Usually, at this time of year, my order for spring/summer flowers has already been placed. My selection of annuals has come from an entrepreneurial young man who started his own greenhouse while in high school.
I sit down with my seed catalogs and select when varieties I would like to see in my garden beds for the coming year. Since most of our gardens have a large variety of native perennials, my annuals are selected, bought, and planted to add an early punch of color to our yard.
Usually, I order a mix of petunias in bright colors, zinnia, nicotiana, coleus, geranium, and marigold. They are the old stand-bys that have performed year after year. Occasionally, I’ll order something more adventuresome, but I usually stick with what is tried and true for our space.
This routine has been going on for several years now. I think it was in the spring of 2018 that I first got plants from my young greenhouse friend. At the time, I was in charge of maintaining a very large school garden and needed to plant annuals with over 460 students – the whole pre-k through fifth-grade student body! Each student needed one plant to put in the ground. It was a large undertaking but was very successful. The plants were extremely healthy and did well with some attentive care while they were establishing themselves in their new school garden home.
After that, I started pre-ordering plants for our own yard. I also worked at this school for an additional year, so again, our plants were selected and pre-ordered for hundreds of students. I felt good about doing this. The school children got an inspirational story about a driven student who did excellent work. We got healthy plants. The gardens, both at home and at school, looked fabulous.
In 2020 and 2021, I preordered plants using the same method of going through catalogs and selecting the varieties I’d like to grow. Again, fantastic results!
But, this year is different. We are preparing to sell our house this spring. And, while we need the yard to look as great as it usually does, I am not selecting plants to be started. Instead, I think I’ll try to preorder what my young horticulturalist has already got going. We’ll need some color for sure, but I don’t want to mentally or physically invest when, most likely, we won’t be around to see the fruition of our work.
In truth, I am having trouble with this. I enjoy my plants so much. But, there will be new yards to come and I’m looking forward to more landscaping at our cabin this year. Right now, I just have to hold myself back!