Englewood garden shop adding RiNo location — because millennials love houseplants

Birdsall & Co: The Urban Nursery will open at Backyard on Blake on March 1. (BizDen file photo)

A garden shop that has spent 30 years on South Broadway is opening another location in RiNo, this time catering to apartment-dwelling millennials.

The new store, Birdsall & Co.: The Urban Nursery, will open March 1 at Backyard On Blake, a RiNo marketplace built around a courtyard. It’s a spinoff of the company’s larger Englewood store, Birdsall & Co.: The Garden Boutique, which specializes in outdoor furniture and large garden decor.

The Urban Nursery will be its hip, metropolitan younger sibling — with lots of indoor plants.

“We had a lot of younger clients coming to the store, but they would just buy something small,” said business owner Annie Huston. “Little by little, we realized that these younger generations are really into indoor plants. They really want to bring nature into their homes. We knew we had to go where these new customers are.”

Annie Huston owns Birdsall & Co. (Amy DiPierro)

The 1,400-square-foot space in the RiNo marketplace was the solution they were looking for, Huston said.

“People who live downtown are in a garden center desert — there’s nothing there,” she said. “But they’ll be able to walk to our RiNo store.”

Huston and her husband, Scott, bought Birdsall & Co. in 2012 from founder John Ludwig, and four years later moved it away from the Antique Row location it had occupied since 1988 to its current Englewood site. Before buying the business, the couple ran a landscape architecture firm for three decades, and relied heavily on the original Birdsall for its supplies.

Now, Birdsall & Co. has become the Huston family business. The couple’s son Owen is the warehouse manager who handles operations and “the practical stuff,” while daughter Morgan is “the brain behind the store,” Huston said.

“She’s really in tune with millennials, because she is one,” Huston said. “She likes to shop the way they do. So whatever you see on Pinterest and Instagram is what we’re going to get for the store. We’ve really had a great time building this as a family.”

Huston said the new RiNo space is perfect for a garden center because of its courtyard with five fountains.

“We feel right at home,” she said. “It’s the perfect garden center for urban dwellers.”

Huston with daughter Morgan. (Courtesy of Annie Huston)

Birdsall & Co. buys merchandise from across the map, from Philadelphia to Vietnam, and it’s the only store in the country to stock glazed Hungarian fountains, Huston said. But the new location will focus more on small in-demand items.

“We’ll stock with products that will turn over quickly, so each week the store will look different,” she said. “We want customers to find something unique every time they come in.”

Staff at the store also will offer complimentary design advice, as does the Englewood flagship.

“Customers can show us pictures of the inside of their apartment or condo, and we’ll help them decide where to put plants and pots,” Huston said. “We know what plant will do well in each area.

“For our main store, we’d sometimes go to a customer’s home and tell them which fountain will be the right scale, sound and style for their home. But younger people are really into plants, and now they’re venturing into more sophisticated plants that they need some help placing. If the location is right for a plant, it’s easy and it’s a great amount of satisfaction. We educate a lot, and that’s the fun part.”

Birdsall & Co. also is looking into possible additional locations in Castle Rock and Boulder, Huston said. But any new stores would carry the original Garden Boutique branding, leaving the Urban Nursery brand unique to RiNo.

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