Knowing Your Neighbors: Spring at Last

DULUTH, Minn. — For seven years Spring at Last Greenhouse has provided plant lovers of the Northland with various flowers, herbs, vegetables and a whole lot more.

After a historic snow filled winter, owner Jennifer Couillard said they have been seeding every Saturday since the end of February and are right on track for their season opening on May 4th.

In past years Spring at Last’s busiest time is from the start of growing up until the end of May, as the season opener brings in many Mother’s Day shoppers and eager planters
in the warmer weather.

“This is the time of year that used to get me down, the long winters, you know, the ugly snow piles, but now every day I get to come out here where it is spring indoors, it gets up to almost 80 every day in here, and the smell of green and the smell of dirt is something that I love and I think all my employees love too,” Couillard said.

Annuals, perennials and hanging baskets have been the hot ticket items at the greenhouse and there is even gardening supplies available, from soil, to pots, to utensils.

With such a wide choice of greens to choose from, staff is on hand to answer questions and give tips.

“When you’re planting planters, pick plants that have the same requirements, don’t pick something that is drought tolerating and doesn’t like to be wet, and stick it with something that likes to be damp. People will pick things up and they look good together, but then they might not grow will together,” Couillard said.

With lots of snow came misfortune as one of the seven greenhouses on the property collapsed.

The 40 by 150 foot structure housed about a quarter of total products including a large amount perennials.

Even though there will be less product than usual, with the help of other gardening companies, Spring at Last will still be able to provide a good amount of perennials.

“We were watching it throughout the night but it was mostly raining that whole night, we got up in the morning it turned to snow so we weren’t really worried about, we looked out and it and it had a couple inches of snow on it, but then it started raining again and by the time we went to look at it again at 9:30 it had already collapsed,” Couillard said.

For people who have a green thumb, but may be new to the planting hobby, specialists at the center suggest waiting out the cold weather even if eager to start planting.

“Every year, I think what happens is people get so excited to plant that they often put things out to early, so don’t put anything out until before Memorial day that you can’t take in or cover easily,” Couillard said.

As the weather gets warmer and snow melts for the upcoming open of Spring at Last, the greenhouse will be open from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. Monday through Saturday and 12 to 5 P.M. on Sundays.

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