Me-Moes owners transform a former church into new garden center

Jeremy and Kate Spikes, owners of Me-Moes Lawn and Landscaping, opened Plant Barn Garden Center and Nursery off Perkins Road last month to coincide with their landscaping business. 

“We’re experienced on the installation and maintenance end. We can give informed advice at the point of purchase,” Jeremy said. “We understand what happens after you buy the plant and two years after that.” 

The Spikes family originally purchased the former Children of God Ministry church on Valley Street, established in 1947, to be used as the Me-Moes office. But Jeremy said he saw the amount of land and traffic and took the opportunity to create something more. 

“It just made sense,” Jeremy said. “We always had to travel a good distance to get the inventory we needed for Me-Moes, so we figured it really wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a garden center right here.”

A communion chalice was found underneath the building during reconstruction and kept on display. The old bell tower was also left standing and wood from the church was used to create Plant Barns countertops. 

“The chalice somehow survived all that destruction,” Spikes said. “We tried to keep some of the elements from the church because it felt right to keep those things here.” 

An outdoor fireplace is featured in the back area of Plant Barn, made with the old church bricks and built to use as an example for what Me-Moes can do for clients. The outside plant tables were made using old bleachers from the LSU tennis stadium.

The construction process took about a year. Jeremy and Robert Holdord founded Stellar Builds, a construction company, to build Plant Barn themselves.

Jeremy got his start in the landscaping business mowing lawns in high school, eventually founding Me-Moes with a friend, Dawson Ellis. They continued running the small business through college and expanded with landscaping. He bought Ellis’ share of the business in 2016. 

“We just started cutting on the weekends and after school,”  he said.  “Once we got to a certain point, we realized being self-employed definitely has its benefits.”

Plant Barn aims to stock plants that are easy to install and maintain in the landscaping process. And when it came time to source Plant Barn with products, Jeremy said he already knew exactly where to go. He learned through Me-Moes what nurseries sold the best of each plant, and Plant Barn today gets the majority of its inventory from Forest Hill, Louisiana. He is particularly proud of the Bird of Paradise and Pride of Barbados plants in Plant Barns stock. 

“We try to pull some winners,” he says. “All of our stock is in really good shape.” 

Plant Barn Garden Center and Nursery is open Monday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It is located at 2912 Valley St.