Confusing Nursery Jargon

In my last post "Plant Trafficker" we discussed Genie's Extreme-Plant-Bitterness at her local garden center. I received a comment from Old Roses where she said "My girlfriend planted some containers this year. These were here first forays into gardening. She thought "annuals" was the name of the flowers (petunias) that she had bought because that's how they were labeled at the nursery!"

I had mentioned in my post how in the horticultural trade we call can sizes by gallons. Such as "a one gallon lantana" or "5 gallon size birch". If you had actually measured how much these cans hold in volume it doesn't "measure up". Why do we call them by "gallons"? A typical "5 gallon" pot does not hold 5 gallons of fluid. I am going to do some research about that.

What got me thinking is how we have terms in the horticulture field that could confuse someone just starting out in gardening. Actually some of the terms confuse people who have been gardening for years.

I am interested in this as it relates directly to Genie's "bitter experience" at her local garden center. She relates this conversation with the "Plant trafficker"(Nursery person).

"What size containers do you want? Melody asked, poised to enter many numbers into the cash register.

You know, I have no idea, I said. What do you have?

Three gallon, five gallon, seven gallon, even bigger. It depends on what you want.

I blinked back tears. Really. At this point, I just wanted to go back and hide in the car. OK, I need to explain to you that I do not know what I'm doing with gardening, and I do not have any idea what those sizes mean in context of a tomato plant.

The bigger the pot, the better! boomed an effusive man who I've seen at this garden center before. I don't know if he manages it or just works there, but he's no shrinking violet.

Well, we're trying to transplant, I said, as if that would make a difference.

Whiskey barrels! he boomed. That's what I would do!

What does that mean? I asked. I drink whiskey out of liter bottles, not barrels. I was a woman without context."

I feel you pain Genie! What's great about your post is I had never heard this experience related by a customer. This is "pure gold" and will change some of my thinking at the garden center.

I am asking you, dear blog readers, about any experiences you have had that relate to unusual jargon at the garden center or in your everyday gardening experience.