Need a garden center in Nebraska
February 26, 2014 11:42 AM   Subscribe

We have a friend in Central City, and her Mom just died, so the other members of our far-flung group wanted to get a gift certificate from a local garden center that she could redeem for a tree, or piece of garden art. Trouble is, we don't know what's available out there..

If big box is all that is available, so be it, but we would really prefer it be a local, mom-and-pop type place.
Bonus: if any of you are actually in that area, any tree suggestions are welcome!
posted by PlantGoddess to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Earl May Garden Center in Grand Island, NE is probably your best bet; they're about a half-hour out from Central City. They have a full-service nursery and you can buy gift cards from them online. Also in Grand Island: Lewis Greenscape and Home Depot (if you're desperate).

I don't live in Nebraska, but I'm in the same climate and USDA growing zone, so here are my votes:
* Lilacs, always. Just the best.
* If your friend can't be too fussed with plant care, Forsythia is a fantastic early spring hedge that grows super-fast, it's easy to care for and keep tidy, and it looks so gorgeous when everything else around is barren and sometimes even still snow-covered.
* If something a bit more finicky would be OK, Acer japonicum or shirasawanum (Japanese maple) would be a nice choice. They grow rather slowly but they're so dang pretty. Bloodgood is a reliable cultivar, albeit a spendy one.
* If she has a ton of space on her property, you could go big and get her a Salix babylonica (weeping willow).
* Other hardy stuff with winter interest: Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), dogwood (Cornus sericea), serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), burning bush (Euonymus alatus).

Some other options for zone 5 trees are listed at Fine Gardening, Fast Growing Trees, and Arbor Day Foundation (where you can buy trees online right from the source).

My condolences to your friend.
posted by divined by radio at 12:46 PM on February 26, 2014

I'm from Nebraska, and my old friends the Wilkes run the Wilke Landscape Center in Columbus. That's about 45 minutes from Central City, so farther than Grand Island, but not really a big deal on the rural Nebraska driving scale. I don't know much about gardens or trees, but the Wilkes are some of the best people you will ever meet; they will be glad to hear the story of your friend and will take good care of her. My condolences to you all.
posted by Sfving at 3:03 PM on February 26, 2014

Thank you both for your answers. I think we'll go with Wilkes, since it's a Mefi connection!
posted by PlantGoddess at 5:42 AM on February 27, 2014

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