Can you relate to this email I received?
“I get overwhelmed about planting flowers in a garden. I’ll have some ideas for flowers, but when I get to the garden center, they don’t have what I’m looking for, so I end up doing nothing.”
I’m glad I received this email because I think this happens a lot. (Thank you for sharing this with me, DS!)
Finding flowers can get overwhelming quickly, especially when there are sooooo many choices.
So, if this sounds like you, please know this is normal!
In this tip, let’s chat about how to make it easier to find the flowers you want.
What can you do if you have ideas for flowers, but you can’t find them at your garden center?
First, I’ll say that some western plants ARE hard to find.
Often, though, it can be a matter of where you’re looking for them.
The big box stores are convenient for buying flowers, no question.
But they tend to have a limited selection of flowers, and often times, they carry plants that are better suited for other regions of the country.
So instead, my suggestion is to look up local, independent garden centers in your area.
These are local stores that only sell plants, flowers, gardening tools and related products.
If you’ve only shopped at the big box stores for your flowers and you don’t know where to find local, independent garden center, no worries!
“Garden center in [your town or metro area]”
“Plant nursery in [your town or metro area]”
These local stores are more likely to have a wider selection of flower plants that grow better in our region.
Fair warning, because these garden centers usually have a lot of plants, they can be a little intimidating on your first visit. (Just being honest with you.)
But every time you go, you’ll get more comfortable.
And the great news is, they typically have knowledgeable staff members who can help you.
It’s 100% okay to ask questions
When you arrive at your garden center, ask if they carry the flower you’re looking for. If they don’t have it, feel free to ask:
“Can you recommend a similar flower?”
And feel free to share what you’re trying to do
For example, let them know if you’re trying to attract butterflies … or if you’d like plants that deer are less likely to eat.
If the person you’re talking to doesn’t know the answer, ask if there’s someone available who may know the answer. (There’s always a wise and scrappy gardener tucked away somewhere.)
To better help you, they may ask you a little about your garden
Don’t worry! You don’t have to be a master gardener to have a conversation with them. They just want to help.
You may want to snap a few photos of your garden or yard on your phone before you go to the store. This makes it easier for them to picture your space and your existing flowers.
Okay, so that’s option one.
But it’s possible you may not find what you want locally because not every store carries every plant.
In that case, you have a second option.
There are online plant and seed companies too…
like Zappos for flower plants
You may be able to buy the flower plant you want online, and they’ll send it to you.
Some get shoes in the mail, others get flower plants… 🙂
Want a few examples?
- High Country Gardens is an example of an online garden store that specializes in flower plants for the intermountain west.
- Botanical Interests is an example of a seed company that sells seeds for many western flowers, and they’re based in Colorado. Depending on the flower (or vegetable) you want to grow, you may plant seeds in the spring, in the fall or even during the winter!
In a future post, I’ll share my experience buying flowers online last summer — complete with photos — so you know what it can be like.
Related tips that may interest you:
- 5 things to know about western garden centers (that are super helpful to know)
- Where to buy flower plants (that last) for your garden in Colorado and similar western states
Hey, do you know your flowerpot personality?
Take this fun, 2-minute quiz to find out! You’ll also get personalized ideas for flowers, so growing flowers is relaxing — not taxing.