As summer approaches, many area residents are taking shovel in hand. Some are planting flowers to add a splash of color to their yards, while others are working toward a bounty of fresh vegetables.
The city of Elkins has also undergone some seasonal beautification with the addition of nearly 600 flowers downtown.
Elaine Griesel, owner of Ceramics With Class, planted impatiens throughout the city's flower boxes. "The city needs to be beautiful and so I said OK, I would plant the flower boxes free of charge if the city would maintain them. I started Wednesday at five o'clock and it took about 16 hours. We planted about 580 flowers," Griesel said.
(CU and The Inter-Mountain/Grant Jones)
Elaine Griesel, owner of Ceramics With Class checks the flowers Friday in one of the many flower boxes in downtown Elkins. Earlier in the week, Griesel planted the flowers free of charge under the condition that the city maintain them. Nearly 600 impatiens now decorate downtown Elkins.
Two local greenhouses, Mary's Greenhouse and Crazy Harry's, are selling flowers, vegetables and offering advice for what thrives in the garden during a hot summer.
Larry Gouer, the owner of Mary's Greenhouse, has plenty of plants and advice for people working on or just starting their gardens. Mary's Greenhouse features several popular flowers including Millenium Bells, portulacas and lantanas, a flower that attracts butterflies and humming birds. The lantana is a particularly hardy plant that survives even as temperatures begin to rise. Combined baskets filled with different flowers that grow at similar speeds creating vibrant contrasting colors have been one of the most popular items at Mary's Greenhouse. They're so popular in fact that the arrangements are all but sold out.
Mary's Greenhouse also features a wide variety of potted vegetables ranging from peppers to swiss chard.
"The city needs to be beautiful ... we planted about 580 flowers."
"The thing that separates us from the big box stores is the fact that I don't have a lot but I have some of everything," Gouer said.
Gouer displays a knowledge of plants and is keen to help any local gardener. Potted vegetables are a newer concept, according to Gouer, and are more popular for younger generations who want a garden but can't make the space.
Crazy Harry's Greenhouse has recently sold more vegetable plants than flowers, a trend that has continued for the past couple of years. Some of the popular items include tomatoes, peppers, squash and fruit trees.
Gardeners in Elkins seem to be embracing not only a beautiful garden but ones that provide leafy greens, vegetables and herbs that will add flavor to their foods. The long winter in Elkins is gone and in its place comes a wide variety of plants to spice up the colors and flavors of the summer.