Who We Are


            Located on the outskirts of Howell, Michigan, Specialty Growers has been providing gardeners, landscapers and nurseries with high-quality, outdoor-grown perennials and herbs since 1982. Hand-raised from seedlings, cuttings or root stock, our plants are hardy and acclimated to Michigan’s weather conditions.


            We offer more than 600 varieties of herbs, annuals and gourmet vegetable plants. Our passion is daylilies, but hostas and ornamental grasses also are well-represented. We pride ourselves on carrying unusual perennials, as well as tried-and-true varieties, which are the backbone of all good perennial gardens. Growing quality plants for dedicated gardeners is our primary goal!


 Nursery Hours:

 April 13th – June 30th

 Monday – Friday 9 am – 6 pm

 Saturday 9 am - 5 pm

 Sunday 10 am – 4 pm

 July 1st – October 7th

 Monday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm

 Sunday 10 am – 4 pm

October 8th to 31st ~ Please Call for Appointment


Specialty Growers



Specality Growers


Meet Karen Bovio


Karen Bovio, the heart and soul of Specialty Growers, developed a love for gardening early in life. When she was asked in kindergarten what she would like to do when she grew up, Karen replied: “I would like to grow flowers for people so I can make them happy.” During her childhood, her family lived in Chicago in a two-story apartment. Although they only had a postage-stamp-size backyard, their garden was “always the prettiest in the neighborhood.” Karen’s father cut the tops off milk cartons, filled them with vermiculite and placed them on the windowsills where he enjoyed great success with red salvia and tomatoes. She fondly remembers the many trips with her family to the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago and the summers she spent with her maternal grandmother, also an avid gardener, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Not surprisingly, this love for gardening and the Michigan outdoors rubbed off.


Karen studied ornamental horticulture at the University of Illinois and after graduating, she began her career as a grower for Goldner Walsh Nursery in Pontiac, Michigan.  In 1982, Karen started her own nursery business by growing a few three-inch pots of perennials to sell at the local Farmer’s Market. Perennials were not very common in the marketplace at that time, so Karen soon developed a following of dedicated gardeners who were interested in unusual perennials ─ hence, the name Specialty Growers


Karen’s philosophy is that plants grown in accordance with natural conditions are able to become better established in the landscape and, thus, are a better value for customers. Based on this premise, the goal of Specialty Growers always has been to provide top-quality plants that are adapted to Southeast Michigan and fully acclimated to local weather conditions.


Through the years, Karen’s love of plants and her enthusiasm for her nursery business have never wavered. This is the reason customers have come to depend upon Specialty Growers for all their gardening needs.


Karen is a member of the Perennial Plant Association and the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association.


Read more about Karen on Garden A to Z