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Greenhouse caters to local green thumbs
If you’d like to plant an apple or cedar tree in your front yard, Heather Warkentin can likely help you.
She and husband Jeff own Warkentin’s Prairie Grove Greenhouse, a nursery now operating in La Salle next to Jeni’s Food and Hardware, 63 Rue Principle.
"We’ve done a lot of custom orders for trees and shrubs," she said.
The business complements Jeni’s, as that store sells landscaping and gardening supplies and equipment such as shovels and clippers, while Warkentin offers hanging baskets, bedding plants, vegetable seedlings, herbs and potted succulent arrangements, as well as larger ornamental grasses, trees and shrubs.
"We’ve partnered with Jeni’s this year and it’s been fantastic," she said.
She feels that the "buy local" trend is helping her business as many of her customers say they prefer getting their plants from someone located in their community.
"This community has been incredibly supportive of us," she said.
Warkentin said she comes by her love of growing plants through her maternal grandparents, who were market gardeners.
"I just fell in love with it," she said. "I always knew that was what I wanted to do."
After farming for a few years, and living in the city, the Warkentins and their three children moved to the La Salle area. For five years, Warkentin worked for a nursery wholesaler in Lorette, Man. so she could learn the business.
She gets her nursery stock from a Manitoba wholesaler, but hopes to sell her own plants beginning next year. She and Jeff are in the process of relocating a greenhouse on their property about 14 kilometres south of La Salle.
Warkentin tries to anticipate her customers’ needs. For example, they can choose their flowers and bring in their pots, then pick them up after Warkentin plants their arrangements.
She also makes a potting table available once or twice a week so people can pot their own plants without having to buy soil.
Warkentin opened her business just before Mother’s Day and hopes to stay open into the fall for those wanting to do some fall planting.
She employs one staff member, and her parents Violet and Shorty Pelletier help out.
With the current popularity of fairy gardens and succulents, Warkentin is offering classes and special events for children and adults.
Throughout the year, she keeps her eyes open for new ideas and unique items that she can stock during the next season.
"You’re watching the trends and looking for new things."
With future residential development planned for La Salle, Warkentin sees lots of potential for business growth.
For more information on Prairie Grove Greenhouse, see www.facebook.com/PrairieGroveGreenhouse
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