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Three Seasons Garden Store: A local landscaping business expands to retail | The Harvard Press | Features | Feature Articles – kechambers

Three Seasons Garden Store: A local landscaping business expands to retail | The Harvard Press | Features | Feature Articles

Twenty years after Mike Hood founded Three Seasons Landscaping with his brother, Tim, he knew it was past time to find new headquarters for an ever-expanding landscape business and to realize his long-term plan of opening a retail shop. A 2½-acre piece of the former Callahan property, 264 Ayer Road, presented itself in 2020 as the perfect solution, he said. And with Tim having moved out of state, Mike brought another brother, Rob, on board to manage Three Seasons Garden Store and the landscaping business.

The commercially zoned property took longer to find than he’d have preferred, Mike said, but keeping the business in Harvard was a priority, given his family’s ties to the town and the loyalty he said his Harvard customers have consistently shown.

Mike Hood (left) and Rob Hood stand in front of a Blackstone Candle display at Three Seasons Garden Store. (Photo by Thomas Kilian)

Mike, Rob, and their four siblings all grew up on Old Mill Road after their parents moved there 47 years ago. Their dad, Bob Hood, delivered the mail in town for 25 years, and their maternal grandmother, Rita Lombardi, was celebrated at the 2018 Town Meeting as the town’s oldest resident. She died at home in 2021 at the age of 102.

Looking back and reflecting on her sons’ success, Peggy Hood told the Press she wasn’t surprised when her outdoor-loving sons Mike and Tim took up landscaping as a profession. During their youth, she’d line up outdoor projects for them at their grandfather Lombardi’s place in Clinton. He was an engineer by profession, but in retirement focused on meticulous yard and stone work. “He was exacting and taught them a lot,” she said. To this day, she said, “Mike prefers to be out and about.”

Rob, too, is well suited to his current role in the Three Seasons enterprise, managing the office and inventory at the store and writing up proposals for landscaping customers. He “always liked books and is very smart … they are a good match for the business,” Peggy said.

The retail business started with the sale of mums on the store’s lawn in 2020, while the shop itself opened in the spring of 2021—after the former storage building had been renovated. It was paneled in knotty pine milled at a Hubbardston lumber mill, and the walls were adorned with antique farm implements that the hoods found in an old barn on the property. Between 2021 and 2022, stock at the shop steadily increased. Today, the shop carries garden tools of all kinds; flower pots; grass seed, garden soil, and soil amendments; and gift items, including Blackstone candles and diminutive, handmade gift bags. Seasonal items such as bushes and flowering plants; mulch, pumpkins, and hay bales; and Christmas trees, wreaths, and arrangements make appearances during the months the store is open, which are April 1 through Christmas.

Reflecting on the past year, Mike says he has had the most fun selling Christmas trees, and if he had to choose a favorite product, he’d go with the Jonathan Green grass seed, which he swears by. The opening next year of another garden center on Ayer Road—just as the store gains steam—has both Rob and Mike determined to keep improving Three Seasons. Next year, for instance, Mike plans to expand the inventory to include wild bird supplies, perennials, seeds, natural double-ground mulch, stone, and high-end outdoor fire systems from Montana Fire Pits.

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