The purpose of today’s Blog is to give the impression, or illusion, whichever you prefer, that we are a big-time organization although I realize that the customer is less interested in our personal problems than in their own and if we are out of a product that they need it does not matter our size or intentions or what a good job we did last year. Those of us in the nursery growing and distribution business are the ones who make up for the disorganization of the market. I understand that this lack of organization is no one’s fault because none of us are able to predict the future although I suspect that landscapers are too busy working to think much about planning ahead. Our job is to make wild guesses and then sit back and hope. It is a mental game.
Here is a photo of Juan on the loading dock. Juan is one of our longest term employees and also one of our best loaders. These are 22’ wide bays in the gutter connected covered loading dock. Each side is lined with rolling folding shipping racks. We get 12 or 13 on each side for the 24 or 26 racks that fit in a semi-truck. They are loaded in the correct order for rolling into the truck trailer. The plants come from three farms, each specializing in their product line, and either trays loaded onto racks or on trailers pulled with tractors across the road for final assembly here on the dock. In theory several sets of eyes get a look at the plants that were picked up so that only the best batch is sent, and, if not the best batch, then whichever batch was described to the customer.
Here is a photo of one of the many green walls that we have done. This is a German design using rockwool as the media and there is some kind of a franchise thing going on, so I am not certain of how this is done. In other words, if the customer needs to go through someone else to get us to make these. Maybe I should research this. In the meantime, we do two basic wall types—inside and outside—with the inside ones being all tropical plants. The outside ones do not prosper in the Chicago area. Those minus thirty degree temperatures in the winter is a little rough on the roots. With a green wall, the outside ambient temperature and the root temperature are the same. Frozen ground is still a lot warmer than ambient, which is how most plants survive the winter. This is Maria Monterrosas in front of a green wall who plants these wall tiles according to some complex design made up by some person with a sense of aesthetics. Try to not get me started.
Otherwise, we have everything else that a person or business needs to be in the nursery business. We have acres of Pachysandra ‘Green Carpet’ cutting stock and we field grow acres of our own grasses and much of our perennial stock, most of which is divided in the winter. One of my favorite plants is Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’ and mostly because its common name is ‘Turtlehead’. On second thought that name may account for it not being a big seller. Anyhow, it propagates really well in March and early April when the plant begins to sprout after a long winter of dormancy. We have; literally, ten times the cutting stock that anyone would possibly need, or at least that we will every use. Give us a call in time for us to schedule the production.
That is about it for our facilities. We have fields and cutting beds and loading docks and an office complete with telephones and computers. Maybe most nurseries have the same facilities and are just too modest to go around bragging about it.