Brothers Rick and Raymond Van Bugnum are retiring their family-owned business, All Seasons Garden Centre at 27491 Fraser Hwy., after more than 34 years in the community. (Sarah Grochowski/Aldergrove Star)

‘Customers transform into close friends’: Garden centre brothers bid farewell to Aldergrove after 35 years

Brothers Rick, 54, and Raymond, 59, Van Bugnum retiring All Seasons Garden Centre family business

All Seasons Garden Centre has been a year-round fixture of Aldergrove with plants, flowers, shrubs, and seed sold by the Van Bugnum family for more than three decades.

“We are a meat-and-potatoes kind of garden centre – nothing too fancy,” said Rick, who now co-owns the local business with his older brother, Raymond.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Their parents, Jeff and Tina, opened up shop along Fraser Highway in March of 1985. At the time, the brothers were in their 20s.

“There was no luck involved – it was all hard work,” Raymond said about eventually acquiring the business.

Now, at 59 years of age, the eldest brother has finally heeded words of advice from his father.

“He always said don’t wait until you’re 60 to retire,” Raymond remarked.

“Now, by the time I’m 59, I’ll be retired.”

READ MORE: Aldergrove husband hosts day of giving blood in honour of late wife

The brothers have decided to close up shop in the fall.

They’ve sold their 27491 Fraser Hwy. site and are saying goodbye to long work days.

For decades the duo has worked 130 days straight starting in spring to accommodate an annual bloom of customers that come with plans of vegetable gardens and flower beds.

During that time, the brothers have watched their customers transform into close friends – especially after news of their impending closure got out to the community.

“It’s been rewarding,” said Raymond about a steady stream of people that have come to give both thanks and a farewell to the brothers.

“It’s going to be tough to walk away on that last day,” 54-year-old brother Rick said about All Season’s closing date, Sept. 30.

With them, the retiring brothers will take their fondest memories – like when they helped found the Aldergrove Business Association (ABA) in 2010.

“It started because of all of the crime that was going on,” Rick explained.

But their do-good efforts didn’t end there.

Whilst keeping an eye out for theft at local businesses, the brothers stepped up to outfit downtown Aldergrove with 48 hanging baskets along Fraser Highway in 2010 when Langley Township funding fell through.

RELATED: Total of 48 hanging baskets grace Aldergrove’s downtown core

All Seasons provided them at-cost and it was either Rick, or Raymond, who got up early at 6 a.m. every second morning to water them.

“It was about community pride,” Rick said.

That same sense of pride led them to host Aldergrove’s first Wall-O’-Lanterns in 2011, which saw their centre’s parking lot and shelves cleared so local families could display their carved jack-o’-lanterns.

The Van Bugnums have seen first-hand their small town turn into the residential hub it is today, ripe with promise for continued revitalization.

READ MORE: Aldergrove’s Wall-o-Lantern’s a huge success

“The whole town has expanded,” Raymond said.

“I just hope it stays that town that when you walk down the street that you say ‘Good morning, how are you doing?’ to passers by.”

After September, the brothers plan to do “all the things [they] never got to because we never had the time to,” Raymond answered.

“Like when all our buddies would be going away fishing long weekends and I couldn’t go because of work,” Rick explained.

“It’s been that way for a long time,” he added, “But not anymore.”

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Brothers Rick and Raymond Van Bugnum are retiring their family-owned business, All Seasons Garden Centre at 27491 Fraser Hwy., after more than 34 years in the community. (Sarah Grochowski/Aldergrove Star)

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