Friday, February 26, 2010

The promise that Spring is coming!

While having lunch today and sitting in front of my computer
I remembered that I didn't know
where my pictures of last years plugs and cuttings had gone off to.
Then I found them on my little zip drive kicking around in my pile of papers.
Have I mentioned I hate to file papers!!!

These are from last year like I said but in a few more days some of the
same will be coming in.
Most of our trays have 82-100 plants already to get planted.
Most times they come on a heated grower truck. My favorite way for
them to arrive.
We used to start planting first week in February
when oil prices were less but we've changed what we grow
to accommodate that.

Sometimes they arrive in boxes sent Fed Ex where they are stacked on top
of one another divided by cardboard.
We get to know our delivery guys pretty well.
They know our plants are perishable and know that they
need a little more fragile handling then most of packages and need to be
left in a heated house.

On occasion we get the boxes delivered tipped on it's side and the plants
are damaged a little or the soil gets bounced out.
Doesn't happen that often.
We used to have to pick up at the airport in Hartford but I
avoid having to do that. Many growers do it that way to save shipping costs.

It amazes me that they can arrive in such good shape
with the cold and the handling.

Coleus is very tender as you may know and the slightest cold will damage it.
This one is called "El Brighto"~ appropriate name!!!
Vegetative coleus (from cuttings) had been touted as being
the best plant around but it took our customers a long time
to fall in love with them. Now it's the first thing
everyone wants to buy when we first open.

It can be a sunny, cloudy or a rainy day in the greenhouse and it's always a place
I love to spend my time in.
Right now we're still cleaning before our first delivery and the heat is only set at 40 deg.
or 4C. but that doesn't bother us.
We dress warmly but gloves are things I have a hard time using.
I see my hands in a picture and I can't believe how
wrinkled they look but that's ok. I guess when I get
really old::))) if I'm so lucky
I can look at my hands and know I did work hard but enjoyed what I did
for a living.
We work long hours...7days a week for months on end
but I can't imagine doing anything else.
We are truly married to our work.
Good thing we work together...haha...
we'd never see each otherwise.

There was a time we used to seed so many trays
ourselves but now we purchase them
mostly in plug trays.
Just pop them out and plant them.
Easy squeasy!
Marigolds, herbs and some veggies we still do.
The first day they poke there first set of leaves still excites me.

What do you plant by seed???


Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Carole
What a fabulous post! Your images and words have made these little darlings come to life for me.. I now have a protective motherly affection for them all .. hehe... It's funny.. as I'm not around plants much I forget what miracles of nature they are... My brother owned a landscape gardening business for many years and I'm sure he felt the same way you do about your work. Fabulous really to find something you love so much... Thanks for the gorgeous photos and education.. Oh and thanks for the 4c hehe.. you know I can't even imagine it being that cold.!! Have fun xxx Julie

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Carole,

Great post and what a lot of work it must be in the Garden center. I love going to our garden shop and went there today and bought a few lavenders.
I have grown marigolds from seeds and they do really well.

Enjoy your weekend

Collected Treasures said...

Hi Carole.....I'm with you....there is nothing better than your hands in the dirt...something about it is so serene for me....the plants look wonderful...we are all so ready for spring. Personally, I plant purple bean hyacinth (sp)from seed,. Can't imagine a summer without it. Like you, I love it when I see the little geen coming up through the a little life being born :) Happy weekend...loved this post.

Joan@anythinggoeshere said...

The pics sure do look like spring. Laura said that this morning you were getting some very unspring like weather though.

slommler said...

Not a thing! Up here in the mountains of New Mexico..the climate and arid conditions do not take well to propagating seeds! We tried tomatoes by seed to no avail. Even hardened off plants have a tough time making it. Sigh!
Love the looks of your trays!

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

What beautiful photos! Last year I planted basil, carrots, zucchini, pumpkins, and green beans by seed. I can't wait to start my garden again.

Julia - "Vintage with Laces" said...

It's great to see that you love your work so very much, Carole! We don't have a garden but I dream of one. I would love to have a cottage garden with lots of flowers but there should be a little bit of a kitchen garden also.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Luiza said...

The promise of spring, is comming this way...
The snow is melting here, bit by bit. Too slow , though.

This year, I´m planting tomatoes and flowers. Actually , I´m planning to do that today =). But first , me & Magdalena @ color sepia, are going on a little adventure.

I wish you a lovely weekend.


oldgreymare said...

"Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation. It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which a man gives his heart." Karel Capek

It is obvious your heart has been given, and what a great heart it is!

The photos are so lovely my friend.


The Country Nest said...

What a great post I am so ready for spring. I plant a few easy seeds, cosmos, zinnias, cukes and squash, but alot just goes in the ground when warm enough. Love all the coleus so pretty. I buy lots in the Spring.

Laura said...

Good morning Carole!
For a girl that grew up next to her grandparent's farm...I'm sorry to say that the only thing I plant from seed are lupines in the Adirondacks...and they pretty much do that themselves! I do love plants and flowers though...I will leave the growing to you experts! Glad you got rain over there on the CT you know we were hammered with snow! Have a great day with your little green babies! :) said...

Hi Carole,
You take the best photos. I can not wait until we can get out into the garden and get dirty. I plant pumpkins, beans, and Morning Glory and other flowers from seed with my grand daughters. When they come over we check to see how big they have gotten and they learn a little about gardening. I like to buy them already grown too so you will see me when this snow goes away. It snowed all night here:) Well, I am on my way to Breakfast - talk to you soon:)
Blog: Capers of the vintage vixens

Jacqueline said...

Dear Carole,
God, you and George work hard. That's a lot of planting that you have to do. You have really given us a glimpse into what a hard job it is, running a nursery/garden centre. It's also a wonderful thing when you find the job that you do for a living is an enjoyable one.....even though it's hard work, I can see that it's your passion and I don't think that there's anything more rewarding than seeing things grow and to know that it was you who nurtured it.
I'm not very good at growing things from seed. I often collect the seeds from the poppies at the end of the summer and scatter them randomly and, when people buy me flowers, I sometimes try to collect their seeds and try and grow them. I had a bunch of flowers at Christmas that had white hypericum and I dried them and have the seeds in an envelope. I hope to try and grow them, although it is possible that they will revert back to the yellow flowers and the red berries, but I'll have a go.
I don't suppose that we will hear so much from you as Spring approaches but, try and fit us in, Carole. XXXX

Anne Marie said...

Good morning surprising to so many people the work involved in having their special plants....and the hands that cared for them....yours look so healthy! and can't wait to see more of what this season brings...

Alice W. said...

They are all so beautiful! Sounds like a lot of work...but I am sure definitely worth it!

June said...

Carole this post has made me miss working at the nursery so much. It truly was my dream job. I remember in the spring when the loads of trucks would come in. My favorites were the loads of trees that would come in and my first couple years I was the lucky one that got to go and tag every tree in the nursery. It was weird how just with that task, I would form a personal bond with so many of them, some which are now planted in my garden. That probably sounds strange, but I have such a love for things that grow and bring me so much contentment throughout the years. I could tell that so much of the hort. crew felt the same way about the seedlings that came in and how they would tend them throughout the year and watch their progress closely. It breaks my heart to go to places like Home Depot and see how sadly the plants are taken care of. sniff, sniff

Linda K. said...

I love little seedlings. My dad, who is in his 80's still has a beautiful garden every year. He has another garden of raspberries and strawberries, that reap the most bountiful harvest every season. It's been a while since I've visited your blog and so glad I did today. Looking forward to spring this year. It's been a long winter for most of us. Thanks for sharing.


Kim said...

Hi Carole, Great photos! I have a little greenhouse that my husband built for me out of old windows. I hope that when I have my shoppe open I can find some little topiaries to have in the greenhouse. I don't use it too much now because it was so expensive to heat it with gas. Well, I'm under 4 feet of snow and dreaming of green! Kim

Rosemary said...

Nothing like fresh new plants!!
I always buy the little plants, I never have luck with seeds.
You are so great with the plants!
Have a fun day,

erin said...

well, you know I am a plant lover! coleus are divine and easy to grow and such beautiful colors...i love the sun coleus so much. as for the hands...i used to be embarrassed about the look of my rough, callused hands, but now i try to remember, I work really HARD with these hands! and I am proud of my work. From seeds I grow larkspur, poppies, zinnias, for-get-me-nots columbine, shasta daisy, love in a mist......too many to list! I sow seeds directly into the soil, when the time is right and hope for the best (wish I had a green house for early starting) I trim back just half of my perrennials and leave the other half to go to seed and rely on the sweet little birdies for "dropping" seeds. Oh, I am getting excited just thinking about all this fun gardening to come!
thanks for sharing the pretty pictures!

trash talk said...

In my younger days I sowed a few wild oats...does that count?
Actually, I'm only good with large seeds like purple hyacinth bean. Coleus is one of my does really well here in Texas right up until the first frost.

Jane said...

After reading your post I would agree that you could use all of my hose nozzles :-)
It's wonderful to have a career that you love so much. The plants are beautiful and remind me that spring isn't that far away!!


Hello, and hope your weekend is going well. I just love plants, I am so excited for spring, I can hardly wait to go to my favorite nursery's to pick out my favorite's (list is to big). I love to scatter seeds in the yard for that wild flower look..............sweet peas are another favorite to plant from seeds, most deffently sunflowers of all kinds mixed in with my garden, they provide a lot of shade while growing for my hydranges........... Thanks for the post and lovely photo's XO MARY

Debra@Common Ground said...

Love the peak into the greenhouse. I can imagine how rewarding it is. I love the idea of starting from seed. But honestly my cats eat anything and everything, or roll on it. So I'm limited, but I so enjoy hearing about your passion!

Anonymous said...

Loved reading about this, Carole! My hands don't look so great now at 57, but my gardens have always been pretty! I usually do not grow anything but veggies from seed, but I have 2 lavender topiaries sitting in my windowsill that I grew from seed - they are my babies! :)
Wishing you a great week!

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

Just beautiful! I wish I had a greener thumb.

Oh, and I LOVE your new header! :-)

Have a wonderful week!

Renee Finberg said...

these pics are great.
i love the nursery
and all the tiny little organized green packages.