History of Dinter Nursery

Dinter Nursery was the dream of Bernhard Dinter. Bernhard had immigrated to Canada in 1951 and with his background in horticulture and landscape design, worked as a gardener for 20 years at Shawnigan Lake School.

In the mid 1960's Bernhard and his wife Gertrud purchased a property at the corner of Phipps Road and the Island Highway. They started Dinter Nursery Garden Centre in 1973. In 1976 they were joined in the nursery by their son Bernie who had just completed his degree in Horticulture from the University of British Columbia.

Building shade house 1972
Bernhard and Gertrud building shade house 1972

Bernhard drew landscape plans and operated the landscaping side of the business while Bernie concentrated his efforts on nursery production. As Bernhard (known by the staff as "Mr. D.") grew older he phased out the landscaping side of the business and concentrated his efforts on consulting with customers and drawing landscape plans for them. He was also invaluable in responding to a wide variety of customer inquiries and continued to enjoy the personal interaction with his clients.

Dinter Nursery 1982
Nursery 1982

Mr. D. also enjoyed talking with the children on the school tours and explaining the life cycle of his kiwi tree.

Mr. D. was still drawing landscaping plans 10 days before he passed away in July 2007 at the age of 82!

Mr. D and school children 2006
Mr. D and school children 2006

Bernie enjoys the challenge of managing the Nursery and shares his father's stated mission to "make the Cowichan Valley more beautiful".

Bernie Dinter
Bernie Dinter enjoying his work!

Celebrating 40 Years in the Cowichan Valley

On April 1, 2013, Dinter's Nursery celebrated 40 years. It was a beautiful sunny day. Family, friends and customers all gathered to help us mark this milestone.

Here is a picture of Gertrud Dinter, affectionately called “Mrs. D.” cutting the cake! Mrs. D still ensures the nursery always looks colourful and at its best.

Gertrud Dinter cutting 40 year anniversary cake

Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce Black Tie Awards 2013

We were very pleased to congratulate Bernie and all his staff on the Business Achievement Award for companies over 20+ employees. We thank the Chamber of Commerce and the sponsors for this fabulous honour. Pictured below from the Black Tie Awards evening are Bernie's 4 managers: Della, John, Greta and Marcia - all of whom have been with the nursery over 20 years and his wife and daughter.

Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce Black Tie Awards 2013
Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce Black Tie Awards 2013

14th Annual Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards

In January 2014 Bernie was a finalist in the Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards in the Agriculture category.

Bernie's 65th Birthday!

In October of 2016 we enjoyed celebrating Bernie's birthday with staff and customers.

Bernie 65
Bernie's 65th party

Bernie getting his inspiration to garden when visiting Butchart Gardens in his younger years!

A young Bernie at Butchart Gardens
Young Bernie at Butchard Gardens

Waterfall outside Dinter Nursery