The truth is; Slaughter’s Garden Center is a magical botanic garden. It smells of dirt, flowers and the color green, or what I imagine the color green would smell like. I just love it there and can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon in early spring.

I walked slowly down the aisles of plants, all foreign worlds away from mine. Rows of romaine, cauliflower and cabbage called out to me… you can do it this year, really you can.

As I began to fill my flat with the promises of early spring vegetables I stumbled across a very non-descript plant. A plant that I think would normally get overlooked or quickly dismissed as, well, grass. Really good grass nonetheless with clusters of pink flowers jutting out.

I couldn’t leave them there. In my flat they went, right next to the cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

When I got home I did a quick Google search and found out that it is called Thrift, or Sea Pink or a number of other names. It’s common in the Pacific Northwest and it likes a lot of sun. It also likes well-drained soil with some rocks thrown in for good measure.

I found my empty Jayne Avery pot, a gift two Christmases ago, and start filling it with potting soil and a then gravel, and then more potting soil and then more gravel. The gravel was grainy and the rocks were small. Once the Sea Pink was settled in I gave it a water and then topped with larger rocks for even more drainage. My pot does have a small crack in the bottom,my own fault for leaving it outside during the winter months, which helps even more with drainage.

I will bring it in at night because I feel it’s the right thing to do. You see, I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to growing plants. Every year I fall victim to all the pretty flowers and tomatoes that I can’t help myself. Sometimes it ends horribly and sometimes I’m embarrassed by the severe lack of knowledge of have on plants. And on even rarer occasions I find myself eating a little sage or basil that I managed to keep alive. That’s what I enjoy about Slaughter’s Garden Center, there is always a chance to start over.

Slaughter’s Garden Center

536 Floyd Highway South
Floyd, VA 24091-2362
(540) 745-9876


Lorrie Fenn is the owner and Senior Designer of Beautiful Layers Design and Creative Solutions in Floyd. Her biggest goal this Spring is to turn her black thumb green.




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One Response to The First Signs of Spring

  1. Malika Walker says:

    I too once recieved one of those pots [a hanging pot actually] as a gift one year. I dearly loved it and cried when it didn’t survive one of my many moves. Good luck with your plant. It’s lovely in that pot.

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