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Local Greenhouses Help Residents Prepare for Spring Season

Colorful geraniums at Oliver Paine Greenhouses.

Colorful geraniums at Oliver Paine Greenhouses.

By Mikayla Kemp
FULTON, NY – “April showers bring May flowers,” that’s how the old saying goes.

With May comes the much anticipated colors of spring; bright, beautiful flowers and gardens.

Colorful geraniums at Oliver Paine Greenhouses.
Colorful geraniums at Oliver Paine Greenhouses.

“After our awful winter, it’s nice to see color. Even just green!” said Cindy Paine, who owns Oliver Paine Greenhouses with her husband, Oliver.

Local greenhouses and gardens are preparing for the warm weather that makes it possible to grow flowers, vegetables and herbs.

Oliver Paine Greenhouses, located on South Granby Road in Fulton, has an abundance of flowers already blooming even though it is still technically early in the season.

Paine said Mother’s Day is usually when it is acceptable to start planting for the season.

“We could still get a frost, or it could just be too cold before then. Mother’s Day is a big holiday for flowers,” she added. “Hanging baskets are a very popular gift.”

Paine offers some advice for those looking to start a vegetable garden this year.

Rows of hanging baskets at Oliver Paine Greenhouses.
Rows of hanging baskets at Oliver Paine Greenhouses.

“Smart small, maybe six tomato plants, pepper plants, a couple herbs. If you start too big, you’ll get discouraged. For those just starting, you may even want to start in pots. They’re easier, you can put them anywhere you want and you don’t have to be on your knees to maintain them,” she said.

As far as a flower garden, “You can’t beat plain old bedding plants,” Paine said. “You will get instant gratification, lots of instant color that will be tremendously pretty. Anything from Proven Winners, the plant brand, is very reliable in this area.”

Oliver Paine Greenhouses offers everything you will need for your garden or lawn care. They’re open 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The “Greenhouse Girls” of Ontario Orchards, from left: Wendy, Debbi and Heather.
The “Greenhouse Girls” of Ontario Orchards, from left: Wendy, Debbi and Heather.

Ontario Orchards, located on Route 104 in Oswego Town, also prepares for the spring season while celebrating its 50th year of business.

The greenhouse girls: Debbi, Wendy and Heather, all work to prepare the greenhouse for their customers’ planting season.

While the greenhouse girls agree that hanging baskets are a big customer favorite, their personal favorites are both day lilies and Gerbera daisies.

“Day lilies come in so many beautiful colors,” said Debbi.

“And, I like that you can cut the daisies and put them in a vase to display,” added Wendy.

Both women agree that more and more young people are getting involved in gardening.

“It’s wonderful,” said Wendy.

Hanging baskets and plentiful flowers of many colors at Ontario Orchards.
Hanging baskets and plentiful flowers of many colors at Ontario Orchards.

“More people, even younger people, are now returning to eating green and growing their own vegetables and herbs,” added Debbi.

The greenhouse girls advise home gardeners to start a perennial garden.

They need room to grow, and then you can fill in with annuals and have great splashes of color, they said.

Ontario Orchards also serves as a one-stop shop for your gardening needs.

“We are unique,” said Debbi. “There’s everything. Landscaping, our bakery, farm market, fresh food and vegetables in our store as well as handmade goods. We really promote local. We have our own apple farms and also buy from local growers.”

Open seven days a week from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. for the spring season, Ontario Orchards can also serve all your lawn and garden needs.