Growing Great Places Together

Anthony O'Neill - CiB Board Director

Anthony has volunteered on numerous boards and committees with the Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador Horticulture Association (LNLHA) and the CNLA. Volunteering with the CNLA has made him “totally engaged in the horticultural industry and, in many ways, more so than I’ve ever been,” he said. 

Anthony O’Neill was bitten by the gardening bug at an early age from the influence of his father, Joe O’Neill, who was the family alarm clock every summer morning. Joe would knock on everyone’s door at 6 a.m., shouting “‘get out of bed If you want the boat this afternoon!”.

Joe’s influence factored heavily on Anthony’s post secondary pursuits. Anthony studied at the University of Guelph, the University of British Columbia, and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. 

Anthony’s parents Joe and Teresa owned and operated Shop n’ Save Supermarket from 1960 to around 1990. After Joe kept stocking the grocery store shelves with overflows from the gardens, that’s when the O’Neills decided to switch gears, changing the name of Shop n’ Save to O’Neill’s Gardenland, and turned the family hobby into a full-time passion. 

“We were a trifecta business,” Anthony said, adding that O’Neill’s Gardenland was a greenhouse production facility, a retail garden centre and a design build, maintenance landscape service. The secret to the longevity of O’Neill’s Gardenland was the family’s ability to enthusiastically communicate their love for gardening with customers. 

O’Neill’s Gardenland signed up to be a member of the Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador Horticulture Association when it was formed in 1992. Anthony’s multiple decades of volunteering began when he joined the new LNLHA’s Board of Directors. Before becoming president of LNLHA, he joined the CNLA Board of Directors as the CNLA representative and later joined Garden Centres Canada, a commodity group within the CNLA, for about 12 years before moving on to the executive level of the CNLA.