March 29, 2011 – By Kristine Gilson
Spring means BACK TO WORK for me! It’s great reopening the store, getting in lots of new things and seeing old friends again, coworkers and customers.
During March I did a presentation for the Wildwood Garden Club in Mentor showing them how to make lots of ‘living wreaths’ and other small ‘living gardens’ for inside the house and out. They sent me the nicest thank-you letter!
My husband and I have a few presentations prepared that we are glad to present to local groups:
Long-blooming Perennials Kris
Fall Wreaths Kris
Shade-loving Plants Kris
Living Wreaths Kris
The Immigration Dilemma: a nurseryman’s perspective Mark
Nurseries, Natives and Invasives Mark or Mark & Kris
Who’s Afraid of Invasive Plants? Mark
Nurseries of Lake County: growing for 150 years Mark
We’re working at creating a ‘farm preservation easement’ on our 19-acre farm on Antioch Road. Basically, we’re trying to sell off the ‘development rights’….we get reimbursed for that by a federal preservation program as well as North Perry Village…and set aside the property for agriculture…forever! No strip malls or housing developments! We feel strongly about farm preservation, especially in eastern Lake County, and it would also provide a great economic shot-in-the-arm. Rainbow Farms and others did this in North Perry about five years ago. We should know in a month or two whether our application goes through. Keep your fingers crossed!
I’m really fortunate to have a ‘book club’, mostly with former teachers in our local communities, and a ‘card club’, mostly with ladies in the nursery industry…both of which meet once a month! Sometimes we talk about books and cards. Mostly we talk about food!
Some of the books I’ve been reading this winter…
City of Thieves, David Benioff, a book-club selection about the siege of Leningrad in WWII.
Homer’s Odyssey, Gwen Cooper, about a blind cat named Homer (we’re cat-lovers!)
Under the Marble Sky, an upcoming selection.
Little Bee, Chris Cleave, an upcoming selection for our book-club and an Oprah Book.
Also, my husband and I read everything by ‘Martin Cruz Smith’, and he has read everything in the ‘Master and Commander’ series, all twenty-two books!
Books are a portal to our souls!
We lost our official greeter…Johnny…this Fall. What a great guy with so much spirit. He was small but feisty and he would sometimes attack the dogs that customers brought through our garden center. Once, he jumped on the back of a giant heron that was wading in our pond. Johnny liked to THINK BIG and he knew no fear. We still have our five cats at home, but it’s just not the same here at the store.
One of our special treats each holiday season is when the Perry Band ensemble stops by in our garden center to play some Christmas music!
We’re already planning our Passport-to-Plants activities for June, 2011, when we partner with other local garden centers for a weekend of plants, music, pets and other fun stuff! Here’s Nick Ferranti selling his own wines in our garden center at last year’s event along with our own Sue Koprowski. We enjoyed mixing wine samples with work and we encourage everyone to visit the Ferranti Winery!