Top 10 Tips for Flower Shopping

Before homeownership, spring meant something completely different to me than it does now. I used to look forward to spring break plans, new summer fashion trends filling the shelves of every local department store, and the tease of summer vacation just around the corner! 
As a new homeowner, my spring break plans are non-existent, a new summer wardrobe is not built into the budget, and there has been no time to think about summer plans just yet. 
Spring has transformed into a time of cleaning windows, installing screens, cutting the lawn, and breathing life into the sad excuse we call landscaping. Thanks to a small road trip to the AMAZING Sunrise Farms in Manteno, IL, Matt and I are officially excited to tackle the very new, very intimidating, very springtime task of…. planting flowers. (Dun, dun, dun)  
Menards flower pots
Because we are planning some major landscaping excavation, we decided not to plant anything into the ground just yet. All we really needed to buy were a few plants to fill some flower pots around our house. How hard could it be? 
Thanks to an amazingly generous and creative new homeowner’s gift from Casey’s mom (thanks Jan!), Matt and I were officially ready to splurge on flowers for our home. The only problem: we are completely clueless when it comes to any and all things garden. 
Still very new to the game, here’s what we have learned so far….
flower cart

1. Get a cart. Like any other successful shopping experiences, it’s definitely important to get a cart.

sunrise farms

2. Use a map. If the greenhouse offers a map… Take one!! The place we visited was HUGE, especially for two people that have no idea where to go, what to look at, or how to go about finding… well anything.

The map helped us navigate each greenhouse and helped identify where we could find specific plants (like ones that needed some shade, ones that needed extra sunlight, ones that needed space…). Who knew plants were so high maintenance? Not me.

sunrise farm signs

3. Read the signs. This greenhouse even had “street signs”… follow them! With the map and the street signs, even rookies like us were bound to stay on track.

sunrise farms

4. Enjoy the beauty! Of course you’re on a mission to buy what you need, but make sure you take time to stop and smell the roses. (#Punintended…Sorry, I couldn’t pass it up). I mean, how amazing is this? Matt and I had such a fabulous time walking around and enjoying the amazing scenery of this place. Partly because we had no idea what to do and partly because the beauty and uniqueness of this farm was incredible…. enjoy it.

sunrise farms selection
how to shop for flowers
How to flower shop
what flowers to buy

5. Ask questions (and lots of them) It’s okay to be a rookie! The more I asked questions, the more I figured out that there’s no right and wrong way when it comes to gardening. Much like decorating the interior of your home, if YOU love it and it works for you… that’s all that really matters. Once your questions are answered, you’ll be more confident to choose a plant combo that you love, rather than the one you think is “right”.

flower baskets

6. Read the labels, but buy what you LOVE. Pick flower baskets that you love and that fit your landscaping needs. There are little informative tags that are found in each basket. Once you find a basket that you l.o.v.e. read the tag to see if the plant’s “needs” fit your yard.

We picked a basket with a tag reading “partial shade”, because our baskets would be in a place with…. you guessed it, PARTIAL SHADE! We’re starting to get a “hang” of this gardening thing. Get it? Ha ha, again… couldn’t resist.

rose photography


7. Think outside of the box! These baskets were so unique, but so much fun! What a great conversation piece to add to your space. Why not try a little something sassy like these baskets o’ sass?

unique flower baskets

8. Bring a buddy! Preferably a stud-ly gentleman that can carry heavy objects, but any buddy will do I guess. Even if your man doesn’t love to garden, the farm trip was definitely something different that turned into a fun date for us. Surrounded by a farm of flowers, I like to think this was similar to a scene out of the Bachelor, minus the champagne of course. Romantic, right?

tips on how to shop for flowers

9. Get ideas by looking around. Use the baskets and surrounding plants to get ideas of what you would like to plant in your own flower pots. I loved the variety of the basket below, so I used this in an inspiration as I picked out my own flowers.

10. Accessorize! Who knew there were so many accessories available to add some decorating personality to the outdoors? These flower pots were only the tip of the garden accessory iceberg. Be creative, have fun, and as always… create a space that you can be proud of!!

buying flower pots
how to pick out a flower pot
If nothing else, I hope these ten tips make you realize that there is NO right and wrong way when it comes to your garden. Rather than focusing on how much you may not know about gardening, be confident in your rookie skills and enjoy the experience! Happy gardening my fellow rookies =)

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