J&L Garden Center was established in 1958. Our grand opening was April 12- 13, 1958. John S. Smith and E. Lloyd Smith (J&L) began the J&L Garden Center partnership in the spring of 1958. Lloyd worked at Hill Air Force Base while John operated the Garden Center. John’s wife, Faye, worked by his side to operate the garden center and doubled as bookkeeper. Faye continued taking care of the financial part of the business until the day before she passed away; January 28, 2001. Faye would often take her children to work with her and put them in a make shift play pen – a wheelbarrow.
J&L’s first store was located on Porter Lane in Centerville, Ut. It was a very small building that was the previous location of the Porter Walton Garden Center. While in Centerville, J&L sold trees, shrubs, flowers, gardening tools, and even pet supplies. It was not unusual to see a monkey, lizards, alligators, chipmunks, squirrels, or even parrots inside the store.
The building itself was too small for the items J&L was selling. When J&L moved to our present Bountiful location, the building was remodeled and became the office for Porter Lane Wholesale Nursery. The building was demolished in 2003 to become the entrance to a new housing development.
Two more of John’s brothers also joined the business. Albert Smith and Robert Smith both worked in the retail division of J&L Garden Center, while John worked in the landscape division. Through the years all of John’s, Robert’s, Albert’s, and most of Lloyd’s children have worked for J&L in either the retail or landscape divisions, sometimes both.
In 1973 J&L Garden Center outgrew their facility in Centerville. By coincidence, the owners of Greenhagen’s Garden Center (our present location of 620 North 500 West Bountiful) wanted to retire and to sell their business.
John, Robert, Albert and Lloyd all jumped at the chance to buy the business and move to the larger location. Through the years J&L has grown and expanded its facilities into what it is today.
J&L started as a small family business and has remained a family business, even though many of the employees are now non-family.
Albert and Robert retired from the business several years ago, but they still to continue to provide assistance when needed. Lloyd passed away Feb. 4, 2001, just one week after Faye.
In 2002 John decided it was time to retire and sold the business to two of his sons and one daughter. Gary, Gordon, and Sharon bought the business and are continuing to manage the business the way John taught them, with a few changes that their college educations inspired.
John Storton Smith passed away peacefully, surrounded by all of his living children, on Thursday, February 4, 2016 due to causes incident to age: exactly fifteen years, to the day, after Lloyd died. When John died, he had 9 children, 42 grand children and 34 great grandchildren, with more already on the way.
Many of John’s grandchildren continue to work at J&L and many more are waiting to work when they are old enough.
Today, J&L employs 12 to 15 people during the winter season and more than 50 people during the spring and summer planting season.
J&L Garden Center is a full line Garden Center and Nursery. J&L offers a wide variety of plants, garden decorations, garden supplies, indoor garden decorations, and Christmas trees and decorations.
J&L has always maintained that customer service is the most important part of any retail business. J&L provides expert sales people to help answer many gardening questions.
J&L Garden Center provides gardening classes in the spring to help teach the homeowner some easy ways to improve their yard and garden.
J&L Garden Center also provides a Gardening Newsletter and many Gardening Tips handouts.
Our website, www.JLGardenCenter.com, contains many of the gardening newsletters, as well as the gardening handouts that J&L has written.
All of this is part of our commitment to provide exceptional service, knowledgeable advice, high quality products, and reasonable prices.