Garden centers enjoying a good spring
By M. Helmuth Starhemberg
"What are you shopping for ?" I asked the charming Danielle Boulay, daughter of the owners of the storied hotel Horizon on Sutton mountain when I encountered her at Paquette's Garden Center in Sutton on Tuesday afternoon. "Everything", she grinned. "My 83 year old dad still does all the gardening around the hotel and he is very proud of his rock gardens and I am just helping him to add to the visual enhancement of our place".
The garden center is extremely busy this thime of year as are all the others, large and small, in Sutton, Glen Sutton, Dunham and Frelighsburg. Paquettes grows approximately one million plants over the winter and many plants on sale now have had to be cultivated over a number of years to display trees, trellised vines and mature perennials which will last for years. The experienced staff can be seen assisting buyers with suggestions about soil and growing conditions, shade and sun, fertilizers and water requirements.
Every year the center adds new and sometimes experimental herbs, flowers and rare grasses which have been tested in their experimental gardens to assure that they have the required hardiness to withstand the townships specific growing conditions.
"Buyers are more selective today" explains one sales woman, "They do not want the same flowers the neighbors grow every year and the competition in the local home gardens is fierce".
There is hardly a home, restaurant, business or apartment balcony in the Sutton area that does not have some of the plants that are grown so caringly six kilometers from town and of course, customers know most of the people who work there and a visit to "the gardens" is a social rite, where buyers possibly meet at least one of their friends or neighbors.