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Thanks Mom!

All my early gardening memories include my parents. On two acres, they had a huge vegetable garden, an orchard, grapevines, raspberry beds and strawberry patches. They grew enough food to feed our family of four all year long.

While my mom and dad co-star in my food growing, harvesting and preserving memories, it is my mom who plays the lead role in my flower gardening memories. It was my mom who gave me a small space in their garden and a packet of seeds. It was my mom who showed me how to plunge the seeds deep into the soil and how to water them. It was my mom who encouraged me to keep the faith as I waited for signs of life and celebrated with me as we witnessed the emergence of those first little seedlings. And it was my mom who displayed my first flowers in a bouquet on the dining room table.

I am the gardener I am today because of my mom. Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity each year for me to remind her how much I appreciate her lessons. Of course, her Mother’s Day gifts are always garden related – some years it’s plants; other years it’s a whimsical piece of garden décor.

Begin to create memories with your children or grandchildren so you will have the lead role in their gardening reminiscences. Plant some seeds or transplants together. Care for them as a team. Eat some vegetables right out of the garden. Pick some flowers and make an arrangement. Just get out there and celebrate your time together.

Thanks Mom for giving me the love of growing. Happy Mother’s Day!

April 1st marks the beginning of a new season!

We love April 1st here at The Planter’s Palette. It is the beginning of a new season of helping customers create beautiful outdoor spaces to make their lives happier and healthier. Whether you are an experienced gardener with two green thumbs or a brand new gardener, we are here to help.

If you long for beds and borders overflowing with flowering annuals and perennials, low-maintenance shrub borders, or gardens filled with nutritious and delicious herbs and vegetables, we can help you meet your gardening goals.

We are open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Stop in and let the horticultural hoopla begin!

Do you want to join our team?

Spring will be here before we know it! Would you like to join our team at The Planter’s Palette?

How do you know if you are a good candidate? You may be qualified to join our talented staff if you enjoy working as part of a team and making everyone around you happy; don’t mind getting wet when it rains and sweaty when it’s hot; and working very hard. And you LOVE HELPING CUSTOMERS!

We have a few seasonal positions available for the 2016 season. If you are interested in a cashier, loading or sales position in our Trees & Shrubs area, please click on the Employment link for further instructions.

 

Garden from the Couch in January

January can be an anxious month for gardeners. Reduced daylight hours, cold blowing winds, and frozen snow-covered ground are the bane of green-thumbed, plant-minded types. So what are we to do to keep our green thumbs from twiddling and our plant minds inspired?

Pour over catalogs.
I don’t order much from catalogs, but I love highlighting favorites, dog-earing pages, making lists, and dreaming of the possibilities. There is much to be learned.

Cucumbers originated in India or central Asia and have been known to gardeners for at least 3,000 years as reported in the Whole Seed Catalog from Baker Creek.

The flowers of the bachelor button, calendula, dianthus, marigold, bee balm, nasturtium, salvia, scarlet runner bean, sunflower, and viola are all edible and delicious in salads according to a chart in Johnny’s Selected Seeds catalog.

Learn the differences between intersectional, tree and herbaceous peonies from the beautiful catalog of Klehm’s Song Sparrow Farm.

Read gardening books.
As an avid reader and a collector of garden books, it is difficult to choose favorites. The following are some suggestions for all levels of gardeners:

The Living Landscape by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy is a beautiful guide to creating and maintaining a landscape that is not only beautiful and functional for its human inhabitants but also offers food and shelter for wildlife. The authors begin by examining layered landscapes in natural settings from tree canopies at the top to the ground layer of organic matter and a multitude of living organisms including earthworms, insects and fungi. Then they show us how to apply these principles in home landscapes. Regional charts listing ecological and landscape functions of trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials are a great resource. The inspiring text and striking photographs encourage readers to consider their landscapes in a whole new way.

In Coffee for Roses…and 70 Other Misleading Myths about Backyard Gardening, C.L. Fornari takes on garden practices passed down through generations. She dispels long-held beliefs like pine needles acidify the soil and a layer of rocks at the bottom of a pot improves drainage with wit and wisdom. Coffee for Roses is a fun, short read perfect for a snowy afternoon.

R. William Thomas gives readers a behind the scenes look at Chanticleer public garden in The Art of Gardening: Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques from Chanticleer. It is filled with down-to-earth gardening advice while showcasing the grand beauty of the garden’s diverse areas from the bulb meadow and shade garden to the vegetable garden and Asian woodland. Readers can easily transfer ideas to their own gardens. A pen and paper should be kept close by for jotting down tips and beginning a plant wish list for spring. The photography, by Rob Cardillo, reveals the magical beauty of the garden – perfect for winter daydreams.

The longer I garden, the more I appreciate the foliage of plants. Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz share their passion for the texture and color of foliage in Fine Foliage: Elegant Plant Combinations for Garden and Container. They reveal the design secrets of professional designers and give gardeners more than sixty recipes of plant partnerships – some for sun; some for shade. Whether you prefer subtle textural blends or high energy, contrasting combinations, you will start planning your summer containers. The exquisite photography is Fine Foliage will surely chase away the gray from winter days.

Shawna Coronado proves the lack of space cannot stand in the way of gardening. In Grow a Living Wall: Create Vertical Gardens with Purpose, Coronado shows how to garden vertically in a wide range of styles. Gardens are shown, with step-by-step instructions, in twelve themes including culinary, herbal, pollinator and budget-conscious. Her passion for growing is infectious. Another reason I love this book is the author planted and displayed many of her vertical gardens at The Planter’s Palette. We felt privileged to watch them grow into living works of art.

Start a garden journal.
Journals of your garden adventures help you become a better gardener. Recording garden goals keep you on track throughout the year. Noting which varieties of vegetable performed well and which ones don’t make each season in the garden better and better. A notation about a flopping perennial will remind you to stake it next year. A journal is also the place to keep plant tags, recipes, garden tips, and photos. Next January, your garden journal will be beside you on the couch along with catalogs and books.

Plan.
Look out your windows. Now is the best time to see the bones of your garden. Does your garden have structure? Are their focal points in your sight lines? Is there color in the garden? Take photos and make detailed notes so you won’t forget when foliage and flowers return in spring. Record all your ideas in your new garden journal.

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