Friday, March 20, 2009

Customer Appreciation Day

Happy Spring Everyone!!!!

Yesterday we went to visit a greenhouse for a customer appreciation day up in Cheshire Ct. ( they call it the bedding capitol of Connecticut) Bedding coming from "bedding" plants of course~ as if everyone knows what that means anymore??? We arrived late of course but just in time for Lunch!!! This was your first time there. They had a speaker that was giving a talk on biological pest control which we've been wanted to explore. It's a more "green" method using preditory bugs to get rid of your bad bugs. I won't bore you with all the details. I actually don't understand how it all works yet but we're willing to give it a try. Seems that in Europe they've been doing this for almost 30 yrs. and we're just starting to see it in our industry though vegetable farmers have been using it for awhile. OK. I said I wasn't going to bore you with it and here I am doing just that. Well on to the pretty flowers....

Poppies of course. I'm pretty sure Icelandic variety. I love poppies and the burst of color they give after the long winter months. It was a rainy day so the colors in pictures are not as bright as if it was sunny.

These are some of their Easter plants forced ahead just for the open house. Easter is still 3 weeks away but it was great to see such pretty colors

Now we're back to the techie part. I thought maybe you'd like to see what a large commercial greenhouse looks like. This is a gutter connected house which is also seen in garden centers but without the hanging basket all the way up to the top. They also water the plants on the ground with a boom that works it's way down the whole house.

These are geraniums grown in flood benches. They fill the bench with water and then flood out the excess. That way the foliage doesn't get wet and develop mildew.
This is an automated transplanter which is what most big operations use though it isn't perfect, someone still has to be on the other end fixing the machines mistakes. They cost about $100,000+ so we're not about to get one anytime soon, plus we don't need it we don't do that kind of volume anyways. So it's just the old manual way for us still.
I promise I won't be doing that many posts on this kind of thing. I find these wholesale places fascinating..... Plant factories I guess you could call them. It makes our place seem so antiquated but I guess that's part of the charm of it. Though we do water our hanging baskets with drip tubes. Saves sooo much time!!! A garden center near us put up a new greenhouse last year. I asked our customers if they had been there and their response surprised me. They thought it reminded them of the big box stores and thought it felt cold.
My husband has been wanting to build a new gutter connected greenhouse for a few years and now it makes me wonder if it would be a good idea. Well for now we'll have to be happy with what we have.


Stephanie said...

Those hydrangeas are gorgeous! I think I'll plant some this year. I'm going to a nursery tomorrow to pick out a few things. I'm so happy spring is here!

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Wow! Who knew? Those pics of the greenhouses are amazing and golly gee I had no idea....well I guess I just never thought about....all the techie stuff that goes into growing those pretty flowers! Thanks for such an interesting post and the pretty blue hydrangeas too! Love ya!

Bleudelavande said...

Wooowwww! What amazing and colourfull post! The visit into these greenhouses is very interesting! Tank you for sharing!How many beautiful colours!!!I can smell the scent of all those flowers!!! You suggest me to go to one greenhouse in my town to respire a little bit of spring since it goes away! The weather here is very nasty :(
Have a nice weekend and see you soon.
Bye Mate

Ali @ Betty and Violet said...

I love the hydrangeas! The wholesale operation looks enormous and fascinating! Thank you for sharing...