For a nursery to have reached a major milestone, there must be something special about what they do.
At Arbutus Nursery, located about five kilometres northeast of Ponoka near the intersection of Township 432 and Range Road 251, it’s the individual touch from owners Debbie Hameluck and Tony Ruijsch that has helped the business hit 20 years in operation.
“We seed all of the plants ourselves and take care of the four greenhouses ourselves,” said Hameluck.
The nursery, which operates during the spring and opens on May 1, offers customers a wide selection of four-inch beginner growing plants including bedding, perennials and geraniums. According to Hameluck, this provides people with the ability to pick and plant their own variety pots if they want.
Each of the various types of plants are kept in different greenhouses due to the need for plants to have specific temperature and humidity requirements to successfully grow.
In addition, Arbutus also has a selection of hearty shrubs and roses available for customers to round out their gardens and yards with.
While the operation may be smaller than most, it has survived so long due in part to the loyal repeat business because of the individual touch the owners provide. It also helps that Ruijsch has a degree in horticulture that he received from his native Holland.
The fact Arbutus has hit the two decade mark is also unique in that the pair moved from the B.C. lower mainland strictly so they could open their own greenhouse.
“We wanted to have our own greenhouse and in order to stay small, we came out here,” Hameluck said, adding that 20 years ago land prices in B.C. made operating any small nursery nearly impossible.
One of Ruijsch’s brothers had some property and offered it up to the pair, where they built one greenhouse and would add three more over the years.
To find out more about what will be available, contact Arbutus Nursery at (403) 783-6208.