In Marketplace

Tiger Lily will host live painters and musicians this summer.

In Marketplace

Manager Mike Kasun hand planted hundreds of hanging baskets.

Tiger Lily blooms on Brady and Water Streets

Don't be surprised if you have "Jingle Bells" running through your head when you stop by the new garden center, Tiger Lily, 1701 N. Water St. It was, after all, a Christmas tree lot for many holiday seasons in the past, and it will be again this year.

"Tiger Lily is temporarily taking over this space for the spring, summer and fall," says manager Mike Kasun. "And we hope to be here again next year."

Tiger Lily opened without a roar for Mother's Day weekend, but Kasun says the garden center is only in the first phase of what's to come. By Memorial Day, he says, they'll have "a little bit of everything" for sale.

Currently, the shop stocks a nice selection of annuals and perennials, as well as a lush vegetable selection that includes more than 40 varieties of tomato plants and, according to Kasun, "every pepper you can imagine."

California citrus trees -- lime, lemon, miniature orange and kumquat -- are available, along with scores of native Wisconsin wildflowers such as shooting stars, trillium and Jack in the Pulpits. Tiger Lily sells soils, peat moss, potting mix, manure and a hearty selection of cacti, too.

"We have everything here from a simple four-pack of flowers to 10-foot palm trees," says Kasun, 54, who has been in the horticulture industry for 41 years.

Kasun says Tiger Lily's biggest strength is rooted in the selection.

"Sure, we have blue irises, but we also have orange or black," he says. "Why not go with something more interesting?"

Kasun was the green-thumbed mastermind behind multiple public patios in Milwaukee, including Trocadero, 1758 N. Water St., and Hi Hat Lounge, 1701 N. Arlington Pl.

Sweet Bush, 1559 W. Forest Home Ave., is a local, independent business specializing in interior landscape and Tiger Lily's parent company. Sweet Bush owns another garden center, also called Tiger Lily, located next to the Forest Home Avenue building.

This summer, Tiger Lily will showcase artists painting flowers on-site and live music at a grand opening party. These dates and times will be announced later in the season.

Kasun hand-planted all of the hanging baskets which boast unique combinations of plants and flowers. Tiger Lily also sells ready-to-go patio planters for customers who enjoy flowers but do not have the time or interest to garden themselves.

Kasun says he's happy to dish out gardening advice, and that he meets lots of new home and condo owners who want to start gardens, but aren't sure where or how to begin.

"New gardeners need to ask lots of questions and be able to describe their gardens or porches -- where it's located and what the soil is like -- and then we can set them up," says Kasun. "If you shop at Tiger Lily, you're supporting a local, independently-owned business."


localuna | May 20, 2009 at 10:49 a.m. (report)

Oh how excited I am right now! I'm a local gardener of veggies and flowers and this just makes me so happy to hear! Congrats to Tiger Lily! Can't wait to stop by this weekend. I just got back from Provence and am so inspired to get more aromas flowing in the yard. Again, Congratulations! Milwaukee is really growing in the right direction. :) Sincerely - Lisa, Riverwest Milwaukee

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