The evolution of the garden nursery discussed at next North Island Rhododendron Society meeting

Bernie Dinter owns and operates Dinter Nursery in Duncan.

Time changes everything, including nurseries – now more likely to be called “garden centres.”

The name change is apt because instead of just seeds and nursery plants, these green and floral “leisure centres” (as they are also called) now offer a whole range of items for sale, from rustic kitchen furniture to rubber shoes, from trowels to teapots.

The new nurseries in some places have children’s play areas, coffee shops and even fashion shows. The rapid expansion of merchandise is more than just aggressive marketing — a new generation of gardeners grew up in an era of, where convenience is king.

For April’s meeting of the North Island Rhododendron Society (NIRS) April 10, guest speaker Bernie Dinter will describe the evolving face of nurseries and the forces that have brought about all the changes —from the emergence of big box stores to the changing interests of new gardeners such as the Millennials.

The ongoing evolution is certainly one with which Dinter is familiar—as owner of Dinter Nursery in Duncan, he has been in the business for 43 years and has witnessed many changes.

NIRS meetings are held every second Tuesday of most months at the Comox United Church, 250 Beach Ave. in Comox, with doors opening at 7 p.m. and the meeting starting at 7:30. Refreshments are served and plants are available for purchase; a raffle is also held at each meeting. Guests interested in NIRS membership are welcome to attend.

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