We went shopping for flowers today, which is a trip to a candy store to me. The peppermint striped petunias! The lollipop topped geraniums! Verbenas with gum drop bunches on the end of each branch! Okay, that’s enough already! I returned hungry to their house on the lake, and ready to get my hands dirty.
Most of my gardens are filled with perennials, which cuts down on the annual annual expenditures. Invest once and enjoy for years (with some maintenance each month…). However, nothing rivals the showy candy colors of annuals for the whole season in our zone. If we could grow things that extravagant 12 months a year, I would have to, …well, I think my head would explode from the beauty. Must have some winter gray to make these colors seem so bright.
Anyhoo, this trip to the nurseries was to find annuals for my mom, so I went a little cRaZy and called it a belated Mother’s Day gift (because you KNOW that the card did not arrive in time). I get my love of flowers and green thumb from her. It is special and rare to be here on a visit at this time of year, to be able to plant together.
We tried several stores to find just the right combo of eye candy, trying to support the local businesses instead of StuffMart. The experience at the Farm and Home (Fleet Farm? Farm & Fleet? I get them mixed up) gave me pause… after much searching for two geraniums that were an exact color match (because they do come in 5000 colors), I finally located one hanging pot and one on the ground. The pots and plants were the exact same size, yet one was $7 more because it was a ‘hanging basket’ and one was a ’10” premium pot’. Now I had a choice to make:
1. Feeling cheated that I had to pay an extra $7 for the same thing. What a rip-off! And what the h*ll is a ‘fleet’ anyway?
2. Feeling lucky that I got one for $7 cheaper. What a deal! And what helpful staff to help us find the only two matching colors in the place.
The situation is a constant; the only difference is the attitude I would choose. Today is a happy day and I could easily choose #2. Maybe today is a happy day because I chose #2. Attitude can not be overestimated.
We found the greatest variety at the next stop, a local stand in a parking lot, and I was also happy to hand my money to this man who worked hard to sell these beautiful plants. Actually, he took VISA so even the little guy has to keep up with the times.
Here in Wisconsin, the old fashioned lilacs are in spectacular bloom. I could not figure out why I did not remember the sheer number and size of the lilacs in this part of the country; many are more like trees covered in purple, lavender and white blooms. (Cotton candy!) Then I realized I have not been here in May since my grandma’s funeral, 19 years ago. Back then, I still took the lilacs for granted as, ho hum, something that happened ever year; big deal. Now it’s a Big Deal again. That alone was worth the price of admission.
I used to associate lilacs with old ladies. How boring…. Now, I’m so glad that I’m a lady who’s old enough and wise enough to stop and smell the lilacs whenever I can. You know, I just love this blog (-: It makes me think and take stock of some very important stuff.
Funny how the thrilling things in life can vary — yesterday I finally bought a power edger, and my sidewalks are now at least 4 inches wider! And I have another tool!!
The flowering stuff is my wife’s domain. The manicured lawn is mine.
I, too, love the trips to the garden centers. We have some small mom-and-pop type places that are my first choice! I come home eager to plant, ready for color to fill up the areas we plant. It definitely adds cheer to your day. Until you follow up on how your plants are doing a few days later and see that the local rabbits enjoy your new purchases as much as you do. Sigh…
Oh well … at least that gives me an excuse to go do more flower shopping!!!
Karen from Mentor said:
Glad you’re enjoying your trip.
For me the smell of Lilacs (in the spring) and butterfly bush (in the summer) are the stuff that dreams are made of.
I have to confess that both trigger a response in me that has little to do with my olfactory system; the reaction happens a bit farther south than that.
I doubt that you’d find that particular selling feature for either plant listed in any perennial gardening book……Can you just see that notation? Hardy in zone 4, requires little maintenance and the smell makes some females want to lay back and think of England…….
There’s just something about spring and all the sap rising, new life springing forth, color everywhere and the birds……