Have you ever been to a Garden Center? While you were planning your landscaping, your landscaping consultants took you on a visit so that you could get a grasp on the variety available.
They probably took you right through the building at the front of most garden centers. There’s a lot of intriguing stuff there, but saving it for last was a smart move. It’s better to go into the plant area with no extra stuff. Let’s face it, at this stage, the landscaping is mainly about the plants. Later, when we install extensive hardscaping, it will be a different focus.
The Sun! The Sun!
You enter a shaded area with bright sunlight just beyond as you go out the back door. Around you are what seems like acres of low tables, display stands, and decorative pieces, all loaded with dozens of 6-pack plant starter pots, larger pots, and BIG pots. These people are seriously into plants!
The plants you’re seeing are plants that need sun and shade throughout the day. So they would be perfect for the bedding at the side of the house. It’s that special spot with the sun in the morning but shade in the afternoon.
After you and your landscape partners have chosen enough plants to fill two of the flat wagons, you move on to the bushes and trees. These are mostly in full sun, appropriately—another flat filled with bushes and shrubs in pots in almost no time.
Somewhere on the enormous lot are a small forest of fruit trees. Naturally, you’ll only find trees that will do well in your area. However, more exotic trees for a greenhouse or orangery can be ordered once you reach the catalog desk inside.
A lot of people choose apple trees for their first fruit trees. It’s a good choice since apples can grow nearly anywhere; the trees are easy to care for until they get massive and older. They might need much pruning to fruit up every year when they are fully mature.
Another way apple trees are great for a first fruit tree is that you won’t have to pollinate by hand. Instead, the blossoms attract bees, and they do all the work for you.
You might also want to choose another type of fruit while you’re here. There are a lot of fruits native to North America that can do really well when the right spot is chosen. Louisiana can host many fruit trees and bushes with the warmer, humid weather.
Talk with your Garden Center host
Your landscapers from Year Round seem to be having interesting conversations with the hosts here at the Garden Center. The hosts are very knowledgeable and can suggest appropriate plants and garden decor for almost any landscaping situation.
One of the hosts joins you, and you walk towards the sculpture and accent pieces. You might not want any actual statues, but your landscapers have suggested some big rocks for contrast. Some really nice ones have veins of contrasting rock and sparkle in the sun. Those might be fun.
Your host suggests some succulents, which do well in hot and humid weather. Your landscaping partner steps in to consult with you and the host, and in almost no time, another flat wagon is filled with small pots again.
Inside, where it’s cool and dim
It’s a relief to step inside; it was getting really warm out there under the sun. The shop is cool, and the light is not as bright. This is a great place to find all the extras that make a garden and gardening interesting and fun. The kids disappear into a corner, where they whisper and point.
You find a rack of garden gloves and choose two pairs. Your landscape adviser from Year Round whispers in your ear, and you laugh, putting one pair back on the rack. But, unfortunately, they were right, even if you start with gloves on, you can’t resist the feel of the soil and the plants between your fingers, and the gloves get forgotten.
Hand tools need to be replaced, and there are a lot of choices. Your landscape consultants look at some of the more job-specific tools while you move on to see what the kids are up to. AHA! They’ve chosen a whole family of garden gnomes, crouching cats, and fairies. Add a few windchimes, and they have the garden of their dreams. And you certainly have room and enough plants selected to make sure they are happy with their choices.
If they are going to be gardening, garden shoes or boots will be necessary. As beautiful as Louisiana is, there is always some weather happening, depending on the time of year. Wet weather is no stranger.
As you turn onto the highway, you look back at the garden center and some of the staff wave to you and the kids. It really is an exciting place to spend a day.