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Plant garden now for early color, summer blooms [Towson]

Joe Radebaugh waters plants at his Towson greenhouse. earlier this week Joe owns the longtime flower shop with his brother, Doug Radebaugh, and cousin Steve Radebaugh.
Joe Radebaugh waters plants at his Towson greenhouse. earlier this week Joe owns the longtime flower shop with his brother, Doug Radebaugh, and cousin Steve Radebaugh. (Submitted photo)

We've been waiting for them to arrive for months, and as March ends and April begins, the tulips, daffodils and lilies that have been buried in ice and snow are finally beginning to push their way through the soil.

Radebaugh Florist and Greenhouses, on Burke Avenue in Towson, has been bringing those spring flowers into our homes for over 90 years now, and they always enjoy one of the busiest times of the year.

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Spencer Fastie, of Jarrettsville, is the marketing director at Radebaugh and has been with the florist for 12 years.

According to Fastie, tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and hydrangea are extremely popular this time of year, both as cut flowers and as potted plants. Other popular spring flowers include Easter lily plants, pansies, tete-a-tetes (mini-daffodils), cineraria and primroses.

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One of the most common questions local gardeners ask Radebaugh's is when the best time is to plant summer annuals. Fastie recommends that you wait until late April or early May.

"The best practice is to keep an eye on the extended forecast and begin planting as soon as it appears the chance of the final spring frost has passed," said Fastie. "However, there are a variety of cold hardy plants such as pansies, primroses, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths that can be planted for early spring color."

If you are expanding your garden to include produce, Fastie recommends cold-tolerant vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, celery, kale, lettuce, onions, peas, spinach and potatoes, which can be planted in early April.

Besides the arrival of spring and Easter, Florist shops like Radebaugh are busy with other seasonal demands, such as keeping up with all of the local proms.

"We will make hundreds if not thousands of corsages and boutonnieres in the upcoming weeks," Fastie said. "We are also prepping for the arrival of May and our busiest weekend of the year, which is Mother's Day."

Radebaugh is more than just a florist shop. They have designed a community-based give-back program called Helping Hands to benefit local schools, churches and nonprofit organizations in Baltimore County. Online consumers who are ordering flowers can choose to have Radebaugh Florist make a donation to a registered organization. Interested groups can enroll online at http://www.radebaugh.com/charitycontribution.cfm.

Speaking of spring, Towson High School's spring musical, "Hairspray," is coming up April 16, 17 and 18 in the school's auditorium. Show times are at 7 p.m., and tickets are only $10 at the door. For more information, visit http://www.towsonhs.bcps.org.

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