The normally heady perfume of perennials filling the air at Blooms Greenhouse Grower Outlet had a special hint of hot dogs and popcorn on the first Saturday of June this afternoon.
Gardeners from all over the region were treated to a free lunch and snacks as they shopped during Blooms’ Customer Appreciation Day celebration. The greenhouse itself greeted them with an explosion of bright colors, aromatic herbs, and vegetable starts full of summer promise.
“I love the excitement of spring,” said Sandi Hux, Manager and Office Administrator at Blooms’ Greenhouse. “Everything’s moving and hoping.”
Spring 2019 marks the third year Blooms’ has hosted the event, created to give a little something back to the grower’s supporters. In addition to the food, they held raffles for gift certificates and hanging baskets, and handed out free water bottles to the first 50 shoppers.
Hux is grateful for the loyalty shown by the gardeners that come back, time after time.
“They tell all their friends, they follow us on facebook,” she said. “Without our customers we wouldn’t be here.”
One such visitor was La Porte resident Andrea Back, who comes every spring and fall to buy bright colors for her porch.
“I have probably been coming here for at least three years,” Back said. “I like the variety and the price.”
In the checkout line, her cart held a couple of hanging baskets overflowing with orange, red, and purple petunias. She’d also picked out a few perennials to line her new patio.
Heavy rains earlier in the year had delayed her bi-annual visit, she said. Saturday’s fun incentives and sunny weather had been a perfect opportunity to get her season started.
Karen Balbo and her husband traveled from Valparaiso to pick out a mix of plants for the large planters in their yard. In contrast to Back, this was their first excursion to Blooms. A friend had recommended the location recently over dinner, citing their great deals and popularity as a regional flower source.
“I like different flowers,” Balbo said. “I like unique ones. Something that catches my eye.”
She was impressed with the selection of pots containing interesting combinations of bright, decorative leafy plants and less common blooms, offered alongside the more traditional spring staples.
For frequent visitor Lauretta Hapke of La Porte, Saturday’s trip marked her fifth or sixth of the year. She and her husband kicked off their spring gardening in April with a tour of the greenhouses offered by Blooms as part of their opening day festivities.
“The owner took us around and it was just really phenomenal to see how much there is and how early they start,” Hapke said.
She said she definitely felt appreciated after finishing her free hot dog and loading her cart up with lemon verbena, peonies, and more empty pots to plant them in. Hapke said she loves the fullness and vibrance of Blooms’ hanging baskets and encourages friends to come see for themselves.
“I think that if somebody hasn’t been here, it’s worth a trip no matter where they come from,” Hapke said.
For more information, visit their website. Or, go see the beauty for yourself by visiting their garden at 719 Hupp Road in La Porte!