Did your plants survive the frost last night? Pretty chilly in London, Ontario, let me tell you. Can you believe that it is May and we have had snow, sleet and a whole dollop of winter this week? Well, this coming weekend is the Victoria Day weekend in Canada. Traditionally it has always been the harbinger of summer. Hopefully this long weekend will measure up!

Not only is Victoria Day touted as the beginning of summer, it is also the unofficial start of gardening season. So even if you lost a tender plant or two last night, you should be able to replace and plant pretty much anything now. Bring on the flowers, vegetables, annuals, perennials and whatever else you’ve got planned to go into your plot of dirt.

Do you know what you are planting this year? Haven’t gotten that far yet? No worries. There are plenty of garden centres in and around London with plenty of stock to choose from. Whether you want healthy, pre-established vegetables, heritage herbs or colourful hanging baskets, you are sure to find something to please your green thumb with. So where do you go? Why not try one of these local garden centres;

Local Garden Centres

Canadale:

  • 269 Sunset Dr. (Highway 4,  on way into Port Stanley), St Thomas
  • HOURS – Weekdays 8 am – 8 pm, Saturday 8 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
    • A family run business since 1955, this garden centre and nursery has received the Better Business Bureau’s Business Integrity Award, as well as Landscape Ontario Consumer’s Choice Award. The 110 acre growing facility is home to a plethora of fresh and healthy shrubs, trees, perennials, roses, vines, annuals, vegetables, herbs, houseplants as well as gardening supplies and decor items. They even have a kid’s activity centre where children can do gardening crafts while you shop.

Heeman’s:

  • 20422 Nissouri Rd, London
  • HOURS – Weekdays 8 am – 8 pm, Weekends 8 am – 5 pm
    • Another family run nursery, Heeman’s has been around since 1963. Strawberries is where the business started and it has flourished from there. With over 50 acres dedicated to strawberries, featuring a pick-your-own that is constantly in demand, the 190,000 square feet of greenhouses featuring 900 varieties of annuals, 500 varieties of perennials, 80 varieties of vegetable plants and 30 varieties of herbs are also a big draw. They even offer winter storage, custom ordering (to create personalized containers that shine), plant rentals (for weddings or other special functions) and regular updates on their social networking sites (Facebook & Twitter).

Springbank Garden Centre:

  • 462 Springbank Dr, London
  • HOURSSpring hours are constantly changing, but 9 am -6 pm on Wednesday, 9 am – 7 pm Thursday & Friday, Saturday 9 am – 7 pm, Sunday and Holiday Monday 9 am – 6 pm. After the long weekend Weekdays 9 am – 9 pm
    • Started as The Little Tree Farm, the Springbank Garden Centre has seen plenty of changes since the early 1960s when they first opened their doors. The garden centre has seen changes in owners, in property size (City of London expropriated 30 ft strip for widening Springbank Dr in 2003) and more recently a change in location when they moved to a newer, more modern building 200 ft west of the original site. They hasn’t changed the heart of what they offer though. You will of course find a wide variety of annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, hanging baskets, trees, shrubs, house plants, soil, mulch, garden stone, tools, decor items, lawn needs, fertilizer, firewood and more. The staff are always friendly, as well as being extremely knowledgeable about everything that they carry. Located in the heart of London, it is easy to get to from pretty much anywhere. Why not stop in and see what they have today?

Van Horik’s Greenhouses and Garden Centre:

  • 930 Gainsborough Rd, London
  • HOURS – Weekdays 8:30 am – 8:30 pm, Saturdays 9 am – 6 pm, Sundays & Holidays 10 am – 5 pm
    • Are you looking for something new or unusual? Van Horik’s is the place for you! This family run business has been around since 1969 and they have a pulse on the gardening world. In fact, Denise Hodgins writes a weekly column in the Homes section of the London Free Press, discussing the latest news and views from the garden industry, not to mention their regularly updated Facebook page. There is more to Van Horik’s than that though. You will find a wide selection of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, pond plants, tropicals and even seed packets for those wanting to grow their own plants, at the garden centre. Other garden essentials like soil, mulch, fertilizer, landscape stone, lawn care items, tools, containers, and decor items can also be found there.

Van Luyk Greenhouses & Garden Centre:

  • 1728 Gore Rd, London
  • HOURS – Weekdays 9 am – 9 pm, Weekends 9 am – 6 pm
    • The Van Luyk family opened the doors on their greenhouse in 1970 and have been going strong since then. Now boasting over 50,000 square feet of greenhouses, where 80% of the plants that are sold come from, they sell annuals, perennials, bulbs, trees, shrubs, vines, hanging baskets, mulch, soil, landscape ornaments, garden tools and more. They are open seven days a week, year round, featuring tropicals, pumpkins, straw, Christmas trees, poinsettia, lawn care and whatever else you might need for your garden, regardless of the season. If you can’t find it, then ask! The employees are resourceful, dedicated and one of the joys of visiting Van Luyk’s.

What is your favourite garden centre, nursery or greenhouse in London? What will you be planting this weekend?

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