March 2010
Spring Awakening

The calendar pages are flipping, and customers are chomping at the bit to get into your garden center. Here’s a look at what some of our panelists are excited about for the coming season.

Maria, 53


If we go by the calendar, spring arrives on March 20, 2010, but we can’t forget that I’m in Chicago.

So, the first sign of spring is when I see daffodils, tulips and crocuses in the gardens, along the roadside and in the park. I also love it when trees with pink, yellow and white blossoms have appeared. That’s when I know to get the garden in shape.

As soon as spring hits, I’ll visit a couple of garden centers to look for large plants — I like colorful annuals — to plant on my balcony, then I can sit back and enjoy them all summer long

For now, I’ll keep this in mind: “No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”

Sonia, 26


Spring has arrived in South Florida; there is 100 percent chance of rain every afternoon. During the rainy season, I have to closely monitor the water intake to make sure my plants aren’t getting too much water, and I also need to keep an eye on the soil since I have some plants that like acidity. I’ll definitely be looking for a device at my local garden center that can help me measure soil moisture and pH. Another item on my shopping list this season is an insect killer spray that I can use on my outdoor plants. Last season I had an invasion of mealybugs, and I have to be careful not to let that happen again! That said, I will be replacing my gardenia tree that I lost. I love to have flowering plants during the warm weather, and these are perfect because they bloom from spring through summer. I love to sit on my balcony and be able to smell the fragrant gardenias every time the wind blows. They are difficult to care for, but they are beautiful and worth the effort.

Liz, 31

Aurora, Colo.

I’m one to plan my garden’s layout in January and add the inches of snow as they fall to estimate how well I’ll need to water in the coming seasons. I shop the seed catalogs and am constantly in bookstores looking for the latest gardening guides for my area. By the time the Colorado Garden & Home Show is in town, I’ve started some seedlings indoors. I count the days between garden centers’ re-openings, keeping tabs on the costs of seeds and supplies at each and following the growth of their plantings that will be on sale closer to Mother’s Day. I’ve had difficulty growing strawberries by my house, but I’ll buy more everbearing varieties in hopes that this summer will be different, and I’ll buy plants to replace the seeds that didn’t grow. Soil and fertilizer are staples, and I’m looking for a compost bin that will survivethe squirrels.