By Paul James
Funny thing about people’s plant buying habits – they tend to buy things when they’re in full bloom. That’s perfectly understandable. But if you want to enjoy the blooms over a longer period of time, you really should consider planting much earlier. And for some of the most colorful harbingers of spring, that means now.
For example, let’s say you’ve been thinking of buying a dogwood. Well then chances are you know what a dogwood in flower looks like, right? But have you ever seen how those flowers develop, first as tight buds on branch tips that open slowly, often changing colors slightly along the way, until they finally open fully to reveal the familiar flower that made you want a dogwood in the first place? The process is, to my mind, every bit as interesting as the final result. And you miss that when you buy a dogwood that’s already in full bloom. What’s more, you cut short the time you get to appreciate the tree in bloom.
The same goes for other stars of spring such as azaleas, cherries, crabapples, redbuds, and serviceberries, just to name a few, all of which will be blooming soon, perhaps even as early as next week in the case of crabapples.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t plant something that’s already in bloom. But if you’re buying something primarily for the beauty of its flowers, why not enjoy them from beginning to end? Said another way, why not plant now? After all, the weekend forecast looks awesome.