Ten years ago Patrick and Judy Lapide moved to Hamilton in search of a quieter lifestyle. They discovered Makrancy’s, an abandoned garden center on Kuser Road. Patrick, who grew up working in the family gardening business, decided to take his four decades of experience and open Dragonfly Farms, a retail garden center named after the many dragonflies they discovered on the property.

For years Dragonfly Farms was called “Hamilton’s Best Kept Secret,” but word spread as people discovered their hidden treasures. What they found was “Dragonfly Farms is where beauty begins. Many customers have found it to be a safe haven or an escape from a bad day. They choose to come here to find peace on their worst day. This really matters to us."

Dragonfly Farms is a gardening center, florist, and home decor shop all in one. Store Manager Antonia James describes the store as “a cross between Pottery Barn, Home Goods, and a home gardening center. We have jewelry, furniture, scarves, and a unique gift store. We carry a full line of shrubs, annuals, perennials, air plants, fairy gardens, and terrariums, as well as many one-of-a-kind gifts found in our new Wingz gift shop.”

Throughout the year Dragonfly Farms hosts many events. Ladies Night Out celebrated its first anniversary. In February they hosted the first Daddy/Daughter dance. In March was the ninth annual free Easter egg hunt. Forty girls and their dolls came to the second annual Dolly and Me tea party last month. In October the month-long pumpkin festival attracted thousands of families to the hayride, petting zoo, and pumpkins. The end of the year brings the most incredible Christmas decorations as the greenhouse is transformed into a winter wonderland. A “take and make” pottery studio is coming this June.

“We believe in the community, so it is very important that we give back,” explains Antonia. Over the years Dragonfly Farms has supported local schools, booster clubs, charities, and various Hamilton Township events. They offer special prices to churches and fundraisers and are excited to partner with Love, Annaleigh, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to supporting the needs of the infants, children, and families in area NICUs and PICUs.

“We make kids a priority,” adds Antonia. In 2013 Dragonfly Farms created Leave No Child Indoors. “Kids can come in and learn the importance of gardening, and the importance of vegetables at a young age.” Children up to teenagers are invited to weed, water, and pick their own vegetables.

“We want to thank our customers. Ten years is an incredible milestone. Most of our new customers are recommended to us.”

“A special thanks to our employees. Laura Tiedemann and Imogene Gillard are the face of Dragonfly Farms. Julie Cordero, our head florist, creates magic. Laura Fine, our behind the scenes employee, is always willing to pitch in where need. Overall we are blessed with an awesome crew,” adds Antonia.

Dragonfly Farms: Garden Center, Florist, and Home Decor, 966 Kuser Road, Hamilton. 609-588-0013. www.dragonflyfarmsnj.com, info@dragonflyfarmsnj.com Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

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