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Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

Apr 18, 2022

With Rick Vespa, President of English Gardens Landscape and Co-Chair of English Gardens


Spring has arrived…finally!  With it comes warmer temperatures and the opportunity to spend more time outdoors.  Gardening is a great way to stay grounded and feel connected to nature.  What better way to celebrate Earth Day this year than by planting your spring garden?  Gardening is a favorite outdoor activity but did you know plants and soil are actually beneficial to our health?  It is a well known fact that sunshine and spending time outdoors can boost our moods and help fight depression. In addition, studies have also shown that the Vitamin D we get, along with antimicrobial properties found in soil, may even strengthen our immune system and help fight disease.  So, go ahead…dig your hands in the dirt!  It not only feels good, it's good for you.  When planting a garden, soil is one of the last things we consider but it can be the most important part.  It’s a key element for the health and vitality of plants and provides a crucial foundation for trees and shrubs to take root and thrive.  When planting your garden, you’ll want to consult a professional to help you choose a soil composition that’s ideally suited to what you are planting.  


Last year on the podcast, Florine interviewed Rick Vespa, the President of English Gardens.  Rick had some wonderful tips and suggestions.  This year, English Gardens is adding several new initiatives to enhance their overall customer experience such as expanding their website with helpful and educational videos, blogs, and timely gardening tips.  They are also increasing the selection of products available for sale online. Finally, as part of the green initiative, English Gardens is entering into a partnership with Four Star Greenhouses to establish a free horticultural plastic recycling program. Beginning April 20th English Gardens will be collecting horticultural plastic at 5 of its 6 retail stores. The type of items that will be collected for recycling include: flats, trays, cell packs, pots of all sizes, and identifying tags.  So if you want to support their green initiative or learn some great suggestions for your own garden, you'll want to hear what Rick recommends!


What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Some history about English Gardens.
  • More about English Gardens’ services.
  • What spring flowers are in bloom right now?
  • What are the easiest indoor plants to care for?
  • What are the Garden Pharmacy and Garden Club at English Gardens?
  • Are there plants that don’t need any light?
  • What’s the deal with Orchids?
  • The health benefits of plants.
  • When to start planting different plants.
  • What are fertilizer and mulch and what do we need them for?
  • What else does English Gardens do besides sell plants?
  • What’s the difference between buying a live or artificial Christmas tree?
  • A final word from Rick on what services English Gardens can provide.


Today’s Takeaway:  Spending time outdoors in the sunshine has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress. Boosting your Vitamin D levels not only lifts your mood, but it may help fight depression and the early signs of dementia. So, get outside and get working in the garden! It’s not only great exercise, but studies show that digging in the dirt may help reduce allergy symptoms. Now that spring is here, there’s no better time to begin planting your garden. While you’re designing your new garden, make sure to leave plenty of room for a vegetable, fruit, and herb garden, as well. I am a regular shopper and browser at English Gardens. It inspires me and it can inspire you too. Remember that each day is a gift. Start your garden today, and you’ll reap the benefits all year. I’m Florine Mark and that’s “Today’s Takeaway.”



  • “There are studies that prove that flowers, color in general, good smells…all of those things improve our mood and wellbeing.” - Rick
  • “Plants produce oxygen.” - Rick 
  • “It's proven science that they clean the air.” - Rick
  • “Some plants can reduce pollutants in the room up to 87% in 24 hours.” - Rick


Brought to You By:

Gardner White Furniture


Mentioned in This Episode:

English Gardens

English Gardens Landscaping

Four Star Greenhouse