What’s the secret to a gorgeous garden? (Hint: It starts with going local)

Nursery shares the inside scoop on green thumb success

The right plant in the right place. Garden advice doesn’t get much better than that.

From annuals to massive shade trees, choosing plants suited to your climate is the first step.

The Horse Lake Garden Centre has you covered in that regard, but what else should you know? The Cariboo’s plant experts are here to help.

Plants for the Cariboo climate: “All our annuals, perennials, edibles, trees and shrubs are grown and nurtured onsite in this climate zone – not imported from the warmer coast. Then we prune before sale to ensure optimum performance,” notes Roger Stratton, who with wife Marcia is in their ninth growing season at Horse Lake Garden Centre.

Not only are you supporting local, but you know your plants are grown for success in Zone 2 and 3.

Sun, soil & space: With the climate covered, next consider how much sun the site receives, soil condition, and how much space you have.

  • Full sun plants require at least six hours of sunshine, part-sun plants at least four hours and shade plants two hours.
  • Soil testing reveals which amendments you might need to add for long-term plant health. Unsure what you have? Bring a sample to the nursery for free testing!
  • Finally, consider your space, bringing photos and dimensions to help centre staff guide you to the best options. Considering a tree? While you’re on your deck, have a friend stand where you want your tree, with a pole to reaching the desired height. This will help you visualize how the tree will actually appear, and choose a species accordingly, Roger says, emphasizing trees also require regular watering for several years until established.

The experts at Horse Lake Garden Centre are always happy to talk plants, sharing their local experience to help you choose specific to your location, exposure and growing needs. “We plan, you plant.”

Kickstart your containers: Container plantings have unique requirements that regular soil just can’t provide. The Horse Lake team mixes their own specialized potting soil to encourage strong, vigorous growth for all potted plants. If you’d rather let them do the planting, they’re happy to do that too! “We take great pride in creating our own hanging baskets and planters, spending a lot of time pruning and fertilizing before sale to ensure peak performance,” Roger says. “We also love to work with you to create beautiful custom hanging baskets and planters.”

Lush lawn on your to-do list? Just like your other garden plants, different grasses have their own growing requirements, so look for grass seed specific to the local region, along with quality fertilizers, to get your lawn off to a great start.

Closer to home: This spring, the Strattons have three locations to serve Cariboo gardeners. In addition to the main nursery at Lone Butte – also home to Burlap Cabin gift shop – visit them at the Home Hardware Building Centre in Williams Lake and at the Ace Hardware at 100 Mile House.

 

Marcia and Roger Stratton are in their ninth growing season at Horse Lake Garden Centre.

Inspiration awaits at Horse Lake Garden Centre – with three locations this season!

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