FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Services & Store Policies
What are your store hours?
Our hours vary based on the season, but will always be listed at the bottom of each page of our website!
When do you close for the season?
We don’t! We are open 362 days a year, closing only for New Years Day, Family Day, and Christmas Day. (Did you know? We have some massive Christmas displays if you want to visit us to take a break from the cold!)
Where are you located?
Find us at 588 Lake Ridge Road South in Ajax, Ontario. We are on the corner of Lake Ridge Road and Bayly Street. If you are coming from Toronto, exit the 401 at Lake Ridge Road and head south. If you are coming from Oshawa, exit the 401 at Brock Road in Whitby.
Do I need to wear a mask to shop?
Yes! Reusable fabric or medical masks are required to shop both in the greenhouse and the outdoor retail space, fitting snugly over your mouth, nose, and chin. Face shields are not accepted as a substitute. If you are unable to wear a mask, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to serve you curbside.
Can I buy a gift card?
Yes! You can purchase a gift card in store for any denomination of your choosing! If you are unable to purchase in store, you can call us at (905) 427-2525 to purchase over the phone and have it mailed to you. Please remember there will be a delay in mailing so if you are ordering one as a gift, be sure to order a few weeks in advance.
Can I bring my dog while I shop?
Yes, absolutely! Dogs are welcome on a 6’ leash or shorter, so long as they do not disturb other customers. Please come prepared to pick up after your dog if necessary!
Do you offer landscape design?
Vandermeer Nursery does not offer landscaping services, but we highly recommend Earth Art Landscapes! If you are interested in having one of your spaces designed and/or installed, take a look at their full range of services or check out their website.
Do you offer a seniors discount?
Yes! We offer a 10% discount on our regular priced plant material, 7 days a week. You must be 65 years or older to qualify. Please ask your cashier to apply it before you start your transaction!
Do you host events like seminars or workshops?
Yes! In a normal year, we host free seminars, paid workshops, and even greenhouse tours through our production greenhouse! Events change throughout the year and are based on common topics of the season, so be sure you check our Events page frequently.
Do you offer lawn care or garden maintenance?
No, sorry! We are unable to offer any landscaping or maintenance services.
Do you have a loyalty program?
Not at this time! This type of service is absolutely on our wishlist to implement and we know our customers would appreciate it as well. As soon as we have a chance to tackle this project, we will!
Growing & Plant Production
What are your home-grown plants?
One feature that makes Vandermeer’s unique is the fact that we are both a retail garden centre and have a production facility (on the same property) where we grow more than half of our own plants ourselves! Our home-grown plants include annuals, perennials, water plants, roses, holiday plants and a good chunk of our houseplants as well. Most of these categories will have a small portion (3-5%) that are purchased from other growers to supplement our collection.
Do you offer wholesale?
No, sorry! We are considered a retail grower - we grow our own plant material for our retail store but do not provide wholesale plants to other garden centres or box stores.
Do you have any environmental policies in place?
We have a whole range of green practices in place to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible. You can learn about our three largest projects in our Environmental Commitments page.
What do you use in your soil? Why is there no perlite?
We only grow in one type of growing medium and it is custom-made for us by our supplier. While the exact recipe is elaborate, it uses wood fibre instead of perlite for its water retention and distribution properties by providing macropores (large air gaps) in the medium. A lot of customers believe it is pure peat or too dense because they don’t see perlite in the mix, but there are other options when it comes to soil amendments and additives! This mix serves as a jack of all trades for the wide range of plants we grow!
Products & Selection
Do you have a list of all the plants you currently have in stock?
No, sorry! We are currently in the process of putting together a plant library, listing all of the varieties that we are likely/plan to carry for the year. Unfortunately, we move through way too much product way too quickly to be able to keep a digital inventory. However, you can always call, e-mail, or message us on Facebook or Instagram to check if we have an item in stock!
Will you be getting ______ in stock soon?
This is always a bit of a hard question to answer as it depends on what type of plant you are looking for and how we source that particular variety! Annuals, perennials, and roses are easier to predict as we grow them ourselves - we have at least a few months' notice on whether we will have them in stock. For trees and shrubs, we order product in from our suppliers weekly so they are a little more unpredictable. We can likely tell you if it is a standard variety that we carry every year or if we’ve never been able to find it. For trees and shrubs, we only have about 4-7 days' notice whether if/when we will be getting a particular variety in stock.
Do you carry sod?
Yes we do, during the spring/summer gardening season! Depending on the time of year, we restock 2-5 times a week. Due to the short-lived nature of the product, we cannot guarantee it will be available 24/7. Please call the store at (905) 427-2525 to confirm if we have any in stock at the moment!
Do you carry bulk soil and stone?
Yes! We carry triple mix, compost, natural cedar mulch, limestone screening, HPB, ¾ clear, A gravel, and river rock in bulk. These items can be purchased by “bagging your own”, by the ½ yard scooped into the back of an open truck or trailer* or delivered by the ½ yard. Please note: we will not scoop bulk product onto the ground to be shoveled, into a closed vehicle, or into containers.
Can you order a specific plant for me?
No, sorry! If we don’t carry a plant variety regularly, then we likely can’t get it. For our home-grown annuals, perennials, and roses, our orders are placed 8-10 months in advance. For our trees and shrubs, we carry pretty much every variety possible from our 6 different suppliers. It never hurts to ask, though, as we may be able to keep an eye out for it and take it into consideration for our orders the following year!
Can you order a specific product for me?
No, sorry! Our suppliers are wholesalers which means there are order minimums that must be met before we can get product in or sometimes our suppliers don’t carry the item. That being said, we always appreciate knowing what you are looking for and there is a chance we can add it to our next order. However, it may be a few months to a year before your item would be available.
How often do you restock your plants?
Anything that we grow ourselves gets restocked as the plant material is ready for sale and/or we are running low on the retail floor. In the height of our busy season, that could be 10+ times a day! Trees and shrubs are restocked once a week from each of our suppliers (in their appropriate seasons), which typically means 2-4 shipments a week. Houseplants are very similar to shrubs when it comes to restocking, with 2-4 shipments a week for most of the year (plus our homegrown species as they are available). Shipment arrival days vary by supplier, season, and product type so they are near impossible to predict. You can always follow our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram for new stock and shipment updates!
When should I buy ______?
- Seeds: December - March
- Dormant Oil Kits: February - March
- Summer-Flowering Packaged Bulbs (Dahlias, Begonias, Gladiolas, etc.): March - April
- Seed Potatoes, Onion Sets & Asparagus Roots: April
- Praying Mantis: April - May
- Grass Seed: April - September
- Nematodes: April - September
- Ladybugs: June
- Japanese Beetle Traps: June - August
- Spring-Flowering Packaged Bulbs (Tulips, Daffodils, Crocus, Muscari, etc.): September