Buying plants Gardening

Get Thee to a Garden Center!

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I caught my local garden center installing its summer bulb display this week.

Is the unseasonably warm weather in many areas this year making you think of spring? Well, don’t just think about it, do something about it!

Garden centers are in full spring mode right now (late February, early March). Their seed displays are up and most have their displays of summer bulb (also called tender bulbs) are installed and ready… or they’re putting them up as you read this. Dahlias, cannas, callas, gladiolus, tuberous begonias: they’re all available right now.

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There are seed packets galore in most garden centers.

By buying early, you’ll get the widest choice. Plus the bulbs, especially, will be in top shape just after they arrive in the store. (They tend to degrade over time under the hot, humid conditions of the average garden center.) So bring them home while they’re still ship-shape and store them temporarily in a cool basement until its time to pot them up (mid-March to early April in most areas).

While you’re there, close your eyes for a few seconds and soak up a bit of tropical heat and humidity in the garden center’s greenhouse. It’s like a (short) trip to the Bahamas!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

2 comments on “Get Thee to a Garden Center!

  1. Good info. Lucky me I reach on your website by accident, I bookmarked it.

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