Owner John Harrison inside the shop

Planting a Dream

Childhood memories are neat things. 

We all have those favorite toys, favorite games. We had our best friends, our favorite subjects in school. And we all had those moments at grandma’s house. 

Getting out of the car, running to the door, right into the biggest hug you’ve ever had. 

John Harrison remembers those hugs all too well. 

But first…

“When I went to my grandparents’ house when I was little, I always ran to the garden before running in to see them,” he said. 

In other words, “I have always liked plants.”

“I have always liked plants.”

That childhood excitement for all things greenery led Harrison to launch In the Garden, a family-owned garden center located at 818 E. Fourth Street. The shop first opened on Broadway in 2004, but they eventually outgrew – pun intended – that spot. 

In the Garden features a little bit of everything for the community’s outdoor needs. Plants, trees, shrubs. Mulch, rock, and soil. Statues and pottery. Seeds, rakes, gloves. Everything.

They also offer a variety of services ranging from landscape and watering to hardscapes and maintenance.

Like many of Pittsburg’s business owners, Harrison is a humble guy who doesn’t like to accept a lot of attention or praise for his business success. Ok, so he will mention that In the Garden has been named in the top 10 garden centers in the state of Kansas by independent  journalists. But other than that, he prefers to talk about the people of Pittsburg, whom he credits with the success of many of the city’s businesses. 

“I know so many gifted people that live in our community,” he said. “I couldn’t begin to name them all. All these great people make up organizations like Pittsburg State University, the local churches, civic groups like Zone 6 Garden Club, Pittsburg Beautiful, just to name a couple I work with.

“The diverse manufacturing and services offered in Pittsburg is astounding. Fabulous restaurants. Then you have the City of Pittsburg and the Chamber of Commerce. They have been instrumental in keeping Pittsburg a vibrant and growing community.”

statues of gorillas

“I feel lucky that I get to live in such a loving and caring community.”

Harrison is married to Michelle Harrison, who teaches second grade in Pittsburg. The couple has two daughters. John’s sister Melissa Sullivan is In the Garden’s landscape manager. His mother Hellen is the display coordinator. 

Being able to work with family and serve many of his friends and neighbors are among Harrison’s many reasons for loving the community of Pittsburg.

“I feel lucky that I get to live in such a loving and caring community,” he said. “I meet a lot of people who moved away for their careers, and they come back to Pittsburg to retire. There is a reason they do that. I feel proud of the fact that in my own little way I have helped make Pittsburg a great place to live.”

Check out In the Garden online at http://inthegardenpittsburg.com/

gloves on a wall
man with flowers
Man in green house