I’d heard a lot of hype about the Groovy Plants Ranch, near Marengo, Ohio. For some. Marina and I had it on our bucket list of things to do in Central Ohio. Finally, one weekend our scheduled opened up and we were able to visit.
Driving down County Road 15 we got our first hint that we were going somewhere special when we saw a sheriff deputy up ahead. Was it an accident? No. He was directing parking traffic at Groovy Plants Ranch. Apparently, it was a bigger deal than I’d anticipated!
Groovy Plants Ranch
According to their website, Groovy Plants Ranch started around 2007 while the owner was working his way through college at an Ohio greenhouse. He fell in love with plants and began propagating succulents in his spare time. This led to growing a business as a wholesale operation.
Then in 2015, he and his wife purchased the current property and began a retail operation. From there, Groovy Plants Ranch was born. (This is a super short version of their story. Be sure to check out the website for the whole story.)
Arriving at Groovy Plants Ranch
Right away I was struck with the sheer size of the place. There were separate greenhouses for succulents, others for tropical plans and still others for very rare plants. Outside, there were tables and tables lined with flowers and vegetables. And there were hanging baskets everywhere!
My favorite place was the Potter’s Saloon. Here you could pick your own planter, plants of your choosing and pot your plant right there at the workstation. Potting soil and tools were provided. There were additional workstations available in one of the greenhouses.
For amateur gardeners like myself, many of the plants were divided by light. For instance, hostas and other shade loving plants were all together in one section. While sun lovers were together in another area.
I’m not much of a flower gardener. I’ve always left that to my daughter. So I decided to hang out in the vegetable section. There were so many wonderful, healthy plants in all varieties. In addition to the mainstream, you could find specialty and heirloom varieties as well. And there was an entire table of all sorts of herbs. I was overwhelmed.
The Rare and Unusual
There was an entire section in one greenhouse for rare, collectible plants. I didn’t even know that was a thing, collecting plants. I don’t have a green thumb and I didn’t dare touch these plants. The most expensive one I saw was $649.
If you’re just looking for something simple, there’s still plenty to see at the Ranch. An old school house is the home for a small store with gifts for gardeners and Groovy t-shirts.
Is your Instagram feed getting a little boring? Maybe it’s lacking a some color? Check out the Instagrammable spots at the Ranch. From the flowers themselves, to beautifully painted walls, tractors and even a glider plane. There’s so much that’s visually interesting you might have trouble taking it all in.
Firehouse Tavern in Sunbury
There was so much, in fact, that we had to take a break mid-trip. We travelled to nearby Sunbury to eat at the Firehouse Tavern.
The bar and restaurant is decorated in a firehouse theme, complete with t-shirts and gear from fire departments all over country. The food was casual, typical tavern food. We started with buffalo dip, which came with homemade tortilla chips. Marina and her husband both had burgers and I ordered the pulled pork. Everything was delicious and served hot. Our waitress was friendly and helpful. She kept our drinks topped off.
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch
We returned to the Ranch with our shopping list in hand. This time, we weren’t quite so distracted with how much there was to see. Instead we got right to work.
Her flower beds started coming together. Quickly her cart filled up with plants for the shady spots and plants for the sun, tall plants for the back of beds and short ground covers for the front. A few times we had questions, and there were always plant specialists nearby and ready to help.
Soon we were ready to checkout. At checkout, they offered me a “frequent flower card.” The punch card registers one punch for each $25 spent. After your fourth punch, the card can be used as a $10 gift card at the Ranch.
Planning Your Trip
If you’re planning a trip to the Ranch, check their website ahead of time. In addition to checking their hours, you can take a look at the events section. They frequently feature live music, yoga classes, food trucks and special projects. They also feature a blog and video section if you’re looking to learn more about plants.
Thanks for joining us in FindingOhio. There are so many things to do and see in Ohio, places like Groovy Plants Ranch that offer the unexpected. Let us know about your unexpected Ohio discoveries, we’d love to visit and write about it!
Check back with us often. We publish a new article each week. And remember, as always, we appreciate you sharing our content to your social media. Let’s get the word out that Ohio is an amazing place to live and play!