It was 27 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting in the tiny eating area in our apartment in Richmond on a Sunday morning, drinking coffee and reading the weekend edition of the Vancouver Sun and there it was in the classified section. Art Knapp’s Penticton was looking for a nursery manager.
And I was looking to come home to the Okanagan after obtaining a university degree, getting married and working in the horticultural industry in the lower mainland. What a happy coincidence!
I had my job interview at the flower auction with the owner of the business, Henry King. It must have went well because shortly after that I was offered the job. That was over a quarter of a century ago and I’ve never had an ounce of regret.
Change is the only constant in life. We’ve all heard that quote before and we have all lived that quote. As gardeners we are constantly changing, our gardens change every season and we’re always thinking ahead to the next season. Aren’t you thinking about spring already?
Henry has been thinking ahead as well and he and his wife Marg have decided to make a change. The proper business term is succession planning and, as with everything that Henry does, it has been done right and with the best interests of the business in mind.
Art Knapp’s Penticton will become GardenWorks Penticton in 2015. GardenWorks is a group of garden centres with six stores in the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island. Henry and Marg looked for a company that had a similar philosophy and culture to Art Knapp’s Penticton, focused on great plants and products and great people. GardenWorks has a sterling reputation in the industry and so does Art Knapp’s Penticton. I’m not bragging but we have a very good garden centre. It’s a good fit.
You will see changes as we enter into the new year; all good ones. There will be upgrades to our building, outside and inside. You’ll see new products displayed on new fixtures. The transition will happen over a period of time and we think you’ll be impressed.
Cosmetic changes are just that. The really important things won’t change. I’m not going anywhere and none of the great staff that you have built relationships with and shared laughs with over the years are going anywhere. Art Knapp’s Penticton is as much about the people who work there as it is about the flowers, the trees, the fertilizer, the tools and the home décor. Those people will be there. Henry and Marg are going to be around to help us with the transition going forward and they’re going to be there for us when we need to “bend an ear” about something. We are, after all, their extended family.
I am excited to be working with the GardenWorks group; they’re passionate about gardening and passionate about people. We’ll be able to draw ideas and inspiration from six other garden centres and we’ll learn from each. They’re extremely happy to be coming to Penticton to be a part of this successful business.
So much to look forward to in 2015! Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas with your families, thank you for your continued interested in “The Well-Rooted Gardener” and let’s all make this upcoming year a memorable one.

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