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Monday
Apr212014

Great Clients

Hey, I just love our clients, and I quote one of them!

If spring ever decides to come I have in mind planting a couple of clematis. What I want is 2 BLUE BOY CLEMATIS. Now I do suspect Blue Boy won’t actually be true blue, and I suspect in fact they won’t actually bloom from June to September and furthermore, considering where I plan to plant them I suspect they aren’t going to survive. Having said all that, I would like two Blue Boy please!

   --- Hey, What more could you ask for in a Client?

Sunday
Apr202014

Container Time

Yep, today the group started building our retail planted containers.

We have a neat crew, consisting of the Better-Half, Her Northern Girl Friend, Our Daughter, and Her Husband, who manage to get together every year to compete in building the so called best container.

Interestingly, there tends to be a bit of criticism, and/or suggestions as to what looks best. Needless to say nobody backs down gently.

Me, I just say out of the way, and carry finished containers to the #5 growing house, or more likely, water the rest of the greenhouses. Apparently, I'm not really colour, or texture proficient yet,

   --- and, with the number we make, I don't mind!

Saturday
Apr192014

Plant Time

It happens every year: as soon as it starts to get warmer, plants once again sprout from the ground, and trees begin to grow buds.
 
How do they know it's spring?
 
Most of the people we know, realize that plants actually can tell time. Yep, plants have genes that suppress flowering and growth, and these genes are time sensitive. Plants actually record how many cold days have passed, and when enough have past, the genes are temporarily deactivated, allowing flowering and new growth.

Normally, the number of cold days is equal to the total number days in our winter and fall.That is why most plants do not grow much or flower in those seasons. It's important for plants to have a system that counts the number of cold days. because if a plant goes into its flowering phase too early, it will normally be quite harmful to the plant. Yes, It usually stops the plant from reproducing properly, or dieing.

Another use plants have for keeping time, is knowing when to drop their leaves and/or seeds. That process requires certain seasons, and if they happen in the wrong season, there are detrimental consequences for the plant. Hey,if the seeds are dropped at the wrong time, they may die, or they may become, a wildlife food source.

We aren't sure exactly how these clock mechanisms work, they are certainly there, regardless, even if we don't realize they are there, they are very important factors in keeping,

   --- the plant life of the world alive!

Thursday
Apr172014

Aronia Berry

Super Fruit
Do you know what berry is the healthiest in the world for us. Yep, a berry reckoned to be the healthiest fruit in the world, has been growing in our yard since 1978.

The Aronia Berry is a 'super-food', richer in anti-cancer antioxidants than raspberries, and richer than the difficult  to grow in Saskatchewan, Goji and Acai Berries.
 
Hey, It even has three times the level of antioxidants that you can find in blueberries. The plant is native to North America, where early settlers gave it the name 'Chokeberry' because it is quite sharp when eaten raw.

The aronia berry is similar in appearance to a cranberry, except for it's purple black colour. I try to pick these berries just a little under ripe, because if I let them ripen, the darn Robins clean them up over night.The Better-Half usually makes a few pies, and freezes the balance for mid-winter desserts.

I'm told the early North American Aboriginals, believed they were a good aphrodisiac. As for me, I just make a very tasty five gallons of Aronia Berry Wine,

   –--to help ward off heart disease, of course?

Tuesday
Apr152014

Johnny Flame

This beast just grabs your attention.

The new Petunia ‘Sweetunia Johnny Flame’ from Dümmen has large, beautiful bright rose-purple flowers, splashed with a deep-purple flame.

It's unique color and splash patern is sure to steal the show in your garden or container.

Zone: Treat as Annual
Height: 25cm (10")
Spread: 30cm (12")
Exposure: Full Sun
Moisture: Just Moist
Habit: Semi-upright and mounding

What I like is, it is day length neutral, so it blooms in little or lots of light.

Johnny Flame is easy to grow, it has a semi-upright, mounded habit that allows it to fit and mix well in container combinations. It’s going to be a scene-stealer in any basket and/or landscape bed.

Hey, I can't walk down the greenhouse walkway with out stopping to admire or touch this bloom. It's dark, it's light, it's confusing, it just stands up and says look at me.

   --- Now that's what I call, a winner!

Monday
Apr142014

Another Day Again

Today we had a close match to yesterday, we trans-planted another 5544 plants into retail trays and cells. This time it was double petunias and wizard coleus.

Ok, so we put more on the bench yesterday, which is good, because we would not have lasted much longer today as it was. I walked for just over two hours, carying the plants to the dolly, wheeling them to Growing House #6.

Then I had the oportunity to walk them into their bench spot, then walk all that again as I watered everything in for the day. I think I must have lost a good chunk,

   --- of my winter, mid-drift growth!