Finally, spring! A year ago we Pennsylvanians were in shorts and sandals, mowing, planting. This year? Still stoking our woodstoves. But Helleborus is no longer the only color in town. Daffodils are blooming. Daylilies are making their presence known. Naked ladies (Lycoris squamigera) have pushed up goodly stands of strap-like leaves, and fragrant flowers will follow once the foliage has refueled the bulbs below.
DOWN ON THE FARMS
Florida: It's behind schedule as greenhouse construction tends to be, but completion is finally in sight for new growing space at our Milton grass farm. Also under construction: The 2013-2014 ECG catalog, to launch at the OFA Short Course, of course. Finally, our remodeled shipping house is helping tremendously to get your orders out in this busy season. Thank you for the business that makes it all possible-and necessary!
Pennsylvania: The renewal/revival theme outdoors is echoed indoors. Plants in barely-heated greenhouses display a range of cold-coping strategies. Asclepias vanishes. Achillea and Hakonechloa don Christmasy hues. Heuchera stoically soldiers through, looking pretty much the same in April as in November. Aquilegia, Tradescantia and even Leucanthemum are flowering already in their flats, celebrating the sun's return.
RANDOM USELESS FACTS DEPARTMENT
The etymology of "April" is rooted in the Latin verb "to open," as flowers, windows, convertibles and sidewalk cafes do this month. April 13 opens the New Year in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. April 18 is yours truly's birthday and the anniversary of Paul Revere's ride. And until noon EST April 1, all our plants are free. You missed it? Sorry. Mark your calendar for the next special, April 31, 2014.
Sizzlin' succulents, Batman, scope out our scintillating Sedum selection! You've never seen a sweeter set. Terra Nova's Party Hardy™, Candy™ and Desert™ series lead the parade. We also have the west coast wizards' award-winning 'Class Act' and 'Mr. Goodbud', plus 4 more TN intros. But wait! There's more! 'Autumn Fire' and 'Thundercloud' come storming in from Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, and don't overlook the classics your customers expect: 'Autumn Joy', Brilliant', 'Neon', 'Matrona', 'Vera Jameson', 'Lemon Ball', 'Coral Reef' and friends - an incredible 36 choices in all.
Sedum 'Birthday Party', one of Terra Nova's Party Hardy series.
Aries: Your son's college fraternity, Ram-a Lambda Dingdong, is trying to contact you. Something about a toga flashmob and a bulldozer. Check your voice mail.
Taurus: Put a charge into this sluggish stock market and your hibernating colleague, the bear, willya? You have until the 20th, Fernando, and then it's Hello, Seņor Matador.
Tauries: What do you get when you cross a bull with a ram? A historic headache for the Supreme Court, those nine sages in black togas.
Don't you hate it when everybody else's catalog is wearing the same grass as yours? Shop the source with the industry-leading selection. Step right this way into our boutique Miscanthus department. Whatever your needs, you'll find your size and pattern among our 27 maiden grass varieties, from Petite to Plus-Plus, Junior to Big & Tall, from the diminutive 'Gold Bar' to the towering 'Giganteus'. We've got stripes, checks and solids (sorry, no paisley), and our starters range from cute 128s to hunky 21s. Let us tailor a grass program that suits your unique style. Call 877-804-7277 for a fitting.
Bulbs popping, daylength lengthening - all well and good. But here's the true indisputable sign o'spring: The first painted turtle has been seen sunbathing on a log in the Conestoga. Robins are cockeyed optimists. When the reptiles appear, it's official.