Hillenmeyer has been a pillar in Central Kentucky for many years, contributing a great deal to the area’s rich history. Their early 20th-century landscape designs are admired today at some of the state’s most notable landmarks, including the Kentucky State Capitol and Keeneland Racecourse.
The University of Kentucky Archives credits Hector Hillenmeyer, the second-generation owner, for being the only person who kept detailed weather records in Lexington in the late 1800s. Hillenmeyer Nurseries was the largest recipient of mail through the Lexington Post Office in the 1920s and 1930s when the company began selling through the Sears Roebuck and Co. catalog.
In 1951, Hillenmeyer became one of the first nurseries in the area to move into retail with a Garden Center, a new form of merchandising in the nursery industry that originated in California. During the holidays, families would gather at Hillenmeyer to purchase their wreaths and visit the live nativity scene at the Garden Center.
The Hillenmeyer family has been equally engaged on a national level with the nursery and landscaping industry. Louis Hillenmeyer III became the first third-generation president of the American Nursery and Landscape Association (formerly known as the American Association of Nurserymen) in 2000.