Our 100th Spring!
So far our 100th year has been a record setter. Between the end of January through mid -March we received more snow than has ever been recorded in Worcester, Massachusetts. My very large yellow Lab, who usually bounds through the snow with great joy, was marooned on shoveled paths, after getting stuck in the snow a half dozen times. We spent the month of February moving snow-moving it away from the sides of hoop houses so that the next batch of snow had a place to slide, moving it out of the driveway so we could get into our offices, moving it away from the production houses so we could continue to pot, moving it off the lots so it would melt quickly, and moving it off all the roofs so nothing collapsed! And nothing collapsed, or froze, or didn’t get potted.
The nursery moves with a seasonal rhythm. Methods may change, technology has certainly sped up the process, and of course each year weather brings different challenges, but each year, tasks mandated by the plants themselves, rule a nursery. Trees are dug and planted, annuals are sown, perennial production begins, equipment and trucks start and stop and start again and spring evolves as we celebrate every warm sunny day shucking off the layers of clothes we’ve been wearing since November!. While homeowners are raking out remnants of fall’s last leaves, we are untying evergreens, fixing roads, cutting open winter hoop houses, pruning tree liners for the fields, and planting trees, ferns, grasses, perennials, annuals-PLANTS- and filling sales yards and lots with plant material ready to ship. Pansies, violas, and cold crop veggies appear in the garden center truly signaling winter’s demise.
Also, as a nursery that actually grows plants in Central Massachusetts, we slow down the box store’s time lines. Tomatoes do not go in the ground in April, basil is a total diva and if planted before the ground gets warm will die, and most annuals will curl up and wither in a frost. April is a great month to plant trees, shrubs, fruit trees and vines, hardy perennials and cold crop veggies NOT the time to put in the vegetation that hails from the Mediterranean! Plenty of time to plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and most flowers in the sunny days of mid to late May!
So here in our 100th year, we welcome spring again. The back of the nursery echoes with the quacking of wood frogs, the roads are rutted and muddy, and the plants in the long production houses all have a bright green glow of new growth and smell of moist soil. The upper lot is filling with freshly dug trees just starting to bud out, and the greenhouses are humid and warm. Our 100th spring growing.