For one Headingley family, life is bathed in the scent of flowers.
The Bosch family, which owns K. Bosch & Sons Greenhouses, has been selling flowers for over 40 years.
Ken Bosch started selling bedding plants over 40 years ago in St. James at the
Westwood shopping centre, Unicity and the Economart lot.
Their current location on Portage Avenue was opened in the early ’80s. The family lives behind the business.
"I go out that back door and I bang into my house," Charlene Bosch says. She lives in one of the two homes behind the greenhouses.
"When I moved to this yard the day I got married, my husband’s grandparents were still alive, living on this yard. His parents were living on this yard. And then I moved in, and there were three families, all Bosches, on this yard. When Clint came along, that made the fourth generation living on this yard," she said.
Five Bosches now work at the greenhouse: Grandma Ruth, her sons Larry and Greg, Greg’s wife Charlene and their son Clint.
Clint’s great-grandfather came to Canada from Holland in 1933 and bought the piece of land on which the business and houses stand.
The close proximity to work has its benefits. From February until mid-March, the family takes turns every two hours to check on the furnaces in the greenhouses to make sure their plants don’t freeze and die.
"My husband and my brother-in-law, and (Clint), too, make the rounds. They pick their rounds, they pick their hours, and they check every greenhouse and every furnace and then they go back to bed," Charlene said.
They only start selling their plants and flowers when the soil is warm enough to sustain plants.
"Everyone is starting now," Clint said. "The last week of May, first week of June is pretty safe because you’re hopefully avoiding all the frost. But you never really know for sure."
Clint thinks the most popular flower they’ll sell this year is the geranium.
"Oranges have been very popular, but this year purple is supposed to be the colour."
The range of colours of the many flowers at the garden centre are as different as each member of the Bosch family. With five members of a family working together, some disagreements do arise.
"It has its ups and downs and crazy moments, but overall it’s pretty good. They can’t fire you, that’s pretty good," Clint said. "It is what it is, you just learn to put up with each other."
Amber McGuckin is a community
correspondent for Headingley.