Spring Fever.

Friday, March 14, 1997

Out Of The Woodwork

ince I started the landscape evaluation and estimation process for this year's work back in January, the intensity has been increasing on a daily basis. Each year, the calls start earlier and earlier, and since we tend to get booked up relatively soon, people learn that they simply can't call and we'll be there the next morning to do their work. They're being taught to plan ahead as the years go by, a good lesson for everyone looking for quality.
Fielding a few calls each day for requests for site visitation and subsequent estimates was fine; now there are several dozen coming in each day. Interspersed are a few of the funny, chronic estimate collectors; people who want everything estimated every year. They collect, categorize, summarize and store estimates, without benefit of having any work done.
All are considered worthy requests and are acted upon promptly or were until I got this damned flu and appointments are made and kept. Even with this lingering cough and fever, I still manage to get out to see as many as I physically can in the eight hours allotted to business, seven days a week. My priority is to stay warm and dry and shed this shitpy flu, so that when the shit really hits the fan, I'll be at 100% and can handle things in the usual, clearheaded way. Things are a bit fuzzy up there right now.
This past week, eight people from the southern Pennsylvania - northern Maryland areas came in after seeing my website. Amazing. The week before, three came by and another four, with friends in tow, from my marketing warfare and positioning speech at Hershey, PA, just to see the facility, meet me and talk about my marketing philosophy. Very gratifying to help others open their eyes to a whole new world and way of doing things in this industry. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first few steps.

Spring Things

The Main Retail Greenhouse is filling up rapidly with herbs (62 varieties), hundreds of varieties of bedding plants, hanging baskets and annuals. We've had to move all the Winter foliage plants to the side benches to accommodate the influx of tens-of-thousands of new plants. Soon, tens-of-thousands of perennials will arrive and bolster the ranks even more. There will be close to a half million new plants for sale in a few weeks.
To be sure that you don't put out your tender plants too early, check the USDA Hardiness Zones Map for the last frost date in your zone. These plants can stand a small amount of cool weather, but no frost or sustained cold. Don't let a substandard garden center or nursery talk you into planting stuff too early. If you have any doubt about their advice, email me and I'll check it out for you.
After mentioning this last week, I heard from several so-called places that urged their customers to indeed do that: put stuff out in late March in USDA Zones 5-6; they told me they get rich selling the stuff twice to the same people. Wow. That really shows where some people's hearts and minds are these days. Try to avoid substandard places like that at all costs; you know who they are.
I guess I try to live in an ideal world, where good judgement and common sense would prevail. I would never think of allowing my customers to unknowingly make a grave mistake like that. Short term gains at the expense of a long term relationship. Hmmmm; not a snowball's chance.

Hardy Cactus Page

Since I founded my Garden Center & Nursery in 1990, I've always believed that quality customers wanted things that were rare, unusual and hard-to-find; plant material that no one else has. There's too much same-o, same-o going around from place to place and it's boring.
Last year, I added Hardy Cactus to our repertoire. We built a Cactus Display Garden near the front steps to the Main Retail Building to showcase the dozens of varieties of hard cactus. It was a hit right away. People were stunned at the diversity and beauty of these plants in Summer bloom, and marvelled at how they could survive the harsh Winters of Pennsylvania. When one knows the history of these hardy cacti, it's easy to see how they can coexist in this are and further north.
Yesterday, I completed the Hardy Cactus Pages and added them to our Website.
Each variety has been detailed and photographed. Those pictures will be posted into the descriptive copy as soon as they're scanned in. I'll change the pictures as the seasons change, so you can see the exciting blooms of Summer and the cactus as they metamorph through the seasons.

A Short Day

One of the landscape crews was in yesterday to repair the Main Nursery Display Area. There's a lot to do to get ready for Spring.
Snow, sleet and ice is forecast for today, Friday, so we'll have to wait until next week to finish the work and get on to other projects. Five or six solid, dry days is all we nned to get the majority of the prep work done.
I'll work on what I can over the weekend, with one of the crew who comes in to help out. I have a pile of landscape appointments on both Saturday and Sunday, but if the weather gives us a little break, we can get some minor work done.

Welfare v Workfare

Ol' shit-for-brains Slick Willie is covering his sorry ass again. He's now mandated by so-called presidential directive that the federal government hire 2million-plus welfare cases to work for and be paid by federal checks, as a way of softening the clear impact the Welfare Reform Law passed by Congress and signed by him last Fall. He took a raft of shit from liberals everywhere by ending welfare payments after two years. It was the best action any Congress had taken in decades.
But wait, something's very wrong here: take 2million lazy, unqualified "just send me my damned check and leave me the hell alone" people off of welfare, then add them to the federal payroll? Huh? What's wrong with this scenario?
Many people are having a difficult time figuring out why in the name of unholy hell we're doing this. In addition to simply transferring the costs from an (shitty and useless) entitlement program to the regular government payrolls, we're now offering free health and dental care, paid vacations and holidays etc etc, effectively tripling the cost of keeping those lazy folks on the dole.
What are untrained and unswhacked welfare recipients going to do for the government. Hold a responsible job? I doubt it; they can't even do a simple no-brainer job of showing up for their weekly charity checks; we have to mail them to those lowlifes. Now the Clinton idiot wants to guarantee they'll still get our money; it just comes out of another of Uncle Sam's pockets. That's our money as in you and me, the ones who actually work for it still going to worthless scum who don't want to work and think they're owed the cash just for being the lowlifes they are.
The new idea of federal employment is simply communism and socialism, and smacks of Hitlery being involved somehow to relieve her very guilty conscience; that nasty, liberal-socialist-commie, femi-nazi, lying bitch. Why doesn't she go out and get some honest work? Maybe one honest job in her stinking, pathetic lifetime would make a major change in the way she gets viewed and sentenced by the courts in the near future and does prison time for her past crimes.

Bulb Questions

The answer is no. The question? Should I re-bury my tulips, daffodils/ narcissus, crocus so they don't get blasted by cold, snow and ice?
If you do, you'll never see them again. Let them alone. The can take the hostile weather that might still come along until Spring arrives later this month.
A few blooms might be lost, but the green foliage, which is necessary to make blooms fo next year, must remain above ground and be allowed to ripen-off. Don't mess with Nature.
Enjoy the things peeking up through the ground and dream of what your garden(s) will look like after all that work you put into installing new plant material last Fall. You did install new material, didn't you?

J o h nS h e l l e y

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