In the year 2000 a friend introduced us to this funky new plant, the Water Hyacinth, which was being imported from Singapore. These floating plants were shipped to Canada for the amazing results that were seen when they were used in garden ponds. They provided early surface cover and were huge consumers of the free-floating nutrients that contribute to algae bloom. Unfortunately, the transport losses of these plants from overseas were tremendous, but the biggest problem being that they were being harvested out of the ditches in these tropical countries, and the quality was atrocious. We decided to try growing Water Hyacinths and other floating plants in clean heated water beds in the winter for the spring pond season. By doing this we could provide our Canadian market with a clean, healthy source of these wonderful plants.
We ordered a couple of hundred plants and purchased a small greenhouse. On arrival, we put the plants through an extensive disinfecting process which almost killed them. The next hurdle was that the plants arrived before the greenhouse so they lived in our bath tub for a while, until the first few hoops of the greenhouse was built. Our children were quite happy to shower with the plants, but would come out with little green scum lines around their ankles.
That was the start of Echo Nurseries. We quickly grew from our little hoop greenhouse, and now, the operation has expanded to over 25,000 ft2 of growing ponds and is the main wholesale grower of all floating pond plants in Western Canada.
Woodbridge Ponds is the retail outlet annexed to the wholesale nursery. There are well over 150 different varieties of marginal pond plants, Waterlilies and floating plants to view and purchase as well as an extensive line of pond supply needs. Visitors can tour the growing facilities, view the many display ponds and there is always a knowledgeable staff member on hand to answer your questions.