Gardening .101: Get free advice



Gardening .101: Get free advice
Gardening .101: Get free advice
re your daisies droopy, your perennials
puny? Have weeds invaded your
. lawn? Or do you just want to add
.• a little pizzazz to your property?
How-to books and online tips can be
helpful, but sometimes you need more per. sonalized answers to specific questions. You
. can get great ideas, how-to tips and detailed
advice on beautifying your landscape from
experts at your local garden center, and it
doesn't have to put the hurt on your budget.
One-on-one service is an important factor
of his family's business, said Rudy Eisele of
Eisele's Nursery and Garden Center, Paramus.
And, he added, it's free.
"Customers come to us, of course, to buy
. a product, but a lot of them are dealing with
plant or landscape issues that require expert
advice," Eisele said. "We must answer at
least 20 questions a day from customers who
need help with everything from identifying
a weed or pest to problems with soil and
selecting the right plant for their yard. We
don't Qlar.g.e, f9~giving advice."
Eisere said he
ohi the garden center's
designers will walk customers through
the 8-acre property to show and discuss individual plants - "This gives customers a much
better look at what we're talking
about" He noted that having
so many types of plants on the
premises is a bonus. "We don't
have to order plants for customers, because we have them
rjght here. Not every garden
center can say that."
Some specimens are available
in various stages of growth,
he added, making it easier for
a customer to visualize what the
tree or plant will look like as time
goes on. He said some people
PriOTO COURTESY OF nlll'll(5TOCl( want an instant landscape and
The staff at your local garden center can guide your plant choices. prefer to purchase full-grown plants.
~~:;..::::;)fi,.: ¢ ;~t:z:;
Rob Suplicki, a manager at Corrado's Garden Center in Clifton, help customer Arturo Garcia choose
from among a selection of purple coneflowers (echinacea).
Eisele's designers also will draw up plans
based on a photo or a visit to the homeowner's
property, another free service.
"But we don't give those plans to customers
unless they purchase the plants or installation
service," Eisele said. Fees for installation
depend on size and scope of the project.
Frank Fernicola Jr. of the Fairfield Garden
Center, Fairfield, said he also provides oneon-one service free of charge for walk-in
customers. "We have staff who are experts
in specific areas, so we can put customers
in the right hands," he said.
A few years ago, Fairfield Garden Center
started offering free, in-house seminars on difSee GARDEN CENTER Page 5
At Corrado's Garden Center, Girton, Rob Sup!idd, left, advises the r,,1oranos on choosing the right lat$summer plants to bgghten lip their propeli'j.
Gard~n center goodwill
From Page 2
ferent subjectsrelevant to a particular season,
"We have them several times a year,"
Fernicola said. "The topics vary, but they're
helpful because customers get to see firsthand how to do certain projects." A seminar
this September will deal with "Closing Your
Pond for the Winter the Right Way."
Fairfield also provides how-to tips, videos.
and other customer guides on its website.
Matera's Nursery, Ridgefield, doesn't provide installation services, but Joe Matera said
customers often come in seeking tips for DIY
"We're happy to offer as much advice as
we can to help do-it-yourselfers get the job
done," he said.
Matera recommends customers bring in
photos of their property so he can get a bet-
ter idea of the lay of the land. "It's a good
way for us to see what can be done without
ad:ually being on site," he said. "We don't
install; but we want the customers to be
satisfied. rr
Rob Suplicki, a manager at Corrades'
Garden Center in Clifton, operates the same
wcly. "We don't do the installation, but we
can help customers with design ideas and in
choosing plants for their projects," he said.
Both Matera and Suplicki noted that
advice is free to customers, and speCialty
experts are on hand attheir garden centers
to help with specific questions.
Eiseleadded that if customers have one
of his designers draw up a site plan, but
want to do their own installation, the garden
center will deliver the selected products
for a nominal fee, even placing them near
the suggested planting area if requested.
The New jersey Botanical Garden (, Ringwood, also schedules regular
workshops for folks who want to hone their gardening skills. Upcoming topics include:
II Gardening Workshop ~ a hands-on program that provides tips and tricks
to make your garden better.
III lilac Care Workshop ~ learn to prune, thin, deadhead and gain general care
from the experts.
Programs are held on the premises of the NJBGand are free to the public, but donations are accepted. Some reservations may be required and park,lng fees may apply,
depending on the time of year.
You also can get expert advice- on anything from plant care to pest control to soil
analysis- through any of the Master Gardener county offices throughout the state,
either in-person or via a hotline phone number manned by Master: Garpeners, Seasonal
seminars and workshops are-held in various locations. Registta1:io~f~l!soften ~pplY;
For more information, visjLhttpj/njae~.rutgers.ed,U/maste-rg§rpeb~rs!cbtihti~~.asp.' '