In the summer 1971, Franz Witte (yes, the man himself) started a Boise landscaping company. No nursery, no maintenance department, just a young man and his aspirations to build and install awesome landscapes. What started as a summer job turned into one of Idaho’s most successful landscape, maintenance, and garden center companies.
How did this happen? Here’s a quick history:
- 1971: The company was founded by Franz Witte and a college friend
- 1978: State Street location was purchased
- 1982: Retail nursery added—offering a unique selection of trees, shrubs, annuals, and perennials
- 1985: The flamingos showed up and became our official mascot
- 1997: Company was incorporated as Franz Witte Landscape Contracting, Inc.
- 2006: McCall location was established
- 2007: Seneca Hull became president and partner
- 2014: Glade Burlingame and Danny Turner became partners
- 2016: Dave Jedry (McCall) and Joe Gruber became partners
- 2019: Nampa property was purchased and Cory Whiney became a partner (McCall)
- 2020: New location groundbreaking and construction begins
- 2021: State Street closed and Nampa headquarters and garden center opened
Suddenly, 50 years came and went, and Franz Witte celebrated this milestone anniversary at the new Nampa location in September. The company expanded its reach as a Boise landscaping company to a Treasure Valley landscaping company.
The Nampa site was the old Naugle Hereford Ranch, a well-known cattle farm from years prior. The Treasure Valley recognized the ranch for its stewardship of the ground through farming and the cattle industry. While developing, the goal was to preserve as much historical integrity from the original property as possible. When you visit you will see a large white barn with a red roof built in the late ’30s and the first brick silo in the area built in 1942.
President Seneca Hull shared her favorite thing about the new location, “It brings us the opportunity to do new things and keep the history while growing our own.”
In mid-April, Franz Witte closed for three weeks to move entirely and raced against the clock for a Mother’s Day weekend opening—historically the busiest time of the year for the industry. With much hard work, the company pulled it off and had a successful opening weekend!
People from all over the valley came out to shop and experience the new property. None of this would have been possible if not for the combined effort from every department; thank you to the leaders in the company and its faithful, hardworking employees.
“It was awesome how everyone came together to make [the garden center] come together. Maintenance and construction crews came out to help. Everyone just jumped in to make it happen,” Hull said.
The community’s support—from the beginning to now—is immense. Thank you for following along on this journey; it’s only just begun! The Nampa garden center is a destination to experience, to enjoy the outdoors, and to reconnect with nature and plants. But it doesn’t just end there, because now with the gift shop and greenhouse, Franz Witte is open year-round. Don’t let the weather stop you, check it out!
From the opening in May to the 50th Anniversary celebration to Fall Festival to networking nights to holiday hustle and bustle, it’s been nonstop, and an absolute dream come true. There are many exciting things coming for the new year. Stay tuned for festivals, crafty workshops, and educational classes. You’ll find them listed here as they get added to the schedule.
You won’t want to miss all that 2022 has to offer.
“We’re going to expand landscapes and put up the shade house in the garden center, plus there will be many more events for people to come and share with us,” Hull said. “There are so many opportunities with what we could do here, especially with the valley growing, it will be fun to see what we can create.”
Happy holidays and Happy New Year,
The Franz Witte Flock
By Riley Rehberg