32 Memorable Midwest Garden Centers
Before you go
It takes a little planning to make a good garden center road trip. Here's what to bring to enjoy it even more.
Comfy shoes Whether you choose sneakers or sandals, go for endurance, not looks. Expect mud.
Picnic lunch When you're on the hunt for plants, sometimes you don't want to stop for lunch, or there might not be a good place at the right time of day. Carry food and beverages with ice in a cooler.
Money Gardening isn't cheap; then again, neither is therapy. Bring cash because not all places accept credit cards.
Gung-ho attitude Like antiquing, buy the plant when you see it. You'll have more regrets if you don't buy it than you will if you buy it but find it a few dollars cheaper elsewhere.
Plastic liner Line your vehicle's seats and trunk with plastic to prevent damage from soil.
Common sense Park your car in the shade so plants don't sunburn or wilt from heat. Bring a watering can if you're on the road for more than a day. The trunk may be hot, but it's shaded.
Hand sanitizer and toilet paper Some garden centers only provide portable toilets.
Sunscreen Wear it even on overcast days.
A plan Many garden centers are in the country. Use an online map or GPS to plot your route. Check hours carefully as they vary widely.
Click here to see the Plant Encyclopedia from our sister publication Better Homes and Gardens if you want to do some research before your trip.