My need for dirt

P1130846Finally, after a very long winter and chilly spring, June marches in with sunshine and warm temperatures. What to do on a weekend morning where the thermometer reaches 71 degrees by 9:00? For starters, hit the local nursery to get a blast of color and some garden ideas.

Photo Jun 07, 9 30 44 AM

Our local garden center, Spider Web Gardens, has been in business since 1937. It is family owned and operated and is located dangerously close to my house. While I grow my annuals, perennials and vegetables in my own greenhouse, it’s tough to stay completely away from this place in the spring.

Photo Jun 07, 9 34 53 AM

I come from the great Pacific Northwest, with a climate that allows gardening almost year-round. Vast nurseries are up and running in February. You can plant in March. The first year I was in New Hampshire I tried to buy potting soil in February and it was nowhere to be found. Planting happens closer to Memorial Day. It’s a different world.

P1130849___ Photo Jun 07, 9 41 24 AM

I love Spider Web not only for their garden offerings but for the photo opportunities. This is a treasure trove of white-paint-chippiness, vintage details, self-sown plants, resident cats and stone wall goodness. Shopping carts here are little red wagons and you’re just as likely to find them full of kids as plants. The brick house and attached barn are as quirky as any other you’d expect to find in New England. Volunteer morning glories climb up drainpipes, workers drive around in pickup trucks missing the driver’s side door, and the greenhouses are of the hand-crank variety.

Photo Jun 07, 9 38 51 AM

So while I may say I miss the big nurseries in western Washington that offer year-round gratification for my need for dirt, and gripe that Spider Web’s prices are too high and half of their plants are unmarked, secretly I count my blessings that this place is what it is. Today I commented on a plant I loved that was crawling over a stone wall by the barn, and while they didn’t carry it in the greenhouses they let me take a cutting. Like everything else in rural New Hampshire, this place is propped up and held together by history, family ties and a fair amount of Yankee ingenuity. What they lack in discipline they make up for in authenticity. Spider Web Gardens, in all its colorful lopsidedness, is what New Hampshire is all about.

Photo Jun 07, 9 31 28 AM










8 responses to “My need for dirt

  1. Some wonderful photos, as always ~

  2. Paige, Your prose has taken a new path ….. along with your excellent photos, this little ditty screams “Come hither” to anyone with a green thumb.
    I assume you shared this with the folks who own/operate the nursery? You might do the same for other local small businesses ….the more the better.
    “Shutter Bug Review” …… has a nice ring to it. D

  3. [laughter I CAN see the charm but love my local one where everything is lined up like soldiers on parade . . . AND very clearly marked! Both the ‘how’ and the ‘how much’ 🙂 !

  4. vintagefrenchchic

    For all our similarities, here is where our paths divert. Dirt. Just a four letter word in my world. However, your lovely post could almost make me a dirt lover. And I do LOVE that photo with all the red wagons–nicely done!!

  5. Linda Freyberg

    Spider Web should pay you a royalty for all of the business they will be receiving from the locals who receive your blog!! I’d go if I lived there. And I have fond memories of visiting their nursery last fall. Thanks for the memories!

  6. I came to visit you after your visit to me and oh my is right – I really love your blog! Following!

  7. I feel the same way, both about dirt, and finding treasures of chatacter. I wouldn’t be able to resist the red wagons 🙂

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