What's the Story behind Ashton's Garden Centre?

I love gardening! and despite never getting the chance to be professionally taught. I still have a pretty good looking garden, (Well I did – until I recently moved!). But qualification aren’t everything. As a novice gardener, listening to horticultural experts can be baffling – in fact it can fill a newbie gardener with terror and make them run for the hills!

But the simple fact is, gardening is actually very easy – sure you can get into some of the more complicated aspects like growing rare orchids, but personally, the flower beds in my garden and a few house plants is what gardening means to me.

Having emigrated from the UK there were lots of new plants I wasn’t familier with, but whenever I visited a garden centre, signage was often lacking and I didn’t know what things were for. It got me thinking – If I don’t know as an experienced gardener – how do new gardeners feel – Probably Overwhelmed! I was also bothered by what seemed to be a lack of care for the environment.

And from there I started to build my idea into what is todays Ashton’s Garden Centre

Visiting a garden centre should be a fun experience for all levels of gardeners – from the novice to the most experienced – With signage that helps you find the plants that you want and need – and for those that are new to gardening – what those plants are for! Backed up with knowledgeable staff, available to help you make decisions when you need our assistance, and point you in the right direction when you’re not sure where to start! There’s nothing worse than buying a plant and seeing it die because it wasn’t suited to your location! We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen!

And secondly to put the environment at the forefront of the decisions we make on a day-to-day basis whilst running the business. Garden centres and nurseries are heavily reliant on plastic products – from pots and planters to the packaging of products – We can’t escape it and we can’t live without it – but we will strive to reduce our environmental footprint at every opportunity. For more information on what we are doing to reduce waste and protect the environment – read on!

I originally planned on opening in May 2022 but following the announced closure of 2 much loved local nurseries, I realised that there was a need for us to open earlier than planned!

So in May 2021 after a rush to get up and running a year earlier than planned, we opened our doors on the first day of the Covid lockdown – and it was a roaring success

In 2022 we will be expanding our range of Summer Bedding plants by adding another 74 lines, we’ll also have a small range of perennials, alongside our herb and vegetable collections. We will also be opening our daffodil walk – with over 5000 bulbs along the route in May – and I can’t wait for you to see it!

The Environment

At Ashton’s we believe the environment comes first – and a healthy environment makes for a healthy garden! Take a look at some of the problems we’ve encountered whilst establishing our business.

♦ We’re Peat Free

Peat compost has been used by gardeners and growers for decades. However this enthusiasm to feed our own gardens is actually damaging the environment. So why is peat so bad for the environment? Peat is created from the decaying remains of plants from more than 12,000 years ago. Farming bogs for their peat destroys them and those bogs are home to plant and wildlife species which can only exist in this unique environment. Once a peat bog has been farmed it can’t be grown back – it’s gone for at least another 12,000 years! Peat bogs account for 3% of the worlds landmass and hold a third of all carbon – that’s right peat bogs hold more carbon than all the worlds forests combined! Even organic composts often contain peat and yet whilst it holds great nutrients for plant growth – it easily dries out, increasing the need to water your plants, and when used as a top dressing is prone to blowing away – Our compost has all the nutrients your plants need – without the plastic and without the peat!

♦ Mulches

Mulch comes in plastic bags, and it contains mycorrhizal fungi – except the plastic kills it – you’re buying dead mulch – and even if you’re just spreading that mulch over the garden as a top dressing it will eventually break down in the soil. So, what is mycorrhizal fungi? The term mycorrhiza refers to the role of the fungus in the plant’s rhizosphere, or its root system. Mycorrhizae play important roles in plant nutrition, soil biology and soil chemistry. In other words – Mycorrhizal fungi is essential for strong healthy root growth and, in Nova Scotia giving your plants a head start with root growth gives them a head start to surviving our harsh winters! Our mulch is available in burlap sacks.

♦ Plastic

From product packaging to pots and plant tags – they are all made of plastic! And at Ashton’s we’re all about reducing plastic waste! We can’t get rid of plastic completely, but we are working hard to find solutions and alternatives whenever plastic is involved, here are a few things we are doing –

♦ Plastic Pots

Plants come in pots! And pots are made of plastic – We’ve tried pots made from recycled cardboard and they simply fall apart in a matter of no time! Peat pots are another option but peat removal is also damaging to our environment. So, for now we are stuck with having to use plastic pots – but we have managed to find a supplier who makes pots from recycled plastic, and we accept all pot returns – no more pots in the bin – just bring them back to us and we will put them to good use! So next time you buy a plant from us you can feel safe in the knowledge that it is being reused or recycled!

♦ Plant Tags

Every time you buy a plant it comes with a plant information tag and those tags are plastic – and what happens once you get home – it usually ends up in the trash. Many of our plants come to us with tags in them – If you don’t want the tag – leave it with us and we’ll reuse it whenever possible!

♦ Product Packaging

We can’t escape it entirely but where alternatives exist or solutions are presented, we use them – such as our compost and mulches!

Opening Hours

Opening Saturday 6th May until the end of June or sold out!

Monday – 10am – 4pm (Also Open Victoria Day)
Tuesday – 10am – 4pm
Wednesday – 10am – 4pm
Thursday – 10am – 4pm
Friday – 10am – 4pm
Saturday – 9am – 5pm
Sunday 10am – 4pm

125 Upper River John Road, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, B0K 1V0
[email protected]
+1 (902)-324-3429