La Bella Fiori is located between Staunton & Benld off of Route 4 at 18581 White City Rd, Staunton IL 62088. Since 2010, our growing center has been open to the public.
Click here for details about our garden center, including standard hours, holiday closures and the plants we carry on site.
For more information about us, our products and services, please contact us on Facebook. You are also welcome to give us a call at 217-313-1001.
About La Bella Fiori
Growing up in this area of Illinois requires that we all have some agricultural influences, deliberate or not. My upbringing was no different; both sides of my family are well rooted in farming and gardening. My beloved grandparents, Frank and Helen Genetti of Gillespie, had what I believed was the biggest and most beautiful garden in the world. It provided vegetables to my entire family. Grandma made the best salsa, spicy and sweet. And there was always a bouquet of freshly cut flowers on the dining room table. Both of them were instrumental in helping us start our business in 2004. Grandma Helen loved planting mums, especially in the bigger pots. Well into her 90s, walking was excruciatingly painful, but she sat with us at festivals, holding the children while we loaded trunks full of mums. Grandpa Frank supplied many of the gourds that we've used to enhance our displays. He also provided seeds of plants that we have sold, like castor beans. My love and gratitude to them extends far beyond the foundations of my business. The personal independence and strength in marriage and family that my grandparents instilled in me, within the confines of their backyard garden, is eternal. My grandparents' pictures go with us to all of our festivals and remain with us at the farm, although they have both passed away.
Beyond the childhood years spent in my grandparents' garden, I went to work for locally-renowned greenhouse owners, Pat and Rich Obertino. The Obertinos would agree that much more than the typical garden plant was grown there at their facility. They've not only taught me many aspects of successful greenhouse operating, they welcomed Lance, the children and myself into their family. I am forever grateful to them for all they've done to help us get our business off the ground. Pat and Rich remain to be our close friends and continue to assist us in many ways. They may be "retired", but their garden is bigger than ever.
If you've ever bought plants from us, you've probably encountered my mother, Debbie Cox. My mom puts countless hours of work into assisting me. She has a full-time job but has always found time to spend with us. La Bella Fiori would not exist without her tireless labor, her emotional and financial support, and her willingness to go above and beyond to do whatever it takes to make our lives better. My dad, Randy Cox, was a big part of the business. He lived here, actually, and helped us unload trucks, moved oversized products, and served as a watchdog over the farm during the busy and not-so-busy months. Although he recently passed away, his presence will remain a constant here at the farm. Lance's mom, Vicki Dillon, has helped us tremendously as well, despite living thousands of miles away in tropical Tobago. Two of our three children were born during our busiest months of growing. Grandma Vicki raised our babies here at the farm, spending months away from her home, to ensure that they had a good, healthy start while Lance and I tended to the crops outside. To all of our parents, we are very grateful. Should you ever come across my father-in-law, Winston Dillon, out here at the greenhouse, be sure to strike up a conversation with him. You would be surprised to know that life in a small Midwestern town is not too different from life on a small tropical island.
Lance did not know what he was getting into when he left the comforts of the Caribbean to end up working full-time as a trauma nurse and raising a family, while dedicating himself to a business that survives primarily to keep his wife happy. The children work too, unwillingly sacrificing their summer vacations while we labor to grow the most beautiful plants possible. When it comes to thanking all of them, I find myself at a loss of words, inadequate of showing my gratitude.
Lastly, this business operates with aid from my sister, our aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends that have been recruited to help us out on the farm. They are too many to mention. Some live nearby, while others travel from across the states to help us. But their time and efforts have contributed to more than they could ever imagine and I love them all for it.
Indeed, this is La Bella Fiori. We sell flowers and plants, but there is much more going on here at our little farm. It is our mission to not only provide a service to our community, beautifying our neighbors' front porches, but also to instill in our children the values taught to us by my grandparents out in their garden, and to grow relationships much like those grown at Obertino's Greenhouse. I have a degree in ornamental horticulture and many years of experience in landscaping and greenhouse production, and while those attributes have helped over the years, the true foundation of La Bella Fiori is held up by the many who have contributed to it.