Friday, December 30, 2011

Dayton "Dirt" - December 30, 2011

Every year as we are about to turn the page on the new year, the age old question is “Where did the time go!”

So it goes at the nursery in that once spring has come and then gone it seems as though we’re planting for the next spring! With all the transplanting, sticking of cuttings and other work of the greenhouses, we’ll be plenty busy in January and February. The new busyness from the additional greenhouse duties will make winter seem to end more quickly.

Another busy endeavor is the preparation needed for our winter seminars that begin on February 4th. The seminars will continue through March but there are some in April which will include Debra Hardwick’s seminar on Clematis that last year drew such a crowd that I was thinking that we would have to turn some folks away! I have said many times, please notify us beforehand if you want to sign up in order that we are able to do planning for adequate refreshments and seating. I think for $5 most participants will agree that they are getting a good value for the dollar.

The word at the nursery in January is “watch” as I must constantly be on the lookout for mice and vole damage in our overwintering structures and on the outside, deer and rabbit chewing.

Just keep busy and you’ll wonder whatever happened to winter as spring begins spring forth.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Dayton "Dirt" - December 9, 2011

In early December, the sun sets even before the sunset of the winter solstice on the 21st making the days appear even shorter than the shortest day of the year! No wonder that Christmas is all about lights and evergreens during the cold dark winter days.

We’re still fabricating more grave blankets and custom decorating many of them. In fact, I thought last week that we had plenty of spruce and pine branches to finish the season but instead we had to cut more this past week to insure a supply of blankets through the Christmas season.

Poinsettias have sold surprisingly well which I think much of the better sale is due to the high quality of the plants since we began growing our own.

The rain this past week has been no surprise as it’s been raining consistently every few to several days since the first of March!

We still have a decent selection of all Ohio grown Fraser Fir which will easily last past the New Year when the tree trunk is set in water.

Christmas was always a big baking extravaganza at our house when my grandmother (my mother’s mother) was alive in that cookies, nut rolls and poppy seed rolls would seem to breed in the oven.

I’ll be decorating my own tree soon but I think not until Christmas Eve as I’m somewhat tired after a long day at work.

Hope for snow!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Dayton "Dirt" - December 2, 2011

Last Friday, the so called Black Friday was busy at the nursery with sales of wreaths, roping, poinsettias and cut trees in full swing.

At the nursery our “Black Friday” is the month of May as that month pays for all our expenses for about the entire year when there are fewer sales or no sales such as in winter.

Predictably, the large trees of 10 feet and taller are about all sold but we do have a good source of Canaan Fir which can be cut for $100 retail. The trees are gorgeous with some approaching 12 feet. Canaan Fir is similar to Fraser Fir and has the same needle-holding capability when they are cut around Thanksgiving or after.
This week for us has been a real crunch time as our cuttings of flowers from Guatemala arrived and must be stuck quickly in the rooting media. These plants will be potted up to hanging baskets in late January and will grow on until May before they can be sold. Our next batch of cuttings will arrive in late January for more hanging baskets and smaller pots.

The months of January and February are only a brief interlude at the nursery before full production starts in March. I’ll be giving you some insight on what’s new for 2012 as soon as the holidays are over.

Remember Santa Claus will visit the nursery between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. on December 3rd and 4th so that you’ll want to bring your camera, children and/or grandchildren for a photo opportunity.

It’s been wet enough this year so that the cold rain might as well change to snow.