May flowers bloom

May flowers bloom
Mary Neville shows off this year’s flora, with her new business set to open May 8 (Photo : William Crooks)

New Neville greenhouse set to open this week

By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative

Les Serres Mary Neville, located just outside Lennoxville on Chemin Dillon, will open its doors to the public for the first time May 8. Selling a wide variety of flowers, vegetables, and herbs until June 30, the greenhouse is the latest iteration of the local Neville family’s decades-long history of providing plants to the area.

“My parents had the business for many, many years,” Owner and Operator Mary Neville said to The Record in a May 6 interview on her property. The Nevilles previously operated a garden centre in Lennoxville on Queen Street beginning in the late 80s. “I grew up in this,” she said.

Initially, Neville did not want to take over the business, but she helped out on and off her entire life. Neville returned to university in her early thirties and worked at the family business full time from spring until the early autumn. “It was those years when I started really liking it a lot,” she said.

Neville’s parents eventually sold the garden centre and she worked for the new owners for three years. This is when she really gained the experience to “be in charge of everything.” She learned a lot and it went really well.

The best way to do retail and production is to sell from the place you are producing, she went on, because it limits costs. Moving plants from one place to another is a “huge job.” Full time staff are needed to load, unload and place everything. That is why she decided to do it all at one location.

“This year we’re keeping it pretty simple, because it was a little last minute,” she said. She plans on expanding every year. Moving forward, she is looking to have more perennials, indoor plants, shrubs and even fruit trees.

The Nevilles suffered a fire at their production greenhouses on Dillon in 2018. All five greenhouses used to be heated and running all season. Two greenhouses remain functional. Her secondary greenhouse currently holds mostly vegetables. They are saving money by heating with sawdust from their own land along with the standard propane.

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