Tiger Garden at MU reopens after renovations

Friday, September 27, 2013 | 8:08 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — MU's Tiger Garden is a lab-room-turned-flower-shop. Instead of round-bottomed flasks, glass vases line the shelves, and instead of dried flowers in petri dishes, long-stemmed fresh flowers fill bins dotting the room.

More than a year after a renovation and revamp began for the shop in MU's Agriculture Building, Tiger Garden celebrated its official reopening this week.

The shop held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday and a dinner Thursday honoring former and current faculty, students and volunteers who have supported Tiger Garden.

"We started with three student workers," said Spencer Hoagland, a student manager at the shop. "Now we have 20 workers and two full-time supervisors."

Tiger Garden started out as a corner in the Mizzou Bookstore in the student center, Hoagland said. In 2005, a lab room in the Agriculture Building was demarcated for the flower shop and underwent initial renovations. In summer 2012, more structural changes resulted in a larger store.

Hoagland said students and parents are the major source of business for the store.

"Students work at this store, and parents want to know how they are doing, so they eventually get to hear about it too," she said.

Kimberly Martin, Tiger Garden manager and plant sciences design instructor at MU, said the shop generates business mostly through word of mouth and social media.

"We had a competition this week in which participants had to share pictures on Facebook and the winner gets an arrangement every month, starting this month, for the rest of the year," she said.

The flowers are imported from California, but Tiger Garden is attempting to get local products, Hoagland said.

"We have started importing from Hermann, and that is pretty cool," she said.

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