Mid March we usually get the last dumping of snow. After that, the power of the sun increases, as does the supply of warm air. The first migratory birds are coming back; new varieties every week and more of them. It is again a happy chatter when I walk to the greenhouse in the morning. I can go outside again without my winter coat. The snow fence is already stored until next winter.
We grow Bromeliads year-round. But nothing is what it seems. When we started, we received similar orders every 2 months. Those orders were planted and treated in 2 times for flowering. The species did not flower simultaneously and this resulted in a spread for shipping. Over the years the numbers have increased and we focus on growing for the time when demand is high. The increase is particularly in the spring when most plants are sold.
The planning has evolved over the years with the result that we now ship 15% in both the last and first quarter of the year, 25% in July, August and September and 45% in April, May and June. As a result, we allowed empty space into the planning. But of course, this is not a desired situation. And with increasing demand in the local market, planning has also evolved. Even the last empty spaces are now filled with extra plants. All that remains is the order in which all those plants will come in, are potted and spaced.
Clen sees this assignment as a challenging puzzle. He has a final situation in his head and continues to shift the pieces until everything falls in the right place. In particular in the month of April the greenhouse is completely full. All plants that will be shipped in April, May and June take up a lot of space. New young plants are coming in that are waiting for their turn to be planted. When everything is full, there is one last resort: Danish carts. After that, we can only move forward through shipping, making space and starting all over again.
Hibiscuses are located in another part of the greenhouses. Throughout the winter they have grown nicely and evenly. The buds have started to develop, ready to bloom. The busy shipping season will be in full swing again after Easter. We are ready. And we enjoy a snow-white world one more time, because here too April can sometimes have a white hat.
Angelle van Kleef,
Colourful Gardens, Ontario, Canada