The Garden Center Experience

One of the most rewarding experiences that anyone can add to a day is to browse and shop at local garden centers. There is something about the smell of the soil, the warmth of the sun and of course the huge array of plants to choose from that stimulates a person's creativity and passion for gardening. I love it and never tire of visiting greenhouses. Besides the organic appeal of plants, let's not forget the added giftware, jewelry, clothing and other unique and practical items to shop for. Garden Centers are becoming more and more shopper friendly for guys and gals alike. Gardening is not gender biased after all, and appeals equally to both sexes; therefore the shopping experience is equally gratifying.

The people who own and work at garden centers are a special bunch as well, it seems. They are caretakers to thousands of beautiful living and growing plants. Staff at garden centers are helpful and considerate of the customers' gardening needs. It seems most wear smiles despite occasional days of less than nice weather conditions they must contend with. It is great to know that plants are being well looked after, in all kinds of weather. Mother nature acclimatizes staff and plants alike, preparing all for the natural conditions of the outdoors. When the wind gusts, is a great time to head to the greenhouses or perhaps take some time for a drink and snacks. Many garden centers have added coffee bars and/or licensed restaurants where one can sit for a bit.

The Garden Center ExperienceThere is an appeal to walk through rows and rows of lush and colorful trees and shrubs and then stumble upon something new.  Staff seem always willing to show and tell about new products. This year Bylands is growing numerous new varieties of trees, shrubs, annuals, tomatoes, herbs and much more for garden centers. You can look for things such as: herbs, Parkland Pillar Birch tree (columnar), salad in bowls, Banana annual planters, Courageous Ornamental Crab apple trees, cucumbers in patio pots, Condo rectangular pots filled with shrubs for the balcony or deck, columnar black elders and the list goes on and on.


Nowadays, besides the wealth of plant knowledge in books and on the internet and from garden center staff, growers are adding more information on labels and tree wraps and pots. For instance, Bylands has created a whole new line for edible plants called "Incredible Edibles and they are easily spotted in garden centers in the bright pink pots with the colorful logo. Shoppers will find blueberries, grapes, raspberries, herbs, rhubarb, tomatoes and so much more delicious fruit and vegetables growing in the pink pots and very easy to spot amidst the sea of black pots.

Labels are brimming with information including QR codes that can be scanned with smart phones where one can watch a planting video or get further information. It is remarkable to see the technological aspects incorporated to such an organic environment, without losing the appeal of the garden center shopping experience. There is a goal for growers and garden center owners to provide consumers with as much information as possible to grow healthy plants at home or at work.

The Garden Center ExperienceMany garden centers are open year round, which is so fortunate especially during the harsh winter season we encounter. And though it is too soon yet to find trees and shrubs, preparations are taking place behind the scene for truckloads of plants to soon be shipped across the miles to land at local garden centers. Somewhere soon you might see Bylands trucks on the road or at a dock where the process begins for garden center staff to unload, sort and set-up for a beautiful shopping experience.

Shopping at garden centers is more than just purchasing plants, tools and soils; it is a way to get away from other stresses alone or as a family in a natural environment outdoors or protected by greenhouses. Browsing through plants is informative and can teach children and adults alike the many aspects of gardening. So when you have time and feel not sure what to do, head to the local garden center and treat yourself to some down to earth shopping experiences. You'll surely love it too!

Happy Gardening!

For more ideas ask your local garden center professionals and make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest for other help tips and hints.


Guest post by Darlene - Bylands Account Representative

I love being in nature and seeing the beauty and other benefits of plants. Gardening was a must as a kid raised on a farm and something I enjoyed from a young age. It was an easy choice to pursue studies in the horticultural and floral industry. The family farm is north of Lloydminster on the Saskatchewan side and yes I am a true Rider fan. I have lived in Edmonton the past 14 or so years. Working for Bylands has kept me busy and given me the added pleasure of meeting lots of great people over the past 7 years. Outside of work I enjoy travelling and spending time with family and friends and my dog Elli.