Places: Hooper’s Garden Center

By Beacon Staff

As the weather warms up the green thumbs start throbbing and the soul aches for the color of flowers and buds on the trees. This is the time of year to practice patience before blindly installing the summer garden, according to the expert employees at Hooper’s Garden Center.

“We will sell no plant before it’s time,” said Cheri Hooper.

“It’s like a fine wine,” she added. After all, knowing when to plant is as important as what you plant.

Growing over 90 percent of their own stock, Hooper’s takes pride in conditioning the plants for the local climate by growing them cold and slow. This creates a hearty plant able to survive tougher temperatures.

It is now the season to begin planting trees and shrubs. It could be time to start planting perennials in late April, with the main planting beginning around Memorial Day.

A good rule of thumb is as, “… long as there is snow on the mountains you’ll have frost,” said Bob Hooper. Deer and frost is the main enemy of planting early.

Hooper’s offers weekly seminars on topics such as perennial gardening and basic landscaping design. The greenhouses open on April 3, for smelling not for selling, to begin planning for the summer.

Hot to get there: From downtown Kalispell, take Idaho Street (U.S. Highway 2) east toward Bigfork. Stay straight through the intersection with La Salle Road. The road becomes Highway 35. The business is about 2.5 miles on the left.

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