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When I started working at Gardener's Supply in the 1990s, my Vermont backyard was pretty green—with grass. Today, there's just a tiny bit of the original lawn left. Most of the available space has given way to trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and stonework. Watch a slideshow of my garden in Burlington, VT.
In addition to my work at Gardener's Supply, I work in the gardening division at Church Hill Landscapes. In that role, I maintain dozens of gardens and learn a lot in the process. I believe that all gardening is good gardening.
If you're a gardener looking for hope in the middle of an icy January day, there's no better balm than a geranium seedling. The tiny leaves have the characteristic rounded shape, with contrasting bands of maroon. Aw, shucks they're cute! But the power — the thing that tells you spring is coming and gives you hope — is in the smell, that one-of-a-kind geranium fragrance. Even in the dead of winter, those tiny leaves smell like summer on the porch.
Many gardeners know about starting geraniums from cuttings. It's a great way to share treasured plants, and it feels thrifty. And gardeners love things that are thrifty. But if you start plants from seed, you get to choose from a range of colors: bright red, scarlet, bicolors, orange-salmon, coral, pink, white and lavender. And instead of feeling thrifty, you feel clever.
"There is no trick to growing geraniums from seed," says Valerie Ryan, who grows dozens of seedlings each year. "Patience and care is all that is needed." She usually grows 40 seedlings at home, but this year, she's planted another 200 that grow under lights in our Burlington, VT, call center, where she works.
Last updated: 2/18/19
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