Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How To Choose A Plant That's Right For You Part 1

"My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from a plant's point of view." H.Fred Dale

 One of the things we learned when we moved up here is that not everything they sell you in the home improvement or big box stores will grow where you are. These stores have buyers who buy in bulk for multiple locations and the plants may not be suited for your area.

How to tell? We call the Sunset WESTERN GARDEN BOOK our 'bible'.Look for it in the store where you buy your plants. Some stores even keep a counter copy for reference, and believe me, if I come across a plant I don't know, that's where I will be looking.The WESTERN GARDEN BOOK is loaded with great how-to's as well as a complete index to plants and their care.

 Other alternatives are to simply google it, if you happen to have a smartphone. Or, download a Q reader app and many of the plants are including digital information right on the label.A Q reader is an application for your smartphone that takes a picture of those funny-looking UPC like've seen them, they look like a square box with little boxes inside. The reader will decode the information that is stored in that graphic, and some will even take you to the website about that plant.
 Last year we purchased a white Bird of Paradise. I asked the salesperson what was the difference between an original orange bird of paradise and this white one. She had no clue, and did not have a Western Garden book, nor did the store sell them. I ended up googling it and found out exactly what I needed to know. The other two plants I was going to buy would not survive a frost, so back they went. 

 Tomorrow stay tuned as we continue with How To Choose A Plant That's Right For You!

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