Keep your eyes out for carefree, black-spot-resis-tant, profusely blooming mid-spring to late-fall
‘Knock Out’ shrub roses; mature, ready-to-put-on-
the-patio12-inch planter tomatoes; and a much larger
selection of herbs and other edibles than last year.
;e Midwest and the Northeast are in for a special treat, with self-pollinating, berried ‘
Honeymooners’ holly. Meanwhile, the Northwest and the
Bay Area are receiving USDA-certi;ed organic tomatoes. Costco is also testing 12-inch caged peppers.
competitor requires plantings every 3 feet, costs
around $174.93 and covers only 21 linear feet.”
For midsummer pop the team suggests
perennials. ;ey also agree that planting black-eyed Susans, potted dahlias, chrysanthemums and purple
coneflower (Echinacea pur-purea) is a great solution to
late-summer garden malaise.
Seasonal favorites are front-door accents such as the
4- to 5-foot-tall spiral Alberta
spruce and dwarf pom-pom
‘Boulevard’ cypress. In addition, Kim suggests fruit and
pine trees, dogwoods and other
;owering trees, and sun;owers to
;e fall landscape selection is much smaller
and o;ered for only about four weeks in weather-appropriate areas.
Most nursery plants stay in-warehouse two to
four days. However, in the case of some plants with a
shorter shelf life, such as annuals, Costco requires up
to four fresh deliveries per day. ;e team knows of no
other large retailer with this stringent requirement.
Baskets of value
The team is very proud of their exclusively
formulated mixed annual patio pots and hanging
Always bestsellers, the $29.99* combination
planter includes such garden favorites as geraniums,
palm-like cordyline, calibrachoa (trailing petunia, or
million bells), lobelia, silver-green-leafed lamium and
white-;owered bacopa ‘Abunda.’ (If you purchased
these elsewhere you would spend approximately
$55 just for the plants—without pot or soil.)
Costco’s hanging baskets of fuchsias and eight
different combinations of annuals sell
for less than $20*. One of my favorite
Costco summer baskets is a blend
of old-fashioned ‘Sultan Red’ snap-
dragons, ‘Lanai Blue’ verbena and
bright scarlet ‘Rumba Fire’ zonal
Each plant has
a limited sell
season and may
not be available
in all regions. Buy
them when you
Costco buyers visit all contracted growers several times per year to ascertain the progress of each
cultivated plant and to verify adherence to Costco’s
Ken says, “As with all Costco products, our phi-
losophy is to select the best quality and then get the
best price. All Costco garden stock must meet or
exceed the standards set forth by the American
Standard for Nursery Stock and be in compliance
with all state regulations.”
Each plant type has its own strict speci;cations.
For example, Costco’s 7-gallon thuja (arborvitae), an
evergreen cypress tree, is required to be a minimum of
5 feet tall from soil to tip and at least 18 inches wide at
the base. It sells for $19.99* this season.
Shorter, misshapen and/or thinner thujas can
indicate unfavorable growing conditions.
Kevin does the math: “If a member buys seven of
our 7-gallon thujas at $19.99* each and plants them
every 4 feet [because of their fullness], an instant
28-linear-foot privacy fence is created for $139.93.
Purchasing seven thinner, 7-gallon thujas from a
The roots of
Whether their thumbs are
brown or green, most gardeners
can use a little help. For example,
many may not know that some
plants, such as blueberries and
assorted bare-root fruit trees, require cross-
pollination in order to bear fruit. ;is is why
Costco bundles male and female blueberry
plants together and brings in the correct fruit tree
combinations. Another perk is the addition of slow-
release fertilizer in the soil of each plant.
As for Kim’s own garden, it’s ;lled with dwarf
conifers for great year-round structure, texture and
color; heucheras (coral bells) of all varieties in containers; lilies, lilies and more lilies of all shapes, sizes
and colors; and grasses for unlimited possibilities.
Ken ends, “I know it sounds pretty corny when
I say, ‘We sell happiness,’ but it’s true. Sit in the Food
Court for 15 minutes during the peak nursery weeks
and you’ll see members coming through the regis-
ters with ;atbeds of plant material and big smiles on
I am, of course, one of them. C
The 16-inch combination
patio pots at Costco, which
are full to bursting with 9
plants ( 7 varieties), cost
about the same price as
what many other retailers
charge just for a similar-size empty pot.
Saving energy naturally
GREEN PLANTS ARE natural green-house-gas reducers, removing carbon
dioxide from the air. They also interact
with solar radiation by blocking sunlight to create shade and absorb heat.
According to the U.S. Department
of Energy, research shows that summer
daytime air temperatures can be three
to six degrees cooler in tree-shaded
neighborhoods than in treeless areas.
Carefully positioned trees can also save
up to 25 percent of the energy a typical
*Prices may vary due to shipping.