Homewood Nursery and Garden Center


“Raleigh is a great place for people who love plants.”
–Joe Stoffregen, president of Homewood Nursery and Garden Center

by Jessie Ammons

photograph by Travis Long

The Stoffregens are a family of growers. “My dad had a vegetable garden in his backyard when he was 16 years old,” Joe Stoffregen says of his father Bill. Joe grew up tending to seedlings in the greenhouse his father built behind their family home on Six Forks Road, near what is now North Hills. At one point, he and his brother, Glenn Stoffregen, found themselves cultivating far more plants than they could use. “Dad took his church directory and mailed a postcard to everybody, to his neighbors and friends, and said, ‘I have some extra plants. Come see me,’” Joe Stoffregen recalls.

His father sold so many plants that he was inspired to buy 10 acres of land off Honeycutt Road to supply more friends-and-family plant sales. Eventually he quit his job as a Wake County forest ranger to “make a living out of the greenhouse in our backyard,” Bill Stoffregen says. “I’ll never forget that my dad quit a job he really liked to do something he loved.”

Today’s Homewood Nursery and Garden Center is built on that principle: Do what you love. And this is a great place to do it, he says. “The weather is generally good, so you can practically garden year-round. All of those reasons Raleigh is a great place to live are also why it’s a great place to grow.”

Since Bill Stoffregen’s passing last year and Glenn Stoffregen’s passing a few years before that, Joe Stoffregen has taken full rein of the business. “We’ve found a few things that we’re good at and also have a passion for,” he says. What began as a mostly wholesale business (the Stoffregens’ neighbor in those early days was Bob Logan, and for decades Homewood’s only retail sales were through Logan’s Trading Co., now Logan’s One Stop Garden Shop), it is now almost entirely retail, with a gift and garden shop on-site. It’s also the headquarters of the landscaping company Landvision Designs. That frees the nursery to focus on its prolific passions, including poinsettias. “We’re known for those,” Joe Stoffregen says. “We sell about 1,000-a-day in the winter, and decorate the Governor’s Mansion and nearly 100 churches.”

While Christmas is the main event, autumn is also big. This month, on Oct. 8, is Homewood’s annual fall festival, with hay rides, a pumpkin patch, Indian corn, and apple cider. It’s as good a time as ever to stock up on your fall plants – and keep an eye out for Joe Stoffregen while you’re there. He’s at the nursery most days, driven by the same love for it he once observed in his father. “When you sell somebody a plant, they come back to you. People are so proud of themselves, so happy to have grown something. That never gets old.”

The Oct. 8 fall festival is free; homewoodnursery.com