Boyd Eliot, longtime assistant manager at Sutherland's in Price, above, shows off the venue's giant garden display. Other photos represent CJs and K-Mart, also in Price and also decked out for spring. Soon, all of these outlets will have seasonal sales, as well as outdoor plant and flower exhibits.
Ah, summertime and the livin' is easy, at least according to George Gershwin. But before the hot weather comes - hopefully - there's a brief respite entitled "spring." It's a time of renewal, rejuvenation and redemption.
It's the season when we wake from winter's solemn slumber, shake ourselves conscious and begin the process of coming to life after the snows have melted.
One ritual of spring is the annual planting of the home garden, or at the very least, growing a few houseplants to beautiful the block. There used to be enough nurseries and homes and garden stores to blot out the sun. Now, however, just a few survive, mostly in large discount stores, especially here in Price.
One small nursery located on Carbonville Road, the Plant Patch, has gone out of business, but plans to open a smaller greenhouse in the future.
For now, however, the only retail outlets which sell plants, as well as outdoor garden supplies are Sutherlands, CJ's, K-Mart and Walmart. Local Walmart officials could not comment in time for the deadline on this article so here is the rundown on the other three.
A nationwide chain of about 70 stores (headquartered in Kansas City, Mo.), each outlet is independently owned and operated. For over 37 years, Boyd Eliot, has been a part of this organization, including the last six years at the Price location.
"I wouldn't go anywhere else," he said. "We love it here." Boyd loves his job, too. As the assistant manager in charge of purchasing, he's a very busy man, but still has time to help folks in the home and garden section.
"We have a wide range of items for planting and growing," he said. More than any other store in Price. We have potting and gardening soil, including the very best 16-16-16 all purpose."
Sutherland's also offers a wide array of EPA pro-growth chemical and environmentally safe insecticides (although not everyone in Price has gone green. Some farmers still want products that they say "work").
The store also has drip and traditional sprinkler systems, hoses, end lines, rakes, shovels, hoes and other implements.
Lawn mowers, weed-whackers and tillers are there, too. In a few weeks, as the weather warms, plants, flowers, trees and shrubs will be on sale, as well as a whole parking lot full of pottery and outdoor statuary, all purchased, of course, by Eliot.
For details, call 613-1512.
Another national chain with a long history of local ownership in Price, CJ's, located at 710 E. Main, is gearing up for spring, too.
"We're using the Home & Garden Show (March 26-27) to kick off our season," said manager Rory Jones. "We will also have some outdoor displays, we're just not sure what will be display yet."
CJ's, smaller than either Sutherland's or K-Mart, nevertheless has potting soil, fertilizer (Scott's Weed and Seed is a most popular item), peat moss, seeds, bulbs (but no plants) and a large supply of spreaders, weed-eaters, lawn mowers, shovels, rakes, axes and other hand tools.
Lawn decor customers can also choose from solar stake lights, veneer stone, pottery, and may even have benches and picnic tables custom-made to order.
"Our advantage over some of the bigger stores is that we have excellent products and our customer service," Jones added. "We are smaller in size and don't have as many items on display as a Wal-Mart, but what we don't have we can get. We have over 65,000 items in our warehouse, so just about any need can be fulfilled."
For more information, call 636-8100.
This discount franchise has been around since founder Sebastian S. Kreske opened his first outlet in 1962. There are currently over 1,000 retails stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In Price, that tradition goes back at least 20 years (located at 610 West Price River Dr.) and Home & Garden Manager Carol Southards has been here for 17 of those.
"We will have a lot of plants, statues, pottery and other items on display in a few weeks, just as soon as it gets warm," Southards said.
In the meantime, customers can browse the large, bright section and pick up some cold weather tolerant starter plants (peas, broccoli, lettuce, strawberries) and seeds, as well as a large variety of tools and implements, weed killers, insecticides, fertilizer (Round-Up or K-Gro brands), hoses and sprinklers (but no sprinkler systems), lawn ornaments and planter pots, among other items.
K-Mart also carries Craftsman and Weed Eater brand lawn mowers, weed-whackers, trimmers and spreaders. There's even one riding mower available at the unbelievable price of $699 (get it while it lasts).
"By Wednesday, we expect to receive 10 pallets full of dirt," Southards added.
For more information, call 637-0576.