Planning is often one of the most anticipated parts of creating a beautiful and dynamic garden space. I know I’m not alone in saying that I can easily spend hours browsing through the plants offered at my local plant nursery. While many plants in my yard have been ordered online, I’m consistently surprised by the quality and selection of flowers and vegetable plants that I am able to find being grown in garden centers in my own city. In many cases, shopping at local lawn and garden shops can offer the best quality, and at an affordable price.
Supporting small businesses helps us all. Worried about Covid? Most businesses have safe shopping practices put in place, and remember to wear your mask.
Do Your Garden Shopping Locally
Everyone should do their garden shopping locally. Here are my top reasons to shop local so you can do your part in supporting small businesses:
They’re local – In compiling a list of reasons why you should shop local, it would be impossible to ignore the fact that they’re actually local. While big box stores often sell plants out of season or that don’t grow well in your specific region, local garden centers know their plants. That means these places often have a wider selection of plants that thrive in climate conditions of your growing region. Many local garden shops also offer a wider range of native annuals and perennials that are not seen elsewhere.
They care – When you do your garden shopping locally, retailers are more likely to care about the quality of their product and their attitude towards customer service. Nurturing a good reputation is essential to cultivating a successful business. Local lawn and garden shops are more likely to care about your garden needs rather than just making a sale.
They’re knowledgeable – Unlike most big box stores and online retailers, local lawn and garden shops often employ people with vast garden knowledge. These knowledgeable people can assist growers in selecting plants that will grow best in their yards, as well as help them to troubleshoot potential issues with plant diseases and pests. Being able to ask questions concerning the plants you’re purchasing in essential to creating a healthy garden.
Your community – Buying local is an investment in the community. These garden centers are owned by real people who live where you live. Additionally, successfully run small businesses are able to create more job opportunities locally. Each local garden center is unique to the community in which it exists, making for more diverse plant options throughout the growing season.
Customer support – Dealing with customer support from online retailers can be frustrating. Should there be a problem when buying from local lawn and garden centers, growers are able to be assisted by a real person in real time. Getting the issue resolved in a timely manner is a definite bonus when dealing with problems related to purchased plants.
Design help – Whether you’re designing your first flower bed or you have a little more experience, it’s always nice to have the feedback of others. Buying locally can definitely make it easier to see how different colors and types of plants will look together before buying. Staff may also assist growers in determining which plant combinations will look best depending on growth requirements.
Better quality – When buying healthy plants, I always prefer to know exactly what I’m purchasing. In person, the grower will most often see a noticeable difference in quality. While many online suppliers ship bare root stock, buying from a local lawn and garden center allows you to see the plant in bloom before it’s even planted into the ground. Buyers can also take comfort in knowing that the plants for sale have been properly maintained and cared for.
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