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Our Story

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far, faaaaar away, a soft-spoken tough guy named Jerry married a really sweet lady named Ruth. They began their life in the Bozeman area. Jerry skied in and out of a little cabin each day to Ruth who during that time learned she was pregnant with their first child. He started as a lumberjack, and cut down almost every tree on a little mountain called “Andesite” in the future plans of what would be called “Big Sky Resort.” Jerry would go to and from work, and they drew water from the creek nearby, sometimes even breaking the ice in the brutal Montana winters. Jerry and Ruth decided on a new life, and moved, starting a landscape business in the little cowtown of Billings with a wheelbarrow and a shovel and a truck.

They had a bevy of children, and Jerry built all kinds of beautiful landscapes for people all around town. Eventually, the town turned green instead of brown, as Jerry was so busy building and planting for the wonderful people in the community.

Jerry’s special gift was horticulture. Over the years he built precious relationships with friends who were delighted to have him enter their yards, lovingly caring for their plants, trees, and gardens.


Years went by, and his children grew fairer and fairer, until one day, a crazy and very ambitious young boy in Billings married one of Jerry and Ruth’s daughters, and her name was the finest name of all names, named as a woman who should never, ever, ever be trifled with: Karen.

As Jerry and Ruth grew older and had loved the community so much, Jerry one day asked Jon and Karen if they might carry on the family legacy of the now-booming and blooming landscape business. Jon and Karen said, “yes.”

One day Jon and Karen moved to be more centrally located in town, and almost instantly were presented with the idea of taking over an abandoned building in the heart of Billings that once was a plant nursery.

Jon walked around the building and immediately dreamt of a space with a bustling garden center, coffeehouse for the community, an art gallery, and cut flowers for sale. He approached the existing owners of the vacant building, who delightfully came to an agreement and over many conversations became friends. He approached a savvy realtor to partition off the back section, and asked one of the most talented young craft coffee businesses in Billings to offer coffee at Roots in the middle of a host of plants. They redesigned an upstairs apartment into a hip new residential rental, and Jon and Karen invited some new amazing friends who brought a sense of magic, delight, relationship, hard work, and business intelligence to the space. Thus was born: Roots Garden Center.

Occasionally Jerry and Ruth stop by and have a coffee and teach people about plants.

And they’re all still growing.


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