With the sun shining, the temperature hitting double digits, and no white stuff in the forecast, the seed has been sprouting inside people’s minds on what to plant this spring.
Gardening season is upon much of B.C. and residents are beginning to stock up on seeds and plants from a variety of different nurseries in the area.
Aldergrove’s Clearview Garden Shop, one of the largest plant stores in the Lower Mainland, is celebrating 50 years in the business.
With the launch of Clearview Horticulture Products – the shop’s original wholesale company in 1970 – Fred Wein, his wife Sidney, plus Fred’s parents Gladys and Charlie Barron, started the business with the initial focus on clematis plants.
“It wasn’t long before the vacant lot was purchased on the corner of 264th Street and 56th Avenue and bloomed into a nursery of greenhouses nurturing hundreds of different plant varieties,” Wein explained.
As the years went by, generation after generation of Wein growers joined and helped grow the family business, with the oldest of the fifth generation just getting their start today.
“While our five generations of family have been seeding B.C. with beautiful plants for decades through our wholesale partnerships, in 2008, we decided it was time to bring our plants directly to the public,” he added, referring to the official establishment of the garden shop.
Plant expert Walter Hoogeland told the Aldergrove Star that Clearview’s longevity stems from the fact that gardening provides many different positives in people’s lives.
“The most notable are satisfaction, stress relief, relaxation, and self fulfillment from growing flowers and food,” Hoogeland explained, also listing exercise as a benefit.
He figures 2021 will be an even busier than last year due to COVID-19 restrictions and fear of supply chain issues.
For those looking out the window and wondering if it’s too early or too late to start working in the dirt, Hoogeland said right now is a great time for planting trees and shrubs, as well as pansies, primula, and perennials.
“When temperatures warm up in late April or early May, that is the time for annuals, hanging baskets and vegetables,” he explained. “Planting is fine all the way up to early October. Just remember in the hot summer months new planting will need extra attention with watering.”
He did advise gardeners to not get too ahead of themselves, pointing out that there could be frost and that will kill most annuals.
Anyone just starting their garden adventure and wondering what an easy beginner project might be – Hoogeland suggested hanging baskets and house plants.
“Mainly because they provide instant gratification in and out of the house,” he noted.
Hoogeland also suggested clematis plants – with Clearview is particularly known for throughout North America – as well as solenia begonias, which he described as having a large double flower that perform well in partial sunlight.
Clearview’s expert noted that it can be overwhelming to plant and disheartening to see flowers not blooming.
He pointed out that the most common mistake is not planting properly.
“It is very important to make sure that you have well loosened soil and dig a hole much larger than what you are planting,” Hoogeland advised. “A plant needs to grow a large root system to support healthy top growths.”
Ultimately, he summed up the experience by advising people to take their time, plant well, and use plenty of fertilizer.
“Show your friends what you are doing,” he added. “Ask lots of questions, and of course, have fun.”
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