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    22-22 Hazen Street East Elmhurst, NY 11370 - phone: 718-278-7348


    News and Articals

    The Garden Guys

    Read more about us in the Nancy Ruhling artical:
    "Astoria Characters: The Garden Guys" in the Huffington Post


    Congressional award

    On October 24th 2011, Verni's Garden center was presented a Congressional award for its community service.
    Read more about it here in the Queens Gazette


    About Us

    In 1970 two brothers, John and Frank Verni opened a local fruit stand on the corner of 21st and Astoria Boulevard in Astoria, Queens. A decade earlier they had immigrated with their family from a small farming town in southern Italy named Sannicandro di Bari, located about 20 kilometers west of the Adriatic sea. Life in post war torn Italy was rough and the boys where put to work early on their uncle Giovanni Verni’s olive farm performing the menial tasks given to children their age. There they learned their first lessons in gardening and cultivation, skills that they would later utilize in their business.  In 1958, having very little work and even fewer prospects for the future, the patriarch of the family, Saverio Verni moved his wife and six children across the Atlantic to America and a chance at a new life.

    In America at first the two brothers went their own way, Frank helping his father in numerous business ventures from fruit stands to supermarkets, John spending three years serving his adopted country in the Army during the Vietnam war. After John was discharged from the Army he and his brother Frank, now both married and starting new families of their own, rented a small storefront in Astoria Queens. At first only selling fruits and vegetables, the brothers soon noticed that the items their customers demanded most were the small indoor plants and flowers that they would stock from time to time.  At that time, there where no businesses dedicated to the beautification of what can be a very grey, urban neighborhood. The presence of a fledgling garden center excited the local residents and new gardens began to pop up around Astoria.  The once drab and lifeless streets became a bit greener and the brothers took pride in their small contribution. Within a few years the produce would be replaced by flora, trees and soil, eventually renaming the store Verni’s Garden Center.  For more then 16 years John and Frank would serve the residents of Astoria and the outer lying neighborhoods from their modest nursery in western Queens.

    In 1986 John and Frank were presented with the opportunity to expand their business and provide a greater variety of products to their customers, which was at the time impossible given the size limitations of their small store. Later that year they moved two miles down the road to their current location at 22-22 Hazen Street. The new store sits on more then a quarter acre of land on the border of Astoria and the East Elmhurst section of Queens. Opening on July 21st 1986, the new space allowed John and Frank to provide the types of goods and services demanded by an ever-growing population. For over 25 years Verni’s has been proudly serving Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn the Bronx and Long Island from our new location. We take great pride in the beauty and health of our city and we try to bring a little bit of nature to the concrete sidewalks and asphalt streets of New York. At Verni’s we believe in the health and well being of our environment, when people ask us if we’re into conservation, we tell them “we’ve been going green since 1970.”

    What we do

    At Vernis we are committed to bringing you only the highest quality products at the most affordable prices. Come Spring we personally hand pick most of our inventory, we don't allow the farmers to choose our stock for us. Color and quality are the two top priorities at Verni's but we find hand selecting our stock affords us another luxury, uniqueness! At Verni's you'll find a larger variety of hard to find fruit and vegetable plants and exotic flora then you will at our competitors. We do not purchase our inventory in bulk before the spring instead we make frequent trips during the season to restock on an as needed basis. This ensures that what you buy is fresh from the farm and hasn't been sitting on a shelf for too long. We do this because we care about what we sell, our reputation for quality has kept us in business for over 40 years and nothing is more important to us then our customer's satisfaction.