Advertisement
Shopping

Six gardening shops doing delivery—plus their pandemic planting recommendations

This spring, with balconies and backyards our only al fresco options, many Torontonians are finally giving their green thumbs a try. Thankfully, a few local gardening centres have opened up for pick-ups and deliveries. Here’s where you can still find all kinds of soil, seedlings, seasonal blooms and advice.


 
View this post on Instagram
 

This local chain has scaled up their online shop so shoppers can browse everything that’s in stock right now. They are offering city-wide delivery and daily curbside pick-up at 368 Davenport Road. (Their Bayview and Pape stores are temporarily closed.) After hearing from more customers interested in growing their own food, co-owner Carla Rose has brought in more herbs, veggie and fruit seedlings. She’s also seeing customers craving bold floral shades to perk up their spirits.

Carla’s recommendations:

A crispy wave fern: “This is one of the best picks for improving indoor air quality, which is more important than ever now that people are spending a lot of times indoora. Plus, it is easy to care for and looks great.”

Helleborus Glenda’s Gloss: “A classic spring perennial, it’s one of the earliest to bloom, and perfect for a shaded or naturalized woodland garden. They also do well in containers. Their beautiful blooms are long-lasting and provide an excellent source of pollen for honeybees.”


 
View this post on Instagram
 

The Good Seed offers coaching and design services for beginner gardeners looking to plant their own plots, whether for pollinator, flower, or fruit and veggie gardens. Since Covid-19, they’ve started offering virtual sessions for clients, and are doing curbside pick-up for organic seeds and seedlings. Says founder and organic gardener Melissa Cameron, “These calls have been a wonderful way to help clients design their garden layouts and address concerns like soil quality.”

Melissa’s recommendations:

Advertisement

A garden consult: “This is a great way to receive professional guidance on your garden—especially if you’re just starting out now. There is no such thing as a ‘brown thumb,’ and we can offer practical solutions that create results you’ll be able to see immediately.”

Organic herb seedlings: “These are a wonderful place to start when growing an edible garden. They can grow easily in containers, require little maintenance and can be enjoyed fresh or dried. Oregano, thyme, lavender, basil and sage are all beautifully aromatic.”


 
View this post on Instagram
 

The long-standing garden chain is offering curbside pickup and delivery options at all eight of their locations across the GTA. Shoppers can browse products on their website, and find tips and FAQs about everything from annual spring cleanups to best practices for growing in flowerbeds, planters or pots.

Marketing specialist Kayla-Jane Barrie’s recommendations:

Organic vegetable garden planting mix: “This is our favourite soil for urban vegetable gardening—something people are doing more of these days. The soil is approved for organic gardening in containers or raised beds, and is enriched with compost and natural fertilizer for healthy, strong plants. It pairs perfectly with our wide selection of locally grown vegetables, herbs and fruits.”

Advertisement

Tristan Everbearing Strawberry plant: “This plant has deep pink colours and produces sweet, juicy, bright berries. ‘Everbearing’ means they will produce fruit until the first frost.”


 
View this post on Instagram
 

This west-end market usually packs CAMH’s Shaw Park with local florists and growers every month in the spring and summer. They had to cancel this year’s launch, shifting to a virtual market instead. Says founder Natasha Kajganic, “We still wanted to create community by supporting our local growers during what’s sure to be a difficult season.” The site will be live this Saturday, May 2, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and they’ve planned a full day of Instagram live programming, including free workshops and vendor tours. “Now more than ever, I believe we all need the unspoken language of flowers in our lives for their resilience, optimism and joy,” says Natasha.

Natasha’s recommendations:

Garden seedlings and grow-your-own kits: “Everyone is working their green thumbs right now, whether it’s growing romaine lettuce in their kitchen windows or buying vegetable seeds—and we recommend including flowers. They’re aren’t just for beauty in the garden; they contribute to the richness of the soil and a greater ecosystem of birds and bees. We love the dahlia plants and tubers from MyLuscious Backyard and DIY gardens from FairyPatch Flower Farm.”

Market buckets: “A few of our market vendors are selling market buckets at a steal. There are flower mixes for shoppers to create their own bouquets, and Pioneer Flower Farms is selling buckets of 10 pre-made bouquets. I imagine people walking around their neighbourhoods with a bucket full of blooms, giving them away on doorsteps.”

Advertisement

 
View this post on Instagram
 

Beech Nursery at Carlaw and Lakeshore is now fielding orders over email and scheduling pickup and delivery. Shoppers can sign up for their newsletter to receive regular updates about stock. Says owner Susan Mitchell, “This has been quite a shift for us, and it’s generating an enormous response. Customers are adapting incredibly well and they’re thrilled when they pick up a new item for their garden.” They mostly deliver to the east end (Yonge Street to Victoria Park, Lakeshore to St. Clair), but there’s flexibility.

Susan’s recommendations:

Herbs and vegetables: “Now that people are at home with their families, we have noticed an increased demand for herbs and vegetables. It is both a comforting and educating experience for families. Come mid-May, we will have a large selection of herbs and vegetables. Lettuce and other leafy greens are great to plant in spring, and easy to care for.”

Hellebores: “To round out your garden, it’s important to pick something that will give you pleasure each season. Hellebores, a flowering plant, are delightful for spring. For summer, lavender has both longevity and a wonderful aroma. For autumn, ornamental grasses will explode into glory and remain throughout winter.”


 
View this post on Instagram
 

This Thornhill garden centre is offering curbside pick-up and recently launched an online store. They’re also taking orders by phone and email, and will do delivery if necessary, with rates that vary based on postal code.

Advertisement

Manager Ian McCallum’s recommendations:

Small succulents: “These have been one of our most popular indoor items this spring. They come many interesting shapes and colours and are easy to care for, as long as you have a sunny spot in your house. We sell combo packs of four, including aloe, haworthia and sempervivum.”

Veranda soil mix: “This is a great multi-purpose product. You can use it for your tropical plants indoors or in outdoor planters to grow flowers or vegetables.”

Colourful annuals: “Geraniums, begonias and other annuals are rolling in on a daily basis. It’s still too early to plant annuals—shoppers should wait until mid-May—but it’s always good to get a head start on planning your garden for this season.”

NEVER MISS A TORONTO LIFE STORY

Sign up for This City, our free newsletter about everything that matters right now in Toronto politics, sports, business, culture, society and more.

By signing up, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.
You may unsubscribe at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest on the coronavirus

This accountant had to give up her career during the pandemic. Now she designs modular kids' toys
City

This accountant had to give up her career during the pandemic. Now she designs modular kids’ toys