Science and Sentiment

This page is for gardeners who understand that gardening is a combination of science and sentiment.  Gardening is the intersection of horticultural knowledge on how to grow a garden and sentiment on the beauty of creation and life-lessons that gardening can teach.  While gardeners need a bit of background in horticulture, they also garden because they are creating something beautiful and useful.  They know that life renews itself every year; patience is essential; and an appreciation of beauty is God’s gift to mankind.

For more science, go to Clemson University’s website.  There are fact sheets here on every subject about horticulture you can think of.  You’ll get the science aspect of gardening without much sentiment.  In fact, every state has a “Land Grant” university that is required to have an extension office that provides agricultural information.  In North Carolina it is NC State; in Georgia it is University of Georgia; in Virginia it is Virginia Tech.  Not sure about schools outside of my southern area, but easily found on the web.

For sentiment, here are other blogs I enjoy:  Hortitopia is a lovely blog written by Marian St. Clair of Greenville, SC.  Marian is a garden writer and Master Gardener.  Helen Yoest is also a Master Gardener, writer and speaker.  She’s from Raleigh, NC and hosts Gardening With Confidence.  Pam Penick hosts Digging, another gardener battling heat for a very cool garden.  She gardens, writes and blogs from Austin, TX.

For those of you who are beginners, check out this site:  There are 556 videos for gardeners of every interest.


Woodley’s Garden Center is great.  There are two locations, one in Irmo and one on the Northeast side of town.  They have beautiful offerings and knowledgable help.  They are on the high side of prices, but do offer Master Gardeners a 10% discount.  Just show your badge to claim the discount.  They have wonderful plants, can order anything, and beautiful artifacts to add to your garden.

Wingard’s is another premium garden center.  They are located in Lexington.  They also have knowledgable help, beautiful plants and a lovely garden center store.  They have a market on site with local offerings.  No discounts here.

Botanica, Native Plants and Helping Hands are Mom-and-Pop kinds of nurseries.  They offer knowledgable advice, but selections are somewhat inconsistent.  Prices are lower.  All three of these are on the Northwest side of the Midlands.

Reese‘s Garden Center is on the Northeast side of the Midlands.  This is the best value.  Great, healthy plants; knowledgable staff; wide variety of offerings.  The selection is large, and plants are healthy.  For me, it is well worth a drive across town.

Seven Oaks Plant Shop is on the Northwest side of the Midlands, and has limited selection because they are land-locked.  But the prices are good and the staff is knowledgeable.  They have healthy selections, and best of all they have an annual sale of 25% off everything in the store on the second Saturday of every March.

Downtown Columbia has Southern Vistas Landscape and Design Center.  Here you’ll find very knowledgeable help, and a wide selection of eclectic garden art.  Their prices are very reasonable and the plants are healthy.  It’s worth a trip to go and see just the garden artifacts they have.

Also downtown is Gardener’s Outpost, which prides itself in being local and sustainable.  Not many plants here, but the advice is solid and there is the advantage of shopping locally.  And last is Forest Lake Gardens, with a nice selection of annuals and vegetable plantings.