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A family business with a country charm

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By Doug Ponder

A local garden center constantly strives to provide their customers with the advice and products they expect, but with a “little country charm” and a family approach to how they run their business.

Lee’s Garden Center is located on 1918 Bardstown Road in Hodgenville. Their hours are Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The business offers a wide variety of items that they sell to their customers, including potted flowers, funeral arrangements, produce, vegetable and other garden plants, garden seeds, soils, mulch and much more.

Lee’s Garden Center is owned by Robin Lee and her husband Scotty Lee, who is also the LaRue County PVA. The couple opened the garden center in 1985 and they moved their business to its current location in 1992. The Lee’s later opened their gift shop cabin in 2000.

Robin Lee said they first started their business by only selling to wholesale companies and that they expanded by opening their retail store in the 1990s.

“We have a wide variety of interesting customers that we grow for and sell produce to, including the Jefferson County School System, Grow Farms (Inc) in Louisville and even Champion Petfoods. The pet food includes top of the line varieties of things like pumpkin and butternut. The pets eat better than we do,” Robin Lee said. “Our retail store includes a little bit of everything. We try to have something for everyone.”

Both Robin and Scotty Lee said they have been blessed with the business and that they “truly love” what they do.

“I enjoy helping my customers and also working with my family,” Robin Lee said. “I enjoy doing something different each day. There are all kinds of different varieties of things we do each day and no two day’s are the same.”

“I love keeping up our family’s history of being on the farm and growing crops too,” Scotty Lee said. “I enjoy being around the farm and gardening atmosphere. It’s rewarding to be successful at something you love.”

The entire Lee family can be seen helping from time to time at Lee’s garden Center. Robin and Scotty Lee have three children, Jud Lee, Laura Ann Clopton and Ashley Scott. The Lee’s grandchildren are Jacob, Tyson, Caroline and one on the way; James Waylon, is expected to be born in May.

“They have all helped out over the years and we are truly a family business,” Robin Lee said.

Robin Lee said that her son Jud Lee has came back to work full time at Lee’s Garden Center after graduating from Western Kentucky University in 2015 and that she hopes he can take over the business when her and Scotty Lee retire one day.

“What I enjoy most about this business is growing a seed all the way into a plant,” Jud Lee said. “I also like coming back to work at the family business and to be able to take it over one day.”

For more information about Lee’s Garden Center, call 270-358-9897.