April 8, 2008

EARLY APRIL AT THE GARDEN CENTER






This past weekend was Spring Openhouse at the garden center where I work a few days a week. This is where you meet and greet the avid gardeners eager to see some beauty after a long cold Chicago winter.

We have the annual Hellebores festival as well and lectures on various interesting subjects which draws large crowds especially on the Spring-like weekend we had with temperatures in the 60's.

After experiencing many heartbreaks from late April freezes I have learned my lesson and won't plant until mid-to-late May. A day or two of warm weather in April do not a Spring make. As a matter of fact, last April my 'Betty' dwarf magnolia froze in bud.

It was wonderful to walk among the rows and rows of colorful tulips, pansies, daffodils and other blooming flowers. It won't be long now before I see the Spring display in my own garden.

April is best spent planning the garden or landscape and I was delighted to see many Chicagoans out to do just that. I love helping young couples with their first garden, especially those who are willing to do much of the work themselves. To see their delight as the garden evolves is great satisfaction.

33 comments:

  1. My best friend and I spent the past two Saturdays at a similar event here in downstate. What fun we had and what a breath of spring! Like you, though, I learned my lesson last year about getting in the garden too soon. So this year I'm spending April planning and dreaming rather than planting.

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  2. Such beautiful color! I notice that the largest supermarket in town has bags of soil, peat, etc. outside now, and the "tent" is up where they house the plants, but it's still just a touch early for them yet. Soon! Just seeing those bales of peat sets my heart racing! :)

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  3. What a wonderful event with which to be involved! The weather has been wonderful, too!

    I raked this past weekend... not finished yet, though. Oh, well. It's too early to do much else.

    CONGRATULATIONS on being a "Post of Note!" :-)

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  4. Awesome blog! So many nice photos.

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  5. Congrats on being named a blog of note. It is always fun to see fellow Chicago bloggers get recognized. And it seems as though we might even be neighbors...I'm in Rogers Park.

    I've been looking forward to the day I can start up my fire escape herb garden again. This year I swear I will make the dill grow.

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  6. Carolyn,
    So glad to come accross you in "Blogs to note"
    Can't wait to show my sister - who's a garden nut also! Weather has been lovely here in NW Ohio the past three days - but, as you know there's going to be more snow....just when we thought it was over!! Looking forward to seeing your blog again!
    Karla

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  7. Hi Nancy,

    Our supermarkets do the same thing here. The first sign of Spring in Chicago, however, is road construction :)

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  8. Hi Shady,

    Thanks. It was refereshing to be outdoors in the nice weather amongst all the beautiful flowers and plants.

    Thanks also for the congrats.

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  9. Hi Rirara and thanks for visiting and commenting.

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  10. Hi Erin and welcome ! I'm not too far away from Rogers Park. Our area is called Sheridan Park and we're closer to the lake.

    Good luck with the dill this year. It won't be long now.

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  13. Thanks so much Karla. Do visit often.

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  14. really beautiful pictures!

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  15. I remember those garden center days well. I loved going to work every day to see what new items had arrived. I hope someday to be able to do that again.

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  16. Spent the joyful 60 degree weekend at English Gardens, the local garden center (lectures on-going), purchasing fertilizer and hardy goodies for containers. Big hugs for familiar faces (like yours I would imagine) eager to assist. Everyone wore a huge smile for 'spring has sprung'! Next week, I hit the Farmer's Market ... a favorite spring haunt. Happy Spring, Carolyn!

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  17. Hi Carolyn

    Im Tania from bangalore, India. I too love gardenining but I live in an apartment, with a small balcony which gives me very little space to keep plants. Right now my balcony is filled with pots. I problem i face is, time. As im working for an airline, my schedules are disturbed, so proper care is sometimes not possible and my plants suffer. I visited ur profile and found interesting facts of gardening.
    Hope this will help me to keep my "small" garden a little more lively.

    Love

    Tania/ taniak15@gmail.com

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  18. the pansies look awesome.....what a refereshing afternoon it was!

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  20. Great photos and blog overall.

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  21. very refreshing flowers. hope you include pictures of hibiscus varieties. they don't have the fragrance like other flowers, but they are showy and flower whole year round. i have a small garden and my hibiscus plants are everywhere. flowers add color and beauty.

    kudos!

    www.onchong.blogspot.com

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  22. Carolyn

    Great job - I know better than to plant here in Chicago before Mother's Day . . . and I've only lived here for 4 years! I think because I grew up in upstate NY, (after having lived in California 20 years) then moved here (for the good weather) I remember how we couldn't plant so early back home.

    I'm sure the Blog of Note has made you a hot property in the Blogosphere - mazel tov! I will be checking back frequently even though I've no room for much of a garden. I can live through your blog vicariously and dream of morning glories, and pansies, and . . .

    Thomas MacEntee
    http://catskillchristmas.blogspot.com
    http://andihelped.blogspot.com
    http://destinationaustinfamily.blogspot.com

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  23. Thank you, Thomas. Even though you haven't room for a garden you can still appreciate it. That's great !

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  24. Hi bay,

    I love hibiscus . I think the one's you are speaking of are the tropical ones. My hibiscus is hibiscus syriacus which is commonly known as " Rose of Sharon " and is an outdoor tree.

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  25. What a beautiful blog ~ I love the spring flowers.

    Marie

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  26. Thanks, wild rose. Love the name.

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  27. Hi vonlafin,

    We have a lot in common . It's fun to see all the Spring flowers and the new trees and shrubs.

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  28. Good for you, Joey. I saw a lot of cheerful faces at our Spring open house. Everyone was just basking in the glory of the sunshine and flowers.

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  29. Me, too, tania. Thanks for stopping by.

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  30. Hi Ingar,

    I'm a big fan of pansies , too. Yes it was very refreshing to be out on a wonderful Spring day.

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