Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery Replants and Rebuilds

by | May 2024

Derek Lynde

Derek Lynde. Photos: Chris Emeott

Local nursery and greenhouse enters a new chapter.

It is difficult to start and build a business. It is even harder to rebuild it more than 100 years later. But that’s what the owner of Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery had to do.

A fire, confirmed to be ignited by arson, claimed the beloved Maple Grove greenhouse in the early morning hours in October 2022. While the blaze destroyed a space containing five generations of memories, it didn’t burn the support behind it.

Owner Derek Lynde says greenhouse employees and the Maple Grove community were by his side instantly to offer care, concern and a lending hand. While the loss was devastating, the support stood as a driving force to rebuild and overcome.

“It really is a family business,” Lynde says. “It would have been hard for me to not continue. When everyone showed up with concern for the place they work, I felt like I owed it to them.”

Early Days

Dating back to the horse-and-buggy days, Lynde Greenhouse carries quite a history. The business, now in its fifth generation, started as a Golden Valley vegetable farm in the late 1800s. It relocated to Maple Grove in 1970 and was built by Lynde’s father, Edward Lynde, and grandfather, Charles Lynde. Lynde expressed admiration for the work ethic the two men taught him, noting he was never made to feel like he was expected to take over the family business. With the new location—and the family living next door—the greenhouse became the world’s best playground for Lynde while he was growing up.

“In high school, all my friends worked with me, and it’s always been such a sense of accomplishment type atmosphere,” Lynde says. “Every day, a blank slate is made to be something new and beautiful. So much is accomplished every day. I’ve always found it to be an incredibly rewarding industry.”



Support to Rebuild

The call that the greenhouse was on fire came in the early morning hours of October 2, 2022. As Lynde left his house located about 4 miles away, he was greeted by an orange glow in the sky. “Right away, I knew it was terrible,” he says. Standing in front of the greenhouse in soggy shoes, watching a lifetime of memories disappear before his eyes, Lynde recalls feeling helpless.

“I’ve lost a lot of family members, and now I lost this space with the memories of all these important people,” he says, sharing that his sister died in a car accident when he was in his early 20s; 10 years later his mom died; and his dad has been gone since 2019. “That’s the hardest part of this. These buildings were put up by my dad and grandfather. When I say I have a lifetime of memories in these buildings, I have known them since the moment I was born to … when they burned down.”

Fortunately, support in all forms is helping Lynde pick up and replant—whether that’s the 300 volunteers who showed up to rehouse 20,000 poinsettias two days after the fire or anyone who has stopped in since and bought a small hanging basket. “As difficult and as terrible as the past 16 months have been, and as many times as I have thought that it would be easier to just quit and give up, I feel I owe a debt to everyone that showed up that day to lend a hand,” Lynde says.

While there is still a lot to be done, and a lot of challenges creeping up along the way, Lynde looks toward the future and plans to continue the family legacy. “This process gives me a greater appreciation for what was built before I took it over,” he says. “I hope my dad and grandfather would be proud.” Although the greenhouse may look complete on the outside, Lynde says there is work to be done on the interior, and he hopes that customers will come back through the doors this spring.

To those dedicated customers, Lynde says, “Thank you. This is more than just a job to me. I grew up next door to this place. I watched my dad and my grandpa work here when I was a kid. All I ever wanted was to be like them. They always loved the greenhouse, and so did I.

“Most importantly, to the team here at Lynde, I wouldn’t be here without you all,” he says. “The people that come here every day to earn a living have turned out to be every bit a part of this family.”

Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery
9293 Pineview Lane N.; 763.420.4400
Facebook: Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery
Instagram: @lyndegreenhouse


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