With the sunshine on the week-end, the garden centers in the Willamette Valley were bustling. It's a bit risky, where I live, to plant tender annuals in the ground before mid-May, but nobody says I can't buy them now and protect them until the last frost is definitely past.
Although I do have a small greenhouse, came with this farm, I don't start seedlings there. The windows are old ones from buildings torn down and the roof plastic. It needs serious work to make it usable again-- which is on my agenda for this summer.
Generally speaking I am not someone who loves to shop. I do it when I have to-- the exception is plants. It's part of what I love in spring-- wandering through the greenhouses and looking at tables of annuals, herbs, shrubs and trees.
I take my time and walk past a lot of things I know I won't buy just for the enjoyment of the colors and fragrances. For our deck, I don't decide ahead of time what the color combinations will be. I rely mostly on seeing the photos on the little stakes or the plants in bloom for getting a feel for what each summer will look like.
My favorite garden center, the one in these photos, creates an environment to encourage you to dream of new ideas-- little fountains, sculptures, huge nurse plants not for sale. Their music won points too as songs like Glory Days by Springsteen definitely fit how I was feeling. Those are glory days when the plants are new and the garden is a growing plan in my head.
One thing I love about time in garden centers is people seem happy there. I never see people grumbling. The customers come in all sizes and ages but they are there because they share a joy of plants, and the atmosphere is rich with promise and new beginnings. Sunday's atmosphere was enhanced by warmth, sunshine, and bright colors.
Garden centers are places of hopes and dreams. In front of me were tiny plants in boxes; but in my imagination, they were lush with blooms already.