The garden centers are certainly busy, people having their lists out as they are getting everything needed to plant. This time of year also brings out people who may have just bought their first home and are eager to add beauty to their yards. Just be prepared to stand in line!! Venture out if you are free during the week as one doesn't feel rushed and can ask for help if needed.
When buying perennials:
1. Labels with photos, how to grow instructions, expected width and height is important.
2. Look for balanced, healthy-looking leaves (new growth means vigorous plant).
3. Short and sturdy versus tall and spindly.
4. Healthy roots, if moss and weeds cover the soil surface usually indicates plant has been in its container too long and could be pot bound (meaning the roots have grown to compact in the container for air to circulate) .
The first three suggestions also apply when you are looking to buy annuals as well. This is a general rule to help you get off on the right start.
Wow... If I was just starting to plant and walk into a nursery, just where do I start! What would I buy? Here are some basic easy care perennials:
For Sun: Daylily(Hemerocallis), Siberian Iris(Iris sibirica), Peony(Paeonia cvs), Liatris, "Goldstrum" Coneflower(Rudbeckia var. sullivantii)
For Shade: Ferns, Hostas
So start a list as you would do for grocery shopping this way you can budget and know exactly what you came for. Good luck to all!!