Early Spring Nursery Visits Continue

Yesterday I posted about an early-season visit to a local nursery: Sherwood's Forest. That trip on Saturday did not end after that, as there are two other nurseries within 5 minutes of Sherwood's.

The first is literally next door, Kirkwood Material Supply. I think this location is technically called "Kirkwood Material Supply Nursery", as it's the one that contains most of the plants along with rocks, mulches, compost, etc. The other KMS locations (including the main one that has the largest selection of rocks and other materials) just carry a few plants.


This is always my first stop for any rocks, paving stones, etc. that I might need. The natural stone is found furthest from the entrance, but it's almost always where I start.

I'm limited to stones of a size that I can actually move, so these huge beauties would have to be delivered:

Some of these would look right at home in my Missouri garden...

...but others really wouldn't fit at all. We have a lot of exposed rock in this part of St. Louis -- river bluffs and where the highways cut through hills -- so whether you're conscious of it or not you "know" what native rocks should look like.

Big purple boulders probably don't fit.

I'm not sure about this pockmarked limestone (?) boulder either:

It seems like it might work as a native boulder, but I'm not very keen on this type of rock. I like something a bit smoother.

There are plenty of manufactured pavers and bricks here too...

...including these pebbled patio stones which at first glance I thought I despised...

...but realized that these could actually work quite well in a sleek, contemporary design. Not that I plan on adding them to my garden, which could never be described as "sleek".

The certainly-did-not-come-from-around-here boulders and rocks are up front...

...probably to attract the eye of those looking for more exotic choices. The Mexican beach pebbles are the most expensive stone here at $0.50 per pound. The other stones including the pavers and boulders are all $0.17-$0.35 per pound, which sounds like a bargain but if you've never bought stone before you might be surprised at how much even a small stone weighs, and the final price of your purchase may shock you.

I will take a look at this location's plant, tree, container and supply offerings in a later post, but will say now that although they have a great selection of trees and shrubs, their perennial selection is somewhat limited.

And since perennials are what I'm most interested in right now I got back into the truck and drove the 3-5 minutes (depending on how long you need to wait at the light) to Greenscape Gardens, which I visited a couple of weeks ago.

It's apparent that they've prepared for a possible freezing night, which made it difficult to shop for plants out here, unless you want Hellebores:

Again, over $20. Where are the bargains? (Early Spring is not the time for bargain hunting I know...)

(There were a few other plants out besides Hellebores: sedges, some ferns -- things that are cold-hardy and have been hardened off already I suppose.)

So into the main greenhouse where tropicals and annuals reign at this time.

I don't think that this beauty is for sale, as it's gigantic (so is its pot!) but I guess for the right price it could be yours:

Quite a bit that you could buy now though, although where would you keep it until things warm up a bit more?

I always consider buying more elephant ears (Colocasia) even though I've got dozens already. What's wrong with me?

One of the advantages of plant shopping this early in the season is you get some behind-the-scenes glimpses. For example, I'm not sure that they'd sell you one of these right now...

...but you can get a castor bean plant in one of two sizes...

...even though you're essentially just paying for a seed in a pot of soil.

In my experience pot-grown castor beans (Ricinus communis) do not do as well as those sown in the ground, but maybe the key is to ensure that they don't get root bound at all. Maybe I'll do some more testing this year as I have so many seeds...

Lots of color!

This reminded me that I think I have an Ensete in the garage that I got as part of the giant plant gifting late last summer. I wonder where I put that and if it survived the winter storage?

Some locally-grown (does 70 miles away count as "local"?) organic edibles:

I love that kale was featured in the display and that there were several kinds available from this grower and others. Kale is my number one favorite edible to grow!

Unlike the already-blooming Echinacea that I saw at Sherwood's, this is a lot closer to what coneflower plants should look like at this time of year:

Still a little advanced compared to plants in my own garden, but at least reasonable.

Greenscape has a quite extensive selection of Missouri native plants, but I can't show those to you now as they were all covered with frost cloth. I did get another behind-the-scenes glimpse of these from-the-grower natives...

...all ready to be potted up into nursery pots of sellable sizes. Not sure why these were in the main sales area instead of in an employees-only area.

I need to find a grower that will sell flats like this... I think there may be one in central Missouri. I'll check into it!

Since the for-sale natives were not available for photos and these were not too accessible either, instead of showing you wonderful emerging native foliage...

...I'll show you what could be the furthest thing from it: spray-painted cuttings!

And for those who don't like the natural-to-artificial transformation that results from painting...

...how about a more natural look from flocking?

I know nurseries need to serve all types of gardeners, but blech!

I'm looking forward to revisiting these (and other) local nurseries in a few weeks once spring is solidly here!


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Mark and Gaz  – (April 1, 2015 at 8:15 AM)  

Nice taster of things to come! And places that specialises in stocking natural hard landscaping materials, rocks especially are exciting to see in its own way...just look at all those materials one can be creative with in the garden!

outlawgardener  – (April 1, 2015 at 9:25 AM)  

These places are exciting! It's fun looking at rock and gravel places. It's like when we were kids and came back from the beach, or a walk in the woods, or down the street, and came home with a pocket full of rocks. Who am I trying to kid, we still do that now, right? If people are willing to buy pots of soil, we could make a lot of money! There's nothing at all wrong with you. Colocasias are beautiful and look great in large groups.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (April 1, 2015 at 12:47 PM)  

I love a rock yard almost as much as a nursery. Although impulse shopping is much harder to do there than at a nursery.

Lisa  – (April 2, 2015 at 8:55 PM)  

We built our pond out of Missouri moss stone - love the stuff!

Alan  – (April 3, 2015 at 9:31 AM)  

Lisa: I'm wondering what Missouri moss stone looks like. Is it what they sell as "weathered field stone" here?

Lisa  – (April 5, 2015 at 7:40 PM)  

Pictures 1 and 4 (of the individual rock pictures) are what is sold here as Missouri Moss rock or stone. Beautiful stuff! We had 6 pallets of it dropped in our front yard one hot July day - what a summer THAT was!

Alan  – (April 9, 2015 at 1:22 PM)  

Hey, I was able to find a younger (smaller) Hellebore at Greenscape today for $11. Yahoo, the $20 barrier has been broken!

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