Garden center registries-let’s start a trend!



Perhaps some of you already consider this old hat, but it was a first at Lockwood’s in Buffalo when I scribbled down a list of plants that my friend Ron might like for his garden—and as wedding gifts.

I was as surprised as he was when the Endless Summer shrubs and fancy heucheras started to appear at his shower. What great gift ideas! And what a way to further energize the garden center business, by gifting merging couples of whatever gender with plants to start their lives together.

Does your local garden center have a registry? If not, now would be a good time to encourage them.

This is the first gift registry Lockwood’s has ever had, but I am sure it will not be the last.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. When my best friend got married, I hosted a Garden Shower for her and her husband-to-be. Since they were already consolidating two well-established adult households, they didn’t need more things like fondue sets and sets of towels, but were excited to start gardening together.

    They got lots of seed packets and gardening tools and were registered at Home Depot for big-ticket items like a lawn mower and tiller. It was a lot of fun!

  2. Mentee Ron here. Thanks, Susan! There’s no wedding blog YET, but that’s on the to-do list, along with such minor things as tracking down a band we talked to six months ago and then lost contact with. I’ll keep you posted.

    A few more details on the registry: I thought of Lockwoods originally for their sizable collection of non-plant material, which is beautiful but a tad pricey for our budget. My betrothed isn’t really a Plant Guy, so on our exploratory trip out to the nursery (which is nearly an hour from our house) he got bored in about 10 minutes and I started to reconsider the idea. But then I had the even better idea of asking Ranter/Mentor Elizabeth, who knows both our (emerging) garden and the store’s stock, to start the registry for us with plant material. I love surprises, the Betrothed doesn’t care, and Elizabeth got the added perk of vicarious shopping. Win/win/win!

    At the, ahem, Shower yesterday (depicted in the photo), several people thanked me for introducing them to Lockwoods, and I enjoy that part as much as receiving the gifts. (As a side note, I intend to make labels for each of the perennials indicating who gave them to us alongside the plant names.)

    Fun fact: we scored three “Blushing Bride” hydrangeas, a name that Eliz says didn’t even strike her as ironic when she put them on the list. Many thanks to her–as far as I’m concerned, setting up the registry for us and surprising us with its contents is one of the coolest gifts we could possibly get, and I encourage all of you to follow her lead whenever you can.

  3. Too many of my recently married friends are apartment dwellers. So a gift certificate to a nearby nursery is one of my standard housewarming presents.

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