Sunday, May 30, 2010

Nursery Rant

I'm beginning to think that some of people's gardening "failures" aren't really their fault and are the fault of the nursery where they bought the plant and/or got advice on planting. I'm not going to name the nurseries where these offenses occurred, but I can say that these incidents did not happen at a big box store.

Exhibit #1: Plants in pots that won't let them thrive.
Most people's first experience with growing something is a houseplant. I was at a nursery that was selling the *most* adorable little African violets in antique-esque measuring cups. So cute! SO unpractical. The cardinal rule of African violet growing is that they, like cats, hate being too wet. A measuring cup-turned-pot without a drainage hole is a surefire way to kill it ASAP.

Exhibit #2: Wrong information.
I want to grow a vine. After discussing several options with my horticulture teacher, I became interested in American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens). According to her (she's got like 20+ years in the field), unlike Japanese or Chinese wisteria, which are notorious for quickly taking down structures, American wisteria is much better behaved. I went to a nursery to seek it out (I have see it at Farmer's Markets). A helpful person approached me & asked if I was looking for something specific. I asked if they carried American wisterias. She said: "No, we don't. It just takes over and can pull down things, so we only carry the Japanese and Chinese ones. They are much better behaved." I didn't want to start an argument right there in the nursery (although, my iPhone was handy to show her she had mixed them up). And, as it turned out, they *did* carry cultivars of American wisteria...and Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinesis).

It's unfortunate, really. Who are budding plant enthusiasts supposed to get reliable growing information from if not their local nursery?

No comments:

Post a Comment