About Us


Woodland Gardens, located at 168 Woodland Street, in Manchester, CT, is the oldest and largest grower in this section of Connecticut. From the late 1930s when John Zapadka grew and sold pansies on his property, we've grown to 16 greenhouses and a retail store on 8 acres. Read our History.

Pansies are just one of our numerous crops today. We also grow and sell tens of thousands of annuals, perennials, roses, herbs, vegetables, shrubs and trees. Seven days a week all year-round, we also sell tropical and flowering plants from our primary 5000-square-foot greenhouse, as well as gifts and garden-related items from our retail store.

We are still a family business, just as we were when John Zapadka enlisted his children to help dig up pansies for his customers. John's son, Leon, is now the company president, assisted by his son, Luke, and his daughter, Bethany. Besides them, we have a large and friendly staff who are always willing to answer your questions.

Here are a few of the people you'll meet when you shop at Woodland Gardens:

leon for website.jpg

Leon Zapadka, Owner
Leon took over as president of Woodland Gardens from his father, John, in the 1990s.  He worked with his father and mother in the business since he was a young child and was a vital part of the its growth from a small plant stand to the eight-acre facility it is today.  Leon can always be found at Woodland Gardens, overseeing all operations and greeting customers.

Leon is well known throughout the horticultural community and has won many awards for his efforts. He is past president of the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association; a former board member of the Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association and the Connecticut Nurserymen's Foundation; and former secretary of the Board of Control of the Connecticut Experiment Station in New Haven.

As the second-generation owner of the family business, he enjoys working  alongside his children, Luke and Beth, shown here in the photo with him.


Luke Zapadka, Propagation
Luke has worked in his family's business since he was a teenager.  He broadened his knowledge with a Bachelor's Degree in Horticulture from the University of Connecticut. At Woodland Gardens, Luke oversees propagation of most of our plants and he also organizes and directs the plant care staff.


Bethany Zapadka, Propagation
Bethany Zapadka has worked in her family's business since 1993.  She received her Associate Degree in Horticulture from the University of Connecticut in 1997.  Because of her experience and expertise, she was awarded the Connecticut Nurserymen and Landscape Association Nursery Professional Certificate in 1999.

At Woodland Gardens she oversees propagation of our plants and assists in purchasing.

Bethany's daughter, Lily, is often found in our most popular newspaper ads.


Pat Cannon, Sales & Management

Pat is the store manager. She does all the store design; does the purchasing for the store; and runs most of our workshops.