By ART PETROSEMOLO
Special to the Advocate
With Easter weekend upon us and Mother’s Day not far behind, it’s just about flower time at area greenhouses, florists and even your local grocery store.
“Annuals are ready to bloom and with warmer weather we are seeing winter weary shoppers buying for their garden and looking at colorful hanging baskets,” said Paul Warburton at Warburton Greenhouses (6005 Schoolhouse Road, Elizabethtown, www. wargreen.com).
Paul and brother John run the family business started by their father. Edward Warburton was a horticulture major at Alfred University in New York state before working for years at Longwood Gardens and then opening the greenhouse on the Elizabethtown family farm in 1985. Paul and John were agricultural science majors at Penn State and followed their dad into the business and opened the retail location in 1993.
Priding itself on a knowledgeable staff and friendly service, customers give Warburton high marks.
The brothers explained that it’s all in the numbers with flowers maturing in 25 to 60 or 70 days so planting hanging baskets or planters with a combination of flowers has to be done carefully so they are ready for buyers in full bloom.
Combination hanging baskets have been and continue to be popular with customers and may include bacopa, begonia, fuschia, gazania, impatiens, million bells and pansies.
“Easter and Mother’s Day are moving targets each year,” Paul Warburton said “Starting everything correctly on the right date regardless of what Punxsutawney Phil predicts for the start of spring is important.”
He continued, “Flowers are like bread and milk and have a freshness date. If they are ready too soon or too late, it is more labor intensive for the grower to keep them fresh.We want flowers and plants at their best bloom when the customers is ready to buy and that’s a balancing act.”
Warburton’s has a full selection of annual and perennial flowers, shrubs, vegetable plants, trees and bushes, gift and garden items at its Schoolhouse Road location ready for the growing year.