Celebrating 50 Years in Our Community
From humble beginnings as a small backyard business in the 1970s, Homestead Gardens has blossomed into a renowned haven for garden enthusiasts across the country. Its founder, Don Riddle, maintained a deep connection to his roots as the business thrived.
After completing his military service, Don E. Riddle, Jr. embarked on a career in Horticulture, fueled by his studies and a family tradition of truck gardening. Supported by his parents, the business began to take shape in the backyard of their Hyattsville, Maryland home. These early years laid the groundwork for rapid expansion, including the construction of the first greenhouse and the introduction of azaleas to customers in the area. As the business continued to grow, the search for a more suitable location began, eventually leading to the establishment of Homestead Gardens in 1973. The new facility, nestled in Davidsonville, Maryland, provided an idyllic setting, despite the initially tranquil and minimally trafficked surroundings. Recognizing the immense potential, Don transformed Homestead into an enchanting Garden Center that enticed customers with year-round events and festivals.
Pam Finlay, the community relations and special events manager at Homestead Gardens, shared the profound impact Don had on the community, “When he passed away, there were people from local PTSAs at his funeral saying he never said no. He recognized right away that you give back to the community because he lived here, he worked here.”. Don wholeheartedly embraced the philosophy of giving back, enhancing the very community he called home and worked in. Following Don’s passing in 2011, Homestead Gardens thrived under the capable leadership of his son, Brian Riddle. Carrying on his father’s legacy, Brian remained committed to community involvement and cherished this fundamental principle. He stressed the significance of fostering connections and contributing to the community’s growth, expressing gratitude for the generosity they have received.
While renowned as the largest enclosed garden center in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area, Homestead Gardens is far more than a mere nursery. Seamlessly combining specialty retail with versatile event venues, it caters to a diverse range of interests. In addition to its physical locations, Homestead Gardens serves as a valuable resource center for gardening expertise and outreach programs. Its dedicated team of garden experts consistently goes above and beyond to share knowledge and skills. Sustainability lies at the core of the company’s values, actively engaging in initiatives such as watershed restoration and agricultural programs. Collaborating with educational institutions and youth organizations, they contribute to the flourishing of agricultural practices while offering aspiring children promising career opportunities in the field. Alongside their community involvement, Homestead Gardens actively supports charitable causes by organizing fundraising events. Notably, their semiannual Girls Night Out events have become a source of significant contributions to local nonprofit organizations. The renowned fall festival, now spanning over 33 years, provides the community with a remarkable experience of seasonal celebration and enjoyment.