Sommer Gardens got its start back in the fall of 1976 when founder Fred Sommer started selling his home grown plants at his parent's roadside citrus packing plant and store. In just a few short years he turned his booming plant business into a full service retail garden center with all the amenities you would expect including landscaping, lawn maintenance, interiorscaping and more. By the late 70's Sommer Gardens expanded to include an offsite wholesale greenhouse and shadehouse operation, propagating hard to find and unusual flowering plants.
Sommer Gardens retail garden center on US HWY 27 in the mid 1980's. Note the devistating effects of the record setting freezes to the adjacent citrus groves.
In the mid 80's back-to-back devastating freezes forever changed the landscape of Florida. During one of the freezes temperatures were so low that the daytime high temperature never rose above the freezing mark. Like many Florida nurseries at the time, Sommer Gardens suffered great losses and nearly all of its living plant inventory was destroyed.
Following the two consecutive critical freezes and downturn in Florida's economy, Fred decided to close his retail garden center business and focus on landscaping and lawn maintenance. Only a few years passed until Fred decided to sell his landscaping & lawn maintenance business and turn his passion for running, triathons and fitness into a new business. Sommer Sports.
Now, over 25 years later, Fred's passion for gardening has grown even more as he focuses his energy on cultivating and hybridizng Brugmansia. So when Fred's not out producing runs and triathlons, you'll find him working in his ever expanding brugmansia nursery.