Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Sept. 18


 

Posted Sept. 30

Posted July 1

Posted Sept. 18



Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney

 


Serving the growing needs of a growing community

Gardening tips


J.A. Laporte Flowers and Nursery has been an integral part of the east end community since 1960, but their roots run far deeper than that.

The folks at J.A. Laporte have been looking after the growing needs of the east end community for the past 50 years, but their roots run far deeper than that.

Jean Laporte's great-grandfather was a farmer and his great-grandmother used to sell vegetables on the Byward Market in the late 1800s. His grandfather was a farmer as well, and his grandmother was a gardener, which is where his father Roger Laporte developed an appreciation for plants which later grew into a real passion.

A construction worker by trade, Roger decided to buy a farm where the nursery is currently located on Old Montreal Road. The first two years he tried to grow vegetables with very little success, but rather than give up and go back to construction work, he switched to flowers, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The flower business took off, and soon Roger was holding seminars in church basements, community halls and other various meeting halls across the region.

"When I first bought the farm, I didn't buy it with my head, I bought it with my heart," says family patriarch Roger Laporte.

The elder Laporte was so enthralled with plants and flowers that he used to dream about them.

"It sounds crazy, but I used to have dreams about the plants all the time. At the same time I wanted to help people appreciate plants as much as I did. I talked about flowers and plants all the time. I gave so many courses. I bet I talked to 50,000 to 75,000 people over the years," says Roger.

Roger and his wife Therese carefully nurtured the business as it slowly grew during the 1970s. In 1974, they expanded the business by opening a second location in Blossom Park. Two years later they opened another location on St. Joseph Blvd. where Kelly Funeral Homes is currently located.

Just as the business was beginning to take off, health issues forced Roger into semi-retirement in 1982, which is when his son Jean took over the business.

Just 22 years of age at the time and in his second year at the University of Guelph, Jean had to learn the business quickly and together with his wife-to-be Estelle they expanded their greenhouses and built a store complete with a playground and an information booth.

Over the years, JA Laporte has become a local institution. Many of the customers who came to buy flowers for their new home in the late 70s and early 80s are still buying flowers from the store. In many cases their children and grandchildren have become loyal customers.

One of the big advantages to purchasing your flowers or shrubs at JA Laporte, besides the amazing variety, is the fact that everything is grown on site. When you’re buying from Laporte you know you’re buying quality flowers, shrubs and trees -- and they stand behind everything they sell

“Since we grow everything ourselves we really know the product,” says Estelle. “We also have to make sure we take care of the stock. If there’s a frost we cover everything up or move it inside.”

The staff at JA Laporte are eager to help you out in anyway they can. At the centre of the yard is a large information desk that is manned during regular business hours by either Jean or Estelle.

JA Laporte has a fully bilingual staff so whether you're a green thumb or just green around the collar your questions will be answered in short order in either French or English.

And in case you bring the kiddies along, there’s a playstructure right beside the information desk to keep the young ones occupied while you pick out your plants.

Besides things that grow, JA Laporte also carries a full line of organic lawn care products, grass seed, planters, lawn and garden implements and landscaping material.

Away from the store, the Laportes are deeply involved in the community. Every year they donate thousands of dollars in material to area school children either to beautify their school yards or to be used to help raise money for a variety of worthy causes.

J.A. Laporte Flowers and Nursery is located at 455 Famille-Laporte Ave. just off Old Montreal Road. They can be reached at 613-833-2316 or you can visit their website at www.laportegardens.com.

 

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