There are few things more pleasurable to a homeowner than stepping outside and seeing plants blooming, trees providing shady spots for relaxation, and a beautiful space primed for entertainment. Not only is quality landscaping lovely to look at, but practically speaking, landscaping also increases a property’s value.
With 1,000 acres devoted to nursery stock and an additional 20 acres set aside for growing shrubs, perennials, and potted trees, Breezy Hill Nursery offers a wealth of resources for any landscaping project. The company maintains two nurseries: one in Poplar Grove, Illinois, and the other in Clinton, Wisconsin, and has two retail locations in Salem and Menomonee Falls. Breezy Hill handles both residential and commercial jobs located anywhere from Chicago and the north side of Milwaukee to Lake Michigan, Rockford, and Madison.
Rather than being intimidating, Breezy Hill’s expansive grounds invite customers to consider an abundance of options. Do-it-yourselfers get advice and nursery stock in the Garden Center, and for clients who prefer to leave it to the experts, perhaps because they have a larger residential or commercial project, the Design Center employs a crew of experts that includes a landscape architect and five landscape designers to guide them through the process.
“We do everything from large to small-scale projects,” says Bradd Epping, who earned his degree in landscape architecture from Utah State University and has been working at the nursery since he was 12 years old. Bradd is the son of Jerry Epping, who founded Breezy Hill Nursery in 1981.
“My dad is very into design, sales and overseeing everything,” says Bradd.
For larger projects, Breezy Hill offers a free consultation at the residence or business. The designer and owner first discuss the customer’s likes, budget, and timeline. The designer then devises a plan to share with the client and after any revisions, the job is scheduled. Some clients also request ongoing services that can include mowing, weeding, edging, and pruning for “overall landscape maintenance and health,” says Epping.
Often, people come into Breezy Hill and want to incorporate shelters, pergolas, kitchens, or grills into their landscape design. “We have short summers,” states Epping, “but while we have them, it’s very nice to be outside. And outdoor living is all the rage right now.”
At the height of summer, Breezy Hill has 300 employees. The summer work is heavy on installation of patios and irrigation systems, along with some planting. Seeding and planting pick up in the fall, and some customers hire the nursery to put in decorative autumn displays with cornstalks, mums, gourds, and pumpkins. The nursery stays busy in the winter with holiday decorating, including putting up and taking down Christmas lights, and selling trees and handmade wreaths.
Snowplowing keeps a 100-strong force busy in the Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin winters. By spring, customers are eager to have trees planted and to set up their outdoor living areas. To fulfill these needs, Breezy Hill’s carpenters do custom work building pergolas, decks, arbors, and gazebos.
Epping says that Breezy Hill’s success comes from treating clients as family. “We develop a long-term relationship built on honesty, integrity, and hard work.” Indeed, Breezy Hill, “provides the ideas, materials, and know-how for a project that is done on time and on budget, and that exceeds expectations,” Epping states.
Breezy Hill Nursery
7530 288th Avenue
Salem, WI 53168
By Susan W. Murray