Honoring An Icon Of The Garden Industry
Inside The Family Tree Garden Center in Snellville, GA, you’ll find The Pete Pike Museum. This quaint little museum is a loving tribute to a garden industry giant, William “Pete” Pike, the original Pike Family Nurseries founder. As you may know, The Family Tree Garden Center is owned by Pete’s daughter, Dana Pike-Van Vlake, and her husband, Jeff Van Vlake. In fact, our single-store building on Highway 78 was built in 1976 by Dana’s brother and uncle, making it the eighth Pike Nursery location. Today, it is still fondly referred to as Store #8 by the family and longtime staff members.
Pete Pike sold the business in 2008, but in 2010, Dana and Jeff decided to start their own family garden center business by acquiring the Store #8 property and opening The Family Tree Garden Center. In 2013, as a tribute to her beloved father, the Pete Pike Museum was unveiled. Through photos, letters, and artifacts, the museum chronicles the life of Pete Pike from his childhood on a Georgia farm to his service in the Navy to starting a gardening business. Along with the help of his wife Jerri, they grew their business into the popular chain of garden centers known as Pike Nurseries.
The Legend of Pete Pike
Inside The Pete Pike Museum, you’ll find a collection of personal photos, hand-written letters, and unique items that were curated by Pete Pike himself to paint a picture of a life well-lived. From his humble beginnings of growing up on a small farm in Hogansville, GA, you’ll find childhood artifacts, family photos, and inspirational stories from Pete about how he achieved success through hard work and perseverance.
In 1958, after serving honorably in the Navy, marrying his sweetheart Geraldine (Jerri), and starting a family, Pete decided to start his own nursery business by selling plants at a small location on Hwy 41 in Marietta, GA. With signs hand-painted by Jerri and placed along the roadside to advertise their small business, a gardening legacy began. You’ll see these signs, plus other interesting advertisements and marketing materials that were used to promote Pike Nurseries throughout the decades.
There is also a fascinating collection of photographs of Pete with well-known sports legends, politicians, and other notable Georgians. You can also watch “The Legend of Pete Pike” documentary movie and hear a special song written in honor of “The Legend,” which were gifts presented to Pete by his employees in 1983 to honor his 25th year in the nursery business. So, the next time you’re in the Snellville area, make sure to stop by The Family Tree Garden Center and visit The Pete Pike Museum.
History of Pete & Pike Nurseries
Artifacts From Pete’s Life
Industry Photos & Publications
Collection of Newspaper Ads
October 28th is Pete Pike Day!
And The Legacy Continues!
To learn more about the life story of William “Pete” Pike, make sure to pick up a copy of his autobiography, “Building Mountains by Playing in a Little Dirt.” Copies are only available for purchase in our store, located at our registers.
Mom Jerri’s Garden
Mom’s Garden is a lovely on-site garden area dedicated to Pete’s wife (and Dana’s Mother), Geraldine “Jerri” Pike. In 1953, she and Pete were married, and together they founded Pike Nurseries. Since 1958, Jerri worked alongside Pete to create the family business that became a staple of the Atlanta garden industry. All this while raising four children, Jerri has always been considered the well-loved pillar of the family and the heart of the company. Jerri was known for her compassion and generosity, dedication to her family, and dry sense of humor. Come stroll through Mom’s Garden and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding trees, garden statues, and beautiful hydrangea bushes.
Beautiful Inside & Out
Fun-Loving Cheerleader of Life
Devoted Wife & Mother
Perserverance is the key to life. Never give up on your dreams, no matter the obstacles.Pete Pike
RIP Pete & Jerri
Rest in Peace
Geraldine “Jerri” Coleman Pike died on July 18th, 2018, at the age of 86, and William “Pete” Pike died on February 28th, 2020 at the age of 90. They are both missed dearly by their family.
- Geraldine Pike Tribute Wall
- Pete Pike Tribute Wall
- Pike Nurseries Mourns The Passing Of Founder Pete Pike