Brian Minter, along with his wife Faye, has been sharing his passion for plants for 48 years with locals and visitors alike in the Fraser Valley. Today, their 18-acre destination garden centre in Chilliwack, BC, is known for ‘growing their own’ as well as sourcing an astonishing selection of new plants from all over the world, for providing high quality garden staples and for offering a unique variety of home and garden giftware. Visitors to the garden store are also encouraged to enjoy tasty bites at Cultivate Cafe, and to stop by Aromatica Fine Teas and Switzer’s Vintage Décor, specialty boutiques on-site.
At this time, we’re sharing stories and moments to inspire our visitors for future travel. We are currently not recommending any non-essential travel. However, when things settle, we look forward to welcoming you back. For now, we’re encouraging you to be a virtual tourist and enjoy the beauty of our region from the comfort of your home and encourage you to support your local garden centres this Summer.
Meet the Maker
Q: Tell us a bit about your life outside of Minter Country Garden?
A: I enjoy reading, writing and travelling
Q: What plant do you enjoy growing the most?
A: I have a passion for all of them – seriously!
Q: Where are some of your favourite local spots in Chilliwack?
A: There are too many to mention, but definitely our mountains, lakes and rivers!
The Inside Scoop
Q: How did Minter Country Garden come to be?
A: Earl Minter and Lois Richardson started Country Garden, a florist shop in 1955. The business moved to Hope River Rd. on Fairfield Island in 1959 to expand into a garden center, and to be able to grow unique plants. My wife Faye and I purchased the business in 1972, and we’ve been growing and expanding the business ever since. We moved to our current location in 1994.
Q: What is your vision for Minter Country Garden?
A: To be a destination garden store for gardeners of all ages and abilities to learn, be inspired and discover how working with plants can add value to their lives! Our motivation has always been to be the very best in our industry, and we work with that in mind every day!
Q: What makes Minter Country Garden a unique experience from most?
A: The quality and diversity of plants (especially of new ones!), unique garden giftware and inspirational displays, largely under a covered shopping space so that guests can explore year-round. The specialty boutiques and café on-site, Aromatica Fine Teas, Switzer’s Vintage Décor and Cultivate Café, make this a location where you can find high quality, funky and delicious treats, either for yourself or as a gift to others!
Q: Can you share your vision and passion about gardening and educating the public?
A: We have an amazing team of inspired professionals who help our customers solve garden challenges daily. From garden and container designs, to planning food gardens and offering tips to achieve tropical plant success, we’re all here to help! We try to offer inspiration and connect to the gardening community through our social media channels, and host several gardening seminars throughout the year to provide guidance and education too.
For my part, I join CBC radio every other Friday to answer questions, write a weekly article for the Vancouver Sun and local Black Press papers, and am fortunate enough to be invited to visit Breakfast TV in Vancouver to introduce plants to folks too. In addition, I speak throughout the province as much as time allows!
Q: If you could recommend one place in the Fraser Valley, what would it be? Why?
A: Chilliwack! With four seasons to enjoy and explore, fantastic outdoor recreation opportunities, excellent shops, accommodations and services, cool restaurants… we really do have an amazing town to share with others
Q. If you were a destination, where would you be?
A: The new downtown Chilliwack development is going to be very exciting!
With summer just around the corner we are all looking for ways to get our fill of colourful blooms, incredible edibles from our own backyards and to support local businesses too. Minter Country Garden is open daily with some entry limitations to allow for social distancing, so that you can shop for potted plants, fresh cut flowers, vegetables and more safely and comfortably. Please visit their website for store hours and entry details. Happy green thumbing!