Skip to content

Vancouver Island nursery digging in for the peak of gardening season

May long weekend is usually the busiest of the year at Russell Nursery in North Saanich
Russell Nursery co-owner Susan Tice is excited that more people are getting into gardening. (Brendan Mayer/News Staff)

Vancouver Island garden suppliers are preparing for peak season.

“We had a steady start but it was a little bit slower because the weather was quite cool,” Laurel Rassenti, co-owner of Russell Nursery in North Saanich, said. “It’s really ramping up now that the spring weather seems to be here. It’s a busy time for gardeners to enjoy the plants but also to manage pests and weeds. It all kind of happens at the same time.”

Rassenti said customers have been eager to get their hands in the dirt this year.

“Everyone has been really keen to get going since early on,” she said. “We had people asking us for tomato starts when there was snow on the ground. That was far too early. Tomatoes like it when it’s really warm. People seem excited for the warm weather and to get their hanging baskets and get everything going so that they can enjoy their gardens.”

The May long weekend is traditionally the busiest weekend of the year at Russell Nursery.

“It’s when people have been told that it’s safe to plant out their tomatoes and annuals and really put their summer garden in,” Rassenti said. “I think for gardeners it’s a really exciting time. We’re already starting to see it. The Mother’s Day weekend is almost comparable so we are preparing for a busy weekend coming up.”

Rassenti said the plants are looking amazing at the nursery.

“Everything has really flushed out in the last week or so,” she added. “This time of year we have new plants coming in almost every day which is exciting for us. We have flower buds on the roses and everything is looking a lot fuller than it was a week or two ago.”

This year has been fairly similar to last year’s gardening season so far, according to Rassenti.

“We also had a long cool spring last year so it started a little later but then we had more people coming in over a shorter period of time.”

READ MORE: ‘Guerilla gardeners’ plant native species on UVic lawn but school quickly digs them up


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Brendan Mayer

About the Author: Brendan Mayer

I spent my upbringing in Saskatoon, and in 2021, I made the move to Vancouver Island.
Read more