Red Barn Garden Center helps keep Leander green

Purchasing manager Tristian Barry, left, stands with his siblings, Angelica Berkes and Gaige Barry, at the Red Barn Garden Center in Leander. (Eddie Harbour/Community Impact Newspaper)
Purchasing manager Tristian Barry, left, stands with his siblings, Angelica Berkes and Gaige Barry, at the Red Barn Garden Center in Leander. (Eddie Harbour/Community Impact Newspaper)

Purchasing manager Tristian Barry, left, stands with his siblings, Angelica Berkes and Gaige Barry, at the Red Barn Garden Center in Leander. (Eddie Harbour/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Swiss chard is just one of the cool-season vegetable options at Red Barn Garden Center in Leander. (Eddie Harbour/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Delizz strawberries are a popular late-in-the-year option at Red Barn Garden Center in Leander. (Eddie Harbour/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The houseplants enclosure at Red Barn Garden Center in Leander features plants across a wide variety of sizes. (Eddie Harbour/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Ornamental cabbage and kale at Red Barn Garden Center are two options for those looking to add cool-season color to their gardens. (Eddie Harbour/Community Impact Newspaper)
For over 40 years, Red Barn Garden Center has been an Austin-area mainstay for residents with a lawn or home garden. This year, though, longtime owner Emelie McDaniel sold the company to Kevin Barry, who had managed Red Barn for three years before he was handed the reins.

“She and I have been talking about this for a while,” Barry said. “Emelie is still with the company as an advisor and is still the face of Red Barn. The move from the Pond Springs location to [Leander] was very tough. Along with the pandemic it has been a heck of a few years.”

Two years ago, Red Barn moved to its current location in Leander on Bagdad Road just north of Hero Way after years in Austin proper, lastly on Pond Springs Road. Even as locations have changed over the years, the staff at Red Barn still strives to deliver excellent customer service.

Red Barn Purchasing Manager Tristian Barry, Barry’s son, helps ensure Leander residents get practical solutions for their gardening needs in line with the local climate.

“I don’t have anything against the big-box retailers,” Tristian said, “but I think we have a much better feel for what people are going for. We might not have the biggest team, but we have the effort and energy to get behind our customers.”


That energy and effort manifest themselves in the tailored approach that Red Barn takes with its clientele.

“Most companies are so focused on sales and profit that they lose sight of the most important thing, and that’s people,” Kevin Barry said. “Customer service, quality of product and making sure that the customer has a good shopping experience. And it really is that simple.”

At the center of the garden center is the large houseplants enclosure where a large selection of more indoor-friendly varieties resides, with a selection of smaller ceramic pots also at the ready. Most plant varieties also feature an easy-to-read card breaking down the plant’s needs for light, temperature, watering, potential size and other details.

To the left of the front gate, there are rows of edible plants geared toward the current season. With fall winding down and the cool season starting, it is primarily leafy greens—lettuce, cabbage, kale—as well as Asian greens and a variety of strawberries called Delizz.

“A lot of people don’t think strawberries do well here, but if you maintain them correctly, they’ll do just fine,” Tristian said.

In addition to his father, Tristian also has his sister Angelica Berkes and brothers Cannen and Gaige Barry working alongside them at Red Barn. For Tristian, his start in the horticulture industry wasn’t just about family but literally started at home. His first job was packing flower bulbs in the family garage as part of Kevin Barry’s former fulfillment business.

“Horticulture is just something I’ve always had an affinity for,” Tristian said. “I know I wouldn’t be where I am without [my father].”

Red Barn Garden Center

690A N. Bagdad Road, Leander

512-335-8093

www.redbarngardencenter.net

Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
By Eddie Harbour

Editor, Cedar Park/Georgetown/Leander

Eddie joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2021 and has been a reporter and editor over the past two decades including lengthy stays at the Antelope Valley Press (Palmdale, Calif.) and Santa Barbara News-Press. He relocated to the Austin area in 2014 from his native California.



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