Friday, April 25, 2008

The Roses are Here, the Roses are here!

It was an extremely busy time at the garden center yesterday. The sun was out, we had unloaded a truckload of Dr. Earth & Gardener & Bloome Organics, the flowers were everywhere ~ tucked into every corner we could find. The carts were overloaded with still more flowers to be put away................and I look out of the corner of my eye to see a HUGE semi making the attempt to get in the parking lot. I looked over at Michelle & Lucia..........oh no.............I can think of only one other large shipment we are waiting for ......THE ROSES ARE HERE!!!!!

The roses mark the official start of the gardening season to all of us. It is the time for scratches well earned. We weren't expecting these beauties until some time next week, so once we got over the surprise of seeing the truck driver whip out the paperwork for confirmation, "Yes, they are Roses ~ many-many-many Roses" he tells us, we set about getting prepared for the unloading process. Lucky for us, we had some extra hands yesterday in the form of Ron, who was there helping us put together all the pretty new benches you will see scattered around the nursery. With Michelle on the forklift and Kim, Lucia and I on ground, you have the crew, ready ~ willing ~ and able to unload the first of 2000 roses that will arrive over the next few weeks. We were really missing Marlea though. For the last seven years we have unloaded them together, but we were all happy knowing that she was over at the junior high school watching her daughter Madison's cross country track meet. Wasn't she going to be surprised !!!!, we all thought as the driver opened up the back of the semi to reveal the cart after cart after cart full of roses to be unloaded.

This year we made the decision to scatter our deliveries. For the last 7 years we have taken our shipments all at one time. Now that we have increased to such a huge amount of roses though it makes it very difficult to do them justice out in the rose garden, so we made the decision to take 400 every week until all the shipments have arrived. We searched for gloves for everyone, and started the process of removing these heavily scented ~ absolutely gorgeous plants. Most of you who know me, also know that I Love Roses! There is no easier flower to grow in our high desert area and I love to add a new area to my yard every year just to showcase their beauty. As this shipment started coming off the large 3 tiered metal carts I had to just stop for a moment, and savor the scents that followed them. These plants have to be the most beautiful we have ever received. Ordered last August from Weeks Roses , they have been lovingly grown for us in anticipation of this springs arrival. They are amazing! As Lucia and I kept pointing at different ones "I need that one", " No , that one", we watched as even Ron got into the spirit of the fun "OK, I think Kathy is going to have to come down and get a few more" he announces.

We finally get them all unloaded, with assistance from our new friends "The Bonnie Boys" our vegetable growers who also happened to show up to make a delivery at the same time.....and then stood back to overlook their beauty. We watched as fellow gardeners started oohing and ahhhing over them, lucky to be the first on site and enjoy the experience with us. Huge metal carts loaded back onto the truck, we sent the driver on his way, happy with a couple slices of pizza left over from the lunch meeting we had been having with a local group of concerned citizens wanting to put on a fundraising event in the back River Garden this summer.

With the forklift parked, the gloves off, and the heavy work done for the day we stood in awe. The scents and beauty of all these flowers, tucked in so closely together to keep each other warm through last nights chill, was a moment to treasure. The rest of the day went along as only a gorgeous spring day at a garden center does. We loaded flowers and soil into peoples cars and watched as the first of the roses found their new homes. Now we wait for the next trucks to arrive. Jackson Perkins will be next , followed by Star and then more Weeks, in the days to come. Feel free to look at their sites and give us a call if there is a special one on your list. If we have it, we will be happy to hold it for you until you can get in to take a peek. And don't forget, the Rose Garden is always available for that afternoon luncheon, a glass of wine with a friend on a sunny day, or just a quick respite from your busy day. The tables and chairs are there for a reason. We would love for you to please enjoy and take time to stop and smell the roses.

As I left for the evening last night I drove through the back area.....stopping the truck, I got out and looked one more time at all of them tucked in. Bending over to take one..two..three more sniffs. Then yes, I cut one large blossom to take home. Sorry, couldn't help myself. I love roses. See you soon, Susan

ps, Happy Birthday to my dear brother David. You are still older than me!

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

A lovely day in the garden

I spent the better part of yesterday tending to my own garden here at home. Between the gusts of wind that were omnipresent most of the afternoon I managed to get everything fertilized for the second time. A few years ago now, Robert put in a flagstone patio for me in the side yard that I use for my own little private garden. Made up of very large pieces that measure anywhere from 1' to 4' across it is very pretty and practical. About 2 years ago I started my "Thyme in the Garden" by planting different varieties of thyme in between the stones. At last count I had about 8 different varieties, and they have grown quite nicely and are even fairly evergreen during the winter months. I had never quite figured out a way to fertilize the area before though, and so last month I decided to just throw some leftover Dr. Earth Life broadcast pellets out there and see what happened. They LOVE it! Now I know that a lot of it has to do with the fact that the weather is warming up, and I am watering more.....but looks beautifully full out there. Color is good and I can see all the new growth. I just threw it all over the top of the flagstone, and then gently sprinkled it to dissolve it. So if you have a problem area that you can’t really "scratch" the organic into, this might work for you too.
Well the wind looks like it may have left us for a day or two at least. I am so.... happy about that. It just dehydrates the plants so badly, so remember you may need to water a little extra. Enjoy the sunshine coming our way. See you soon, Susan

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Home & Garden Show 2008

Sometimes your emotions just get the better of you, and your eyes tear up. This is exactly what happened to me last night as I was led blindfolded to the front of the booth that Lucia and Michelle have created for the 8th Annual Home & Garden Show here in Fallon.

Starting very early in the day Friday, Michelle and Lucia started pulling all the product that they would take down to the convention center to use for this years creation. I watched as huge boxes full of organics, books, and gift shop items were packed and placed by the front entrance. Large metal arches taken down and moved, water features planned, banners located and flowers ~ flowers ~ flowers chosen. Husbands were called for assistance to move the huge cabinet that was needed for a focal area, thank you Ron & Bill, and trees were loaded with the utmost of care. Hazard blinkers flashing, off they slowly traveled towards the convention center with the first load.

As Marlea, Kylie and I worked the garden center through the afternoon we watched as the caravan of truckload after truckload was taken by the rest of the group. We finished up closing the shop at 5:30 and headed down to see what was left to be done that we might be able to help with. Lucia & Michelle met Marlea and I at the entrance door at the back of the booth and told us to " close your eyes, we want you to see it from the front of the booth for the first time". With things brushing our legs we slowly made our way through the 20' of space, and then ~~~"Ok, turn around and Open Your Eyes", and when I did, I stood before what has to be absolutely the best booth we have ever created. I use the "We" literally of course. The beautifully created booth was done by Lucia & Michelle, with creative impute from Kimmie and Jamie. Completely finished and ready to go, it was breathtaking!!!!! Marlea and I just stood with our eyes wide open, trying to take in all that was accomplished in such a short period of time. One of the highlights of the booth has to be the "Mother Earth" that was built by Lucia. Breathtakingly beautiful with a dress made of cascading flowers.

We had begun putting together this years theme while we were in Atlanta at the gift show in January. Something at one of the stores caught our eye, and it just started to come together. But taking the thoughts of "Hey, why don't we do a Mother Earth - organic gardening " theme this year, and turning it into what will be presented to you this weekend, was sheer genius. Words are not enough to relay the creative talents of these two women! I hope you get a chance to see it, and savor the scents of the roses as you stroll through the booth. As our tradition, we toasted the booth with a glass of wine, this years choice, organically grown LadyBug Red of course.

We ended the evening with a wonderfully relaxing BBQ here at the house. Robert outdid himself getting everything prepared and ready for when we all got here. A cool breeze blowing, and the birds chirping in the background, we settled into chairs, and relived the days events ~ anxious now for the weekend to start. It's a wonderful family we have here, The Flower Tree Family! Hope to see you at the show. Susan.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring has Sprung

Even though I am sitting here now wondering if it is going to freeze tonight, the day was filled with so much sunshine I don't mind. We unloaded 3 trucks today, flowers first, veggies next, and trees and shrubs right before closing tonight. The first arrival of plants from Southern California fills the sides of our parking area and tomorrow we will search for a place to put them all. Hydrangeas with mop head flowers as big as a soccer ball, smoke bushes in full purple plumage......oh the fun!

Tomorrow we start the huge movement of product down to the convention center here in Fallon. It is the 8th Annual Soroptimist Home & Garden Show, and this will also be the 8th time that we participated. I can still remember Patty, Marlea, Robert and I carting truckload after truckload down there to make our display. Where do the years go? Now the displays are all down by the hugely creative Michelle & Lucia, and Marlea and I stay back at the homestead, so to speak, to talk with people as they return to see the garden center after viewing a small portion of our selection there. It is a crazy fun weekend, and as is our Flower Tree Family tradition, we will all gather after the set up tomorrow for a good dinner, and lots of laughs. We hope to see you at the show. Till next time, Susan

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Odd Old Bridge

Last week we spent another glorious week with the kids in Maine. Two days of snow, two days of rain, and two days of sunshine. On one of those sunny days we hopped in the car and decided to head out to find the ocean, or get as close as we could. The area in Maine where our daughter Sara lives is about 20 minutes from the coast, but it is made up of lots and lots of little finger islands. You can find bay access, but not really the Atlantic. I had spent the day before looking through the her towns small newspapers looking for any garden centers or nurseries that might be open for spring. Their climate is much colder than ours, and pretty much everything said "closed for season". So decided to look for another aspect of our business, gifts & wine shops. We found a listing for a wine shop on Bailey Island so decided to shoot for that. This is one great thing about my family......they understand that if I am on a trip, anywhere, one of the main things I like to do is try and visit stores that might carry some of the same products we do. Ideas can be found in the most unlikely places and this trip proved no exception.

We headed out towards Bailey Island, and this is where family history came into play. Robert lived in Maine as a child. His father was working at the naval base there as a private contractor, and his brother was actually born there during the short spring & summer that they spent on the island. He has strong memories of sailing in a bay area outside the house they lived in and Sara and I had always heard these stories. What he didn't remember is that our daughter is now the historian of the family, and as such, she had done some research with his mother, Sharon, to find out where he had lived. We headed through Brunswick on our way out to Bailey Island, and Sara says "this is the street that you lived off of Dad". He looks right and left, taking in the water in the bay, the small houses scattered throughout the woods...."yes, I think you are right Sara, it does feel right". We didn't have an exact address, so couldn't find the exact house, but the memories were there all the same.

We made it to Harpswell, the location of the wine shop we were looking for, "Black Sheep, Fine Wines on the coast of Maine" Tucked into a little forest area, the wine shop was in a small little house attached to the owners residence. Happy to see it open, we ventured in and spent the better part of the next hour visiting with the owner, John. We talked wine, travel, locations to visit...and Robert and I picked out a few things to return to Nevada with. John was a wealth of information, and his wine shop is similar to ours in that he is an independent that is making the effort to never carry anything you will find in the big stores. He knows a lot about wines and the local area and we picked his brain about places to visit.

This is one of the things on his list. This bridge is made up of entirely granite boulders. Apparently the only one like it in the world, it's purpose is to allow the high rising tide to go right through it. Next post, we find the ocean. till then, Susan


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