What an honour to make a cake for one of our long time guests of the farm, Henry Kuyper’s for his 100th birthday celebration on Saturday. Nancy, our kitchen manager, put love and care into this special cake, giving it a nursery feel with beautiful roses and flowers representing Henry’s life in horticulture.
Henry and Margurite, his wife of 73 years, founded Mandeville Gardens on Marine Drive in Vancouver when they moved from Winnepeg in 1950. When Henry spent all his money on a fancy suit for the wedding, Margerite told him she would be looking after their money from that day forward, and she has!
We have enjoyed our relationship and their mentorship over the years. They have shared many hard work stories with us, but the best one that speaks to us of longevity is when they thought they should retire. They sold their business, Mandeville Gardens in 1995, convinced by their family to slow down, kick back and enjoy the fruits of their hard labour. They found themselves transported from years of living and working in the ground, to a penthouse perched high above the living below. Henry say’s he couldn’t stand looking down at all the activity. Sitting up there RELAXING felt more like DYING! He told Margurite if they didn’t get out of there they would both be gone within 6 months. They up and moved well before the 6 months were up and relocated within 2 miles of the farm. This is when they became our neighbours, farm guests and suppliers of all of the beautiful moss hanging baskets and geraniums you see when you visit the farm.
They put up a greenhouse, hung a shingle up at the road, and were back in business as LAVENDER LANE - growing beautiful moss baskets as they had before. The word got out in the neighbourhood and found it’s way back to many of their long time clients, once again they were a bustling business. They set up chicken and pigeon coops, every morning at 5am Henry was up feeding their birds, followed by a full day of working with Marguerite in the dirt growing and nurturing their plants and flowers. A purposeful living has definitely contributed to their longevity!
When you're here for your next visit you just might spot them enjoying pie and coffee in the KB Corral. Be sure to say hello - you may be treated to an old fashioned story or two!