Berta Briggs, owner of ARBER GREENHOUSES talks about the 6,000 ladybugs being released that day… -Photo submitted
Millet, AB – An icon of this vibrant little town since 1981, ARBER GREENHOUSES recently hosted a Ladybug Release Party, enjoyed by nearly 300 patrons and Arber staff members. In this second annual event, 6,000 ladybugs were released in the main greenhouse, among countless bedding plants, large and small houseplants.
Having promoted this event among their clientele and friends, the owners were pleasantly surprised to see such a large crowd arrive before the 11am release time. Children in particular loved this event, because they love the cute ladybugs and they are taught that ladybugs have a positive impact on vegetation, as they feed on nasty aphids and other soft-bodied insects.
Berta Briggs is the well-known founder of this iconic business located south of the “prettiest little town in Alberta”: a national and international Communities In Bloom judge for the past twelve-years, Berta devoted decades of her life to the growth and success of this greenhouse, adding large collections of shrubs, fruit trees and garden-themed giftware to the basic and unique annuals, perennials and houseplants she started with.
Berta was blessed to instill in her daughter Andrea a passion for plants and trees, and an aptitude to share her love and knowledge of Alberta flora with other gardeners. Several years ago, Andrea and her husband Jeff Cleland became her partners, continuing the tradition of care excellence and customer service that has made Arber Greenhouses Ltd a local and regional success story.
Utilized by many growers as a form of pest eradication and prevention, “ladybugs come in hundreds of colors and species”, shares Andrea: “they will spread out throughout the main greenhouse (where they were released), and also through the entire property, adding to the diligent maintenance that has made this greenhouse gain a reputation of quality and integrity. These ladybugs were bred at a ladybug farm in British Columbia, and were shipped in a cooler where they stayed dormant until their release. “There are over 400 species of ladybugs in North America: they can be with spots or without spots, and can be red, pink and orange!”
With cars lining the long driveway all the way to its entrance on Highway 2A, kids helping their parents and grand-parents shop for annuals, perennials and trees, the event was somewhat of a launch to the selling season. Berta, Andrea, Jeff and their Arber team members enjoyed the busy day and are looking forward to a successful season, the culmination of many months of tender loving care applied to the seedlings grown on site.
“Eighty per cent of our plants are grown right here on our property in Millet”, states Andrea “and what is exciting for us and our patrons is that most of our twenty or so team members have had a hand in growing these plants, so they have the knowledge and care to sell a product they know intimately well, and have a pride in.”
The Leduc-Millet-Wetaskiwin region proudly hosts a nice collection of quality greenhouses, and Arber’s on Hy 2A leads the way in this Agri business and Eco-tourism industry. Gardeners and landscapers will travel far and wide, but locally first, to purchase the plants they love and the ones they have heard of. On the internet, there are vast resources on plants and growing tips: with the motto “Our Customers Grow The Best!”Arber’s has a presence on Facebook, as well as a colorful and informative website, www.arbergreenhouses.com. The staff is preparing for a May 13 celebration, and wishes to invite their patrons to pre-book for that event. Happy growing season, Friends!