Lisa was a childhood friend of then,

"Buddy" LeFevre when she would come visit

grandparents Hub and Mary Higby

who lived across the street from Bud.


 She grew up in Iowa.  In 1987 she graduated

with a degree in Painting and Computer Graphics

from Marycrest University in Davenport, IA.


   In the 90's, she worked in the fields of art, 

educational technology,

and horticulture, in Milwaukee, WI.


 In 2000, she found her self back in Sterling, IL,

to care for her grandmother, Mary, upon which

she became reacquainted with Bud.


  She joined Distinctive Gardens in 2001

bringing with her a background in art,

computer technology, horticulture and business.


 She continues to operate her studio while running

Distinctive Gardens with Bud.


In 2012 she was awarded the YWCA of the

Sauk Valley "Pearl Woods" award for achievement

in industry and private business

for her work in the community

in bringing culture and small businesses together through

Second Saturdays Art Happenings and Sauk Valley Shop Small.








Lawn & Garden Retailer's Merchandiser of the Year




Monarch Waystation sign


Monarch Waystation Certification #10188



TGC Revolutionary 100 logo Transparent Background3


Today's Garden Center Revolutionary 100 

Distinctive Garden's named as a Revolutionary 100 Garden Center by the Today's Garden Center magazine.






Palo Alto, CA

Facebook Small and Medium Business Council

Bud and Lisa are asked to serve on the inaugural Facebook Small and Medium Business Council.

They fly out to Facebook to meet other council members, share ideas and get an insiders look into FB future plans.





New York City, NY

Today Show Line

American Express OPEN flies Bud out to NYC to represent small business owners across the country

for Small Business Saturday.  





 Dixon, IL

Small Business Saturday video

American Express OPEN sends a video team to shoot a video featuring Distinctive Gardens and Sauk Valley Shop Small for the upcoming Small Business Saturday event.






Provincetown, MA

American Express OPEN, Provincetown Panel Discussion and Workshop -

How Social Media Can Help Small Business 

Bud and Lisa are invited to sit on a discussion panel to talk about use social media to boost business.





Rock Falls, IL

YWCA of the Sauk Valley Pearl Woods Award

Lisa awarded the "Pearl Woods" award for achievement in industry

and private business for her work in the community bringing culture and small businesses together

through Second Saturdays Art Happenings and Sauk Valley Shop Small





New York City, NY

fMC Facebook marketing conference featured business

Building Essential Connections video 

Three different stories show how real people are developing lasting relationships with brands on Facebook. 

Bud and Lisa for Distinctive Gardens are one of three stories featured in video.






Palo Alto, CA

Facebook American Express Big Break for Small Business national contest winner





2003.11, Moline, IL

Quad City Arts, Festival of Trees 

Best of Show, Most Artistic Tree, Designer's Choice, People's Choice awards




2002.11, Moline, IL

Quad City Arts, Festival of Trees 

Designer's Choice award






More than a premier holiday event,

Festival of Trees is the annual fundraiser

for Quad City Arts, a local not-for-profit arts agency.


This fundraiser makes it possible for Quad City Arts

to provide quality arts programming and support year round

for the residents of six counties in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.


  Over the past 26 years, Festival has evolved from

a weekend-long event in one room, into an 11-day event

utilizing the entire 70,000 square foot

RiverCenter complex in Downtown Davenport.


  The event features 100 designer trees,

14 special events,

the largest helium balloon parade in the Midwest,

3,500 volunteers and more than 100,000 visitors each year. 



Distinctive Gardens designed award winning trees receiving:


2003 Best of Show

2003 1st Place Most Artistic Tree

2003, 2002 Designer's Choice

2003 People's Choice




Bottom line, we couldn't do it without our crew.

  They keep this place running on a daily basis.

  Our team consists of

Jodi LeFevre,

Quin LeFevre,

Jay Pauley,

Cralles Borden III and

Colin Bond.


Jodi holds down the fort in the gift shop and is the greenhouse go-to gal.

  She handles the majority of greenhouse work including transplanting,

various horticultural tasks and maintenance. 

Find her designing at the holidays, making wreaths.



Quin's been working at DG since he was 8 years old.

  Now an adult, he's the backbone of our landscape crew,

and we literally mean ''back'', as in our old backs can't take it any more.

 He's a jack of all trades from greenhouse work

to landscaping, to mowing, to selling Christmas trees.

  It's great to be able to work with family.



Cralles Borden, or "Cra Cra" a.k.a. "Jessup"

came on board in 2015.  He hangs with the

  landscape crew primarily unless we pull

him into the shop, stick a Yoda hat on him

or take advantage of his woodworking skills.  

He's a hoot!



Jay Pauley, or "Jayman" or "Levi" as we like to call him

stepped up to help us with landscaping,

selling and anything else needing done

and we just won't let him go now.

An integral Digger, he keeps us thinking

and smiling and on task.  It's a joy working with friends.



Colin Bond started with DG way before

family and military service entered the picture.

Now returned, he slid right into the 

 landscaping crew like he never missed a beat.

That Marine mentality has us busting up laughting and gettin'r dun.







Bud's horticultural genes trace back to the early 1900’s

when his grandpa, Edwin William LeFevre

tended the private gardens of both

the Benson and Bittorf’s,

families that started National Mfg in 1902. 

Edwin was also in the first crew at National.




He raised a family of four including sons, Charles and William.




Edwin’s influence on young Charles “Jink”, 21,

and William “Red”, 18, was evident

when they started their horticulture careers in 1929

at Sterling Floral Company.




At the time, Sterling Floral Company

was one of the largest and oldest

floral companies in the state of Illinois.



Sterling Floral Co. started in 1871

by Mr. Mangan and was purchased by

Robert Lundstrom in 1904.



In 1933 Robert Jr. took over

and ran it until he left

for the service in 1942,

later reopening in ’46

after the war ended.



In the 50’s he changed the name

to Lundstrom Florist and Greenhouse.



For thirteen years, Red and Jink honed their skills

at Sterling Floral Co/Lundstrom Florist.



In 1942 during the war, while Robert Jr

was away serving, Red and Jink,

left to venture out on their own

and start up Sterling Floral “Shop”

in downtown Sterling, Il.



It would be 30 years before another

LeFevre worked at Lundstrom Florist.



The two brothers also had a corner on the market

with fresh produce they sold to area restaurants.




Red and Jink successfully operated

their business for 17 years,

from 1942-1959,

the year that

Jan “Bud” LeFevre

was born.



On the other side of Bud’s family,

his Great Uncle Vinny Oehl

was a founding member

of the Dixon Men’s Garden Club

and very active in the Dixon Farmer’s Market.


With all the interest in horticulture

it’s no wonder that one of Red’s two boys

picked up where he and Jink left off. 




Red’s youngest, “Bud”, grew up learning

at the knee of his dad and uncle

about flowers and vegetable gardening.


In 1973, at 13, Bud started working

for Lundstrom’s Florist.


He was the second generation LeFevre

to work for Lundstrom’s.


Lisa's grandmother, his neighbor, Mary Higby,

and the person who gave him his nickname, “Bud”,

got him the job.






In 1980, Bud received a degree in Ornamental Horticulture

with emphasis in greenhouse and garden center management

from Kishwaukee College in Malta, IL

and then went to Swartley’s Greenhouse

in Sterling as a grower.


 In 1985 he ventured out on his own

freelancing, and, like his grandfather,

also worked at National Mfg.


He did this for the next twenty-two years.  



In 1992, the fourth generation

of LeFevre’s to work in horticulture,

Quin Allen LeFevre, was born.


Later in 1999, Distinctive Gardens opened in Dixon, IL.


Bud’s son, Quin, started working

with his dad at 8 years old.


To present, Quin, at age 22

is still working at Distinctive Gardens

after graduating from college.



For Bud, he feels very fortunate

to do a job that he loves

while working with his family

at the same time.


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 Distinctive Gardens

2020 Lowell Park Road

Dixon, IL




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