Parks Brothers Farm, Inc. is located in Van Buren, AR. We have approximately 675,000 square feet of production space that allows us to provide our garden center customers the depth of availability that your garden center needs on a weekly basis during the mad rush of spring.
We are committed to providing our customers with the best in quality plants and service. With hundreds of items available in the spring and timely delivery combined with low minimums, Parks Brothers is the grower of choice for hundreds of garden centers.
Some of our most popular items are Confetti Gardens, Proven Winners, Stepables®, Wave Petunias, perennials and our superb hanging baskets and combo pots. We also grow a wide selection of basic and premium annuals, foliage plants, succulents, herbs and vegetables.
If you are looking for organics, check out our line of USDA Certified Organically Grown Non-GMO herbs and vegetables called Peace Farm Organics. There are more to choose from this year!
In the winter we also grow thousands of Poinsettias in 6″, 8″ and 10″ pots. So if you are looking for Poinsettias, check out our Poinsettia page!
If you are a garden center or landscaper looking for a reliable supplier, please Contact Us for a new customer setup form, item list and pricing.
This web site is dedicated to the support of our garden center and wholesale customers and our products. We hope that come back often to visit and see what’s new. There is a lot of good plant and flower product information for professionals and home gardeners to use. Our Current Availability is updated regularly during our shipping seasons.
A long, long, long time ago in a tomato field not so far away, Charley and Paul Parks decided that there had to be a better way to raise tomatoes. After contemplating the problem, the Parks Brothers decided that they could grow their own tomato plants to transplant in the field. In 1964 the Brothers built their first greenhouse and grew their first tomato transplants.
After a successful harvest, the other farmers saw how well that worked for Paul and Charley. So the neighboring farmers asked them to grow the vegetable transplants for their farms.
This went on for a few years until one day their seed salesman said, “You guys should be growing petunias.”
The Brothers looked at each other and replied, “What’s that?”
“Petunias. You know, those pretty flowers that all the women plant in front of their houses.”
After contemplating the suggestion, the brothers decided to give petunias a try.
Now, over forty years later, Parks Brothers Farm, Inc. has grown to become one of Arkansas’s largest wholesale greenhouse. We have over 670,000 square feet of production space along with 10 acres of field production space. We also have our own fleet of delivery trucks with rolling racks.
Parks Brothers specializes in producing top quality bedding plants, perennials, hanging baskets, deco pots, vegetables, mums and poinsettias.
After the success of the petunias, the Brothers added ageratum, begonias, impatiens, rose moss (portulaca) and salvia. The bedding plants were grown in wooden flats with a field dirt and barnyard soil mix. During this early time in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, petunias accounted for half of all the production. After growing a spring crop of bedding plants, the Brothers continued to farm in the summer.
They started delivering plants to fruit stands in Northwest Arkansas in the early 70’s. After that they expanded to deliveries to Tulsa and Oklahoma City to the TG & Y stores. By 1975, the Brothers were making a better living growing bedding plants than they were farming. They started focusing less on the farming and more on the greenhouses. In those years the spring plant season was over by mid-April. This allowed Charley and Paul and to take off a few weeks and go crappie fishing.
Business was good and more greenhouses were built. The first greenhouse were wooden structures that were built from scrap lumber. Needless to say, they were not pretty, but they were cheap and they worked. Later houses were metal and much sturdier.
In the late 70’s, the Brothers started selling to a small department store chain called Wal-Mart. This makes Parks Brothers one of the first if not the first plant vendor for Wal-Mart. In those days, the Brothers worked with the stores individually, and the stores would pay cash for the plant deliveries.
Also during the late 70’s, Parks Brothers began servicing the Houston and southern Louisiana markets.
During the 80’s, there was phenomenal growth. To keep pace with demand, more greenhouses were built until the Brothers did not want to get any bigger. At that point, they began taking satellite growers. These satellite growers built greenhouses to grow plants exclusively for us. All of them are within a two-mile radius of our farm and nearly all of them are related to us. The ones that aren’t related to us have been with us for so long that they feel like family anyway. On a farming side note, 1985 was the last year Parks Brothers grew any field crops until 2005. From 2005 to 2016 Charley grew sweet corn and purple hull peas to sell locally.
At one point in the late 80’s we were selling to all the Wal-Mart stores in the US. This was around 400+ Wal-Mart stores. While simultaneously servicing garden centers from Baton Rouge to Kansas City and Oklahoma City to Memphis.
The 90′ started out great, but ended with some tough years. Changes in the industry with more chain stores entering the market, decreased margins. More competition and our own policy of not getting in too deep with any one customer forced us to run much leaner in all aspects of the business.
One good thing that came out of the 90’s was that the new plants introduced revolutionized the bedding plant industry. The new plants and the chain store’s increased interest in selling bedding plants caused the whole industry to surge. More people were introduced to new plants that drove demand.
During the 90’s, the second generation of the family joined the business. They introduced new concepts and ideas to the business. New products along with new perspectives proved to be a good combination.
By the late 90’s we began to see the writing on the wall in regards to the chain stores. During the whole time that we have service chain stores, Parks Brothers has always grown retail garden center quality product. While other greenhouses pursued the chain store business at any price. We maintained our expected level of quality and service. The late 90’s started the parting of the ways with our relationships with chain stores. We refused to bend to their demands. This led to short term setbacks which we were able to over come.
The first eight years of the new millennium had us refocusing. We worked to provide our customers with the best quality and service at the best possible price. During this time we experienced positive growth seven of the eight years. Our success was in part due to better marketing and improved efficiencies. But it was mostly due to the exceptional staff and crew that we have here at the farm.
2008 has presented us with more changes and new challenges. In the summer of 2008, we learned that we would no longer be a vendor for Wal-Mart. There was simultaneous sigh of relief and a churning of butterflies in our gut. We were relieved but simultaneously concern about how we would replace those sales in an economic down turn.
In 2009, we stuck to our guns and planned on having a good year despite the economy. Spring was very wet. It rained every weekend for 8 weeks. In one market in April it rained for 21 days straight. Despite all the rain, we were able to pull off a decent sell through. We made up about half the sales volume we lost with Wal-Mart. The fall season was flat with mums selling slow and no late pansy sales in the deep south. We sold out of all our of most of our poinsettias except for a few hundred. That was due to a large customer’s late order change. All in all 2009 was a mediocre year.
In 2010 Parks Bros. became the authorized Stepables® grower for the south. Confetti Gardens were the big hit in that year. ALL of our hanging baskets sold well. As did our Charley Vegetables and Charleys Herbs.
For 2011 we expanded our delivery area to include Alabama, northern Georgia, Mississippi and central Tennessee. Spring started early and ended early then was followed up by one of the hottest summers on record. We worked hard that summer to keep our field mum crop and the greenhouses of poinsettias from all burning up. We did a lot of extra watering. Our mum crop suffered some losses, but we had an excellent poinsettia season. We increased our poinsettia crop by 10% and sold out.
We also officially updated our name to Parks Brothers Farm, Inc. in December of 2011.
2012 presented it’s own challenges. Unfortunately, they were a lot like 2011. We started spring early again and had the warmest March and April on record. It was followed again by a hot, but not as hot as 2011, but much drier summer and fall. Low rainfall amounts in 2011 and 2012 had us in a severe drought. We got just enough rainfall to get by. The dry fall was challenging for consumers who were hesitant to plant. But we got just enough rain to keep them planting and us selling out in the fall.
The poinsettias looked great this year. Based on some of the feedback we received from our customers that pre-booked poinsettias, the economy had a large effect on poinsettias sales. A lot of customers did not have any luck selling their poinsettias.
After the early warm spring in 2012, the spring of 2013 was…unexpected. We had several cold snaps and a couple of snows. The last snow was on May 3 which shocked everyone. However, the IGC’s and consumers forged on. For most of the spring of 2013 the weeks went like this: early in the week it rains, then gets cold or freezes mid-week, everyone wants their orders delivered on Thursday/Friday, Saturdays are cool but nice then Sunday is warmer and clear and repeat again.
People planted their flowers and gardens. Some of them planted several times but they still persevered and got their gardens in. Spring managed to work itself out in May and June. Fall 2013 was solid and the weather was good. Same goes for the poinsettia season. We had some issues with an ice storm in early December. The storm affected several states we ship to but we did not have any major problems.
The years from 2013 to 2021 were busy. So much so that we have not updated this page in a long time. Suffice to say that looking back all we can say about those 8 years is abnormal is the new normal. Every single season was completely different in significant ways compared to proceeding years. From 2000 to 2012 we could count on the seasons being about the same. The roller coaster started around 2013.
From 2014 to 2019 we saw a steady decline in independent garden centers. Customer were not planting as much or they were shopping at chain stores instead of their local garden centers. Each year we saw about 5-10 percent of our customers close down and go out of business. Some did so because they were retirement age and there wasn’t anyone willing to take over. Some were forced to close due to poor sales. Then 2020 happened.
As everyone knows Covid-19 hit in early 2020 and clown world started. Lock downs, quarantines, restrictions and out right government overreach shut the country down. Once shut downs happened, a large percentage of the country was stuck at home. We went from the “Two Weeks to Strop the Spread” to over a year of lock downs. Suddenly, everyone was buying toilet paper and plants. Due to years of declining demand there was not enough product to supply all the new gardeners. Plant shortages were the norm and delivery was whenever you could get it. Despite all the labor and logistical challenges, 2019 was an exceptional year for plant sales. We sold out of product every season all year.
Unfortunately Charley Parks, one of the founding Parks Brothers, was not around to see the end of 2020. After a 3 weeks battle with Covid-19, Charley passed away in early October of 2020. We miss him and wish he could have been here for the unprecedented year we had.
Moving on to 2021, demand for plants was at an all time high. A one-two punch kept the plant demand high. In February of 2021, Texas experienced a week long hard freeze that their power grid could not handle. Due to the freeze, a lot of wholesale greenhouses and nurseries lost a large part of their spring crops that froze. The freeze also affected us. One night without any notice, the gas company shut our gas off to conserve gas usage for homes. The gas was back on in time to prevent any losses. The gas company claimed it was a mistake weeks later. However do not have any assurance that it would not happen again if the need arose.
This coupled with consumers buying plants early because they weren’t able to get them last spring caused another run on plants similar to 2020. There wasn’t enough product to cover what froze in Texas. We had to limit how many orders we could take by alternating delivery to some regions to every 2 weeks. We also turned away all new customers so that we could take care of our existing customer base. In addition we dealt with more labor and logistical problems. These were not having enough help, not having enough drivers, not being able to rent trucks because none were available and having to wait weeks to get in parts to fix broken down trucks.
All in all, 2021 was our most successful year ever. It was also one of the most challenging years to grow and deliver plants. Fall and poinsettia sales were strong but not as frenzied or as much as 2020. Going forward we will probably see a return to somewhat normal sales volumes.
But you never know what might happen next. My money is on a plague of locusts.
Thanks for visiting our website and reading about us. Be sure to check out our New Plants page for new spring items. And check our Currently Availability (only updated during shipping seasons Mar-May and Sept-Dec). As always, we appreciate you and hope that we are doing all we for you.
Parks Brothers Farm, Inc. currently services a 600 mile range. This includes all or parts of the following states: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. As always, we are excited about the upcoming season. We look forward to working with each of our valued customers to have a successful spring! Help us help you have a great spring. Give us a call, email us or Contact Us to let us know what’s going on with you and your stores. We love hearing from you!
Parks Bros. Farm, Inc.
6733 Parks Road
Van Buren, AR 72956
Contact Us for with questions or for more information about what we grow and the areas we service.