Have you ever experienced a spring freeze at a garden center?
Everything is set. It’s spring and the garden centers are stocked with hanging baskets, flats of annuals, and rows of trees and shrubs and perennials.
You are eager, you are ready. It’s time to plant. Through all the winter months, you’ve been reading, planning, plotting, and making lists, so that when spring finally came, you’d be ready for this very moment.
Finally, the day has arrived. You go to the garden center.
And suddenly, unexpectedly, you freeze.
You can’t decide what to buy. Your mind swirls. Are you getting the best price? Does this particular garden center have the best selection? Maybe the next garden center up the road has a better variety? Is that plant really the one you want in your garden? Are there bigger, healthier plants available some place else?
If you find yourself facing a spring freeze like this, here are some tips to thaw you out.
- Plan some time to go to garden centers to look around when you aren’t going to buy. This will give you a chance to become familiar with who has what, what kind of help you can expect, and what plants generally cost.
- Shop at garden centers when they aren’t busy. This isn’t always possible with work schedules, but if you can go and shop during “off hours”, you’ll find that staff have more time to help you and you won’t feel as rushed to grab up plants before anyone else.
- Make and take lists of what you want to buy to increase your confidence that you are buying what you want.
- Plan to buy some plants that aren’t on your list. Give yourself permission in advance of shopping to splurge a bit if you see a plant you didn’t know you wanted until you saw it.
- Shop with gardening friends so that if you do freeze, they can talk you into buying those plants they know you want and need.
I hope you don’t experience a spring freeze as you are out and about shopping for plants this spring, either this kind of freeze or the kind brought on by cold weather! But if you do freeze up, you can relax knowing this has happened to other gardeners, and hopefully this advice will help you out.
Gardening Vacation Update
Today was cloudy with scattered showers, the perfect day to check out a few garden centers nearby. I managed to purchase several shrubs including Deutzia gracilis ‘Duncan’ and Black Lace Elderberry, Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’. Plus, the UPS man delivered my new Lilac, Syringa vulgaris 'President Lincoln'.
Normally, I try to plant newly purchased plants as soon as possible, to keep up as I buy more plants each day. However, we are expecting rain for the next 24 hours and I sort of, kind of, am not quite sure where I am planting my newly purchased shrubs. But I'll figure it out once the rain stops! And it won't cause me to freeze up and not buy more plants tomorrow.