Bringing Spring Color To Your Patio

Hanging planters and other porch and patio plants are popular with consumers at Stam Greenhouse.

Hanging planters and other porch and patio plants are popular with consumers at Stam Greenhouse.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Spring has finally arrived for real here in Iowa. Farmers are working the fields, and everything is finally in bloom.

The on-again, off-again spring filled with cloudy overcast days early on, keeping those seeking spring colors at home, waiting to make sure the snow didn’t fall once again.

Out at Stam Greenhouse, they watched the weather and watched a spring slowly arrived.

That short spring impacted Stam’s Greenhouse and those other businesses that thrive on the green of spring. Extra expenses such as natural gas to keep the greenhouse warm, compounded by customers waiting to see what was in store made those initial weeks tough.

Brent Stam, owner of Stam Greenhouse, said, “There’s a delay in sales, so the month of April we are way behind and so that effects us. So prices at this point are still the same as the last five years, we’ve got a couple of new items and new sizes for people, and actually, we have reduced prices on a couple of items to drive traffic.”

Those new items and specials started to draw people out of their winter funk, searching for color to brighten their deck or patio.

Flowers and the different color trends have changed over time with customer tastes. “Ten years ago geraniums were the number one item, and now that has been taken by morning bells and petunias. They’re very durable. They’ve done well, and they don’t need the maintenance. The other item that is increasing would be Dragon Wing Begonias cause they’re very versatile and they’ll do sun or shade,” said Stam.

With the busy schedules of many today, finding the time to maintain your garden or hanging baskets has decreased. According to Stam, people are searching for, “Something that’s easy. Water once a day and be done and enjoy.

With the warming weather, the crowd increased in the greenhouse. Stam said that most all of his staff have five or more years experience helping customers choose the best plants and flowers to suit their needs. “We have knowledgeable staff that has been doing this a long time, and that makes life easier for me but also for the customers.

Many of those customers are choosing maintenance-free options, designer colors, among others this year.

For those that want the traditional plants like geraniums, Stam says those are still available to customers. They provide a sense of connection to the past because it may have been what customers mothers or grandmothers once had.

Those traditional plants provide “vibrant color”, Stam says pointing towards a tray of plants on the shelf. “It’s just eye-popping and eye-catching, so people still like them.”

Learning about the trends for customers, new varieties and options for customers is something Stam and his family spend the winter months reviewing.

“Every year, Phyllis [Stam] and I will take a trip to Michigan, and we will visit seven greenhouses that are wholesale,” said Stam. “Out of those seven, the breeders will be represented. European breeders and North American breeders.”

The couple spends a week, “examining the new items and seeing how well old ones are holding up. It’s very, very helpful,” added Stam.

Those trends in flowers, over the decades that Stam has been in business. Those include bedding flats, which are items from seed, has decreased while market for four-inch annuals have increased “just because there’s a lot more color,” explained Stam.

Those reasons can be attributed to people wanting to spend less time planting and spending more time on the patio enjoying the patio.

Stam says it’s a generation thing, of people spending less time planting in gardens to enjoying containers on their deck or patio with them. “So we can enjoy it when we have company over.”

Hummingbirds and pollinator flower beds also have some popularity, and Stam and his staff help those interested in providing habitat for them.

“We have seed packets, hummingbird/butterfly mix, and we have different plants that are good for hummingbirds or those that are good for butterflies,” added Stam. “We have those categorized, and they come in many sizes.”

“The city planters this year. They were hoping to get more of a butterfly attractant to the city planters, so we’re doing some butterfly bushes, were doing some Lantana, and they were doing some mixes of other plants, to hopefully attract more of the butterflies,” explained Stam.

Beyond plants, Stam also has many lawn decorations, gnome gardens, and other accessories.

Stam says that market is “just as wide as the plants are because everyone has different tastes in what they like. So we go to several different shows a year to find out what unique items can accent a patio or porch or yard.”

Spring may be short this year, and the staff at Stam Greenhouse can help you get ready to make the most of it, while helping you prepare your plants and garden for the heat of the summer.

You can find out more about Stam Greenhouse by visiting on their Facebook page here – https://www.facebook.com/StamGardenCenter/

 

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Posted by on May 12 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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