Spring Reflections
Spring Reflections By Lawn & Garden Retailer

Claudia, 61
Gainesville, Fla.

“I always hate for spring to be over, since summer follows. This summer, we did not have any real big projects going in the yard — as we have for the past three years — so gardening was less intense. This is the first time in many years that I have tried to grow a few vegetables. I have two kinds of tomatoes growing in pots. They started producing just in time for the tomato ban. I also planted cucumbers to grow up an arbor since a selection of passion vine dies out over the winter. It is fruiting, but mainly I am pleased that the foliage has worked out nicely in filling in a gap. This will give me time this winter to decide whether to try another passion vine or plant some other vine.

“This spring, I bought larger pots to move some of my small trees up in size. I have changed out the annual flowers in my mixed pots and added more perennials to my big flowerbed. Early this spring, I dug up and gave away some of the perennials that were not working for me. Some of the native perennials reseed quite well, but the Queen Anne’s Lace produced only two plants from last year. Maybe these two are the fertile ones and I will have more luck next year.”

Sheila, 50
Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

“Last fall, I landscaped my yard with the idea that I could mix my vegetable garden in with my perennial flowers and shrubs. The spring was cold, so my plants waited until the first week of June. I am anxiously waiting to see the results as my cucumber and squash vines grow into the landscaping. I have also planted peas, tomatoes, peppers and broccoli into the mix. If I like the results, I will continue. If not, I can always plant additional flowers and shrubs to fill in.”

Marie, 56
Mission Hills, Kan.

“We have had a perfect spring: clear, cool nights; plenty of rain; lots of gentle sunshine on temperate days. I could not have picked a better season to begin landscaping my new backyard garden. Many things have gone well. Earlier this spring, we planted groups of hydrangea, viburnum, azalea and itea along a long, dull, wooden fence that defines our rear lot line. All have taken root and appear healthy and strong.

“On a negative note, I have learned firsthand about the voracious hunger of the rabbits in our neighborhood. Several hostas were chewed back almost to the soil. A half dozen newly planted coral bells disappeared in two days. I’m eagerly reading about and employing all available tricks to discourage the rabbits from dining in my yard.

“I have had particular fun designing and planting 15 pots on our patio. Now that I’ve completed the process, I realize that my favorite pots contain fewer types of flowers and more dramatic arrangements. Some other pots were not quite as successful in design. In general, they contain too many varieties of flowers and have no central focal point.

“One of the most thrilling events of this spring was watching about 200 tulips and daffodils bloom from April through mid-May. This fall, I plan to plant even more bulbs.”

Questions to Consider

Does your garden center offer landscaping services for more satisfying results?

Do you stock products to help customers protect their gardens from hungry animals?

With the container craze sweeping the country, do you offer any special programs or workshops to help do-it- yourself customers create compelling container gardens?