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Ted, Sandy and Melissa Spearing family photo in 2014

Ted, Sandy (co-owners) and daughter Melissa Spearing

Historical photo of the nursery location in 1967

Our farm in 1967, known then as the Jennings Farm.

A European-style pit house built into the side of a hill is very energy efficient.

Building the large gutter-connected range in 2000.

Our warm propagation house for producing rooted cuttings and seedlings

Warm propagation house for cuttings, 2013.

We keep growing, for you.

Our motto truly is quality and quantity; we are specialized in ground covers so our service and plants meet your highest expectations. 


Ground Covers Unlimited is a well-established perennial nursery, located in Bethany, Ontario, Canada, servicing garden centres, landscape contractors and architects, wholesale nurseries, municipalities and ecological restoration specialists. We have 25,000 sq. ft. of production greenhouse space, plus 18 poly houses for overwintering hardy material, and about six acres of intensive field and stock production. The rest of the 100-acre property is a managed woodlot and restored wetland connecting us to the Fleetwood Creek watershed.


Who We Are

Ted and Sandy Spearing met at the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture in Niagara Falls, Ontario. After graduation, they settled into the village of Bethany and began establishing popular perennial species on Ted's family farm. As the business grew, as well as our young family, we purchased the current farm in 1986.


The nursery began to take shape with the installation of the large irrigation pond and tile drainage, lathe houses, a potting shed and a propagation house. Hoophouses were added continuously as demand for Ontario-grown perennials grew. Field multiplication of larger perennials occupied larger and larger areas of field space. In 2000, the large gutter-connected pit-house was built, designed into the grade for energy efficiency. At every step of expansion, we have done our due diligence to protect our land and water, and operate with these stewardship principles in mind.


Demand for native plants has also grown in the past decade and after her own graduation from the School of Horticulture in 2013, daughter Melissa Spearing returned to the business with an interest in seed science and collection. Amongst regular nursery operations, she volunteered and participated in seed conservation training with the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew Gardens in England, Ontario Tree Seed Plant and Forest Gene Conservation Association. She now works for the National Tree Seed Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Her knowledge has enabled us to expand our catalogue and to continue producing seed from robust production beds she established at the nursery.

We value our core staff, long-standing customers, and the reputation we have worked so hard to build, like many in the industry. 



Our commitment to quality and high performing landscape plants has earned us several Landscape Ontario distinction awards we are proud of:


Archives & Musings

We've always aimed to educate, inspire and make our customers laugh. Check out our archive of witty and wise catalogues (price lists not included). You can also follow Sandy or Melissa on Instagram to connect more personally with us. You'll never find Ted on there, except when he doesn't know we are taking a photo!

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