No doubt about it now with two hard frosts that the growing season is over. The evergreens are beginning to shine as the deciduous trees continue to lose their foliage. One such evergreen at the nursery is the Western Red Cedar called Green Giant. The Green Giant - Spring Grove screen at the nursery has grown rapidly at the north side of the parking area since it was planted in December of 2002. The Western Red Cedar, a native of the northwest, does well here in Ohio. This amazing genus is so versatile as it naturally grows in bog and swamp areas up to elevations of about 2500 feet. Snow, wind, ice and deer don’t faze Green Giant cedars plus the fact that growth (up to 3 feet per year in Ohio) makes for an excellent visual screen and windbreak as it attains a height of about 50 feet after 20 years. That this species will tolerate wetter soils and moderate shade makes it advantageous for areas previously difficult to do an evergreen screen.
The nursery stock is all put away except for the trees that will remain in the pot-n- pot section that will protect their roots from the extreme winter cold. The greenhouse is gearing up in that poinsettias are coloring up fast and will be ready for sale right after Thanksgiving. I must confess that I did spray the plants with a Neonicotinoid to kill a small infestation of whitefly. Neonicotinoids are effective whitefly killers and are low in toxicity for the applicant. I reasoned that this product would not be detrimental to foraging bees as there are no bees that I know of that visit poinsettias. Combined with the insecticide called Tristar was an insect growth regulator called Enstar that controls pesky fungus gnats and the immature stages of whitefly. Enstar interferes with the molting process so that the young insects do not mature into egg-laying adults.
On the outside, the planting of thousands of flower bulbs is still going on along with a continued general cleanup such as killing weeds, pressure washing nasty looking greenhouse walkways and the final cleaning of the self watering greenhouse benches. Very soon it will be branch cutting time for grave blankets as we enter into the Christmas season.
Another event of note is the presentation of art of the Impressionist painters as it relates to the garden at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Dahlias, irises, water lilies, flowering trees and so on decorate the landscape in the paintings. Claude Monet famous French Impressionist and avid gardener stated “I perhaps owe it to flowers that I became a painter.” The Monet to Matisse event is well worth seeing before it closes in February.