What gets you to a certain nursery?

Diane Whitehead voltaire@islandnet.com
Thu, 22 May 2003 10:16:39 PDT
I like to shop
where plants are propagated
where there is a display garden
where staff is knowledgeable

I usually go to specialty growers, but I'll buy anywhere.  Often 
amateur gardeners will sell their surplus at the nearest garden shop. 
I have bought superb plants that won cups at plant shows - one 
gold-laced primula was from a garden shop in the parkade of the local 
Hudson's Bay department store.

Free Spirit Nursery near Vancouver BC is a new nursery that is very 
organized.  There are numbered timber-edged beds. Every other bed is 
planted as a display border. The intervening beds have the potted 
sale plants.  You see a plant you like, make a half turn, and pick up 
the pot.  They propagate all their own plants.  They have photograph 
albums with pictures of everything they grow, as a lot of their 
plants are ones that flower late.

There used to be a bulb garden in Victoria that was very popular. 
The garden was beautiful - trees, beautiful shrubs, and bulbs planted 
in large groups - like maybe two or three dozen. (imagine that many 
Fritillaria imperialis).  All the gardeners in Victoria would go 
several times throughout the season and fill out orders.  The bulbs 
would then be ordered from Holland and arrive in the fall.

There are several U.S. garden centres that I like because they have 
an excellent selection and display gardens, owners available for 
queries, staff who know what they are selling, a library room where 
you can sit down to consult garden books (not that I ever have the 
time for that, but I'm sure local people would).

One has chocolate chip cookies in the barn and drinks (hot in winter, 
lemonade in summer).  They also put on workshops on weekends.

If you can't have enough staff, then informative signs by the plants 
will do.  Specific information, not something generic taken from a 
plant encyclopaedia.

	Diane Whitehead   Victoria BC   Canada

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