TOM SPEAKS
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According to all my grade school report cards, I never stop speaking!

Here is where I rant/ share/ proselytize about whatever I think is
beautiful/ interesting/ semi-important....

SOUTHLANDS NURSERY
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Could it be that dreams do come true?
When artistic talent, sweat, business savvy and encyclopedic
plant knowledge are combined, it seems they do....

Southlands Nursery is a walk-in fantasy,
where beauty always comes before profit.

STORE INFO
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Established in 1991, and located in a charming 'equestrian pocket' on Vancouver's upscale
westside, this unique area called Southlands is a horse friendly enclave right in the city.
Large lots and small acreages house many stables, and it is not unusual to see horses and their
riders go by our gates. With delicious free coffee always on hand, many people tell us that they
come down to the nursery just to experience the beautiful atmosphere.
We hope you will visit soon!

TOM SPEAKS
Click on text to vist page
According to all my grade school report cards, I never stop speaking!

Here is where I rant/ share/ proselytize about whatever I think is
beautiful/ interesting/ semi-important....

JUST IN
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At Southlands Nursery, things are always changing,
and not just with the seasons. We're constantly creating,
searching and bringing in new plants and exciting items
on a regular basis.

Get a sneak peak here or come visit us soon.

FAVOURITES
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Visiting Vancouver?
Want to order flowers?

Check out this very personal list of some of Thomas Hobbs favourite
Vancouver shops and restaurants you may not otherwise discover.

DAYLILIES
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Thomas Hobbs own hybrids (and other fabulous varieties) are available in
limited numbers. Hybridizing daylilies has become an absolute obsession....
using cutting edge parent plants from the world's top breeders.

Half the fun is in naming them!

ORDERING
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We will never be a fully online shopping nursery, but from time to time
we'll offer special plants or things.Thomas Hobbs own daylily introductions
will be available for Spring or Fall shipping.

We hope to offer other specialties,
such as own own Nerine hybrids, this way, also.

BOOKS & PRESS
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The only thing I love more than gardening is sharing that passion with others.
I've had the pleasure of writing 2 books and have been featured in a number of professional
horticultural and gardening magazines. For the past 16 years I've also worked in television on
GlobalBC's Saturday morning news 'Gardening with Thomas Hobbs' segments. The nursery has
been featured on virtually every gardening show including 'The Victory Garden', 'Martha Stewart'
and 'Recreating Eden'. We were even home to 'The Orchid Nazi' on the hit TV show The X Files!

October 16, 2020

Experiencing COVID retail madness

Filed under: Uncategorized — yodiehead @ 9:59 pm

                      None of us knew what was in store as Spring 2020 arrived.  Growers and wholesalers planted their usual crops of hundreds of thousands (millions, actually) of all ‘the usual suspects’ – geraniums, hanging baskets, tomato plants etc.  Then , in March, COVID hit and the world basically froze. Lucky for us, nurseries and garden centres were deemed ‘an essential service’ and were allowed to remain open. People need to grow food, it was decided. And so, with the now familiar ‘social distancing, masks, hand sanitizer etc’ , we plodded along.  The public was trapped at home.  Gardening was a way to fill time and not go crazy. People who had never bought a packet of seeds in their lives were dropping by daily and planning their ‘Victory Garden’. Our sales went through the roof . We were constantly ‘out’ of everything, as the demand was national and the growers were running out of product. It was all of North America, not just Vancouver.  We relied on old relationships with favourite suppliers to get plants. Garden centres were calling each other asking to ‘borrow’ some flats of tomatoes.  It was a panic. We hired anybody who walked by. (I like to give anybody a chance. I have struck gold this way many times). Our staff went from 8 to 28 in days. It was difficult for cars to get down our road, as there were so many people around.  I closed off one-half of our parking spaces in an effort to limit numbers on site. It worked well. Everyone was in a great mood and said repeatedly how happy they were to have a beautiful place to go. We set-up an outdoor cashier, so people could pay in the fresh air and avoid lining up.  This will become permanent.
   The biggest change , I think, is the number of young people dropping by.  They are very serious about houseplants. Through the internet, and sites like ETSY, they are seeking the newest  and rarest . They are like I was 50 years ago ! Going to ‘a club’ is out of the picture now, they already have all the electronics that used to matter, and a Canada Goose jacket means nothing now. The COVID pandemic has had an amazing side effect – a new generation of gardeners is emerging that I am certain would have stayed dormant forever.nurseryCONSTRUCTION

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