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Apr 12, 2012 03:41 PM

Pop-up garden centres in Toronto

I know it's early. So most of them won't be open yet. But I do a lot of my plant-shopping at a few pop-up garden centres around the city. My old favourite is probably permanently gone - on Keele St. just north of Steeles - I drove past today and it was completely derelict, possibly slated for some development or other. My other fave is at the corner of the Dufferin Mall parking lot. Both of these have unusual - Italian, Asian, weird European - varieties of vegetable plants and great flats of mixed baby lettuces. There's another one on Keele, north of Wilson, that sets up in front of a barber shop on the west side of the street, run by a very quirky old Italian guy. Anyway, since I don't live in the city, I'd love to hear when the Dufferin one (especially) opens this season. Or if you know of another good place to pick up odd plants, I'm open to exploration. So please post when you see something good.

(Mods: I'd put this one the gardening forum but it's so specific to Toronto that it wouldn't make sense.)

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  1. Just saw the Costco at Dufferin and Wilson setting up a fairly large garden centre

    1. It's early yet. Just made a run to Humber Nursery for veg seeds. The place was remarkably busy, so go early for best selection.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Kagemusha

        Picked up a bunch of seeds at Angelo's on Hwy. 7 since I was up in the area. I can get more seeds around here when it's time to plant them. Got my garden tilled today so I may put in chard and arugula this weekend.

        1. re: Nyleve

          My point: get 'em now. Varietal tomatoes are already started indoors now. Most sellers get one shot of seeds and don't restock. What's there now might not be in 2-3 weeks.

          1. re: Kagemusha

            Nah. Too early - for tomatoes and other tender stuff definitely. Won't be ready to plant outdoors for at least another month or more. They will have more stock as the weather warms - I'm not worried. I'll put in the cold-tolerant stuff now but tomatoes, peppers, basil, squash has to wait until much later. Even if I bought plants now - which I won't - they'll suffer from being held indoors in those small seedling pots in my less-than-greenhouse conditions. I've been gardening for 35 years so I've learned my lesson about being over-eager.

            1. re: Nyleve

              I started my tomato plants from last year's seeds indoors this week and my neighbour started theirs 2 weeks ago. I thought most people started their seedlings at the end of March. Thanks for the tip about Dufferin MALL & I am assuming you mean the mall on Dufferin Street south of Bloor. I bought my seeds 3 weeks ago & went back yesterday and was surprised how many were sold out already.

              1. re: Smachnoho

                Yeah, usually it is suggested to start tomato seeds 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost (which is usually estimated as mid - may). I think there maybe have been some confusion in previous posts... too early to buy seedlings maybe but not to plant seeds...
                I picked up my seeds at one of the various "Seedy Saturday" events (the one at the brickworks a few weeks back).

                1. re: ylsf

                  Right. I'll be planting seeds outdoors - hardy things only, like snap peas, chard and arugula. I've started some poblano seeds indoors (but they're not up yet) and I'll get the rest done as the weather warms. We have a really wonderful farmers market in Peterborough where I can pick up a great assortment of heirloom veg. plants but the garden centre at the Dufferin Mall (yes, the one on Dufferin south of Bloor) always has some interesting ethnic varieties. So I'll be checking there in early May as well.

                  1. re: Nyleve

                    I've had good luck with any Italian veg plants I've bought at Lady York's garden shop, which opens in the lot behind the grocery store sometime in late April.

                    1. re: prima

                      Thanks Prima. Which grocery store?

                      1. re: Herne

                        Lady York- it's an Italian grocery store on the east side of Dufferin south of Lawrence. Hope you like their garden centre.

                        1. re: prima

                          Thanks again. I'll check it next Monday or Tuesday

      2. The produce store in Kensington Market at St. Andrew's and Kensington has had a very good selection of herb plants the last few years and the prices were great. She didn't have them yet the last time I walked by but keep her in mind.

        5 Replies
        1. re: crawfish

          I was there this weekend and they had started to put out some plants. I'd also strongly recommend Fiesta Gardens (aka the garden centre at Fiesta Farms). Not sure when it opens but it is always great for random stuff.


          1. re: wontonfm

            Yes, I saw them in Kensington on Sunday. $1.29 for 3-4" pot herbs!

            1. re: wontonfm

              I also recommend FIESTA FARMS as well as the garden centre in the parking lot at Dufferin Mall...both carry stuff you don't always see at other Garden Centres...just remembered another place but forgot the's on Caledonia (west side) just north of Davenport..particularly for tomatoes and other Italian herbs etc... I do a lot of shopping at all of these places, the plants are always in good condition... kept well hydrated and looked after unlike some of the bigger places like Home Depot, Canadian Tire etc....

              1. re: pearlD

                Great to know about Fiesta Farms. I've never checked their garden centre - so I'll definitely do that this season. I'd love to get a heads-up when anyone sees one of these places open. I expect they'll be doing so in the next 2 or 3 weeks.

                1. re: pearlD

                  I second the motion on Fiesta Farms! Great selection of plants, and amazing variety of pots/containers/gardening accessories as well. A family friend also mentioned that they have one of the largest selections of organic herbs/veggies in the city.

                  On a related pop-up garden centre note, does anyone know anything about Garden Court Nurseries at the corner of Bayview and Davisville (mid-town)? Driving by this weekend, I noticed it was all shut and a number of "SOLD" signs are on the wooden fencing that surrounds the centre. They had been there since 1953; anyone know if they have retired or maybe moved somewhere else?