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The Maine Contenders For That Knowledge

, , , | Right | July 23, 2018

(I’m working at the reference desk at a public library, and I answer the phone.)

Patron: “Hello there. My family just moved to Maine, and I wanted to plant some flowering bushes at our house. Do you have any books about what kinds of flowering shrubs will grow well in Maine?”

Me: *running some searches in our online database* “I see we’ve got a book on native trees and shrubs in Maine, a bunch of books about general gardening in New England… another on trees that grow well in New England… but nothing specifically about flowering bushes in Maine.”

Patron: “Yeah, I was really hoping for a book specifically on bushes that would do okay growing in Maine. I don’t want to plant anything that’s not going to make it through the winter.”

Me: “Well, we can request a book from another library, or what about if you just went down to [local Gardening Center and Nursery] to see what they’ve got in stock? I know they’ve at least got rhododendrons, azaleas, and all kinds of rose bushes, since I was just there this weekend.”

Patron: “Oh, do you think they’d know which ones would grow well here?”

Me: “Well, I’m sure they could be very helpful, and they do grow all of the trees and shrubs right there on site until they’re big enough to sell, which takes years. So, I guess it would probably be safe to assume that anything they’re selling would do fine in this climate.”

Patron: “Oh. I could have probably just used my brain and done that instead of wasting your time, huh?”