The Girls' Guide to Gardening
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Flora Grubb's Tips For Responsible Garden Shopping


Yesterday, I stopped by Flora Grubb Gardens to attend a talk with Martha Stewart Living's executive gardening editor Stephen Orr and nursery owner Flora Grubb. Flora is featured in Stephen's new book Tomorrow's Garden: Design and Inspiration For a New Age of Sustainable Gardening. The book focuses on gardens in 14 cities across the United States that have been scaled back and simplified without sacrificing beauty or innovative design.
During the talk, Stephen and Flora spoke about some of the pitfalls gardeners can experience when gardening, and Flora offered new gardeners ways to shop smart when looking for plants at their local nursery.

Flora Grubb's Tips For Shopping For Your Garden

  • Buy plants that fit your lifestyle. If you're only going to be able to water once a week, don't buy plants that require watering three times a week.
  • Look for plants at nurseries that are planted in ecopots. These pots are biodegradable, unlike the black plastic pots you see at many nurseries.
  • Frequent small, local nurseries. They're better for the local economy and often stock plants appropriate for your climate.
  • If you're concerned that your plants may have come from far away, make it a practice to read the tags on your plants. These tags will tell you where in the country (or world) your plant was grown. Try to buy plants that were grown regionally to cut down on the carbon footprint of the plants.
  • Cheap plants are often of poor quality. If you find a six pack of flowers for $1, it's likely that the plant isn't of high quality and is more likely to die under your watch. Spring for a more expensive plant, and enjoy a better investment in the long term.
  • Don't be afraid to ask nursery staff quesitons. Especially at local nurseries, the staff will be educated on what plants will work best for your particular garden or situation. Make sure to tell them about how you plan to garden — how often you'll water, how many hours of sunlight your garden area gets — and they can find the best plants for your situation.
3 years 21 weeks
Flora is amazing! I visit her store every time I'm in SF for inspiration and to keep up with garden trends.
Elka-Karl Elka-Karl 3 years 22 weeks
In general, look for the low-water plants at nurseries and they're more low-maintenance. But always ask your friendly gardening professional. You'll be amazed with the cool plants you may be redirected towards. This weekend Flora convinced me to not get a bleeding heart and instead go with a cantua "hot pants." You have to see it to really appreciate it: https://www.anniesannuals.com/signs/b%20-%20c/cantua_hot_pants.htm Pretty awesome, huh?
lauren lauren 3 years 22 weeks
Me too Julia that sounds like a great setup for a nursery!
Julia-Millay-Walsh Julia-Millay-Walsh 3 years 22 weeks
These are great tips. I'd love to see a garden store that was organized by "amount of effort required" for maintenance so black thumbs like Yours Truly don't get in over their heads.