Okay, fess up. How many times have you gone to a garden centre, become totally overwhelmed and walked away empty handed. It has happened to me many times. Too many times, in fact. The garden centre can be a totally foreign place if you go in unprepared. Good thing you are reading this post! Here are a few tips for navigating the garden centre with the greatest of ease.
When you go grocery shopping with a list, life is much easier. Same thing for plant shopping…make a list. You might not know exactly which plants you want to buy, but you should have an idea of what your garden needs. Are you looking for shrubs, trees, annuals or perennials. Read all about creating a plan for you garden here.
Garden centres can be very hot, sunny and busy places, so bring along a bottle of water and maybe even a snack. This is especially true if you are bringing your children. Picking out plants takes time, there is a lot of reading involved you want to be hydrated and well fed.
Don’t forget a notebook
Get the lay of the land
Those tags on the plants are filled with very important information…read it. They usually have a picture of the mature plant, so you can see what the colour and style of the flower will be. Sun/shade requirements of the plant, some even specify the number of hours of sunlight a plant will need. Size of the mature plant is given, usually with two numbers…the height and the spread. Take note of these numbers as they made determine the placement of your plant. The tag will also explain when the plant will bloom, this helps you plant an all season garden, where plants are in bloom from spring – fall. Take the time to read the small blurb about the plant on the tag. This description usually has words like “clumping” which means it will be a short and squat plant or “trailing” which means this plant would be good for a planter or “spires” which means tall and thin. The more you read, the more you will know, the better your garden will grow.