Our Story

Great people and great liners since 1981

Dale and Liz Deppe

Spring Meadow Nursery was founded in 1981 by Dale and Liz Deppe. What started as a small, primarily contract-growing operation has grown to become one of the largest and best-known woody plant liner providers in North America.

Despite our size, Spring Meadow remains a family business. Dale & Liz, our founders, provide strategic vision and counsel while the second generation is firmly in place with Jeremy & Daniela Deppe leading our teams to continued growth.

Our story is still being written - every year, our facilities, our liners, our plant selection, and our staff grow to allow us to provide the very best liners, service, and plant varieties in the industry. Take a walk through our history in the timeline below.
Original Spring Meadow Nursery logo


  • Dale and Liz Deppe establish Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, Michigan, as a woody plant liner nursery with 20 acres for stock and field growing, and one 15x100' propagation greenhouse built from old telephone poles and hand-bent pipes.
  • Around 25 deciduous shrub varieties are offered and an inventory list mailed to approximately 100 growers.


  • A pole barn is built for mixing soil, storage, and sticking liners. It includes a 10x10' enclosed space to serve as office and lunchroom. A loading dock is also added, with trucks using 120th Avenue, the main road in front of the nursery, in order to back in properly.


  • First full-time employee is hired to work as a grower, propagator, salesperson, as well as manage shipping. There are 15 greenhouses on the premises and selection has grown to around 100 evergreen and deciduous shrub varieties, which are offered in 2¼" and 4" sizes.


  • A multi-page catalog is sent to over 700 growers. Spring Meadow has acquired a reputation as a source for new shrub varieties. 
Spring Meadow booth circa 1994


  • Tim Wood is hired as new plant development and marketing manager and tasked with finding new and exclusive shrub varieties. 
  • Dale is named MNLA Grower of the Year.


  • First full-color catalog is printed.
  • Dale and Tim travel to Europe and bring back the first plant of Wine & Roses® weigela and Blondy® euonymus.


  • The ColorChoice® program for introducing "new and superior" shrubs debuts in the Spring Meadow Nursery catalog.
  • Dale and Liz establish the Spring Meadow Scholarship Fund through HRI.


  • The first version of SpringMeadowNursery.com is launched.
  • Staff includes two full-time salespeople. 
  • A third liner size, the Quick Turn™, is added for ColorChoice® varieties.


  • Dale is named ANLA/NMPRO Grower of the Year.


  • Spring Meadow joins with the Proven Winners® brand of annuals to become Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Shrubs and is exclusively licensed to select, develop, distribute, and market shrubs for the brand.

TTA Grading Machine


  • Installed TTA Grading Machine from the Netherlands.


  • Begin multi-year implementation of lean flow production, resulting in over 30% increase in efficiency.
  • Proprietary automatic trimming machine, developed by Spring Meadow staff, is put into use.


  • Tissue culture lab installed for propagation, R & D, and to increase opportunity for overseas distribution.


  • The Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrub line now includes 100 varieties.

Growers in the research and development greenhouse


  • Two acre Westbrook greenhouses installed for a dedicated R & D facility.


  • Dale is elected Chairman of the Board of American Hort (formerly ANLA).
  • AgriNomix automated media mixer added.


  • Dale is awarded the prestigious Scott Medal by the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College for his "outstanding national contribution to the science and the art of gardening."
  • New greenhouses completed, bringing total under glass to 34 acres.
  • Four ISO sticking machines are installed.


  • In January, the office building is destroyed in a fire. No one is hurt and no crops or growing structures were damaged, but the office and all archival material is lost.
  • Proven Winners® Flowering Shrubs launch in garden centers across Europe.
  • Ground is broken for the new office building and conference facilities in September.
  • New logo is introduced. 


  • The Invincibelle Spirit® Campaign for a Cure hits the $1 million mark in donations for breast cancer research.
  • After 18 months of working in the former employee lunchroom, Spring Meadow staff moves into the new office in August.
  • Ground is broken for a new propagation facility.
  • Dale is presented with the Jackson Dawson Memorial Award for exceptional skill in the science or practice of hybridization or propagation of hardy, woody plants.


  • Dale is presented the WNLA Western Legend Award, recognizing a lifetime of sustained and significant professional achievement and public service to the green industry.
  • Spring Meadow partners with Maria Zampini of Upshoot to create the Proven Winners ColorChoice Trees program.


  • Spring Meadow becomes the first company to reach $1,000,000 in donations to the Horticultural Research Institute.
  • Ground is broken for new shipping facilities, as well as an expansion of the office area.


  • Spring Meadow is awarded a Gold Medal of Achievement by GardenComm (formerly Garden Writers Association).