Not only do garden center nurseries and greenhouses make for really really cute photo opportunities, but they are one of my favorite places to visit in the summer. I love getting all my plants picked out and planted, experimenting with new varieties and colors and trying out different combinations.
As much as I love these trips, sometimes walking into an area filled to the brim with gorgeous plants can be overwhelming. I’ve found a few tricks that help me save time and frustration when shopping for plants over the years and I’m sharing my secrets below!
- Before you go have a list of supplies you’ll need besides plants. Potting soil, fertilizer and garden gloves are always on my list! Some other things you may need: pots, plant stands, watering cans and a gardening tool set.
- Know which plants will be going into specific pots along with where they will be located. Grouping plants together that need similar conditions to thrive is key. For instance, you wouldn’t want to mix part sun plants with full shade plants in an area that is going to get full sun. Make sure to check the labels for exposure levels, hardiness zones, moisture needs and how big they will get.
- Search for inspiration of container gardens and landscapes before you go shopping. Some of my favorite sources are Garden Answer, Deborah Silver’s blog Dirt Simple, Better Homes and Gardens and of course Pinterest (you can follow along on my garden board here!). This year I had an inspiration picture of salmon colored geraniums, supertunia priscilla, and superbells in yellow chiffon- while I couldn’t find these exact varieties locally I was able to recreate the look with what the nursery had.
- Have saved photos of the flower combinations you love on hand. I especially do this with container gardening. If you aren’t able to locate a certain flower yourself ask someone working at the garden center. More than likely they will be able to tell you if they have that variety of flower so you don’t have to go searching for it. And if that particular flower isn’t available they can also offer a suggestion for something that is similar.
- And what’s a trip to a garden center without walking around and exploring? Grab a cart and gather together different colors and textures until you find the right mix. I like to group my plants together to get a feel for how they will look once they are planted. A good rule of thumb when picking plants for containers is to have a thriller (tall plant), a filler or two (heavy bloomers work best), and a spiller (a plant that will hang over the edges). You can check out this post and this post for a look at some of my past container gardens!