With Mother’s Day upon us, myself and two blogger friends…Heather from Heather’s Handmade Life (who was writing an article for the Chronicle Herald) and Laura from My Life in the Sun…headed out for a visit to Forest Glen Greenhouses in Brookfield, Nova Scotia, to see where the magic blooms!
Upon entering the greenhouse, it was almost as if we were stepping into Santa’s Worksop on Christmas Eve! Multiple elves were watering, organizing, packing and loading over 250 varieties of beautiful plants, veggies and flowers into multiple trucks destined for PC Lawn and Garden Centres throughout New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Judy and Megan Thompson (along with Megan’s husband Jason) are the mom and daughter tag-team behind the massive operation. Over 30 years ago, Judy and her husband Lee started their flower operation on a much smaller scale, realizing quickly they were truly “living the dream” of working together and creating something pretty spectacular for their family (the couple have two daughters and now, two grandsons aged 1 and 4.) As the family grew…so did the business to the point that today, it’s an impressive 6 acres of high-tech greenhouses supplying products solely to the Atlantic Superstore Lawn and Garden Centres (and their various divisions).
We spent a bit of time with Judy, Megan and Megan’s sweet boy Jacob, chatting about the business and tip-toeing through the various planters and baskets all ready for Mother’s Day weekend. The colours were vibrant with pots to match…all eye-catching and glorious…awaiting their new homes on decks and gardens throughout the Maritimes
Judy attends flower shows and meets with breeders to find the perfect assortment of plants that are tailored to the region we live…looking for beautiful colour to brighten our days and flowers that will bloom brightly in our short season. Every two years she attends a flower show in Germany where they’re able to make plans a few years out and see “what’s coming down the pipes.” They also attend a show in California where they pick the plants for the following year. With the flower breeders, they make special arrangements to choose “exclusive” blooms just for President’s Choice…with customer friendly and drought friendly plants as a focus.
And this year’s choices are outstanding.
PC Callie Orange Star – Feast your eyes on the most eye-catching orange Calibrachoa on the market! Perfect for hanging baskets, containers or ground cover, it is a must-have in your garden this year. As with the other colours in the Callie series, it loves the sun, and a little care will ensure this star stays with you for the entire summer.
PC Calliope Large Lavender Splash Geranium – This bend of lavender and pink brings a rare combination of colour to your garden. The unique PC zonal geranium works well in a home-made combination and will also thrive on its own in your garden landscape.
After a tour of the greenhouses, where I couldn’t help but feel a lift in my spirit from the surrounding beauty, Judy brought us into their offices where she’d laid out a wonderful lunch for us to enjoy. “Mind the daycare,” she exclaimed on opening the door…a play mat on the floor along with various toys…quite obviously a spot where Judy’s grandsons spend a bit of time…where this Mom, now grandmother, continues to live the dream she and her husband began so many years before.
We sat and chatted about being an entrepreneur, about life and raising kids, about gardening…and I learned quite a few things, for example:
- Forest Glen ships out more and more vegetables each year as folks embrace the concept of “farm to table”…where Judy feels that planting veggies is “therapeutic with a purpose.” (Keep your eyes open later in May for a “Beet Green Bowl”…where the greens are perfect for a salad…a new product this year.)
- Marigolds and Lavender help to keep the deer away.
- Callabracia have taken over Geraniums as most popular plant…likely due to the fact that they don’t need dead-heading.
- Coloured pots continue to be “on trend”…matching the pots with the flowers inside and increasing the pop of colour in our gardening. This year, the PC Jumbo Hanging Baskets are larger with higher soil capacity for better performance.
- Raising kids is tough…tougher with all of today’s technology…teaching your children to grow something and create something from scratch, with their bare hands…might help take a few troubles away.
It was a wonderful lunch and visit on a sunshine-filled day as we visited Forest Glen Greenhouses, seeing this beautiful entrepreneur in action surrounded by her lovely family. As staff bustled around us, filling the trucks and smiling…it was evident that we were in a busy, joyful, hard-working place.
The PC Lawn and Garden Centres are officially open and this this past few months, the crowd at Forest Glen have been working to make sure the most spectacular planters and baskets are filling the shelves.
It’s Mother’s Day weekend…head out to an Atlantic Superstore Garden Centre and see all of the amazing things that were grown right here in Atlantic Canada.
After all, what would Mother’s Day be…without flowers!?
Disclaimer: I am compensated for my work with President’s Choice. All opinions, as always, are my own.
Fun! I can’t wait to get my flowers.
I am really hoping part of the weekend finds me standing in the middle of a Superstore Garden Centre surrounded by ALL the flowers. The Gigantico *everythings* are amazing.