Sales for Mother’s Day have come to an end. Most of our hibiscus and bromeliad plants have reached the wholesalers and consumers. As always, it was a busy time and we had some unexpected changes with regards to staff. But, halfway through the spring season, we can’t complain about our trade. We just need to wait and see if we can sell all the large quantities for Father’s Day later on, which would make it a truly successful spring season.
The Saturday before Mother’s Day, we drove to a nearby garden centre to buy some perennials and fruit trees for our flower garden, which we’re expanding a little further every year. We generally need to replace a few plants anyway, as we always lose some due to the frost in winter or the drought in summer.
This time, we picked up a few cherry trees, plum trees and blueberry bushes. And around 20 perennials, some of which will go in the rock gardens. Hopefully, they’ll survive the heat and drought in the dry, sandy soil here this summer. If they can’t naturally handle these conditions, they won’t suit our flower garden – watering is a hopeless task. The only thing that does work, is ground cover fabric. It retains more moisture, which means that the plants don’t dry out as quickly. And it makes weeding a lot easier too.
The owner of the garden centre purchases hibiscus plants from us every spring. He told us the other day that his sales around Mother’s Day had exceeded his record turnover by 20%. One reason for this is that spring had been very cold, so most people hadn’t really started working in their gardens. So, the sales were all concentrated in one week this spring. I
n addition, Victoria Day weekend is on the 21st of May; the public holiday falls a week earlier than normal this year. All of this makes for a very short planting season. Let’s hope that summer isn’t going to arrive too soon. That would stop people from working in the garden; they’d rather find a nice, shady place to relax and enjoy a cool beer.
Meanwhile, we’ve met with sales representatives of a few installation companies with regards to quotations for our extension plans. Always interesting. Some of them are professional and goal oriented, some are just desperate to get the job, others are actually too busy to take on more work and sometimes you meet someone who’s relatively new to the job and who depends a lot on others’ experience. That makes it hard to compare prices and make the right choice. And getting all the information you need out of these meetings remains a challenge in itself.
Angelle van Kleef,
Grower of potted plants, Ontario Canada