By Dante Zúñiga-West

Perhaps the best part about living here in Eugene is the abundance of quirky and distinctive local businesses that populate our nooks and crannies. As the city evolves, expands, and modernizes, these hidden gems keep Eugene unique and wonderfully weird. The Fox Hollow Creek Nursery is one such precious rarity that makes our hub of the arts and outdoors a truly extraordinary place to live.

Located in the Friendly Area neighborhood, Fox Hollow Creek Nursery is small enough to go unnoticed by the average person cruising by. But passing by the tiny parking lot without stopping in would be a mistake if you’re an avid gardener, backyard farmer, fruit-tree planter, or connoisseur of the atypical.

“My place is eclectic,” owner Michael Kaszycki says. “Think of a guy playing in a one-man band and really going for it. That’s what I’m doing here.”

Kaszycki is a character, adding to the inimitable quality of his one-of-a-kind nursery. He is a Eugene staple, previously embedded at the downtown Farmers Market for 30 years, although his Bronx accent is a dead giveaway to his regional origin. Before purchasing the plot that the nursery currently stands on, Kaszycki occupied the adjacent lot and ran a smaller operation.

His version of customer service is a one-on-one casual conversation that could easily lead you down a rabbit hole and completely alter your spring garden plans. If you find your way into the Fox Hollow Creek Nursery, your chat with its owner will likely be as fruitful as the plants you walk away with.

“It’s not your standard garden center, and that’s the point,” Kaszycki says. “I’ve been here for 12 years and I’m not going anywhere.”

Behind the gates of Kaszycki’s urban gardening stronghold is a world of hearty vegetable starts and vibrant seasonal flowers. It’s a jungle of shrubs, perennials, succulents, cacti, and fruit trees. But that’s far from all that this nursery contains. The beautiful variety of plants onsite is rivaled only by the abundance of exceptional yard art.

Packed to the brim with ornamental lawn art and garden decorations, Kaszycki’s collection of trinkets and trimmings goes far beyond the scope of basic knickknacks or kitschy collectables. His assortment of uncommon goods contains everything from sculptures of scrap-metal storks to hanging Buddha heads, from stone effigies of Greek gorgons to crouching goblins, and more. The correct word for all that has been collected and assembled at the nursery: smorgasbord.

Browsing with an attention to detail could have you walking away with the perfect centerpiece for your garden patch or kitchen windowsill. You could also learn enough to embark on new gardening endeavors of fruit-tree planting or greenhouse construction. For the dedicated backyard garden enthusiast, visiting the Fox Hollow Creek Nursery is like dropping in on a condensed amusement park where you buy a ticket and take a ride through twisty aisles, stuffed shelves, and hanging hodgepodge.

“My business is a joyous business, and the neighborhood’s name is self-descriptive,” Kaszycki says, referring to the Friendly Area Neighborhood. “It’s a joy to be here and doing this for so long.”

Fox Hollow Creek Nursery | 833 W 28th Ave. | 541/345-4084