“It’s a late start, but I’m so excited, it feels like summer every day when I come in here,” says Allison Gardner, working in the greenhouse with her husband Layne while outdoors, mid-April snow still covers the ground.
The Gardner’s, who took ownership of Fern’s Greenhouse in January 2017, are preparing for what will be their second season running the renowned greenhouse near Jean Cote, approximately 14 Km north of Girouxville and 40 km south of Peace River, where Fern’s Greenhouse also has a store at 9005 – 102 Street in what was formerly the Chrysler dealership.
“Yes, we’re trucking along and getting ready for ladies night here in Jean Cote and ladies night in Peace River the following week,” says Allison Gardner.
The Jean Cote Ladies Night takes place on Saturday April 28 at 6.30pm and in Peace River the following Saturday, May 5 also at 6.30pm.
Other scheduled events are Children’s Day at Jean Cote on Sunday May 6 from 10am to 3pm. Mother’s Day Weekend will have specials throughout the weekend and classes on the Sunday.
“And then there will be some classes that will be held at Jean Cote and Peace River Sunday May 21, which is the last day for tree specials. Classes at both locations have yet to be announced, so people should watch out for special classes and events on Facebook.
Also, if there is a special event that you would like to put on with your friends, contact us we are open for that too for instance, if they want to put their girls group together and have a night out we can definitely put something together.”
The sip and plant night is on Tuesday this year. The sip and plant is a drop-in event so there is no need to phone ahead.
“You can just bring your planters in and we can guide you through the steps of planting a magnificent basket,” says Gardner.
While it is certainly late to still have snow, she says that it is not likely to create much delay for gardening in the region.
“The rule of thumb is don’t plant before May long weekend around here and most people abide by that,” We still have lots of snow but it is also melting very quickly too so I still think its going to catch up, as far as the May long weekend is concerned.”
Over the season, which is short but very condensed, Fern’s hire about 15 employees, not necessarily at the same time, as some come onboard to do the transplanting but are not interested with dealing with customers, while other prefer customer service.
“March 1 is when we turn the heat on and by March 19 we get our first shipment of plants as well as the seeding that we have already done. The second week in July is when we shut down, I let my staff all go at the end of June and then it’s just me watering.”
Fern’s Greenhouse is open Monday to Friday 9 to 5. For Fern’s Saturday and Sunday schedule check Facebook.
The Peace River store opens on Wednesday April 25.