Spring Thing

Friday, March 3, 2000





it's always a good sign when warmer weather arrives, but then people start doing crazy things. Like wearing shorts and t-shirts in February and March. Riding around in convertibles with the tops down. And calling me to ask nutty questions about their indoor and outdoor plants. I'm in charge of the Nutty Question Department. Usually, I can answer them and help them make a more informed decision as to what action to take, and when to take it. I haven't been caught with an unanswerable, so far in 10 years. Pretty good average. The landscape requests started pouring in last week when the temps were in the 60s and the 8th York Flower & Garden Show was running. We're already booked up until July. The "fever" has hit this region, weary of Winter snow and cold. Heck, I'm ready for Spring, too.

Around The Garden Center.
With 72°F temps, everyone thinks Spring is just around the corner; actually, March the worst season for ice storms is. We're about to get hit with 2-3" ice storms that will wreak havoc with Left Coast shipments. In past years, we've gotten pounded; this year should be no exception. I'm expecting March to be a "bad month", but I'm hoping that it won't.
With the 50-and-60°F temps still with us, the phones are ringing constantly. People wanting to begin landscaping, come by and look at plants, buy annuals and bedding plants, start seeds and myriad other things gardeners do. It's still way too early for most of that. March just began and we'll be getting the traditional ice storms from the West Coast.
I've had 3 painting companies in to survey, ponder and estimate re-painting the Main Retail Bldg, Main Greenhouse, Lath House and the 6 Production GHs. As opposed to an in-house employee doing the painting job, we'll see what the cost comparison is.
Nope, leap year was no problem, except for my Jeep's "information display", which showed March 1st on February 29th. That was easily fixed.
Nope, it's too early to think about Spring. These DC cherry trees are in USDA Zone 7; we're in Zone 6 and still have the ice storms in March and April to get through.
The 8th York Flower Show wrapped up on Sunday after 4 days; I however, came down with a middling case of stomach-intestinal flu on Saturday. After spending most of Saturday night either throwing up or "hugging the porcelain throne" throwing up, I emailed Ken, my weekend salesman, and asked him to fill in for me on Sunday. I slept most of Sunday: ripe with fever, sweats & chills, all things concomitant with the "seasonal misery". BTW, we won 1st Place, again; that's two out of eight years, with the other years as 2nd Place. Violent thunderstorms and rain moved through Sunday evening. Heck, we need the moisture; we'll take what we can get.
The Spring email questions are really starting to pour in again. Soon, I'll get close to 300 a day, asking all kinds of gardening questions. And I'll respond to all; seems that's about all I get done in the evenings. I'm seeing the increase in email come a bit earlier than in previous years.
Wow! I just got my condo's gas bill for February: $215 freaking buckaroos. I'm in shock. I guess I won't be using those new gas fireplace logs anytime again soon. Apparently, the gas co merely "estimated" January ($65), but "read" February, which also took the slack from the estimated January volume. Excuse me while I go lay down; I have a headache.
The landscape crew has finished replacing the timbers and bricks for the long front staircase and will shortly work on completing the irrigation system in the front display fields to accomodate another 900 trees. Then we'll start on the new Japanese Gardens when all the Japanese Maples will be displayed. We have to bring in a large bulldozer and several hundred tons of topsoil for that massive project. Next, we'll be going out to customers' homes to begin their landscape maintenance.

Noir Alley.
"Nearly dawn. Taxis cruise the red-eyed streets like hungry sharks. Wandering down hazy backstreets, you turn a corner and enter ..." a stylish web homage to the world of film noir. The site's focus is on the classic Hollywood movie genre which flourished from 1940-1959: improbable plots populated by hard-boiled detectives, double-crossing gangsters, and dubious dames, shot in moody black and white. Explore the filmography, the image gallery, and the noir slang generator, or submit a sentence to the collaborative neo-noir short story.



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