Powell River nursery owner bumps up auction date

Springtime Garden Centre's annual event a highlight for green thumbs

Springtime Garden Centre’s annual auction, a highlight for local green thumbs, will be happening a little earlier than usual this year.

In the past, the nursery has held its auction at the end of August, but this year it’s planned for Saturday, June 29.

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“This is the earliest ever for us,” says Springtime owner Dave Sarnowski.

The auction will start at noon sharp, and include 200 items handpicked from the nursery, he adds.

“There’ll be a whole lot of things on the block,” says Dave. “Come on by and take a look.”

For those who haven’t yet been to the nursery, coming into Springtime is a treat for the senses. A definite highlight is Dave’s 1929 Ford panel van, which can be seen around town advertising the garden centre.

Customers coming into the nursery are greeted with a vast array of colours, textures and sounds, including the soft hues of the nursery's huge selection of bedding flowers and hanging baskets. The deep crimson leaves of Springtime's ornamental maple trees pop against the rich blues and greens of the nursery's oversized ceramic pots. Listen carefully and the faint sound of trickling water can be heard from the nursery's several water fountains as well as the distinct call of peacocks and the cluck of the chickens that live there, says Dave.

“There are peacocks and chickens on the property,” he adds. “The peahens are sitting on eggs, so we'll have chicks in another month or so.”

The reason Dave has bumped the date of the event up is because of many items he’s bought for the season at bargain prices. The auction is a good way to bring new customers into the nursery; plus it's a lot of fun, he says.

“It's a gas; the auction creates a carnival atmosphere,” he adds. “We have a good time. As the auctioneer, I like to get people laughing. I've done enough of them now to know how they work and how to keep them moving. It's all over in about two hours. Be prepared for a fast-moving event.”

The nursery's parking lot is closed to cars for the auction and staff set up 100 chairs in front of the auction items. Preregistration is not required. People are invited to come in before noon and pick up a numbered paddle used to place their bids. Those interested in previewing items can come by the nursery on Friday, June 28.

“It's all done in person and right here,” says Dave. “All people need to do is show up and get a number, and at 12 noon they can just hold that up to place a bid and we keep track of the bids and the highest bidder wins.”

A lot of people who attend the event have never been to an auction, he adds.  

Dave says one of the reasons he continues to do it is because it is a win-win for his customers who are able to buy items for what they want to pay.

Springtime Garden Centre, which has been serving the community for the past 24 years, has five large greenhouses where over 200,000 plants are grown throughout the year. According to Dave, he wouldn't be able to do it without the help from his staff. Springtime currently has 13 full-time staff members with some new and others, including Jane, Gina, Marg, and Pat, who are longtime employees.

“This is definitely not a one-man show,” he says.

Providing excellent customer service and selling quality products are the nursery's foremost goals, he adds.

“Because we grow it all, we don't sell it until it's ready,” explains Dave.

As a small business in Powell River, Springtime is an avid backer of all things local and makes a point to assist community groups and minor sports whenever possible. 

Springtime is tucked in behind Cranberry Lake at 5300 Yukon Avenue. Signs advertising the auction will be posted on Manson Avenue to help direct newcomers.

More information about Springtime Garden Centre can be found at springtimegc.ca or by calling 604.483.3681.

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