In bloom: let a love of gardening take root

Photo: Vintage.com

Camille Frigillana || PR Manager 

Spring is in full swing, which means the sun is out and the weather is warming up. Many people are emerging from their homes and beginning to spend more time out in the fresh air, either lounging about or taking up some activities.

For Linda Scruber, spring is the time where she can partake in one of her favorite hobbies: gardening.

“It’s something that I’ve grown up doing with my mother, and then with my daughters when they were growing up. I just love doing it. It calms me,” Scruber said.

Scruber was one of many who were shopping around at Home Depot for plants to fill her garden. Her cart brimmed with a variety of brightly colored plants—some that she has experience in growing, some that were new.

“The lilacs I had from last year were damaged by the heavy rains this winter, so I’m buying new ones. These tulips here are new to my collection, and I’m very excited to try them out,” Scruber said, pointing to each of the flowers in her cart.

Scruber explained that her knowledge of what to plant during specific seasons was passed on from her mother, but she also isn’t opposed to the idea of looking online for information. Websites such as Better Homes and Gardens have complete lists and slideshows detailing which plants work best for each season. The lists include a description of the plant and what its best growing conditions are.

Sites that provide helpful tips are great for beginners, but you can also ask professionals, like David MacLaren, who have worked around plants for years. Maclaren has a degree in ornamental horticulture and is a certified arborist. He has been working at The Huntington, a library, art museum and botanical garden in Pasadena, Calif., for 16 years. Prior to that, he owned his own landscaping business for approximately 20 years. His love for gardening started when he was a child.

“My parents were avid gardeners so our whole family worked in our gardens together,” Maclaren said. “We took care of our own yard, as well as had a vegetable garden, flower bed of roses, bulbs and so on. In high school, my older brother and I started earning money by mowing lawns and doing gardening work for people in our neighborhood. I continued doing that throughout college.”

Maclaren has now carried his love of planting to his own family and home.

“I take care of my own garden at home. It seems like I do it a lot, but it’s different when I’m at home. It calms me, and I hope that gardening is a leisurely experience for those who want to get into it,” Maclaren said.

Those wanting to start their own garden can simply head over to their local home improvement store, such as Lowe’s or Home Depot, for supplies. Or try local nurseries that may have a wider variety of plants than the home improvement stores. Village Nurseries, a wholesale supplier of ornamental plant materials, has locations all over California.

Even if you have all of the materials, Scruber said that it’s all about how you approach gardening that matters. Keeping up your personal garden requires vigilance.

“A lot of my friends, and even my daughter, always say they’re going to try keeping up their own garden and buy all of the things and stuff like that,” Scruber said. “And they’re with it for the first week or so, but then they eventually start to forget about it. You have to keep it up if you want it to last forever.”

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