The 1960s: Let’s Get Growing!
The story of Belgian Nursery is a story of growth: the growth of a family, the growth of a community, and the growth of the beautiful plants that unite them all together.
In 1959, Belgian immigrants Maurice and Mary Lombaert, along with their young son Luc, purchased 3 acres of land in rural Breslau, Ontario. From a house, a barn, and just one coal-heated greenhouse, Maurice and Mary grew their first crops for market; their field-grown pansies, perennials, garden mums, and gladiolas soon delighted patrons at the old Kitchener-Waterloo Farmers’ Market. Soon “Pa” and “Ma” had expanded to three glass greenhouses, six wood-framed fibreglass greenhouses, 2 acres of field grown perennials, and a wood slat house for selling perennials.
The 1970s: Perfect Place for Plant People!
Ten years later, their annuals, perennials, garden mums, and poinsettias continued to spread joy throughout the region. An additional 10 acres was purchased to accommodate the Nursery’s growing footprint, which included the construction of the spacious Tropical House. As the nursery expanded to service the growing communities around it, so did the Lombaert family; Luc had grown up and married Rosie, and soon added daughters Rosemary and Julie to the family tree.
The 1980s: The Great Greenhouse Experience!
The 1980s and 90s were decades of renovation and reconfiguration, fueled by Luc and Rosie’s desire to provide a full retail shopping experience. The old wood-framed greenhouses were replaced with one acre of open-concept poly houses for growing and selling annuals, and a new front store was added for more convenient shopping. Rosie’s dream of a Cactus House was achieved by completely renovating greenhouse #5 to accommodate the growing selection of cacti and succulents. The old perennial house was replaced with a modern poly structure, complete with flexible roll-up walls, so that customers could shop comfortably no matter the weather.
The 1990s: Plants and People Need Each Other!
In the late 1990s, daughters Rosemary and Julie joined the family business full-time alongside their parents, each finding their own niches within the daily operations. The family tree continued to grow with the arrival of Rosemary’s children Cale and Trevor, followed by Julie’s children Conall and Tegan.
As the family and the nursery continued to grow and flourish, there were moments of sorrow. The community mourned the loss of founders Maurice in 1995 (age 90) and Mary in 1999 (age 93). The Lombaert family found comfort continuing the lifelong legacy “Ma” and “Pa” had worked so hard to build.
The 2000s: A Flower World of Beautiful Plants for People!
The new millennium brought about an ebb and flow of plant varieties and specialties, including an increased focus on annuals, mixed planters and baskets, unique perennials, vibrant tropicals, and striking cacti and succulents. During this time, Luc and Rosie have stepped back as their daughters have taken on more roles in the daily operation of the family business. Belgian Nursery became a landmark in the community, known for providing healthy plants and expertise in a lush and beautiful setting.
The 2010s: Plants and People: Together We Grow!
Today, Belgian Nursery continues to evolve and adapt in order to the serve the community that has supported it for over six decades. It is these deep roots that allow us to thrive by maintaining a tradition that embraces growth, change, and creativity. We look forward to many more decades together celebrating plants and the people who love them.
The 2020s: Celebrating Plants and the People Who Love Them!
A Message from Luc & Rosie
As the directors of Belgian Nursery, our goal is to provide a setting that all can enjoy while shopping for plants, garden supplies and decor.
We are honoured that our children are involved and are part of Belgian Nursery. We are the caretakers for the next generations; what we do now both changes and creates the future.
We will become the ancestors for our future great, great grandchildren. Let’s make them proud!