MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Though English poet William Blake failed to mention the purpose of summer in his phrase "in seed time learn, in harvest teach and in winter enjoy," Skip Shropshire of Millstone Market and Nursery and Jim Crowder of Dan West believe they have the answer.
"Just like our customers want to maintain their gardens and plants, we want to maintain our business despite the heat. So we help our customers maintain so we can maintain," Shropshire said.
As temperatures rise well into the triple digits, nurseries like The Market and Dan West lower their prices on their perennials and other assorted plants to attract customers.
"Summer is the best time for people to come buy plants, even though it isn't necessarily the best time to plant them," Crowder said with a chuckle.
At Dan West, pottery, fountains, trees and shrubberies are all 40 percent off.
During the summer, The Market and Dan West see about 30 percent of the business they receive during the spring season, when planting and sprucing up gardens is in full swing. Crowder said the customers who make their way to the nursery are usually coming to purchase sprinklers, insecticides or fungicides, but the main thing people come in for is advice.
"We get a lot of people asking how to keep their plants healthy in the heat," Crowder said. "The best thing for people to do is to water deeply and infrequently because it helps your plants' roots grow deeper and makes them healthier."
Shropshire, who has owned The Market for more than 25 years, uses the same philosophy when tending to the plants that stay at the nursery over the summer.
"With this heat many of our plants need watering more than once a day. I try to help customers understand that automatic sprinklers don't cut it in this type of weather," he said.
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