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Proctor's Garden: Navigating your local garden centers

Now is the time to start planning for this year’s garden.

DENVER — A silver lining to the past year has been the surge in gardening. Rob Proctor and I love knowing that people began growing food and flowers at unprecedented numbers. 

A garden brings us connection to nature, a chance to be creative. Being able to go into your garden and harvest vegetables or pick a bouquet of flowers that you grew yourself just feels good.

Especially now, it’s tempting to order everything you need for your garden online. It’s certainly easy, but you’re on your own with no one to ask for advice. Where can you go for trusted advice, plants, and supplies? Welcome to your local garden center. 

Our local garden centers are like a meditation center, so peaceful with lush healthy plants. And while our shopping habits have had to change, garden centers have done their best to adapt with online ordering, curbside pickup and virtual classes. 

The staff are probably gardeners themselves and will have experience with our crummy Colorado soil, arid climate, and are happy to talk about what plants are best for your conditions.

Garden centers care about the quality of their plants. Proper watering, deadheading and a little extra TLC ensures that you take home plants that are healthy and in their absolute best condition.

You’re supporting the local community too. Some garden centers grow their own plants, but what they can’t grow themselves they purchase from another local grower. 

Now is the time to start planning for this year’s garden. Find your inspiration, make your plan (and list of plants), and start visiting your local garden centers. Getting competent advice from experts will make you more confident in your ability to create a fabulous garden of your own. 

And of course, please continue to be mindful of COVID guidelines, requirements, and safety so that you and the staff remain safe and healthy.

Here are some resources to get you started: 

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