Just like in the Netherlands, April was cooler than normal in Ontario. Temperatures stayed somewhere between 5°C during the day and -5°C at night, throughout the entire month.
We had a big ice storm on the 14th of April. Everything was covered with a layer of ice. During the last week of the month, the weather changed and the wind turned northwards. The lowest relative humidity measured was 14%. As a result, the relative humidity inside the greenhouse decreased to below 30%. Our misting system was put to good use.
On the 4th of May, we were hit by a spring storm with gusts of up to 120km per hour. Luckily, our greenhouse is covered with foil, and we didn’t experience any damage.
The cold weather kept people indoors, putting off their gardening jobs. The sales of spring flowering plants wasn’t noteworthy, and the demand for plants and flowers in general wasn’t great.
But once we reached Mother’s Day, the market changed. There was a large supply of Mother’s Day products. The weather cooperated and sales were good. The supply of flowering plants for Mother’s Day was larger than before. The periods in between the special days like Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day have become less important. This was reflected in our sales too.
We’ve got a decent number of orders now and the greenhouse is getting less colourful by the day. We’re constantly trying to have everything ready for the orders of the following day. That means keeping our bromeliad stock at the right level and harvesting enough hibiscus all the time.
Being well-prepared makes it easier to pack the orders on the day. However, we’re still caught by surprise every now and again. When that happens, it’s all hands on deck to get the plants loaded onto the lorry on time.
The next stage is a 1-hour drive to the first customer. Most days, the lorry takes 4 hours for all deliveries. But last week, it was so busy that it was facing long waiting times. The lorry took more than 8 hours to complete its route that day.
These days, we use the lorry for the large orders and the van for the smaller orders. That way, both of them return on time.
The weather’s changing rapidly now. The temperature went above 30°C for the first time today. The month of May has an average of 10 rainy days. The grass is green. The tulips are in bloom. The birds are building their nests and two of our cats have a total of 7 kittens. It’s spring and that won’t last long. I’m enjoying it!
Angelle van Kleef,
Colourfull Gardens, Ontario, Canada