Rooted in Richmond Since 1966.
I have always admired the gorgeous hanging baskets on the lampposts and seasonal flowers that beautify a number of major boulevards in Richmond’s city centre. Until recently I had no idea where these plants originated from, however I was enlightened when I met the grower, Paul Wong, who is the charming and affable owner of Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery.
Paul is the son of Yuen Wong, who founded Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery in 1966. Over the years Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery moved two times. The nursery was located on Cambie Road for 38 years. In 2008 it relocated to the impressive site on No. 2 Road. Sadly, Yuen passed away the same year. Paul is grateful his father had an opportunity to see the company in its magnificent new home. His vivacious mother Dorothy has retired but she loves to come assist during the busy spring months.
Paul grew up in Richmond and graduated from Richmond High. He recalls assisting at the greenhouse after school before starting his homework. In the early 1990s his father approached him to join the company with the intention that Paul would eventually take over the family business. The father and son team worked together for many years – over time as retail and sale contracts grew they phased out wholesaling to stores such as Safeway, Sears and Woolco.
After an unseasonably cold and snowy winter followed by a rain-filled spring I suspect many gardeners are doing a jig as we welcome summer and have a taste of what the majority of Canadians experience each year. This will likely make us appreciate and maximize our time in our gardens more than ever. Paul says, “The nursery’s plants were almost two weeks behind this year.”
Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery sells Richmond’s largest selection of hanging baskets, geraniums, bedding and container plants.
The front retail space is just the tip of the iceberg, walk through and you will discover there are eight additional greenhouses totaling 25,000 square feet. This is where the plants are grown.
Eight seasonal staff are brought in at the beginning of March; the greenhouses are a beehive of activity where staff can be seen plant hanging baskets for clients including the City of Richmond, which has been purchasing from Wong’s for over 20 years.
Ninety per cent of Wong’s plants are grown on site from pre-started seedlings or rooted cuttings.
Paul says, “Hanging baskets are our forte. Customers return because of the quality. We grow the best products and our prices are very good. Customers will also be able to find two or more identical basket here.”
Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery is open from the beginning of April through mid-July for the spring and summer season. It reopens in late September through early November and at this time you will find fall and winter plants in addition to spring bulbs such as daffodils and tulips.
Although the garden centre is seasonal, Paul is kept busy year round. He points out, “All year there is something growing here so I am always checking in and overseeing the business.” During the spring and summer he goes into overdrive working every day for three months. He manages the staff and attentively assists customers.
The weather dictates sales and sunny days are always the busiest. Paul has seen a surge in customers from local condo owners looking for patio plants for planters and he is pleased to report Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery offers a very good selection.
Paul shares a helpful gardening tip to file away for next season: “It is safe to plant annual plants outdoors when the evening temperature has consistently reached double digits.”
As a long term Richmond resident Paul is extremely appreciative of this community. Although the city has experienced many physical changes he feels the community spirit is as strong as the Richmond he remembers growing up.
What does Paul find most rewarding about running his own business? He says, “I enjoy being able to grow a great product for our customers and have them return year after year. I am also grateful to the community for supporting local merchants.”
Indeed, the beautiful, quality plants Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery sells certainly keep customers returning, but it is also the home-grown personal, friendly and knowledgeable service that makes this family business such a success.
Wong’s Greenhouse & Nursery
11140 No 2 Road
Richmond, BC V7E 2E7