Bearberry Creek Story - Bearberry Creek Website January 22, 2021

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Bearberry Creek Story


"Yes, we know we are off of the beaten path. It is one of the many things that make this little 'nursery-in-the-woods' a very special place."      Heinjo Lahring, co-owner

The Bearberry Creek Story

  How can two newly-weds, with degrees in biology & botany and minimal cash, make a living together on eighty acres of swampy bush in a short-season area like the foothills west of Sundre? Simple! They can start a business and name it after a well known local feature, Bearberry Creek...

  With a ninety day, frost-free, Zone 2 growing season, starting plants early in a greenhouse for local gardeners seemed like a reasonable place to begin. So, in 1983 Jan and Heinjo Lahring produced their first bedding crop at Bearberry Creek Greenhouse.

  At the same time they also field-grew a small selection of hardy, wildlife-resistant trees and shrubs. This filled a local need, leading to  a decision to diversify their offerings with additional nursery material, initially from Alberta and British Columbia, and then finally from Manitoba. Make that Bearberry Creek Greenhouses & Nursery.

  There was more. Heinjo loves waterlilies. Would they grow and bloom here? Could they overwinter outside? Much experimenting soon led to a large selection of waterlilies, sold mainly by mail order. Customers also sought other kinds of plants for their ponds. Tropical options commmonly available did not always perform well outside. So, it seemed appropriate to promote the use of native plants more suited to temperate regions. Customers could not grow any of these beautiful plants without a pond. The next step was to offer pond supplies for sale at Bearberry Creek Greenhouses, Nursery & Water Gardens.

  When momentum for water gardening began to slow down, interest was increasing in the use of native water plants for wetland reclamation and storm water treatment. So a decision was made and the nursery began propagating large quantities of wetland plant plugs for these projects. But this time, there was no need to change the business name - it was long enough!

  Of course none of these endeavours would have amounted to much without the help of our valiant crew of helpers and the on-going support of our customers over the years. Without these special people, Bearberry Creek would have remained a dream, instead of a story to share.


Gatherings of our seasonal staff that help create the beautiful flower combinations at Bearberry Creek.

Heinjo & Jan Lahring

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