Gardening can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know where to start. But if you’re looking for assistance with your garden and you want to get your hands on some of the most beautiful daylilies in Ontario, head on over to Artemesia Daylilies in our own Beaver Valley. Moreover, located in the same location is the cow hide business Hide & Chic that provides leather cow hides perfect for carpets, upholstering and tapestries to bring any room’s decor to the next level. Artemesia Daylilies and Hide & Chic are located just four kilometers north of Kimberley on Grey Road 13. The businesses are owned by Alain Johnson and Jocelyn Bertrand. They believe they’re in the “beautification business” and they love helping other people achieve their gardening goals as well as their interior decorating goals with their cow hides. Alain and Jocelyn have been together for 27 years and originally moved to the Grey Highlands in 2000. In addition to running Artemesia Daylilies and Hide and Chic, Alain is a public school teacher and Jocelyn is flight attendant for Air Canada and a translator. Artemesia Daylilies is truly a “hobby gone wild” with over 675 varieties in their garden. Alain and Jocelyn first came up with the idea to run a daylily farm after they visited one in Quebec.
They picked up some more daylilies there and were inspired to create their business. “We started by creating a garden at the front of the house for just us,” said Alain. “It grew and grew over the years and I think in [our second year] we decided to open a business.” The couple decided to downsize from their original property in Priceville and they finished moving to their current location on Grey Road 13 outside of Kimberley in the summer of 2015. With the move, Alain and Jocelyn had to narrow down the varieties of lilies that they would carry- they went from over 1200 different types of daylilies to 675. “In this location, every single plant takes up precious real estate because space is limited [here] for gardening,” Alain said. Jocelyn agrees, stating that, “it had to come down to selecting the best of the best varieties and those were the ones that made [the move]. But people are genuinely happy with the selection we have.”Being located near Kimberley is perfect for Artemesia Daylilies, according to Alain and Jocelyn. “We get a lot of traffic just from people going on a drive through the valley,” Jocelyn said. “The location is exceptional for us and it’s just one more stop on Grey Road 13 before Kimberley.” Plus, they say that Kimberley is the place to be.
“There’s nothing like the valley and Kimberley is the best kept secret,” Alain said. “It’s becoming the hub of the valley and we love being a part of it.” Alain and Jocelyn love meeting new people through their work and helping their customers with their gardens. “They’re learning from our journey and some of them feel inspired as they watch our garden evolve,” said Alain. “Because of the scale of our landscaping, it makes their project seem [more doable.]” The couple is very proud when customers make special trips just to see them. “Gardening is hard work but when we have people come from Sarnia or Niagara-on-the-Lake to come specifically to this location to buy their lilies, it means a lot to us,” Alain said. But they also don’t want to force their customers into buying plants. “It’s never under any pressure,” Jocelyn added. “If you’re just here to look, you look. It’s not about pressure or sales tactics- just take a look because you may not be ready. People will come back and tell other people and that’s how our business is growing.” The couple hopes that in the future their business and selection doesn’t necessarily get bigger, but better.
Alain would love for the community of Kimberley to do more gardening in the future. “What I would love to see is Kimberley being known for its gardens,” he said. “I would love to see more people gardening at the front of their houses, making Kimberley a destination for gardens. So when you drive on Grey Road 13 and go through the village, you would see lots and lots of blooms and lots of flowers.” Artemesia Daylilies and Hide & Chic are located at 235731 Grey Road 13, just north of Kimberley. When the flowers are in bloom in July and August, they are open every Thursday to Sunday. During other times of the year, please call or text Alain at 416-994-7752, or Jocelyn at 416-994-3248, or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org, before dropping by. To learn more about their business you can check out their website www.artemesiadaylilies.com or find them on Facebook under “Artemesia Daylilies”. To find out more about their Hide and Chic visit www.hideandchic.ca or email them at email@example.com