It’s been a while since the last blog post, so this will be a catch up entry to give you an idea of what’s been going on the last couple of months. January and February are usually pretty quiet, and, to be honest, we’re glad of it. Aside from a big shipment of garden planters and statuary, it’s a time for planning and rejuvenating.
The garden is quiet too, though early blooming shrubs and perennials are beginning to put on their show, and cutting stems of forsythia, quince, and spiraea for early bloom indoors help stave off the winter doldrums.
In December Ben got the ‘Better Late than Never’ garden across the street cleaned up and ready for winter. Angie laid fresh pinestraw in the paths in January, and now we’re seeing larkspur and bachelor buttons appearing..self sown seedlings from last winter’s plants. I sowed lots of poppies a few weeks ago in hopes that they’ll be abundant this year too. We shall see.
Our spring/summer seeds from Botanical Interests have already come in, though we’re still eyeing the winter options of lettuce and other cool season veggies and flowers. Jamie sowed a colander full of spinach seeds and is going to try them inside. It’s fun to experiment, and seeds are a small investment to make.
It’s a good thing the spring seeds arrived when they did. Yesterday a woman came in looking for zinnias, sunflowers and more summer bloomers, so we let her look through the boxes that weren’t unpacked yet. She mentioned last year she’d been disappointed, coming in too late to get any and was so happy this year to have first pick.
It’s hard to believe Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. We’ve got our orders in for the most beautiful blooming plants we can find. Orchids, hydrangeas, cyclamen, calla lilies, azaleas, and more – all plants, not cut flowers, so they’ll last longer.
In fact, every picture I post on our Instagram account of our planted arrangements has the hashtag #plantsnotcut. I love cut flowers as much as the next person, but it’s nice to have a gift that lasts a bit longer.
The cats of the shop, Tacca, Liam, Ozzie and Spooky, like the late winter quiet too, though they probably get the most visitors coming in looking just for them. There were at least 7 children in the other day squealing with delight and so happy to follow Tacca and Liam around. Spooky and Ozzie are too shy (Or smart?) to make friends, content to watch from a safe distance.
The cork bark planter inspiration continues. A couple weeks ago we planted three for a party with blooming blue anemones, ranunculus, and pansies. They really were striking, and since they’re planted to last will only get better as they grow.
The pussy willow branches are abundant now. I’m not sure what stage they are when cut, I only know they’re perfect when they arrive here. I still remember my Dad cutting way back the huge pussy willow shrub in our back yard in Wisconsin and all the beautiful stems that it produced.
Those pussy willow branches were one of our earliest harbingers of spring in the dead of late winter – the catkins shining in the sunlight on days the drip,drip,drip of melting snow filled the air and puddles materialized on every flat surface.
Here in the south we use them as accents in orchid arrangements and with other spring flowers. Their fleeting availability makes them all the more special.
In the winter the nursery area out front can be very deceiving, and, if you take just a few more steps and enter the greenhouse, you’ll see all sorts of colorful blooming flowers and houseplants.
We stay busy maintaining the many plants, creating beautiful container gardens and arrangements for parties, and taking pictures of everything for our Facebook and Instagram social media accounts. Our goal this year is to create more video content to better communicate the joys of what we do.
Here’s looking ahead to spring, but ’til then enjoy these late winter days and appreciate the beauty of this quiet season.
And, if you need a beautiful respite from the world’s cares, stop in and stroll through the greenhouse, either here or somewhere near you. It’s bound to make you smile.
By Kris Blevons