Wasco Nursery was founded in 1925 by Lynn Jay. The original farm was located on La Fox Rd., just south of Wasco, and consisted of about twenty acres. Although he was originally a farmer, Lynn started in the nursery business by growing “hardy trees with local roots” to sell to fellow farmers. Lynn’s son Robert B. Jay became involved in the business in the late 1930’s. Lynn and Bob gained a strong reputation for their horticultural expertise and their quality plants. Bob continued to grow the business with his father through the Forties, with the exception of a three year period when Bob served in the South Pacific during World War II. Bob eventually purchased the business in 1952. In 1966 Bob found that he required more land on which to grow plants. He purchased a ninety acre farm several miles away on Route 64 and moved his operation there in 1968. In 1971 Bob son Robert L. Jay (known as R.L.) took an active role in the business, adding more services and products. These additions included the start of our greenhouse operations, a vast enlargement of the retail sales yard and landscape design services. R.L. purchased the business from his father in 1987. A forty acre farm (Winter’s Rd. Farm) was purchased in 2002 in order to keep up with the “growing” demand in the Fox Valley for Wasco Nursery’s high quality, locally grown plant material. In 2003 the original greenhouses (built in the 60’s and 70’s) were torn down and replaced with a state of the art, 7200 sq. foot retail greenhouse.
Current owner Matt Zerby began working at Wasco Nursery in 1992 at the age of 14. Initially hired to load cars and help around the garden center, Matt grew quickly in his knowledge of plants, passing the Illinois Certified Nurseryman’s exam at the age of 17 (still the youngest ever to pass the exam). Matt climbed through the ranks and took on a management role in the late 90’s eventually purchasing half of the business from R.L. in 2005 and purchased R.L.’s remaining interest in the business in 2012.
Today Wasco Nursery consists of 2 farms totaling nearly 140 acres, an 8-acre retail garden center (the area’s largest), Landscape Design and Installation Services, more than 11,000 sq. feet of greenhouse space, as well as a garden gift shop that is open year round.
Wasco Nursery’s mission is to provide high quality, locally grown plant & landscape material and expert advice along with professional design & installation services. It is their goal to encourage the planting of trees, shrubs and other plants that inspire, delight and bring value to everyone and foster a more beautiful and sustainable environment for generations to come.