Thoughts from the Garden July 2018

Hi everyone, happy July!
So, the other day I was sitting at my desk minding my own business, working on a landscape design, when I accidentally looked at an email.
Ok so it wasn’t really an accident, I looked on purpose.
But it makes the story more interesting if I start it by accidentally opening the email, so let’s stick with that.
Anyway,  the email is from the rep of one of the pottery suppliers we like to buy from, I open the email.
“Jim, Would you be interested in a really good deal on cast iron planters?”
“Why yes I would”, I thought.
I decided to call and asked him what did it mean when he said I’d get a very good deal.
Sometimes it might mean free freight or a 10% discount which is not too exciting.
I had stopped carrying cast iron planters a few years ago because they had just gotten too darn expensive.
I like them a lot. They look cool, almost can’t blow over because they are so heavy. They almost last forever. I still see cast iron pots around that were made in the 1800s.
As I am talking to my sales rep I find out that they have decided to quit carrying cast iron planters.
He says he will send me a special offer from the company. I get the special offer the next day.
Yes, they wanted to quit carrying cast iron planters.
This kind of thing has worked out very nicely for us in the past so I read on.
They will give me a big discount if I buy way more than I need.
THAT HAS NEVER STOPPED ME BEFORE.
$ 24,000 retail for a big discount.
I do the math, that’s a lot of planters.
I keep reading.
If however, I buy their entire inventory I can get twice the discount. Now we’re talking.
Whoops, they still have over $150,000 retail in inventory.
I had to think about it for a minute. That’s really a lot of planters.
I made a counter offer a few dollars lower with free freight.
By the time you read this, they should be here.
I’m pretty sure we now have more cast iron planters than anyone else in Texas.
Care to guess what’s on sale this month?
If you guessed cast iron planters, you are right!
We are able to retail the new cast iron planters for a bit under what was once our wholesale cost.
BUT, I have a LOT of planters.
The July sale is 1/2 price. Remember our new normal retail price is less than I used to pay wholesale.
 So when we have them 1/2 off, you are paying 25% of wholesale.
 Now we’re talking.
Come check ’em out.
See You in the Garden,
I’ll be the one standing beside the big stacks of cast iron planters!

Thoughts from the Garden Feburary 2018

Here are a few tips on dealing with freeze damage:

 

Hibiscus, trim off all the frozen parts. That may mean cutting it almost to the ground. If it is an exotic grafted variety, and it froze to below the graft, you may decide to throw it away and buy a new one. When it comes back from the root it will not be exotic anymore. The farther back you have to cut, the longer it will be until it will bloom again, sometimes as late as November. If you can’t wait, replace it.
Plumeria, if it is mushy it is dead. Buy a new one.
Bananas, they almost always come back from the ground.
Citrus, cut off the dead parts and see what happens. if it is grafted and dies back to the graft, dig it up, it’s no longer going to produce usable fruit.
Tropicals, trim them back to live wood, just like the hibiscus. Many varieties will come back from the ground. It could be many many weeks.

Non-tropical plants can be hurt too.  Dwarf pittosporum, for example, will often have split trunks and limbs that cause summer die back.
Cactus, trim back and wait, sometimes they branch and come back, sometimes they die.
Palms, some varieties die, some suffer damage, some are not hurt. Pygmy date palms, gently tug the heart leaves ( the very center leaves) if they easily slip out, the palm will die even if the old leaves are still alive. Often even as late as the next summer the leaves that were most tender during the freeze show browning and die back.
Queen palms are usually too tall to check the heart leaves. Just wait and see.
Foxtail palms and other tender varieties, if they look dead, they probably are.
Call us if you have questions.
See you in the garden.
Jim

Thoughts from the Garden January 2017

Each morning since early summer there is a lone bird, a cardinal, who when he sees his reflection in my bedroom window sees his nemesis.

He sees the bright red bird from yesterday, the bird that he was unable to defeat even after hours of trying.

Hour after hour he crashes into the glass trying to defeat an enemy who is but a reflection of himself, not real, but real to him.

He has been fighting this enemy since he was a young cardinal, not yet red.

I guess he will keep showing up each morning hoping the other bird has given up. But he never does. The nemesis is always there waiting, taunting, unbeatable.

Some days the cardinal is tired, sore from yesterday’s fight. Luckily the enemy is always tired and sore on those same days, such good luck.

How ironic, how tragic that the beautiful red cardinal spends 6 to 8 hours a day fighting against an illusion. Wasted hours, wasted days, wasted life.

He should be out singing, flying, flirting with girl birds, doing happy bird things, but it is not to be.

He is instead caught in a cycle of trying to accomplish something he thinks important.

Something that only leaves him tired and sore, missing a few feathers.

  See you in the garden.

 Jim