As August winds down and we look forward to fall, we thought it might be interesting to chat with WF member Melody Sharples, owner of Sharples Garden Gallery, about what summer is like for the owner of a greenhouse and retail store.
Q. How did you get into the garden nursery business?
A. Sharples Greenhouses started back in the 70’s. So naturally, I was born into this. My parents started out with a small business. From there, it grew into a wholesale greenhouse and retail garden centre, which is now a Garden Gallery.
Q. What’s your favourite tip for home gardeners trying to decide what to plant?
A. A good rule of thumb is to grow what you love. If it symbolizes something and means something to you, even better! Give your garden love, sunshine and of course water! A little fertilizer goes a long way too!
Q. We know your busy seasons are spring and summer, but what about January and February – are you at the garden centre or do you go on vacation?
A. Our busiest season is typically the spring. Now with our extensive variety of retail products (such as home décor and women’s clothing), we are busy throughout the entire year. Sharples Garden Gallery now has a large Christmas gift store too. This includes indoor and outdoor décor, fresh trees and branches as well as 12 designer trees! These are a must see! Shortly after Christmas, we are full force into Valentine’s Day and Easter …so do I ever go on vacation, ha!
Q. What is the biggest challenge of owning a garden centre?
A. Well there are lots of challenges, but I think maintaining a great staff, ensuring everyone is working on the same team and providing tier one customer service is what we always strive to achieve.
Q. We’d love to visit – what is your location?
A. We’d love to see you! We are located at Sharples Greenhouse Garden Gallery, 2136 Upper James St. Mt. Hope, ONT L0R 1W0. Here’s a map you can click on for directions.