Visiting a greenhouse is the perfect weekend activity; it’s great as a solo trip, with friends, with a significant other and it’s also kid-friendly! Ontario has many places to buy plants with garden centres at many home improvement stores, superstores and grocery stores too. Depending on the location, the employees will have more or less training on plant care.
The following are my top picks within Central/Southern Ontario:
Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens are fun for the whole family. Located in Kingsville, Ontario, it’s a nice day trip from Windsor or Chatham-Kent, but just under a two hour drive from London. My mom’s side of the family live around South Windsor/LaSalle, so this place has always been a popular family outing for us since I was little. Those interested in plants can explore the tropical gardens and pick out something to buy from their greenhouse and home décor section. Some of my plant holders in this air plant post are from Colasanti’s. They have a fantastic succulent collection.
At Colasanti’s there are so many activities to enjoy! Check out the mini putt course, small amusement rides, petting zoo and arcade. You can also grab a bite to eat at their restaurant. I recommend trying their delicious donuts!
Sheridan Nurseries is a favourite of mine for both perennials and annuals. The customer service at Sheridan Nurseries is top-notch. They are a great pick for someone looking to get advice about plants, especially ones that grow in Ontario. Something incredibly helpful is their plant finder page; you can look up different plants and sort the search with filters such as their light requirements, edibleness, bloom time and more. I’ve only visited the Kitchener location, but it was a frequent place of visit when I lived in Waterloo. They also have locations all over the GTA, which I hope to visit soon!
Belgian Nursery is huge and covers a large site off Highway 7 in Breslau, between Guelph and Kitchener. This spot gives many Instagrammable moments for their visitors to capture, such as their mega-sized cacti displays and their pond. Their plant stock is plentiful, and their nursery history is as abundant to match. They consistently have great deals on different products, so it’s best to subscribe to their email newsletter. They also have some cute exotic birds for you to say hello to in their main cash building.
Bradford Greenhouses Garden Gallery is the garden centre that I’ve definitely been to most in my life. With a location within 15 minutes from my family home and another in Bradford, just down the 400 Highway, it’s always been quick and convenient stop for me. You can alternatively take Young Street all the way from Toronto or Barrie to visit the Bradford location. They have thousands of plants, but they also carry trees and have floral arrangement and landscaping services. In addition to plants, there are large displays of purchasable furniture and décor set up to match the season. They even have Lilie’s Boutique for women’s clothing and accessories. Bradford Greenhouses is a member of a larger Garden Gallery greenhouse group including nine other garden centres in Ontario. They host the Barrie Spring Garden and Home Show, and, similar to many other greenhouses, they also have holiday events. I love visiting close to Christmas to look at all the decorated trees and, of course, eat the popcorn – it makes the experience one to remember year after year!
Do you have another favourite place to add to the list? Comment below!
ATTENTION: Due to Covid-19, I suggest you stay home unless necessary and visit these places in the future. Some greenhouses are offering pickup purchasing options and many have safety protocol in place. Stay home and stay isolated as much as possible! Thanks!