Field Trip Report

“Field Trip Report”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day.  This was the day that my sister and I went on our first gardening field trip of the year, and we were not disappointed.  We had decided to go to out of town nurseries that seem to have a better selection than the local ones have right now.  I met my sister about half way and then we drove together to Denham Springs to visit one of Clegg’s Nurseries.  This is a wonderful, large garden center.

This is a photo from the parking lot, and you can see immediately there were tons of blooming plants.  In the foreground are all the colors of the Knockout roses, including the new yellow one.  There were no nice blooms on the yellows, so I didn’t take a picture, but from just seeing the spent blooms, this is a very nice yellow rose.  I can’t wait to see the flowers when they are fresh.


Inside, there were rows and rows of blooming flowers, mostly cool season ones, but they did have several warm season annuals out.  Even though I was not going to buy any cool season ones (they would have to be ripped out by May), it was so lovely to see all the colors of pansies, violas, petunias, dianthus, alyssum and snapdragons.


This is my sister (below) checking out all the selections.  The warm season plants were to the back.  The hanging baskets were so nice.  Mostly verbena, but there were also baskets of petunias that just seemed to scream “Spring!”


They had a plethora of pansies.  They had the frilly ones which I wish I would have seen in the fall because I just fell in love with them.


They also had a great many blooming camellias around at a very good price for their size.  This pale pink with the white center was so pretty, but the white one was my favorite.  Several years ago (pre-Katrina) there was a large piece of property near our home that must have had hundreds of camellias, and it was gorgeous when they were in bloom.   After seeing these two camellias, I wouldn’t mind having a small forest of camellias on my property as the aforementioned grounds had.



So, what did I buy?  I did restrain myself from buying any warm season bedding plants.  I did purchase some sweet peas because I love these flowers and forgot to plant my seeds in November.  I had to buy some bluebonnets for the same reason.  I bought four more Curry plants since the one I purchased last year did so well and survived the freezes we had.  They had Alternanthera Mexican Myrtle, pictured below.  I bought this for old times sake.  One of our neighbors, an elderly gentleman who loved to garden, had given me this plant years ago.   He called it Tahitian Wedding Veil, and I had it growing in a hanging basket for years, but it finally died.  When I saw this at the nursery, I thought of Percy and just had to have some.  I also got some more Mexican bush sage, and a rex begonia to replace one that is not doing well.


After lunch, we went to another nursery.  I only bought some Louisiana Blue Phlox there.  I am trying to get a border going of these plants.  Sometimes this particular variety is hard to find.


My sister and I had a wonderful time getting out of the house, buying plants, and being together.  We are already planning our next foray.  Maybe then, I’ll be ready to buy those warm season plants.



  1. Janet said,

    February 22, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Jan, I love the camellias, the white one is to die for. Is that Alternathera white? Can’t tell in the photo, or I am just tired. I had one Alternathera Red Threads and will get it again. I think the Phlox is really pretty as well. I was drooling at the first few pictures of a sea of plants. We are so close to that season and yet so far………

  2. MacGardens said,

    February 22, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Oh those Camellias look delicious. I planted some outside last year, but I know full well that it will take a good winter to get flowers like those in my Zone 7 garden. I expect that more than half the time the flowers will get blasted…
    I keep haunting the nurseries waiting for a chance to pick though the options as you have been doing…

  3. kerri said,

    February 22, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Lovely fun! Can’t think of anything I’d rather do. Glad you had such an enjoyable day. Thanks for this little preview of what we have to look forward to 🙂

  4. Melanthia said,

    February 22, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Wow, great selection. Not sure I could have restrained myself!

  5. February 23, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Oh how wonderful and look how lush that nursery is! I’ll have to get the yellow Knock-Out. I hope it performs like the double red. I like those snap dragons too. How in this world did you resist. Sounds like you got some awesome plants.

  6. Tatyana said,

    February 23, 2009 at 4:30 am

    I am jealous! When will our NW nurseries look so colorful?!

  7. Jan said,

    February 23, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Janet, wasn’t those camellia flowers to die for, and for me, the white one was the best. Yes, the alternanthera has white variegation with some leaves being almost completely white. It looks great in a hanging basket. I, too, was excited to see all the rows upon rows of blooming plants. It really puts one in the mood for spring and summer.

    MacGardens, now I am stopping by almost anything that sells plants. It is a shame to be so desperate for something, anything, that is green and growing. I hope your camellias do well for you. I know I certainly have enjoyed mine.

    Kerri, we did have a great time, and I am sure, when your time comes for warmer weather, you will enjoy that first visit to a well-stocked nursery.

    Melanthia, our next visit will be in a month, and then, I know I’ll be coming home with a lot more. Since I had already planted the cool season plants in October, I didn’t need any more, and they are only good for about two more months anyway. But, in a month it will definitely be time to put in the summer plants, and then, I don’t think I’ll show such restraint.

    Anna, the yellow Knockout rose that I saw looked really nice. The flowers were just like the red one except yellow and is supposed to be disease resistant, too. I would have snapped a photo but there were few flowers which is understandable at this time of year, and they were very beaten up. The only reason I resisted the snapdragons and everything else is they wouldn’t last after April – too hot here. We pull out all the winter annuals by May to put in the summer ones.

    Tatyana, just hold on, I am sure when the time is right, your nurseries will look this nice. Remember, we are already getting some days into the 70’s. Being able to garden so early in the year is one of the joys of living in the South. (The heat of summer is something else, though).

  8. Darla said,

    February 23, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Sounds like you did a great job in not purchasing too many plants. I would probably still be there loading the car. Thanks for the little tidbit on Sweet Peas. I put my seeds in the ground in November, they are up, didn’t know how they would do, (still don’t) in N. Florida. Any tips would be so much appreciated.

    • Jan said,

      February 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm

      Darla, your sweet peas should continue to grow, just make sure they have a trellis to grow on. They usually bloom here in the spring, but with all this crazy weather who knows. They may bloom earlier than normal, just like everything else around here. They won’t survive the summer heat, so when they start to look past their prime, rip them out. Make sure to cut the flowers for indoor bouquets, the more you cut them the more they bloom.

      Jan, we did have a wonderful day. I think you will find the yellow Knockouts to be just as nice as all the others. I wish I would have had a spot for one of the yellows because I really wanted to buy one. The phlox in that post is a woodland phlox, and it seems to go with everything that blooms in early spring.

      Frances, any day spent with blooming plants is a great day, right? I know that everyone north of me is wanting to go to nurseries, too. I wish I could have taken you all with me.

      Zach, thanks for stopping by. It seems that everyone liked getting a glimpse of spring flowering plants, esp. the gardeners in areas still covered with snow.

  9. February 23, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Seems you had a wonderful day, Jan! Our nurseries aren’t yet opened for
    business, but there are pansies available at Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.

    I reallly want to get a couple of yellow knock-outs to complement my pink/fuschia-colored ones. They do sound lovely.

    The blue phlox looks interesting as well. That’d go great w/my hot pink ones!! (I’m a pink & blue lover/shades of purple/but also love to complement with just about any color!)….

  10. fairegarden said,

    February 23, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Hi Jan, that sounds like the best possible day, seeing those blooming plants is so cheering. All that color. You showed admirable restraint in your purchases too. We just cannot ever have enough sweet peas. The white camellia is amazing and a forest of those would be pure delight. So nice to find the replacement for Percy’s plant too. Thanks for taking us along for a preview of spring. Still too cold here but soon….

  11. Zach said,

    February 23, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Trip reports are fun. Thanks for sharing a garden center in your area.

  12. RobinL said,

    February 24, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Oh my, I’m practically drooling over all those flowers! Spring seems so far away for us yet, so it will be awhile before our garden centers look like that. Can’t wait!

    • Jan said,

      February 24, 2009 at 7:50 am

      Robin, when I first saw all the flowers they had out, it really made my heart sing. I think this year there is more longing for spring flowers because the winter seemed so much longer and harder than in recent years. Enjoy my photos till your garden centers open.

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