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Greenhouse owner returns to roots

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dave Hall, The Windsor Star

After taking time out to raise a family and work part-time in a bank, Martha Campeau returned to her first love 12 years ago -gardening and landscaping.

The owner of Martha's Greenhouse has a three-greenhouse garden plot on Lauzon Road, south of E.C. Row, and this year opened a retail centre in a former fast-food restaurant on Wyandotte Street East at Lauzon Road.

"I studied landscaping at St. Clair College and that's what I've always loved," said Campeau. "When we moved to Toronto for a few years, I worked in garden centres and for landscapers.

"Then when we moved back to Windsor to start a family, I needed something more flexible so I worked part-time in customer service for a local bank," she said.

But the gardening urge returned about a dozen years ago and she started selling plants and flowers grown on a small plot behind her house before adding a nine-by-18 foot greenhouse a year later.

Realizing the business had potential, Campeau left the bank, bought another greenhouse from a friend in Harrow and set up business on Lauzon Road. In recent years, she's added two more greenhouses and now grows everything she sells from cuttings, plugs and seeds.

"This year, I decided we needed more visibility so we opened the retail centre and that's been an enormous undertaking," said Campeau.

There's another greenhouse adjacent to the centre where Campeau sells annuals, perennials and "anything that's just a little more unusual than you can find in other garden centres."

In addition to her retail business, Campeau is a landscaper and also maintains all the hanging flower baskets for business improvement areas throughout the city.

"Our landscaping is running a little behind because it's been so wet but with some dry weather, hopefully we'll catch up," said Campeau.

For more information, visit marthasgreenhouse.com.