With cigarette butts and cats in rut
Otherwise, I don’t know.
Last summer, I weeded my garden of flowers and meticulously grew weeds. Thanks to Miracle Grow and weeds that grew like weeds, I was very successful. I had just purchased my house, and the people who handed over seven sets of keys didn’t hand over one piece of advice for what their garden was growing. I thought if something had broad green leaves and grew readily, it had to be a flower. Quite contrary to common sense, I plucked the silver bells and the cockle shells until I was left with what most people generally try to get rid of: weeds.
This year, while I don’t expect my home to be featured in Slightly Better Homes & Gardens, I would like my yard to look less like a giant litter box and more like a Thomas Kinkade tole painting. Is this too much to hope for in lower Sugar House, or Sugar Hood? One can only dream.
Unfortunately, the road to this dream is paved with potholes and hazard signs. Literally. Quality Flowers & Plants is located on 3300 South. This road looks like it was designed and paved by a contingency from Salt Lake City’s automotive-repair industry to drum up new shock and suspension repairs. You know the road is bad when it’s listed as a qualifying event for the Moab Jeep Safari. Unfortunately, it’s not just the cars that are taking a hit while UDOT is fixing the street—the businesses might be sinking into their own financial potholes, too.
There are many stores up and down 3300 South that need your support, but the rose in the onion patch for me is Quality Flowers & Plants (1046 E. 3300 South). After a long winter, walking into Quality Flowers’ greenhouse is like stepping into an olfactory Shangri-La. Since snow doesn’t have a smell, it seems like the only reason I’ve needed my nose the last few months was to pick it, hold up my glasses with it or to keep Kleenex in business.
I’m the kind of person who pays money for a dandelion growing in the parking lot, so I nose I’m going to need help selecting foliage for my front yard. As I began pushing my cart up and down the rows and rows of flowers, two people came up and said I needed help. They didn’t ask if I needed help—they knew I needed help because the only flowers on my cart were pansies.
“Pansies are too common,” Lisa said.
“But they’re on sale,” I protested.
“Everything is on sale here,” she said. “It’s the best cheapest place to buy flowers.”
Lisa doesn’t work for Quality Flowers; she was a customer. Then she called over her friend who was a flower expert. Her friend’s name is Planet. It was like I was getting help from Mother Nature herself. We, or they, picked out begonias and salvias, some ivy and cosmos, too. They chose flowers for the sunny side of my house and for the shady side.
At this point, the people who worked at Quality Flowers noticed that my green thumb was learning how to sprout, and they gave advice on how, what and when to plant. I get intimidated when I shop at places where I am clueless, but they made me feel right at home. More than that, they’ve helped to make my house a home.
Philip, Philip, my neighbor Steve quipped
How does your garden grow?
I said, “Pulling weeds for lots of hours,
And begonias and cosmos from Quality Flowers.”