We've got a lot going on all the time....and sometimes, it all can be pretty confusing. To help out, here's some answers to questions that we are frequently asked:
COVID UPDATE: The Solar Gardens acreage is now closed to the public. This includes the restaurant (Firestick Cafe), weddings, public & private events, as well as the greenhouses. Our greenhouses are only open to our wholesale clients by appointment. We're leaving the following description as is, only because it is too depressing to remove it, AND perhaps someday, things will return to normal. However, on the bright side, both our city locations - Solar Gardens At Avalon and Solar Gardens the Lawson Heights Mall remain open.
1. What is the difference between Solar Gardens at the acreage and Solar Gardens at Avalon & the Lawson Heights Mall?
Solar Gardens is our acreage and the original location where we have our succulent greenhouses, a party event venue and a restaurant the can be booked by groups for special dinners and MYOPs (make-your-own-pizza parties). Also, at the acreage we offer succulent classes of all types (both private and public - see #2 below for the difference), mostly year-round. Other than that, our acreage is closed to the general public. We are only open to the public on a few special days in the spring and summer (that we announce on Facebook and in our newsletters) or by pre-arranged bookings for classes and parties. The greenhouses are stuffed full of beautiful succulents year-round that supply our city shops, as well as shops and greenhouses across Canada.
Solar Gardens at Avalon is our sweet little shop in the city in the Avalon Shopping Centre. Our second location in the cithy is in the Lawson Heights Mall. Our shops are full of succulents, as well as unusual and tasty things. By tasty things we mean a huge selection of balsamics and extra virgin olive oils, convenient (and unusual) spice blends, sangria mixes, our thin crust pizza shells made in both shops, Wednsdays thru Saturdays morning fresh-baked artisan breads and cinnamon buns. We also offer succulent classes here (both private and public). We carry a wide variety of unusual candies and interesting gift items. We always have a selection of succulent arrangements that are a perfect and longer-lasting alternative to cut flowers. Our Avalon location does not have a restaurant, so if you want to plan a class and have the MYOP, then we'll have to schedule your class at the acreage.
2. What is the difference between a public and a private class?
Almost all of our classes are offered as either public or private classes.
Public classes can be booked by either a single person or a group of people. The dates for these classes are preset and listed on our websites. Send us an email or use the Contact us form. Please note--register for public classes at our acreage if you wish to have a MYOP with your class, or register for a public class at Avalon if you do not wish to have MYOP with your class. (No pizza oven is available at Avalon.)
A private class is a possibility if you have 5 or more people who want to take the class at a time other than a public class. Private classes are available at Avalon for groups of 14 or less, and are also available at the acreage if MYOP is desired with the class. Private classes for groups of 15 or more must be held at the acreage. Again, arrangements can be made by emailing us using the CONTACT US form.
3. Somebody gave me a succulent bowl. How do I care for it?
We have great "succulent care instructions" on our website that will help you care for your succulents year-round. Click here to see them.
4. What kind of events do you hold at your acreage?
We can hold all types of private group events for you at our acreage including weddings, showers, stags and stagettes, anniversaries, reunions, retreats, corporate meetings, birthday parties, team building events and club gatherings to name a few. To arrange a private event, just email us using the CONTACT US form.
5. What is the maximum number of guests that you can accommodate for parties, events and weddings at Solar Gardens?
During the winter we are restricted to using the main dining room. In that room, we can accommodate a maximum of 40 sit-down guests.
During the spring, summer and early fall we have more in-door (glass conservatory, teaching studio) and outdoor seating areas (covered decks and non covered decks) where we can accommodate a maximum of 80 sit-down guests.
6. I would like to visit your acreage. Is that possible?
Our acreage is no longer open to the general public as we are focusing our energy and efforts on our city shop, Solar Gardens at Avalon. We are also busy growing and providing succulents and other products (like our balsamica, olive oils and spice blends) to our wholesale clients across Canada.
8. I'd like to carry your plants, spice blends and/or balsamics/olive oils in my shop. How to I set up a wholesale account?
Just email us to set up an account. We will need your PST number as we only wholesale to registered companies. If your province doesn't have a PST number, then we don't need it.
9. I loved seeing your dogs when I visited your acreage. Do your dogs ever visit Solar Gardens at Avalon?
Unfortunately our current puppies Petal and Bud don't like leaving the acreage. They do enjoy the van ride to the city, but they'd much rather stay in the van than hang out in the shop. Thanks for asking!