Every year we trek on over to Brian Burt's place and raid the veggie plants section. There are still a few veggies I buy as plants, as I don't have the proper set up for greenhousing myself. Its just a little easier to buy them already on their way...and trust me, there is still a lot to go wrong even if you don't start your veggies as seeds. Typically we buy tomatoes, eggplants and some other veggies we haven't tried before.
Its like a grocery store! You walk down each aisle and wonder "What do I want to eat 2-3 months from now?" The kids really get into it, even if they can't envision the end result some months off.
These guys really know their stuff...and they do it in the greenest way possible. Their greenhouses are heated with a biomass (I won't go into it...if you're curious, Google BIOMASS) or click on the Environmental tab on Burt's website to find out in depth how they do it.
We wheel around the greenhouses looking at wonderous colours and shapes. I learned the name of the garden I always dream of...an alpine garden! A rocky sandy garden with nothing but ground cover plants...lots of succulents (another word I learned there!)
Owen learned that the hedge around this sand box smelled yummy...it was like lavender and lemons wafting in the spring/summer breeze!
I love the display of gardening next to the greenhouses...showing you what you could do with everything you just saw in pots and rows inside the greenhouses. It was beautiful and smelled great! (You could tell when you passed a lemon or bee balm) What a beautiful display! Something every one of us enjoyed milling around.
In the end, we came home with what may not look like much. A small collection of leafy things. If you look closer (and use your imagination) you can see a 3 meter long row of white onions, a huge patch of sweet potato vines, a couple of new pepper varieties (Trinidad peppers, Purple peppers x 4, Peppers Fooled Ya), 4 Glamour red tomato plants, 4 Lemon boy yellow tomato plants, 4 eggplant plants just dripping with pink and purple flowers, sweet millions cherry tomatoes heavy with fruit, an ostrich fern that will hopefully supply us with fiddleheads next spring and a paddypan squash plant that I can't wait to get growing!!! So much on such a wee palette and only $30 or so. Very easy on the wallet.
If you haven't planted anything yet, or you just aren't sure where to start...a quick zip out to Burt's will help you out. You'll know you bought your plants from a reputable and local supplier who is intent on shrinking their carbon footprint.