Our Town O’Neill: Shamrock Nursery

Pure Nebraska
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 10:12 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2022 at 10:36 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A popular business in O’Neill is known for producing beautiful plants, for growing poinsettias during the holidays, and for its unique curved greenhouse roof.

We caught up with owner Katie Wrede to talk about Shamrock Nursery. “Del Ray Kumm founded Shamrock Nursery in 1982,” Wrede said. “He started off with a season of poinsettias right away, and Poinsettia Fest grew into a huge thing for us through the years. He expanded, and most recently added the curved-glass greenhouse probably about six years ago to the facility here.”

Wrede says she became owner about a year ago in 2021. “I had worked here in junior high,” Wrede said. “I came here with a youth group project to raise funds. We were planting Memorial Day planters. That spring I started working here, and continued that every Spring for about seven years. I knew it was the blessed place on Earth, and I have always loved it. I went on to college, got a master’s degree in agronomy, and spent 20 years as a technical agronomist. During the Covid pandemic, I thought about doing something different. I visited with Del Ray about that. After a portion of time, I became the owner.” Wrede says Del Ray is still a part of the business. “I don’t think the word retirement is in his vocabulary,” Wrede said. “He continues to work here full time into the fall for sure, and as long as he’d like.”

“We try to be a full service nursery,” Wrede said. “We also transition into offerings for fall, such as fall planters and mums. We expand into the holidays, and have a big sale of poinsettias. We offer poinsettias wholesale across the state of Nebraska, into South Dakota and Iowa, and we have our glass greenhouse full of them at Christmas as well.”

The curved greenhouse at Shamrock Nursery is unique. “I’ve been told it’s the only curved greenhouse in the whole state of Nebraska,” Wrede said. “It does provide perfect growing conditions, obviously beautiful to look at, and it also beyond the light and growing conditions, the airflow is really great.” There are 14 greenhouses where staff at Shamrock Nursery produce products from seed. “About 95% of what we sell, we grow ourselves here at the nursery.”