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Spring Fever Hitting Flagstaff

Spring has officially started with the Spring Equinox. However, planning for Spring and all that it entails has been underway for some time at the nurseries in Flagstaff.

Warner’s Nursery and Landscape Company is, according to Misti Warner-Andersen, “constantly getting ready for the growing season.” Warner-Andersen, the store manager, says that throughout the Fall she goes to shows to find new and interesting products for her retail shop and as it nears the start of Spring, she is having “lots of meetings with growers so that Warner’s Nursery has the right vegetables at the right time.” Warner’s Nursery is open all year long, as it has indoor plants and a variety of products for indoor and outdoor gardens, but the outdoor area being prepared for the plants that will soon arrive.

Robyn Walters of Viola’s Flower Garden is busy planning out the calendar for her company’s different sales events. She plans to open the garden in March and is ready for whatever weather comes her way. “Some years we are open during the entire month of March and some years it snows and we are only open a few days.”

Native Plant and Seed owner Nigel Sparks also opens in March and right now his grounds are in the midst of transition as he adds new features to showcase landscaping options. Sparks has been in business for 19 years – 15 at his current location – and his focus as Spring approaches is “permaculture and water harvesting.” He wants to promote water harvesting to water the plants and grasses that are sold at his nursery.

Each nursery has some unique features that offer Flagstaff residents a great deal of variety and choice when it comes to plants, classes and events.

Walters owns Viola’s Flower Garden with her business partner, Art Escobedo. She started Viola’s 12 years ago because, “I wanted to work outside.” She has had her current location on Route 66 since 2006. Her online seed business is something that keeps her motivated during the winter months. She sells seeds for flowers and vegetables and says that the seed selling business is growing, which is exciting and motivating during the months when there isn’t much to do.

Another exciting event for Viola’s is the Tomato Festival, which happens on May 1. This will be the third year for the festival, where all weekend there are classes, art exhibits and more than 100 varieties of tomatoes to purchase. It is a fun event and a great time to learn more about different tomatoes. Details can be found on Viola’s Flower Garden website.

Sparks of Native Plant and Seed is busy planning a “Landscape Lecture Series” that will occur every other week at the nursery. He says there will be a lot more landscape demonstrations, including the demonstration of a solar powered water feature that uses harvested water. Dates, times and topics for these lectures soon will be posted on the Native Plant and Seed website.

Meanwhile, Warner-Andersen, who has worked at Warner’s nursery for many years and is herself a third generation member of the Warner family, is excited about Warner’s “Mulch Madness” event, which happens in March. She says this is a “great time to prepare your soil for your garden and Warner’s can help.” Check out Warner’s website for details.

Each of the owners of these three nurseries had some advice for those champing at the bit to get their gardens and yards growing and blooming. Sparks suggests ordering “grass plugs,” which are less labor intensive than seed and take less water. He also said, “Now and at the end of June is the time to get a water harvesting system set up.”

Warner-Andersen suggests cutting back grasses and perennials that didn’t get trimmed before it snowed and planting, when you can, dormant trees and shrubs. She also says to plant pansies as they do not mind the cold or snow and will soon be available at Warner’s.

Walters just wants people to know that “gardening can be simple and lots of fun – get a good bag of soil, water your plants and they will grow – it’s that simple.”







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