“We sell color” – Henry Huntington
Prospiant’s long-time customer, Pleasant View Gardens in New Hampshire, are proud to be a supplier of color―their 800,000 square foot greenhouse explodes with gorgeous hanging baskets, annuals, and shrubs in every color imaginable. “We know that customers go into a garden center and are immediately attracted by color, so we consider ourselves a color-producing company,” said Henry Huntington, President and CEO of Pleasant View Gardens.
Headquartered in Loudon, Pleasant View Gardens primarily focuses on annual bedding plants but is also a large producer of hanging baskets and shrubs. The family-owned and operated businesses officially started in 1976 when Henry’s father and mother purchased a 20,000 square foot wholesale greenhouse. Now owned by Henry and his brother Jeff, three generations of the family work at the company and all are in leadership positions and are the future of the company
Pleasant View purchased their first Prospiant greenhouse in 1978—a 30×144 square foot structure—because they knew it was the strongest greenhouse on the market. Over the years, they have added several other structures but since the early 1990s, it has been exclusively Prospiant greenhouses. “It’s the best greenhouse on the market, and certainly the best greenhouse for us,” said Huntington. The first open-roof greenhouse they built was a Prospiant Clear Sky Venlo glass greenhouse but they discovered they needed more light, and later built a Dual Atrium greenhouse using two 21 foot peaks to create a 42 foot structure. Pleasant View worked closely with Prospiant to develop a single peak 42-foot structure that is now known as the Vail Single Atrium greenhouse. This remains their main structure today.
It’s the best greenhouse on the market, and certainly the best greenhouse for us,Henry Hungtington, President and CEO of Pleasant View Gardens
In addition to their beautiful products, Pleasant View’s employees have a rich background, as well. Head grower, Aleksi Yosifov (left), who started as an intern 19 years ago, hails from Bulgaria. Unable to speak the language but determined to succeed, Aleksi quickly learned English and worked tirelessly to advance at Pleasant View Gardens. He learned everything from shipping to production, and finally earned the Head Grower position, where he won the exclusive industry award Grower of the Year two years ago.
Henry’s nephew, Ben Huntington (right) runs the wholesale landscaping division, where landscapers purchase shrubs, trees, and Pleasant View plants. Ben had a bad bicycle accident in June 2021 but, as he puts it, “I just have a little wobble when I walk, but other than that I’m fine!”
New Hampshire’s climate means longer winters and a very short spring before moving into summer. Pleasant View Gardens are propagators, so they start growing in December, and ship all over the country. By January, the production is in full swing, with the greenhouse kept comfortably warm by the integrated heating and control systems.
Pleasant View is also a founding member of Proven Winners, a well-known plant marketing brand. The idea behind Proven Winners was developed almost 30 years ago to introduce new genetics and flowering plants to the grower marketplace. Over the years, it has evolved into a consumer brand and has become the gold standard of plants for growers. Their goal is “consumer success”— to reduce the amount of failure at growing and gardening, the customer must have access to the very best growing products. Proven Winners is now the number one gardening brand in North America, and they have expanded the brand to a variety of producers, including everything from trees and shrubs to house plants. Of course, 98 percent of the products produced at Pleasant View have a Proven Winners brand.
Recently Pleasant View Gardens completed a large expansion. They have two locations in New Hampshire, about 12 miles apart. The original location remains in Loudon with a second location in Pembroke. In the past, they would ship from Pembroke to Loudon to consolidate the orders before sending them out to customers. The 150,000 square foot expansion at Pembroke was done to eliminate the need to ship the bulk of the product to Loudon, but rather directly to customers. Forty percent of the space was set aside strictly for shipping but with a bit of a twist, the shipping area doubles up as a greenhouse! This was done for two reasons: both shipping and growing needs change based on the season. Hanging baskets are one of their major products, but you can only grow as many as you can hang. The more plants you hang, the more light you steal from the plants below. They decided to use the shipping space for hanging baskets and installed an automated basket system that allows them to grow 30,000 more hanging baskets per season.
The expansion in Pembroke was intentionally done to keep future demand in mind. Pleasant View Gardens went from just 20,000 square feet of shipping space in Loudon to 60,000 square feet for shipping and growing space in Pembroke
“One of the things we’re doing as a company is being more careful with planning in our facility. We’re trying to be very deliberate with our master plan. This expansion was part of a much bigger plan, and we’ve left space for more shipping docks which will support future expansions,” said Huntington. “Greenhouses don’t just need to be for growing; they can be used for more than one thing. Pleasant View’s philosophy is to build the best, whether that’s a greenhouse or a hanging basket. We want to be prepared for risks and the way we’ve done that is by building Prospiant greenhouses.”
For 45 years, Pleasant View Gardens has served growers with the aim of helping grow healthy, prolific, spectacularly colorful gardens.