Sneak Peak

Our first shipments of garden accessories have arrived! And there are some very nice things. Judy has her dibs on the giant green frog. Soni kinda likes the horses.

There are now angels among us! St Francis is nearly 30 inches tall and soooo nice!

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We have big frogs and little frogs.

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Vases and tea lights to decorate your patio.

And wall art with horses in mind!

We open for the 2016 Spring season April 11!

It’s Officially Spring!

Well, the calendar says it is spring. And the last ten days felt like spring. Today, not so much. And have you seen the forecast?!? I heard a nasty rumor of 4-8 inches of snow by Wednesday.

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But don’t tell the geraniums!

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They are doing their level best to grow and thrive. See those tiny little white roots poking through? Sometimes it’s like watching a pot of water come to a boil. You watch and look and look and watch and wait for the first sight of pure white hair-like roots making their way to the edge of the pot. Then, all of a sudden, there they are! And we get so excited! Just like getting to open the first gift at Christmas. Or seeing the first foal hit the ground each year. More little miracles. It’s what this growing stuff is all about.

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A few of the liners are blooming. Crazytunia Black Mamba is always one of the first to show off.

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And even though winter is going to hang on a bit longer, the geese have been noisily making their way north. They are a sure sign that a few more flakes a snow mean nothing. Spring is really here!

Roller Coaster Week

And we were off to the races this week! And what a week it was. Our first liners (small plants with a root ball the size of a quarter) came on a semi from California Monday morning. There were nearly 10,000 plants on that pallet and all were in beautiful condition. We were so excited to get our hands dirty!

But first they had to wait a day so we could get flats filled with pots and soil.

seedling trays (1)

Jeanie spent Monday getting started with the seeding. First the peppers, some of the herbs, marigolds to put in early planters. One of the heaters in Ruby’s House wasn’t working properly, but one night of cold wouldn’t hurt the freshly seeded trays.

Tuesday brought very cold temperatures. The high was a couple of degrees below zero and the wind howled from the west. Our propane provider loves days like this, as long as he doesn’t have to do any emergency furnace repairs!

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Jeanie’s next job was to take cuttings of the few stock plants we keep over. These are from plants that are hard to find (and tolerate our neglect over the winter!). We are careful not to take cuttings from plants which are patented. Most of the cool, new varieties are patented, so if we do propagate them, we need to pay royalties. The nice full tray on the left is our favorite scented geranium, Mabel Gray. She has the best lemon scent and is exceedingly difficult to root out. If there are 45 cuttings, we can probably count on 10 plants. That is why most commercial growers leave her alone.

Most of our geraniums also came in Tuesday. The FedEx truck and our staff had to plow their way through a nasty snow bank to get in and out of the yard.

liners

Wednesday was also bitterly cold. Lori and Cathy and Kaitlin planted up as many hanging baskets as possible, as well as some of the regular pots. Our scheduling is very awkward the first few weeks. It would be nice if everything could be planted as soon as it arrives. But because each variety of plant goes into several different types of containers, and we grow some of all of them in Rosie’s House and the extra go in to Ruby’s House, the planting gets staggered. Top that with the fact that the liners come from about 8 different growers, all shipping at different times, and we sometimes feel like we are herding cats!

frozen liners

So on Wednesday, all my best laid plans were challenged. We are not sure why, but one of our major suppliers (also from the frigid north) decided to ship 3 cases of tender liners ground in minus zero temperatures. In nearly 50 years, we have never received cases of plants that were frozen solid into the center of the box! That threw a monkey wrench into our plans in so many ways. These plants had been ordered in August so availability was an issue. We won’t receive replacements for what is available until the middle of next week. And the smell of frozen plants is nasty!

And today we received a case that had been shipped Next Day Air on Tuesday (also frozen). Did you know  that Friday is the day after Tuesday?

On the bright side, Thursday morning we woke up to minus 19 degrees Fahrenheit but it warmed up to 24 above! And today we saw 40 degrees. Spring is coming!

Janie Bright Marigold Seedlings (2)

One of the best things about running a greenhouse is witnessing the little miracles in life. This morning there was no sign of life in this tray of dirt. Janie Bright Yellow marigolds are reaching for the stars! This always makes me smile. 🙂

Don’t forget to sign up for our container workshops and Dirty Dining!

It’s Buying Time!

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Judy and Soni and Kaitlin are in Minneapolis playing Santa’s Elves this week! It is time to do all of our ordering for the 2015 Spring Season. On our way, we played a bit today. This perfect Japanese Anemone at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum was blooming it’s fool head off!

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The Arboretum has a special ‘Nature in Glass’ display right now. Amazing!

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We were inspired and worn out!

Stay tuned for more! IMGP2117