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Maryland garden store acquires Ronny’s in Smyrna

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Delaware mainstay Ronny’s Garden World was bought by Homestead Gardens Inc. and plans to reopen the store under new management as soon as possible. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING

SMYRNA Homestead Gardens Inc. of Maryland has bought Delaware mainstay Ronny’s Garden World and plans to reopen the store under new management as soon as possible.

“We’re proud to bring to our reputation for helping area homeowners and gardeners create beautiful spaces,” Homestead Gardens CEO and owner Brian Riddle said in a prepared statement. “We sell the highest quality plants and garden products and will bring our signature customer service to Smyrna. Importantly, we’re excited about contributing to the growing economy in this region of Delaware.”

Terms of the deal were not immediately available.

For 50 years, Ronny’s Garden World has been the state’s largest garden center and regional distributor of plants and landscaping products. Founders and Smyrna natives Ronald and Glenda Burris first started selling produce out of a cart at Pine Tree Road before buying land for the business in 1970, according to The News Journal.

Ronny’s Garden World was also famous for transforming into a winter wonderland, complete with Christmas trees for sale, every December.

Ronald Burris died in August 2020 at the age of 80. His two daughters, Brenda Metts and Donna Staley, have been running the business since 2005 and decided to retire and to sell the business instead. The business quietly planned to close by the end of 2020.

“We are confident that Homestead Gardens will carry on our proud tradition of family ownership, high-quality service and community engagement,” Staley said.

Like Ronny’s Garden World, Homestead Gardens has been around for decades and traces its roots to family. With locations in Davidsonville and Severna Park, the garden company offers a large selection of high-quality annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. The company employs more than 200 people.

The 240,000-square-foot Davidson storefront traditionally hosts large events like Spring Kickoffs, Fall Fest and a holiday lights display, according to the company’s website.

Homestead Gardens also caters to landscape contractors, builders and municipalities in the D.C.-Baltimore region at the Horticultural Supply Center. In addition, Hort Supply offers tool rentals to contractors and homeowners.

“Just as my own family did at Homestead Gardens, the Burrises built Ronny’s World to be a successful, iconic business that is the premier destination for regional gardeners and growers,” Riddle said. “We plan to build on that foundation by selling the area’s best selection of trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, pollinators and houseplants.”  

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