Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
This past week has been – well – glorious.
The spring weather begs for people to sit outside on the porch, yard or patio. You can sit and listen to the birds and kids and be so glad that winter is past.
Where I live it is very quiet. I sat on my back patio and watched the big fluffy clouds go past. The sun was warm. It didn’t take long, however, for me to notice it was time to rake the leaves and uncover the little plants waiting underneath them.
I do not come from a long line of people who garden. Mom preferred fabric, and Dad only dabbled with a few tomato plants.
I am a very carefree gardening person with a sort of live-and-let-live attitude.
My first home, in Edgerton, came with neighbors that were absolutely the best. My neighbor to the south, Jo Braun, had a beautiful yard, and the most wonderful productive garden a family could wish for. She grew food for her family and flowers because she liked them. My gardens will never look like the ones she had, nor will my yard.
I remember an occasion when my dog got out of my fence and ran helter skelter through her garden. I was horrified. I went over to apologize and see if there was anything I could do. Her wisdom has always stayed with me. Jo’s comment was “well if a garden can’t stand up to dogs and kids, it isn’t much of a garden.”
And that was that…
My neighbors on the other side were the Rebman’s.
Mr. Rebman grew test roses for a big Northwest rose producer. His gardening advice was, “weeds don’t grow in tilled soil.”
In other words keep your soil loose, and it can’t support those doggone weeds. He wasn’t in favor of weeds — or perhaps my free style gardening methods. His roses were always beautiful.
I have been window shopping this past week at the stores here in town for very specific plants. I went from a yard with almost two acres, a creek and more trees than could be counted, to a yard with one tree and what could be called a postage stamp garden. I have to choose carefully. Plants that would grow almost anywhere in Edgerton, have to be placed for optimal light at my home in Gardner.
My first spring here, all my bulbs rotted. The location was too wet and not nearly enough sun. This year I moved them a little; about 12 feet, and they looked wonderful.
We are really lucky to have two wonderful family-owned and run greenhouses within driving distance. The first one, although a little further out, well worth the drive – is Enright’s.
Enright’s is located past Edgerton on down 56 hwy. They have a beautiful facility. Flowers of every type and people who can help you pick the ones for your location. One trip is never enough to this greenhouse. It is family-owned and run. They care about the plants and have years and seasons of knowledge to refer to. They are open now and usually have flowers till the season slows in June.
Closer to home is The Flower Farm. I can spend hours there just wandering and looking through the greenhouses. You pick your plants right where they are grown. They also grow masses of Poinsettias for Christmas decoration. Herbs of every kind and tropicals and orchids, too.
I shop both of these places. They are different, “stores” but if you can’t find it one place, the other one should have it. They produce strong healthy plants that will give you lots of enjoyment for the summer season. They care a lot about what they sell.
No, I am not a good gardener. I grow what makes me happy and what I knew when I was a kid. Iris’s and lilacs are spring favorites with zinnia’s and marigolds (easy plants) for summer. Throw in a few roses, and I should be happy.
I suggest these folks for your bedding plants, herbs tomatoes and tree’s and shrubs. I say buy local, support the folks who live in your community. You can buy these things at your local big box store, but I prefer the smaller greenhouse growers.
Enrights is located at 2351 N. 400 road, Edgerton. Take 56 highway west out of Gardner through Edgerton, turn north on County Line road till you reach 400 Rd, left and on down about half a mile on the south side. The Flower Farm is at 20335 S.Moonlight, past 199th St. On down about a mile and on the left side.
So you don’t have a green thumb and growing stuff never works out for you? There is help just a phone call away. If you have gardening problem call the Master Gardener hotline- 913-715 7050 – during business hours, and they will find an answer for your dilemma.
Time to spare? Inquire about the Master Gardener program and possibly take the classes and get involved.
Whether you grow a single tomato plant or a bed full of snapdragons and mums, enjoy your time outside.
Listen to the birds and the sounds of kids playing.
Smell the pansies and visit over the fence with a neighbor.
If you can no longer garden, find a sunny window, raise it up and watch the clouds roll by. Nothing refreshes like a little bit of spring time.
Remember you need to stop and smell the flowers every once in a while.