Here at the nursery, we’re getting ready for winter. We have a whole countdown of items to do before cold weather arrives. We put new plastic on all the hoop houses, the wooden bedding plant house and the structure surrounded the bonsai area. The plastic gets removed in late spring so it is not too hot during the summer and then it is replaced to add warmth and protection for the winter. We drain most of the hoses and store them for next year. Then we wrap the pipes and hose bibs with an insulating material so that they won’t freeze solid and break during the cold weather. This protects them only to a certain low temperature. In the past few years, we did get colder and we had a few pipes to repair when everything thawed out.
All the sun shrubs have been moved into the hoop houses on the east side of the nursery. We do this to protect them from cold weather and to provide an undercover shopping area. Of course, you do have to go through the rain to get to the houses. Most all of the shrubs are reasonably hardy once planted in the ground but they are more susceptible to the cold in containers above ground. What that means is that a California lilac in the landscape would have no problem with 25 deg weather but in a small pot at the same temperature might die. The roots and the area where the roots become trunk are more susceptible to the cold. Having them in the hoop houses adds 5-10 deg protection. If it gets really cold, we can add a layer of insulating material over them or set up a portable propane heater to keep them warmer.
When you drive in to Garland Nursery right now it looks a little different. The west side, where the shrubs usually live looks pretty barren. We have slimmed down on our plant inventory. We like to keep the freshest material available for sale. People aren’t doing as much planting in the cold, wet weather of winter. I wonder why? So we don’t keep as much on hand at this time of year. Don’t worry, though. We’ll restock so there will be plenty to choose from during the more pleasant, spring planting season. In the meantime, the needled evergreens have taken over a lot of the space in the center of the nursery. This year we’re moving the animal statues to their own display area close to the bedding plant house. You’ll have to come take a look. Erica has been working hard to make them look cute and Karen and Lee have added some nice plants to the display. The whole crew has been working hard to make everything look fresh. Debbie is working on outdoor holiday displays, along with Kate. Kathy is busy decorating the inside of the barn. Char has put the pond area to bed, so to speak, and is getting the greenhouse ready for the arrival of Poinsettias. There are many new things to look, at so come out and take a look.