Spring is in the air — at least most days. Winter has been hard and long and now we are all yearning for some warm weather with flowers blooming and our gardens started for the growing season.

So what better time to go browsing through greenhouses to give us ideas. Most of us gardeners are familiar with the better-known nurseries in our respective areas, so for this road trip we introduce you to some lesser-known growers, each with something unique to offer up — everything from a wallaby named “Roo” to edible flowers, to native landscapes.

Before you hit the road, consider taking a virtual road trip to warm you up, including these sources:

— Johnny’s Selected Seeds of Winslow is one of many mail-order seed companies that offer many specialty seeds that might interest you. For a catalog go to its website: www.johnnyseeds.com. They also have a retail store in Winslow.

— Are you into permaculture? Check out this great website: http://www.permacultureactivist.net/.

— Got cravings for organic seeds and plants? Go to: //www.seedsofchange.com/enewsletter/issue_66/osa.aspx .

— Looking for a grower with a lot to offer? Try Fedco Seeds at: http://www.fedcoseeds.com/index.htm; browse through its website and read the great information they have on there.

— And for more general information on Maine growers try these websites:

* www.mofga.org, http://www.plants4maine.com/

* http://www.gardenguides.com/local-nurseries/me/

Those are just a few teasers for you. As for this month’s road trip,  we offer up a few special places; most are “mom and pop” operations, so don’t expect to see full-service nurseries. Keep in mind most of these nurseries are just getting ready for the season, so do not have many offerings at the moment. But give them a call if you are interested and they will be happy to talk to you, or make a date to go in a few weeks.

Pooh Corner Farm

436 Bog Road

Mason Township

www.poohfarm.com

836-3276

If you have children you’ll want to go here. It is about 5 miles outside of Bethel, near Gilead, a short 2.5 miles off Route 2. It is at the end of Bog Road, which turns into a dirt road, but well worth it. You will see a large sign on Route 2 for the farm, so you can’t miss it. Here, along with all the flowers and plants, you’ll find a gift shop and florist, as well as Roo (a Wallaby) and Piglet (a pink pot-bellied pig) for your kids’ delight.

Allen, Sterling, and Lothrop

191 U.S. Route 1

Falmouth

www.allensterlinglothrop.com

781-4142

This is a great place to visit. They don’t have many live plants to offer right now, but they do have one of the most beautiful geraniums I’ve ever found, the Apple Blossom Geranium, which you can order and they will start it for you from a cutting (and, yes, I did get one!). They also have a gift shop and a long wall stocked with seed packets for just about anything you want to plant.

The Little Red Greenhouse

34 Fellows Farm Road

Fayette

293-3159

This is an out-of-the-way location but worth the trip. Here you will find many plants, along with their specialty: organically grown edible flowers. They also grow herbs and make herb wreathes, as well as sell flowers to restaurants for use in their food. Nasturtiums, hollyhock, tuberous begonias, geraniums, pansies, violas, calendula, chive flowers, scarlett runner beans and mint flowers are all edible and available here.

Cranberry Creations

905 Sandy River Road

Mount Vernon

www.cranberrycreations.com

293-4055

Cranberry Creations is just about 2.5 miles from The Little Red Greenhouse and here, as the name says, they deal with cranberries. They sell only cranberry plants, so if you want some fresh cranberries that you have grown yourself check them out. Be the first in your neighborhood to grow your own cranberries for your holiday table.

Native Haunts

317 Mountain Road

Alfred

490-0849

www.nativehaunts.com

This grower offers seeds and plants from Maine and New England. If you are looking to change your landscape to one of just native plants, this is the place for you. Or you can add to your current garden with a few hardy natives. The lovely hepatica is blooming now, but I visited on a very cold day and the blossoms were closed for the day. Also of interest if you’re looking for native species is Fernwood Nursery in Montville, just west of Belfast: www.frenwoodnursery.com.

Hepatica in bloom at Native Haunts in Alfred


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