Oklahoma Scenes Spring 2020 - Page 28

SPRING GARDENING Direct From The Greenhouse By Misty Crouse And Amie Howell Contributing Columnists B illy and Courtney Preston have owned and operated Hilltop Greenhouse in Cushing since the spring of 2006. Although Billy describes the business as a ‘Ma & Pop’ operation, the greenhouse produces 25,000 plus plants a year and plans for expanding with a fourth greenhouse are in the works. It is easy to see why Billy and Courtney have brought happy gardeners all the way from Texas to plan a fl ower garden. According to Billy, his wife Courtney was the inspiration for opening a greenhouse. “Courtney, an avid gardener when we fi rst married, would go to the plant store and buy all kinds of fl owers” Billy recalled. “Courtney kept saying, you know, Cushing doesn’t have a greenhouse. We need to change that.” While slightly skeptical, Billy agreed, and their dreams seemed to spring to life like the plants they began to grow. They have been serving the local area ever since, growing plants, donating time to beautify our streets, parks and businesses, and supporting fundraisers such as Run for the Mums and the Hypatia Club. When describing what is special about having a business in Cushing, he explains “While still a small town, everybody knows everybody, and if you don’t know what you are doing wrong, a good neighbor - they’ll tell you.” This Oklahoma standard is something they carryover in their business while helping customers plan out fl ower beds and giving tips for successful spring planting. Billy was kind enough to sit down with us and offer useful tips to local gardeners. For the Beginning Gardener: The right plant in the right place is the best advice. I’ve laid out many fl ower beds behind the greenhouse for people. I like to do an 80% Perennial 20% Annual mix which adds depth to your fl owerbed. 28 | Spring Scenes | March 2020 That way, it’s not like a row of hedges. Annuals are something that you plant every year which is your annual color, Perennials are something that comes back year after year. But you want to make sure you get the right plant in the right place. Pay attention to where you plant, because your West side and South side are always going to get hot, your North and East not so much. The main thing is plants get the right amount of sun for their needs. When to Plant: Spring, fall or not at all? Trees and shrubs can be planted in spring or fall. Don’t attempt it when it's 110 or negative 20. “A tree