long-lasting,” Erin says. The Weed Lady also offers ornamental flowers and herbs. “Herbs are very popular,” says Jan. Other flower varieties include petunias, black blue salvia (which hummingbirds love) and violas, to name just a few.

The Weed Lady is also a full-service florist, providing arrangements for parties, weddings, memorials and other special events. The staff is skilled in creating masterpieces of floral design with a flair for natural beauty.


Photography by Mike Naddeo


Comments are closed.