Monday, April 27, 2009

Planters in the greenhouse

Planter haven! I didn't have time nor energy to post this last week and I'm on my second wind tonight, so I have time to actually show the numbers and pictures.

32 of these wednesday! (above)

26 of these, I think?

18 of these, or was that 24?

Yes this is our mess.

Assembly line!


Hanging baskets!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Buy Local - not box stores

I can't tell you how disheartening it is to find that people buy plants from big box stores. Don't do it! You're not just taking out the family retail businesses but you're also hurting the local farmers/growers. Agriculture as a whole is suffering terribly and most of your plant growers sell at the market over the winter, just to make meat ends. Living off their summer earnings is never enough and most just get by, barely able to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. You may think I'm lying, over embelishing the truth, but I'm not. I see it first hand. In fact, I've stood by last two years and watched three or four major growers go under because locally, no one supported them. And while oh yes, you may think competition is happy about this, they're really not. It's very very upsetting to see your competition go down and hit rock bottom. No one wishes that on someone else, especially in the plant world. With garden centers, there is always something that they do and they do it well. By supporting your box store, it's just adding to their incentive to take up the business, sell at lower prices and give you poor plants, poor service and poor warranties (like they give any at all!).

Let me break it down for you. Often, box stores will go up to a grower and COMPLETELY buy out one product so no one else has it locally but them! Growers put a halt to this by reserving a block of plants for other retail (family) businesses, but some are greedy and allow this to happen. (side note, small businesses do this too but its different when you're competiting with competition that is also a small business of the same type).

Here's the catch. At any given point, any year, maybe the box store doesn't want to sell this type of plant anymore. They pull out of a promise to buy all this product and wham, the grower is stuck with thousands of potential dollars of plants that die because they can't sell them off to the local retailers because the retailers maybe found that plant somewhere else (plants are like clothes, the trend changes from year to year). A lot of that is fault of the plotting with the devil. And don't get me wrong, I may walk into a box store from time to time but I'd rather support the smaller businesses because they're the ones that'll go the extra mile for you in customer service. And while the box stores aren't going anywhere, it does make an impact eventually if a large amount of people stop going. Rumor has it that Walmart is pulling out of the garden center plant buisness. That they're going to replace the greenhouse with a large sports section. Is this a good idea? Possibly. Is this true? I'm not sure, but it's sure as hell floating around up north here. This is something I would like to confirm but it may be something on the table for them right at this point.

By no means do I mean to slander the big box stores. In fact, there is alot of good they do behind closed doors that we don't see (like exercisin their employees through stretches and workouts before work, charties, etc). But in this world, where greenhouses are already so limited in their numbers, its nice to see support when they need it the most. Planting helps your enviroment, trees clean the air, you've heard it all before, I know, but don't you think it's being repeated for a reason? People aren't just going green for the hell of it. Pesticides aren't being banned because of the colour of the label. They are bad for you and the promotion of going green is because they're trying to thin out the growing spike in cancer (amongst other things). Going green means supporting your local small greenhouse so they can support the growers. It all goes back to the foundations and growers are just that, foundations of a very big picture, the base of our mountain. Without them, we crumble and fall.

Remember that next time you're at the grocery store and buying an apple or when you see the city planting a tree or a garden.

Remember that when you pass a flower, pick it because you can't think of the name and bring it to the garden center to identify it.

Remember it. Because our growers, our garden centers are becoming extinct.

Hodge Podge Friday

My lastest purchase! I was originally going to buy a flat of Angelo's Garlic but I decided that I wanted the kettle more than the garlic. They've been walking out of the garden centre without people batting an eyelash to what's in it. Peppermint, Spearmint and Pineapple mint, three mints that i'm not too crazy about but honestly? The pot is cool! AND it has holes in the bottom for drainage and I have to give them props because most pot companies don't put holes in the bottom and sell pots as decorative rather than practical. I LOVE this pot. Love it!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gothic Garden addition - Black Roses

This is what I came home to. Baby in the cupboard. Caught in the act!

I got a gift from one of my growers today! Last year we were talking about making up black gardens and I'm currently in the process of making my gothic garden! This section of my garden will be completely devoted to plants that are black in leaf and in flower and I can't wait toget to that point! My first step was planting a weeping purple beech tree (last year) and now my roses are here (because he loved the idea of a Gothic Garden and sent me roses for the idea!). So now, I have the newest product in black hybrid tea roses called 'Black Bacarra' and I'm -very- excited! The stalks on these puppies are THICK and they grow to 3-4 feet tall. Im very excited about the additions to my garden, but I just have to get it cut out before I can plant them!

The Gothic Gardener has begun!
So today was raining all day at the greenhouse and my computer died at some point because it wouldn't go into sleep mode for some reason. It was raining and everyone was wet. Then I get home and my son gives my camera a flying lesson from where he stood on a kitchen chair, but it still works! THANK GOD. Right-o, well, now Im off.....ihurt.
[edit: wow I was really tired last night. I left out words from my writing! So im surprised any one made sense of it!]

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tip for the Tomato grower!

At home:

After pinching my tomatoes back twice, I found they were still looking a little lean and I finally asked my grower what I could do to keep my tomatoes short and strong. A good word was passed along, two actually. One, to keep them cool in the mornings, that will keep them short and to add egg shells to the top of the soil, so that when I water them, calcium goes into the plants and helps them get strong.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Teh Randy Random!

Looking for something!
Random picture of our keys for Joy's friday picture.

Here's what's happening with the veggie garden!

Andrea's Grow-op

With the purchase of a new house, this is the first season where I've been able to actually grow vegetables and I'm able to plant them into the ground! In my own garden! So with that in mind, in March, I planted up tons and tons of tomatoes and beans!

A few varieties of tomatoes though Tiny Tim's are the ones im looking forward to eating.

Here's some more seeds though I'm trying out my hand with perennials such as blackeyed susan's, Becky and blue fescue. I'm not sure how they'll do but we'll definitly have to see! Blue fescue is coming along but the blackeyed susans are fussy. Becky (shasta daisies) are just jumpin'! Should be a good year for them and eventually, I'll have some plants to put in by fall!

This si the first run of tomatoes.

This is the grow-op now! Tomatoes are in the front with the beans while all the covered ones are the annuals I plan to put in post and somewhere in my garden!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The spring CLING

My tree! I bought it last year and this is what it looks like now, my beautiful weeping Beech. on a side note, I know we're not done Spring yet. When snow stops coming and Spring is offically over, your Beech tree will let go of its dead leaves when the time is right. And with them, they will ALWAYS let you know.


Helleborus "London Fog Strain" (above) yes! It lives!!!!! I thought it was dead but alas, he came back to me!

Panicum dallas blues. This one may be dead. Im not sure. One of them died before they could even get remotely established.

Panicum 'dewey blues'

My pansies planted in a euro plast that is SO durable to weather, Icouldn't even explain it. Imported from Itally. Great product.

More pansy plantings!

Look! Bulbs are coming up around the lamp post!

What's blooming in the Greenhouse!

See what's new! See what's blooming for Spring!

Sempervivum 'Grammens'.(above)

Sempervivum 'Red Delta'.(above)

Sempervivum 'Georgette'. (above)

Sempervivum 'Pyrenacium' (above).

Sempervivum 'More Honey' (above).

Papaver 'Champagne Bubbles Group' (above)

Heuchera 'Midnight rose' (above)

Dicentra 'bleeding hearts' (above)

Dwarf Iris 'smart' (above).

Aquilegia (above).

Aquilegia 'Clementine Blue' (above).

Primula 'Perth Sunset' and Heuchera 'Obsidian' (above).

Seminar: Saturday April 18th 2:00pm

It's that time of the year for us where we do seminars and show customers the secret tricks of the trade! Come one, come all! It's very informative and I promise you'll enjoy! If you can't make it, you can always come by later on and ask us a million questions.

Sorry for the crummy pictures. I was in a hurry to water/takepictures/rollin racks and fold up the computer. Plus, direct staff for tomorrow morning and make sure we were all loked up and ready to go!

Ivy, Greenhouse and herb planter!

This is a little bit out of order but you can see the greenhouse set up and then some planters!

We get two types of hanging basket ivy. One is Baltic, your traditional ivy for the perennial garden and some of the runners on these baskets are six feet because we scoop up old propagation stock before its sold off. It's hardy to the cold, drought tolerant and generally an easy no brainer for ivy. Though I had to add, it IS slow growing, which is why it's nice to have the propagation stock.

Montgomery ivy is our lovely second choice. We've been around the block for selecting nice ivy and we find this one is the nicest. It's more of a tropical than an container plant but when you split it and place one half on one side of your planter, and the other half on theother side, it's a nice filler for immediate BANG for your buck!

The annual side

Annual Racking

Herb planter!

Bird house!