Friday, April 18, 2014

This week at the garden centers………

This week has seen me running back and forth to several garden centers. 
The plants are out, people are buying, gardens all over are looking
good……..well many of them, some people just don't seem 
interested in this particular hobby.  I know from personal experience
gardening is not for the busy, weary, those on a strict budget, and 
older less mobile people. However, even if one cannot add to the 
plantings, I feel anyone with land around their home can at least 
make the effort to keep it tidy and perhaps add a bright pot of 
annual color. It lifts the spirit to see something growing and 
blooming near the front door, it brings the butterflies and bees, the 
birds come and sing their lovely songs, it just makes life more 

This particular 'big box' garden center was definitely big on hydrangeas. I love them and have several growing - mine are all blue. I think these pinks are lovely too but I don't have any place to plant them.

We've just had three nights of temperatures dropping to freezing - Mother Nature you can tease and be somewhat cruel, we curse you at times but thankfully we've survived and my plants seem to be OK. I did have to tuck my hanging ferns, and recently planted window box, into the potting shed, and all around people were running hither and thither covering tender plants with whatever lightweight fabric they could find.

Click pics to enlarge

This morning the sun is shining, it's warming up, I'm going into the garden now. I will point, Bob, my ever patient DH and unofficial 'master gardener', will dig another hole or two, and together we'll add a couple more azaleas - don't forget this is the south y'all, and what would our southern gardens be without azaleas!!!  Mulch will follow, lots of mulch, before the torrid heat of the southern summer arrives. Yes gardening, as I said, is not for wimps, it's hard work, but it pays off big time when you drive up to your home, let out a big sigh, and know your efforts have paid off. We'll be gardeners for as long as we can.

Are you a gardener? Do you do your own or have assistance from a professional?
What are you planting this spring?


  1. Oh I cant wait to fill my pots with color. I also have dead evergreens from the brutal cold.
    We usually wait until after Mothers Day to avoid late frost.

  2. I just love those pink hydrangeas! May need to get some for our patio area! Our house is a seafoam green/blue, so the blue may be too much. We've got just herbs and flowers at the moment, no real bushes or trees. I'd love a fig tree like you have. Do they need to be planted, or can they live in a large container? Can't wait to see you guys tomorrow!!

    Xx Cassie

  3. Hi Mary,
    I was just at a big box store today picking up some hanging baskets. Hoping for no more freezes! Yes, I do garden and we do it ourselves. I will say Mr. Comforts does hire the lawn mowing done, but we do all of the rest ourselves. We sorely need tons of mulch and are trying to decide if we do it ourselves, or hiring the spreading of mulch.

    Have a wonderful Easter

  4. I love hydrangeas and the pink and blue ones you showed are so pretty. I can't wait to get gardening again but it will be another month or more before we can put out any thing in the annual plants. Hubby and I were out in the yard today picking up the branches that dropped from the trees this winter. There is still snow on the lawns but a lot of bare spots too. It felt good to move and get some fresh air! Have a wonderful Easter weekend.

  5. You run to the garden center and we run to the plant souk. :) I have two balconies filled with plants. Hard to keep clean and maintain but I do my best. Getting awful hot now though so much of what I have out there probably won't last a whole lot longer. You and I were definitely on the same wavelength today. :) Best wishes, Tammy

  6. Spring weather is here, and it's lovely to be able to get out in the garden. I've been repotting tiny geraniums in the greenhouse.

  7. I live in a block of flats, although each has a balcony or verandah big enough for a table and chairs and more. Very few people have any plants at all. I do because I like to feel a connection with the natural world instead of just being high above the streets. When we lived in a house in the suburbs I noticed that young people rarely have gardens unless they own the house. Renters do not feel they rent the yard, only the house. Probably gardening is considered a luxury, even more so than a holiday.

  8. No, I am not a serious gardener. No, whatever I do, I do on my own. Except for sone annuals, I have no room in my garden for another thing. I am always tempted when visiting the Garden Centers. Why am I visiting Garden Centers? Good question!

  9. My garden beds are filling up very quickly, too, Mary. I have never met a flower or plant I didn't love! I have some summer bulbs I can plant but no seeds or other types of flowers until at least mid May. Then the timing has to be just right as there is a mad rush to the garden centers and everything is picked over if you aren't there at the front of the line! I exaggerate!

    Only lawn cutting hired this year, I'm throwing myself back into maintaining the yard and garden beds both here and at the lake. I have several big projects, I think it's going to be an interesting summer! :)

    Happy Easter to you and Bob!


  10. When the garden centres greenhouses start stocking up in late Winter and early Spring (when the snow is still in my garden) I make a regular trip just to satisfy my urge to get some dirt under my finger nails and drool. It will be at least a month before I can consider planting anything in my garden.
    This weekend the grocery store I shop at had beautiful hydrangeas like your photos.
    I love gardening, growing most of my annuals in my small greenhouse. I have a lot of perennials, honeysuckle and white climbing hydrangeas over two arbours. A pond with fish, iris, and water lilies.
    I cut and trim my front and back lawn. Then sit with a cold drink and admire my handy work, its not professional but its mine.
    Received your post card, thank you.....e-mail me your snail mail address and I will send you one of mine.
    Have a great Easter

  11. Your big box store looks just like ours. Love hydrangeas and we are hoping to add a few more. Our azalea is in full bloom now and the lilac is just beginning to open. I will make a bouquet for the Easter table with lilac and some pink dogwood, then add some white tulips from the market. Each time I step outside I can't help but pull a few weeds. My "live-in gardener is fighting the dandelions". Oh it is so exciting to see the garden grow. In the veggie garden we now have fennel and kale and garlic. Also planted asparagus this year, but it will take a few years to mature. Oh gardens just make my heart sing, truly loud singing too.
    Happy Easter and Spring Time!

  12. Beautiful shots, Mary! I love gardening. It's still cool here and our last frost date is May 15, so I'm holding off on planting annuals and seeds - other than my cool weather crops of spinach, kohlrabi, etc. I do have lots of green - lots of plants coming up but not too many blooms yet. Gardening and travelling are my favorite hobbies - you and I have something in common. :)

  13. It makes my heart sing when I see all of the plants and flowers arrive at the garden centers. I hope to get our plants next week, and perhaps Jim can go with me if he is feeling up to it. I'll have to do the planting this year, but I'm sure that I will be supervised. ;-) We have been gardeners for decades, but obviously, we have scaled back drastically in the past few years. We used to have 6 acres and more flowerbeds that are in many subdivisions! Weeding chores would take all weekend. And of course, we had large vegetable garden areas too. One was about 50 by 60 feet and it was located not far from the house. Then we also had another plot for the corn and vining crops. That was about 50 by 100 feet. And over 600 trees to trim on a regular basis. Whew! Now I just plant some herbs in clay pots, have a few containers of flowers and plant a flat of flowers in the tiny little flowerbeds out front.

  14. Happy Easter, Mary, and thanks for sharing the garden center photos. Ours don't look like that now, but they will in about a month! I planted a lot of day lilies last year; this year it will be different perennials. Of course, I love annuals too. I will buy some for pots but also bought a bunch of seeds so I can have a blowsy, cottage-y effect with cosmos, cleome, larkspur, sweet rocket, etc. My niece and her fiancé will do the "hardscaping" I will be continuing into this yer. The first thing to do is replace my sad old wooden arbor over the front sidewalk so my William Baffin rose can have something to climb on.

  15. I agree with all that you've said about gardening, Mary. I've always done the gardening at Pondside, and only now that we have put it on the market have I had to resort to hired help. The garden is the biggest reason for selling - I can just no longer do it all myself. A smaller, more manageable garden is in my future!

  16. Hello dear Mary
    Happy Easter to you and Bob!

    It seems I've always been a gardener - following on from parents who were great gardeners.

    I love your gardening posts Mary - I even make notes in my garden journal for Springtime planting in September!
    My hydrangeas were wonderful in Spring - especially a beautiful white called "Bridal Bouquet' a blowsy full flowered head.
    I prefer it's very early blooms with tight buds and only a few open flowers - very very yummy!
    We moved to a town house ten years ago. Previously I had an interesting old rambling cottage garden which I'm re-creating on a much smaller scale now.
    I do it all myself (my husband 'The Yachtie' is not a gardener - sadly) however when my son comes up to Auckand I borrow his brawn and willing hands to help his Mama, digging holes and other heavy duty gardening stuff that I'm no longer capable of.
    I've been perusing a plant catalogue today for old fashioned bearded iris - oh how I wish I had brought Rhizomes from my old garden!
    I'm looking forward to following your garden through Spring and Summer Mary!


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