The garden center can feel very big for someone who has little knowledge about plants. Here are 3 things you MUST do to grow with your plants!
Well, here it is my first blog! In January, Alice hired me to take on the social media, marketing and outside sales here at Longfellow’s. HELLO! It has been a few months now getting my feet wet in the nursery and I feel like a very small naturalist in a very BIG plant world!
Andrea McFarland: Naturalist, bug –lover and all around outdoors gal. My formal education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in aquatic biology and Masters work in entomology. I worked for many years with Missouri State Parks as a naturalist where I shared my passion for the outdoors with people from all walks of life. I loved telling people that as a naturalist I knew a little bit about a lot! I found my comfort zone in educating people about Missouri flora and fauna in a way that connected them with the resources.
Fast forward five years and two children later, here I am surrounded by beautiful flowers, shrubs and veggies feeling very small. Of course I have basic biology knowledge, but take baby brain (you get this if you’ve had one) and add a whole new world of ornamentals and I have so much to learn. I feel like a sponge soaking up the vast knowledge of each of the employees here. Each one has their specialty and can spout plant Latin names like a momma rattling off a laundry list of kids’ names.
3 Things I have Learned that You MUST Do to Grow with Your Plants:
1. Start small.
Don’t try to understand everything all at once. Pick one area and start small. Little plant wins will help you feel accomplished. This year I’ve started with a small raised garden. I’m focused on learning how to grow basic veggies (more to come on this story).
2. Ask Questions.
This is the only way we grow. It may seem presumptuous for me to say we have the best educated staff, but we really do! You’ve heard the saying, “you get what you pay for.” Well, you will only gain the knowledge you ask for and quality is key. If you find it on the internet, it must be true, right?
3. Sleep. Creep. Leap!
Patience is everything. By starting small and asking questions, you will learn the growing patterns of your plants. Don’t give up after the first year. Just like how some perennials grow, education comes in stages: first they sleep, then they creep, and finally watch them LEAP!
The garden center can feel very big for someone who has little knowledge about plants. It can seem overwhelming to look at all these gorgeous flowers and feel like you have a very brown thumb. All it takes is a little time, patience and asking questions to grow with your plants. I am excited to share my blunders and blooms with you along my journey to becoming a bigger naturalist and maybe one day, a gardener!