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Local Business Spotlight: INSPIRED @ Bradford Greenhouses in Barrie, ON

If there is ANY chance you haven’t been to Bradford Greenhouses before, let me tell you first hand, you gotta do it. I swear this place will fuel your SOUL! One of the reasons I’m blogging regularly is to share info with you guys about amazing resources out there for us!

My visit to Bradford Greenhouses (Barrie location) started out with a mini interview with expert gardener Gabrielle, followed by a super fun and inspiring scavenger hunt meets photo assignment! We touched on a few different topics, but everything we talked about kept coming back to the same main theme - inspiring! First I asked Gabrielle straight up, why would someone choose to go to Bradford greenhouse over any other place that sells plants. She had 3 answers for me: variety, customer service, and to be INSPIRED!

I had planned to give myself an hour to walk around and get these photos...that easily turned into 2 hours! Variety is definitely right...192,000 square feet?! I got my steps in guys. You know how it can be kind of fun to kill a day wandering around Ikea, getting lost and laughing at the crazy furniture names? Well Bradford Greenhouses is kind of like that experience, except so so beautiful. Soul quenching. And the smells! Oh my goodness, it was just so lovely. In addition to the flora, they've also got endless gift ideas, home decor, boutique clothing and accessories, AND everything you'd need for a backyard project! Total one-stop-shop. If you ever feel like you need a pick-me-up, this is the perfect place to let yourself wander and soak up some clean air, sunshine and fresh floral scents. They're one of the only climate controlled nurseries in Ontario; any season, you can be whisked away into the tropics!

Secondly, Gabby mentioned customer service. I had some specific things I wanted to photograph and needed direction, so I ended up engaging with almost every staff member I came across. They were so super friendly, approachable and helpful! It’s not surprising at all that some of the staff have been there 25+ years! That’s honestly so great though, and definitely a huge advantage to shopping there vs. a generic box store. Their staff can help with such a huge range too - everything from caring for your new plant, planning your gardens, redesigning your backyard and landscaping, and even pest control! They’ve got it covered!

Oh, and there were CATS! Purrrfect customer service. #sorrynotsorry

But what if you feel like you’ll never find time to get busy in the garden with the kids climbing the walls all summer?! Well, I came on a mission to find info on getting kids involved in gardening, and I left way more inspired than I expected to be on that topic! They had everything you’d need to get a little one excited about their own personal garden plot! AND guess what?! They even do a March break camp for little gardeners! We’ll have to remember that next spring, it would be the perfect foundation to get them excited about the growing season ahead!

There were tons of kids there during my visit too, and I overhead lots of excitement about their own gardening plans! Last summer my little guy really enjoyed snacking on sweet peas and swiss chard (for some reason!) straight out of the garden. I asked what other easy snacking things we could plant for little ones and Gabby mentioned cherry tomatoes (quartered!), bush beans and patio snacking cucumbers! They sell them ready to go as seedlings (easy!) and they can be planted in the garden or also do well in a pot with a cage for them to climb!

DIY Alert! They sell all the supplies you’d need to make a totally magical hideout fort, super easily! Bamboo poles, lashed together with twine. Plant any easy and fast growing vine all around the bottom, and by end of summer you’d have a beautiful whimsical vine fort for your little ones! Gabrielle suggested black eyed susan vine, sweet peas, or morning glory for super easy and fast growing vines.

Inspired...I feel like these images really speak for themselves on the topic. It’s impossible not to feel inspired at Bradford! I think I speak for all of us when I say surrounding myself with things that make me happy is pretty much the guiding principle of home decor - they way they set up their displays gets me so excited about what kinds of wild possibilities exist to create my own unique botanical displays.

Also, if you’re going green this summer, they’ve definitely got you covered!

My final question for the expert was what are the "Top 5 Hardest Plants to Kill"!? Here they are folks! Top left snake plant, top right pothos, middle left dracaena, bottom left chinese evergreen and bottom right did not make the list BUT it was too beautiful to pass up in that light! The 5th on list is the spider plant, below the collage.

Are you planning to do any gardening this year? Share your questions, tips and tricks below in the comments! Hit the sign up button at the top of the page to become part of the blog community, and share your own suggestions for local hidden gems!

With all the love!

Hillary West

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