Monday, August 5, 2013

A Visit to the Local Nursery

I needed to make a trip to the post office this week.  I hate visiting the post office.  The "local" office is about 7 miles away by car - it's much closer as the proverbial crow flies but I can't fly so I have to drive north, then west, then south, essentially traveling in a U-formation.  The only thing that got me out the door was the realization that I could use the visit as an opportunity to stop by my "local" plant nursery, which is about a block away from the post office.

Entrance to Elwood Nursery

Elwood Nursery sits in the middle of a small community business district.  It has no website so I couldn't find any data on its history but I know its been part of that community for a long time.  It's sandwiched in between an Mexican restaurant and a building containing various small businesses.  As best as I can tell, it's family run.  The same staff is present every time I've been there.  The same dog is always sleeping by the cash register.

A very well-behaved - and nonchalant - Japanese Akita

The nursery isn't remotely fancy.  No weekend seminars or speakers.  No elaborate displays.  Just a selection of plants, pots, and basic gardening supplies.

There are bedding plants

An ample selection of roses


And succulents

The bedding plants are usually priced a little lower than the larger nurseries in the area.  The succulents are also generally well-priced (when you can find a price posted).  I haven't priced the roses but the shrubs seem to run a bit high.  I checked out a Hydrangea 'Little Lime' on this trip and, although it came from the same grower as one of the same size at the closest store in the Armstrong Nursery chain, it cost $5 (13%) more.  Maybe Elwood doesn't have the clout Armstrong has in negotiating wholesale prices or maybe the price simply reflects higher carrying costs.

Generally, my purchases have been limited to bedding plants.  Elwood periodically has things I don't see at the larger nurseries.  Unfortunately, I didn't find anything unusual among the bedding plants on this visit, although I admit that I was tempted by the Lisianthus.

But as I had no idea where I'd put them, I passed.  I was also tempted by the healthy hanging plants on display.



Ivy geranium (Pelargonium peltatum)

But I didn't have a place for those either.

I ventured into the hothouse area at the back of the shop, which contained a wide range of mostly tropical plants.  They were all in perfect condition and very well priced.  I spent fifteen minutes considering selected plants before I got myself out of there.

I stared at this croton for a good 5 minutes before I finally turned away

Did I walk out with nothing?  Those who've gone nursery shopping with me know that's a silly question.  I left with the first plant I noticed when I walked in, a large Plectranthus ciliatus 'Troy's Gold'.  It was offered as a hanging plant but it's going into a cauldron-shaped planter on my shaded side porch.

Plectranthus ciliatus 'Troy's Gold'

It wasn't a great buy but it spoke to me...


  1. Oh my gosh Kris, I would have such a hard time leaving there empty handed, lol. Such a beautiful and well stocked local nursery. You lucky duck you! Love your new plectranthus too. Wishing you a fabulous week.

    Best wishes,

  2. That Plectranthus is gorgeous, no wonder you bought it :) It's good that you're able to combine a nursery visit with your more functional trip to the post office, makes it even more worthwhile.

    1. I did have a mission when I visited the nursery, which was to fill an empty enamel pot. The foliage color of the Plectranthus was perfect but it turned out the plant was too big for the intended spot. So now I have a mission for my next nursery visit!

  3. Rarely do I walk out of a nursery empty handed either. Plectranthus 'Troy's Gold' is one of my favorite plants for building container combinations. Obviously it's an annual here and not always easy to find. Maybe I should try turning one into a houseplant come fall.

    1. I love Plectranthus in all its incarnations. They do well outside here all year, although they need a good amount of shade to survive our summers. Cuttings root easily in water alone. At my old house, I was actually able to just stick cuttings directly in the ground and have them survive but I haven't been successful with that here.

  4. When they call, we answer. Some gorgeous Crotons and Bromeliads there too, I see. Lightened the dreary burden of a post-office visit, I'll bet.

    1. That first Croton was spectacular. I'd never seen one flower before either. But I've had bad luck with Croton before due to an inability to keep the humidity level right so I passed. There was a lime green Schefflera I keep thinking about, though. If only I could guarantee the cats wouldn't try to eat it...