My initial plans for Saturday morning were to clean up the borders that Dad had edged for me on Thursday. About six inches of grass needed to be removed between the stone border and the little trench Dad's edger had cut. Not an easy job, but it needed to be done before the grass grew back over the trench.
Then Mom called.
Awhile back, she had mentioned a large garden center located in Lima, Ohio, which is about an hour away from me (but closer for her). DeHaven Home & Garden Showplace was having a spring open house and Mom wondered if I would like to go with her.
Grass removal? What grass?
We arrived at DeHaven's around 10:00 a.m. and when I saw the greenhouses there, my heart beat a little faster. There is nothing quite like the thrill and excitement of visiting a garden center in the spring that you've never been to before and that was the size of this one. That said, my intent was to show restraint with my purchases. Do you think I did?
The large greenhouse we walked into first had table after table with bright Pelargoniums of every color. A special display of Martha Washington geraniums caught my attention and I knew I'd be going home with one of those.
There were annuals and several perennials offered, including Proven Winners and many of them had blooms already, having been grown in the greenhouses. I spoke with John Bartok of Corso's Perennials, which supplies DeHaven's with many of their perennials. Corso's is also located in Ohio, and I'd visited them in 2007 on a garden tour with the Van Wert YWCA.
Pansies and Violas are the order of the day this time of the year and there were some of just about every color these come in.
Whenever I see the tiny Johnny Jump-Ups, I'm always tempted to buy some, because I love them, but they don't seem to love me. I've sown seed and planted plants and the seeds don't germinate and the plants disappear. That doesn't stop me from trying again and again though. I know. Who can't grow Johnny Jump-Ups?
There is a wonderful gift center, where I could have spent a lot more time and a lot more money, but I didn't have either. There's never enough money and Romie and I were due at Kara and Adam's at 2:00, so I had to keep moving.
DeHaven's has a little bit of everything, and we loved these summery, gardeny shoes by Oka B. They came in bright colors as well as more subdued, and were embellished with ribbons, jewels, and other things. Look at those orange ones. Happy feet!
This coppery sun was just gorgeous, and quite large. It would take a big bare place to hang this, and if my espaliered Pyracantha doesn't start showing signs of life soon, I could have just the spot for it on the south side of the pool house. I'm rooting for the Pyracantha, though.
A huge selection of seeds are offered, from Livingston Seed Company, Thompson & Morgan, and others. I purchased packets of seeds for beets (Beta vulgaris 'Early Wonder'), Amaranthus paniculatus ('Autumn Palette'), California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica 'Dairy Maid'), and burgundy Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata 'Burgundy'). I was tempted to buy a packet of Meconopsis to try again, but resisted. I'll just admire Jodi's from afar.
Another greenhouse contains tropicals and herbs. This is where there's lots of drama, as you might expect. I was really tempted to buy an exotic-looking hanging pitcher plant, but I'd have to make a spot for it in the house, since it would need to be overwintered inside. I've already got every available hook accounted for by other winter hangers. Not that I couldn't put another hook in the ceiling...
We were told by one of the DeHaven sons that this Bottlebrush or Foxtail Fern (Asparagus meyerii) goes in owner Tim DeHaven's garden during summer and gets moved back in the greenhouse for winter. It's hard to get a sense of size here, but this thing is HUGE. Notice the cinder block just beyond it, on the floor. I wouldn't want to be on moving duty when that time comes around!
Again, if I didn't have several orchids, with a few in bloom at the moment, I would have HAD to have this Phalaenopsis (Taipei Gold x Cassandra). I love the pink/yellow color combination. Yes, I showed restraint once again! Look at all the money I'm saving!
This plant got my attention. Whenever I see one that's unusual doesn't look familiar to me, I try to guess what it is by the shape of its leaves, the growth form, and its flowers. My first guess for this one would have been some sort of carnivorous plant. Wrong. It's a Kalanchoe ('Magic Bells')! It sure doesn't look the Kalanchoes I've seen before. I love when a genus shocks me like that.
We took a stroll through the large room where the grills, mowers, patio furniture and other lawn equipment was displayed. I'm not in the market for any of that, so we didn't spend much time there, but if I were, this would be the place to come to see it all.
There were several classes being offered throughout the day, including one on composting. I listened in on a little bit of that one, since we have a compost bin (one of last year's spring projects).
By this time, we were getting a little hungry and what do you know, DeHaven's was serving lunch! For free! I had a tasty hot dog and a pop while I took a second look around the greenhouse we'd been in when we first arrived.
Another nice touch for the day was a guitarist who was playing fabulous solos of many of my favorite songs. He was in the main greenhouse and I walked over to tell him how much I was enjoying his music. His name was Jim Boedicker and we had a nice chat. I hope many more people took the time to tell him they appreciated his music.
I'm a pushover when it comes to home and garden pottery, and DeHaven's has a nice selection with several different displays throughout the store.
See the large cobalt blue pot on the top shelf? Of course you don't - I bought it! This had to be the bargain of the day and even though Romie's voice kept running through my head ("You don't need any more pots..."), I ignored it.
The original price marked on the pot was good enough, then when I went to pay for it, it rang up at $16! Unbelieveable, to find a pot that size at that price. (It was like the white one on the left on the middle shelf.) The pots had been on special recently and that one just happened to ring up at the special price, even though that particular sale was over. DeHaven's, being an honorable business, let me have it at the sale price. Needless to say, I was thrilled!
I also found a soil thermometer here, so I purchased it, along with one of the Martha Washington geraniums I'd spied upon first entering the store. I chose 'Imperial', one of Oglevee's Elegance Series of Regal geraniums (Pelargonium x domesticum), although any one of them would have made me just as happy to own.
Lastly, I found Stump-Out here. That's what I'd wanted to get to try to take out the bush honeysuckle stump I talked about in a recent post about invasives. DeHaven's has a full selection of just about any product you'll ever need in the way of fertilizers, insecticides, weed treatments, etc.
DeHaven's is a business that's large enough (79th largest garden center in the nation) to spend an entire day perusing what they have to offer. Owners Tim and JoAnn DeHaven are second generation owners and operators of the business, located at 775 Shawnee Road in Lima, Ohio. There is another location in Findlay, Ohio (15276 US 224 East).
Tim , who has a degree in biology, is known locally as "The G-Man." He does a Saturday morning gardening-centered radio show called "G-Man Radio" each week and both he and his wife make guest appearances on a local morning television show. He has been a featured speaker at various garden seminars and conventions, including The Ohio State Floriculture Convention.
Their three older sons work full-time and are shareholders in the business as well, so it truly is a family-owned, family-run business.