What to Expect at the Greenhouse

What to Expect at the Greenhouse
Glenn Lawrence Springwater Farms

Gardeners tolerate winter by dreaming about spring. They long for that first trip to the local greenhouse in May. To be amongst the rows of colourful hanging baskets, to smell pots of fresh herbs and tomatoes, and wander through a rainbow of petunia blooms. This spring however, things will be a bit different at our local greenhouses, thanks to covid 19.

Greenhouses can open for business, as they are listed as an essential service during Ontario’s State of Emergency.  However, they do need to follow social distancing guidelines to keep workers and customers safe.

Krissie Lamoureux Greenthumb Greenhouse.
Krissie Lamoureux Greenthumb Greenhouse.

Krissie Lamoureux, owner of the Greenthumb Greenhouse in Bruce Mines, gave us an update on how she and husband Lee have been preparing for this season. “We placed our orders in the fall before anyone knew this was going to happen, so we’ve been seeding and transplanting as usual, taking a gamble and hoping for the best.” says Krissie “But it is pretty stressful, preparing to open when things are shutting down all around you.”

The size and layout of the greenhouses don’t make it practical for customers to come in and browse with the distancing guidelines. Therefore, a pre-order and hold option is available for customers who want to secure their order and pick it up closer to the time it can be planted. Order and pick up is another option using e transfer, debit or credit card to pay. A list of flowers and vegetables available for order, can be viewed here 2020 Plant list Greenthumb Greenhouse

What to Expect at the Greenhouse
The Greenthumb will be open and start taking orders the first week in May, with reduced hours. Also, there will be no trees or shrubs for sale this year.

Mother’s Day is typically a very busy day at the greenhouse and those sales will be missed. Summer residents from the USA are a big part of the Greenthumb's regular clientele, and they may or may not be coming this summer. The Lamoureuxs  are facing many unknowns right now, but Krissie and Lee are doing their best to roll with the changes as they happen. You can check out their Facebook page here and watch for a FB live video of flowers coming soon. Orders can be placed in May at: Email: klgreenthumb@yahoo.ca   Phone: 705-206-4136

Susan Lawrence, of Springwater Farms in Desbarats has shared what’s new for 2020 at the family greenhouse she owns with Glenn, Kevin and Laila Lawrence on Deplonty Road.

Susan Lawrence Springwater Farms.
Susan Lawrence Springwater Farms.

The greenhouses are full of flowers and vegetables, since the staff have been busy seeding and transplanting as usual, to offer a full inventory of plants.

To be safe, the Lawrence family members are working together on set days and the outside staff work together on alternate days to minimize exposure.  

Springwater Farms will be opening Tuesday May 5th, but will be restricting the number of shoppers onsite to allow for distancing.

Online shopping will be new this season and they will also be taking phone orders for pick up the next business day. A delivery schedule is being developed for communities between Echo Bay and Thessalon for those who can’t arrange pick up. Greenhouse hours will be modified to accommodate staff picking and packing orders.

Springwater Farms will not be doing pre-orders. Their online store opens May 5th at springwaterfarms.ca Phone orders starting May 5th at

What to Expect at the Greenhouse

Susan wants to assure gardeners “We have a full selection of seeds, flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs in stock. This includes over 60,000 tomato plants alone, so no need to panic over tomatoes, okay.”

Understandably, northerners are eager to get into the garden after a long winter and we’re all becoming restless since we’ve been told to #stayhome. Just remember there are many, many days of frost danger after the greenhouses open, so don’t buy everything you need on opening day, and don’t plant it on the first day you wear shorts.

Local greenhouse owners are hoping for a good season, but know it just won’t be the same. They will miss the face to face interaction with regulars who visit each year and the casual socializing that takes place while people wander down the rows.  A smiley face emoji in your email order, can’t replace the real thing.

*We were unable to connect with Scott and Nancy at The Barr Road Flower Cart before this story was posted, but we know they're busy seeding and transplanting as usual for the upcoming season.

Growing table and seed trays hardening off at Lawrence's.
Growing table and seed trays hardening off at Lawrence's.