by Daina Sutton
“Our Little Dream Come True” is a sign that hangs over the greenhouse door at Forget-me-Not Herbs n’ Flowers. In 1990, upon arriving in Oxford Mills from Northern Ontario, an acre of property became available on Beach Rd, with the potential to plant trees and flowers and to erect greenhouses and a potting shed, with a plan to start a small family-run nursery business, growing and selling shrubs. This evolved into growing naturally- grown potted herbs & flowering annuals, vegetables and perennials. Lastly, sixty-five varieties of heirloom tomatoes were added; their little dream come true!
With Claudia working part-time at the local hospital and then from home, her interest in herbs peaked and expanded into learning about their healing properties through scent, which led to study in aromatherapy massage. Claudia then went on to study horticulture, violin and piano. With Chris being the “grower”, he utilized his education and experience in forestry and business, while holding down a position as a school bus driver. Claudia’s role in the greenhouse has been sales and publicity and together they combine their talents to make a team. More recently they have taken on beekeeping and hope to share their knowledge of both interests with their four grandsons.
Chris and Claudia have met many challenges as entrepreneurs, but have also reaped much joy, seeing customers each Spring walk away happily with their plant and flower treasures to brighten their lives.
Over the years and along with horticultural tours, talks and plant courses, they have transformed their acre property into an oasis that it is today. Being retired, both Claudia and Chris continue to enjoy their garden each summer, planting perennials in the Circle of Friends Garden to utilize for sales for the year ahead.
Spring 2020 was a challenge with the Covid virus; however, the greenhouses sold out quickly due to increased foot traffic, all the while maintaining the health protocols. Customers were happy to be outside with fresh air and nature and with colourful flowers.
When people ask: why Forget-me-Not? Claudia explains that years ago when her father passed away, they planted a tree and placed forget-me-nots around its base in memory of his encouragement and enthusiasm in their endeavour.
The Suttons offer an assortment of hanging baskets, flowering annuals and perennials, planters, vegetables and naturally grown potted herbs. The heirloom tomatoes are in demand every Spring as well. For plant sales, the nursery is open in early May with hours being Tuesday to Friday 9 to 6, Saturday 9 to 5, Sunday 12 to 3 and closed Mondays.
Chris and Claudia enjoy seeing their loyal customers return each Spring and look forward to meeting new ones at the Nursery. If there is time after plant sales, Claudia and Chris will quite often offer a stroll in the garden with a glass of lavender lemonade and some friendly conversation.
You can find them on Facebook, where any inquiries can be messaged. Their website has been updated and they invite you to visit at at forgetmenotgreenhouse.com.