Don’t you love life’s unexpected moments? The ones that are eye opening and leave you feeling as if you happened upon a treasure? This was me with Ricky’s Flower Market in Somerville, Massachusetts outside Boston.
It was when I walked out of Ricky’s Flower Market to grey skies and snow left by the 3rd of 4 Nor’easters to hit greater Boston in a matter of weeks that I was reminded what a gem it truly is. Inside it’s lush and verdant — a true plant lovers paradise. While outside winter still had its hold, even though it was only a matter of hours until the first, official day of spring.
If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram or twitter (or facebook), you’ll know I’ve been touring the Grow What You Love book, hopping from flower show to bookstore or garden club to flower show. What a thrill it’s been to see this book out in the world! And an equally wonderful experience meeting so many of you!
I called ahead before leaving Chicago for Boston, looking for herbs like thyme, oregano, and basil that I’d need to teach a planting workshop at the Boston Flower Show. This is when I first found Ricky and his market. He told me “no,” there were no herbs in stock. “Did I not know the whole town was shut down thanks to the storm? …No herbs yet, too cold. They’re waiting in greenhouses until the weather improves.”
So I went back to the Farmer’s Market Garden Center in Chicago where I led an herb workshop the night before. I knew for a fact they’d have what I needed. Farmer’s Market Garden Center is another plant lover’s oasis. Check out their terrarium classes and fabulous everything if you find yourself in the north end of the city. (You will love it!)
There I gathered up a grocery bag worth of plants neatly growing in 4” pots. Golden oregano, dill, rosemary — even variegated nasturtium.
But, when I hit the ground in Boston, I still needed planting containers, gravel, charcoal, and potting soil to demonstrate the making of a mason jar herb garden. So, Ricky’s it was.
I was greeted by shelves upon shelves of succulents arranged under an east-ish facing window followed by every indoor plant you could possibly imagine (or wish for). Facing opposite the succulents is the terrarium station, where all the supplies I needed for my mason jar herb garden were waiting. Plus Ricky’s carried the best, local organic potting soil, OMRI certified and all, made by Coastal Maine Organic Products. (Another fabulous discovery.)
Then there was Ricky himself. I knew it was him before introducing myself because I recognized his rich, Boston accent as the same one from the other end of my phone calls. He was taller than I expected. And not the old salt (I sort of anticipated), but an approachable, genuine person with an understated smile. Easy to talk to and easy to see he was the heart behind all this green and the genesis of many gardens.
Plant people are the best.
Learn more about the Farmer’s Market Garden Center in Chicago, IL here.
Learn more about Ricky’s Flower Market in Somerville, MA here.
Learn more about the Grow What You Love book tour here.
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