Established in 1957, Dykhof Nurseries and Florist is proud to still be a family-owned and operated business. With the third generation of family involved, we are still working hard to carry on the tradition of quality started 50 years ago by my Opa.
My Opa (Mr. D.) started this business in 1957. The land came equipped with greenhouses and a heating shed. All it needed now was someone to put them to use.
In Holland, cut flowers were a popular item and in high demand, so Opa started growing his own here in Canada. Where the store currently sits was a plastic greenhouse with many types of flowers planted in the ground waiting to be picked for bouquets. (There was no cement yet, that came later.) Unfortunately, flower bouquets were not as popular in Canada as they were in Holland and in late 1958, cut flower growing stopped.
With the greenhouses readily available, Opa decided to try his hand with bedding plants. Seeds were started, transferred into flats and grown on for sale. Flats and flats of bedding plants lined the ground waiting for people to come and pick out their treasures. Later, tables were made with bricks and planks of wood, so that customers wouldn’t have to bend over.
Along with the bedding plants were trees and shrubs. People from the neighbourhood would do their yearly pruning and bring the clippings to Opa, who would then use them as cuttings and start growing his own. Needless to say there were many cypress, cedars and azaleas lining the nursery floor.
In 1965, with the family away in Holland, the glass greenhouses collapsed. There was a good snowfall that year, and with the greenhouses empty and not heated, they couldn’t take the weight. Opa came home to shattered greenhouses covered in snow.
Within the industry Opa made contacts and eventually started purchasing direct from growers. This allowed him to widen the variety of plants available to customers. Many of the first growers that Opa worked with are still our suppliers today. They were small businesses too and have grown with us.
In 1970, construction of the store began, finishing in 1971. (The store you now walk through and look at items in was hand built by my Opa.) Tools, pots, fertilizers etc. were added to the inventory and would show up weekly. From here we kept on growing to what you see today.
Trial and error, hard work and dedication has allowed us to become what we are today. Three generations of family, we are still going strong and learning along the way. If there is anything I have learned about this industry, it is that there is always something new and mistakes will be made. It is what you do with those mistakes that counts. Opa made mistakes and passed on his learning to Mom and Uncle Henry. They will pass their learning on to my brothers and me.
Opa came to Canada in 1953 and started the nursery in 1957. He worked everyday until he passed away in 1991. The values that Opa started this business with are the values that Dykhof Nurseries represents and maintains today. My mom Ineke, Uncle Henry, Aunt Maria, Cousin John, my brothers Trevor and Kevin, and the rest of the staff we call family, all represent the spirit of what Opa created so many years ago.