We had a perfectly good November newsletter ready to go, but then along came Hurricane Sandy. In Pennsylvania, we're used to sweating out storms from afar, fingers crossed for our Florida colleagues and facilities. This time, ECG South could only watch and hope as tropical storm Sandy fixed its crosshairs on PA. We got lucky: No damage, power uninterrupted, all systems normal. Whew. That's enough role reversal for a while.
DOWN ON THE FARMS
We're honoring the election season with a grass roots movement. Pennisetum 'Fireworks', 'Rubrum' and 'Skyrocket' are our candidates for your future planting pleasure. Vote early and often for Calamagrostis, including PPA Plant of the Year 'Karl Foerster', and three kinds of Cyperus. Construction continues apace on new growing space, and we're regrooving shipping facilities as part of our campaign to make our liners your liners. That's a promise.
Florida's shipping facility receives an upgrade in preparation for the 2013 season.
We're under construction here, too, sort of. No hard hats needed: we're crafting benchfuls of lush liners, laying foundations of sturdy root systems. We're building blocks of Lewisia (from seed) and Hakonechloa (TC preemies, pricked out of agar into 50s). Warm & cool houses are settling into familiar roles, winter growing/winter holding. Their contents will be ready for you when you're ready for them. Let us build you an order!
MOVE OVER, PINK RIBBONS: IT'S MOVEMBER
One Halloween, half a score and seven years ago, I shaved my mustache to look like Abe Lincoln. Despite a realistic head wound, I looked Amish. This year, I'll liberate that lip to leverage my 'stache for a cause. "Movember" raises awareness of, and funds for, men's health issues, e.g., cancers peculiar to males. It's simple: Become a "Mo Bro" by not shaving your upper lip for a month. (In my case, there's an additional first step.) Tell folks why you look so scruff- er, manly. Solicit pledges from kin, colleagues or significant others to (a) grow a hunky handlebar, or (b) shave that nasty thing off, it tickles. Movember lacks the bumper sticker brass of "Save the Ta-Tas," but its heart is in the right place. For more: us.movember.com. Make me an offer!
Harlan Hamernik, founder of Bluebird Nursery in Nebraska, died October 15 at 76. Harlan was known far and wide as an influential grower with an encyclopedic knowledge of plants. He was a long-time member and Regional Director of the Perennial Plant Association, which in 1992 recognized him with its highest honor, the Award of Merit. Harlan's passing leaves a sad void in the industry. Our thoughts are with the Hamernik family.
Tiarella 'Jeepers Creepers'
TAKE A HIKE! The American Trail™ Series of native Tiarella has it all: appealing foliage, vigor, Zone 4 hardiness, long selling season, and versatility.
These seven stunners -- 'Appalachian Trail', 'Cascade Creeper', 'Happy Trails', 'Jeepers Creepers', 'Oregon Trail', 'Pacific Crest', and 'Sunset Ridge' - have a spreading/trailing habit that suits them for service as non-climbing ivy surrogates. They're happy in shady borders, or as fillers & spillers in pots and baskets. Terra Nova Nursery bred and selected intricate, colorful leaves with beautiful markings, salable as soon as they fill your pots. Book now for January shipment. Get on track with American Trail™ in 72s.
The Perennial Plant Association's 32nd Symposium will be held in gorgeous Vancouver, British Columbia, where the gardens are fantastic and everything grows so well, garden center owners tell customers to add 20-30% to the height on the plant tag. Do NOT miss this! Mark the week of July 21, 2013 in your calendar, save it in Outlook, scribble it in your little black book. Make sure your passport is up-to-date, you'll need it to get into Canada and back home. Just another irksome post-9/11 fact of life, eh? Watch www.perennialplant.org for details.
You survived the hurricane. Now, brace yourself for the climax of the ongoing Electoral Storm. Expect thundering speeches, crashing bores, gale-force oratory and (rare) flashes of insight. Forget the umbrella, we're all going to get soaked.
RANDOM USELESS FACTS DEPARTMENT
Mice never vomit. No rodents do. Why is that more gross than if they puked constantly?
SILK, SILVER & GOLD
Alchemilla sericata 'Gold Strike' (silky lady's mantle) packs precious assets. Green/gold flowers adorn compact mounds of subtle grey-green foliage. Water beads like liquid silver on the toothy edges of deeply-lobed leaves. This beauty is no flash in the pan. Book now for January, and tap into the mother lode with 'Gold Strike' in 72s.
Sandy reshaped New York, New Jersey, this newsletter, and my travel plans. I headed home from PPA meetings in Vancouver, where our hotel quivered in a 7.2 earthquake, but my Chicago connection didn't connect: The east coast was closed. No planes, no trains, let's try automobiles. That worked, until the whiteout in mountainous western PA. Earthquake, hurricane, blizzard - I hit Nature's Trifecta, and got off easy. I got home two days late, but at least I had a house to get home to. Itineraries and newsletters are readily rebuilt -- unlike homes, businesses, cities and lives. Here's hoping your personal and professional worlds are intact, too.