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Long-awaited Coquitlam garden store opens in time for spring planting

Is it too early to get into the garden? The folks at Gardenworks don't think so, as the iconic B.C. garden business just opened its first store in the Tri-Cities.
Karen Rohwedder manager of Coquitllam Gardenworks
Store manager Karen Rohwedder with some of the new spring planters at the new Coquitlam Gardenworks store, which had its soft opening Monday, March 7.

Planting season is just around the corner and one new business is poised to give green thumbs a place to go to get seeds, gardening advice and gorgeous spring planters.

On Monday (March 7), Gardenworks opened its doors in a "soft opening" to customers who streamed into the Coquitlam store — located at 2575 Barnet Hwy.

Although signage is in the works, a new banner strung along the fence advertised the opening and dozens of gardeners have been dropping by.

"It's been great, people are already finding us," said store manager Karen Rohwedder to the Tri-City News, who adds a grand opening is in the works.

Rohwedder said it was a big job to get B.C.'s ninth Gardenworks store renovated and open for early March.

"It's been a huge effort," acknowledged Rohwedder, looking around at the interior of the store where tropical plants, housewares, and gardening materials are in abundance.

TROPICAL PLANTS, FLOWERS AND GARDEN CLASSES

Indeed, it appears the hard work has paid off and the store has a welcoming feel, created in part by numerous pots filled with daffodils, early blooming shrubs and perennials.

The large store, which at one time was a pizza joint, has room for customers to mingle and ask questions of the many experts.

Rohwedder, a master gardener herself with certificates in horticulture and ecological design, said the store has experienced staff from the Burnaby stores as well as fresh "new blood."

"There's always someone available to answer your garden questions," Rohwedder told the Tri-City News.

Outside, customers can choose from a wide variety of early spring shrubs, annuals and perrenials.

GARDENING HOBBY GROWS DURING PANDEMIC

Eventually, once COVID-19 is no longer a concern with protocols and restrictions, Rohwedder says Gardenworks will offer workshops to the public.

It's also been a long time since Coquitlam had a full-time garden store.

In a recent interview, president Leanne Johnson, who grew up in Coquitlam, said the company has been looking for an ideal location in the city for years.

With gardening becoming so popular during the pandemic, Johnson believes people will welcome a shop that specializes in plants and gardening information.

"During the pandemic it was underscored just how important nature is for everybody, and how many brand new gardeners we’ve seen over the past few years has been incredible."

The Coquitlam Gardenworks store has a large parking lot and the best way to get to it is from Runnel Drive.

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