LAYTON -- It's a good guess that not too many people are worrying about planting pots of flowers in the recent Utah April weather.
However, one group of ladies spent a recent rainy morning planting pots full of flowers at a class held at The Petal Pusher in Layton. They hope their flowers will be full-grown and ready for their yards come June.
The group's reason for the early start is because nursery owner, Linda Ashment, will baby and care specifically for their potted plants in her nursery for the next month.
Julie Howard, of Layton, has been planting her own pots at the nursery for the past several years.
"I love having her keep my plants for a month because when I come back, they are full and beautiful. When I set them out, a lot of my other stuff hasn't bloomed yet and looks a little bare, so these add some color," Howard said.
Ashment said it's easy to pot plants and flowers. Her class first went through the nursery and selected the plants they wanted. Ashment advised them along the way as to which ones did well in sun or shade.
Growing things in Utah can get a bit tricky during summer months with the state's extreme heat, Ashment said. One of the biggest problems is people try to put partial sun plants into the full sun, thinking they will do well.
"Utah sun is so hot that your shade stuff is going to die," said Ashment, who added that Gerber Daisies are especially problematic. "They have a hard time because they say sun, but the daisies don't take our sun very well." Many of the plants Ashment said she sells are tested in Georgia, where their summer heat is different than Utah's.
The class had an assortment of plants to choose from, including one that smelled like pineapple, a plant that keeps mosquitoes at bay, or even plants that can be eaten. Ashment also talked about many new plants that have thicker centers so they don't close at night.
"Many of our plants are new this year because they work on the DNA of the plants. When they get the mother plant patented, they can take cuttings off of that plant," said Ashment.
Often plants will be bred specifically for their color.
Once the class had their flowers, they filled their pots with soil and planted flowers following Ashment's simple instructions; first the thriller plant in the center with filler plants surrounding the thriller, and several spillers around the edge to drape over the side of the pot.
Another problem Ashment said she sees are customers who buy more than they need for their pot.
"They like plants so much that they overfill. It is pretty, but they spend more money than they need," said Ashment.
She suggests putting in one thriller plant, three to five filler plants and five to seven trailer-type plants.
Ashment said she likes to put bright colored plants in her pots, but she also advises people to keep in mind the color of their house, and what colors contrast with that.
Angie Oliphant, of Layton, attended the class and appreciated learning how to design her pots.
"I'm not really a green thumb, so it's nice to come here and get help from the experienced staff," Oliphant said.
Caring for potted plants takes more commitment than flower beds in a yard, Ashment said. Planter pots need to be watered on a daily basis, especially given the extreme summers experienced in Top of Utah, she said.
"Nowadays people don't like to take care of their whole yard," said Ashment.
Pots can also be put in kitchens for people to grow herbs, or people who live in apartments can grow vegetables or flowers in pots, she said.