Memoirs of a Nursery Woman

Story and Photo by Mary Russell-Evans

Sometimes it seems that cabin fever is replaced by spring fever. Onset usually occurs immediately upon recovery from the former. Unfortunately, while under the influence, some of us forget how to behave and play well with others – particularly in the nurseries. Spring has sprung and those poor folks are going as fast and hard as they can. Play nice – give them a break!  

If you have them special order something for you, please be sure to pick it up or let them know you found it elsewhere.

Nurseries are wet and dirty. Don’t come in your Sunday clothes and high heels.

Don’t let unattended children pull tags out of the pots. Plants cannot be sold without tags, especially if they have to bloom to determine color.

Don’t swipe tags from plants for reference. Those tags are in there for a reason. Whoever buys that plant, buys the tag, too.  

Don’t leave your motor running at the curb. It is hot enough out there already. It is rude and inconsiderate to everyone. Also, don’t expect curb service. Really?

Don’t pick flowers for pressing. Please buy the plants. Lack of flowers can limit the “sell-ability” of some plants.

Buy the plants not blooming yet. You want it to bloom at your house, right? 

Pinching cuttings is not cool either.  

It’s not nice to fight over plants as they come off the truck. “I saw it first!” does not get it. (Yes, I’ve seen that.)

Some flowers can be damaged, such as orchids, from the oils in your skin. Please don’t fondle the flowers. And keep your paws off the tomato plants if you’ve been smoking.  

It takes time for nurseries to get the newest, latest crazes in gardening. Be patient. If you can’t find it this year, save the article in your “garden files” and look for it next year if you still can’t live without it.  

Watch your children and pets. Children throw rocks, spill water, and pick flowers. We already discussed picking flowers. They can do lots of other damage to plants – like falling into them. (In the old days if you broke it, you bought it.) Dogs can pee on plants. Not good for the plants and who wants to pick up a plant that is wet! Not to mention dogs are barefoot. There may be chemical residues they can absorb through their feet. Not good for them.  

Cell phone etiquette; I doubt there is such a thing. Please don’t make a salesperson stand and wait while you take a call. Besides being very rude, they really don’t have time for that. They have other people waiting a turn. 

Slow down and breathe the fresh nursery air, smell the roses, and see what’s new. Be sure to look at demonstrations and suggestions put together by the staff for your benefit. Some nurseries offer instruction. They may have postings about new pests or disease you should be aware of. This could be your chance to head off problems. 

And please, wait your turn in the check-out line.

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