Tuesday, April 7, 2015

C'Mon Over....We' re Open!

What's the weather gonna be like this coming Saturday?

Based on almost three decades of experience, I'm going to tell you...not because I'm a great prognosticator or because I've paid off the weatherman or because I've studied the Farmers'Almanac.  Nope, I've got a better weather vane than any scientific source: this Saturday is our Annual Spring Open House at Hurst Greenery and that event gives me the benefit of history and removes the mystery from weather forecasting.....

You can put a fork in it: whatever the weatherman predicts for this Saturday, it will start off still, sunny, and just a bit chilly, then, as noon approaches, the wind will pick up (I'm not privy to the particular direction) and by two or three o'clock, doors will be slamming, the baskets in the greenhouses will be swaying like they're in the mid Atlantic, and customers will have to hold on to their small children to prevent them becoming airborne.

Thus has it ever been. The weather outside may be frightful...but the flowers inside will be a Persian carpet, a kaleidoscope, a veritable cornucopia of color, scent, humidity...and temptation.  The greenhouses are full and it is early enough in the season that they will be relatively orderly, not look like the tossed salad they will resemble after a busy week in late April.  Not everything will be in bloom, but the season is still young; Open House is our invitation to you to visit, to browse, to ask questions, to dream of  the view from your porch, your kitchen window, your deck as you drink a morning cup of coffee.

At least, that's what I do as I stand, hose in hand.  What dare I plant in the baskets on the garage? Will Sunpatiens bloom on my hot shady porch?  Will there be any of those Supertunia "Black Cherry" left for my back porch pots?
   I loved the sweet potato "Bewitched"  in our pots last summer....will it play nicely with a colocasia?
What tomato will I try? (depending upon what's leftover!)  I am captivated by the new cherry tomatoes with names like "Indigo Rose" and the hybrid/heirloom varieties like "Big Brandy".

 I cannot wait to plant more grasses in the garden...a big bluestem...a little bluestem...feeding my inner prairie.
I hope the weather is nice so the kids can put together their lemonade stand...and folks will enjoy the refreshment of a cool drink, rather than wishing for a hot cup of coffee.  I know Aaron will be a big help, and that reminds me of the year the Westboro kindergarten came out to visit the greenhouse and Ben showed them around...all two of them plus Miss Walter.
One year the weather was so cold, only the loyal folks at the Avalanche showed up to take pictures and pretend it was spring.  Somewhere I have the clipping from the paper with Blake holding a flat of flowers and a young Ben grinning from the loft of our newly acquired livestock/plant trailer.  He wouldn't have been so happy if he'd realized how many times he'd be called upon to climb up there to load and unload flowers....a job that continues to go to the shortest and most spry of  plant pullers.  Beware, Gabe, Abbie, and Lizzie!
Back in 1989, April brought the Midwestern equivalent of a sirocco, blasting the top of our hill with 90 degree heat and blistering dust from our desiccated fields.  My aunt and uncle were making their first visit to our farm that weekend...and they departed with the reasonable assumption that the Dirty Thirties was alive and well in Atchison county.  In 1998 a near miss from a tornado peeled the covering and roll up sides from a 200' long greenhouse and flung it into the apple trees, leaving the plants inside untouched.  With the wind screaming and temperatures dropping to freezing, we detached the damaged plastic and pulled it back over the greenhouse frame to preserve most of the contents for Mother's Day.

Please don't let a couple of scary wind stories deter you from satisfying your inner longings for Spring.  C'mon over Saturday and stroll through the flowers; make a wish list for your pots; dream about fresh tomatoes.  Tell the kids how much they've grown and say hi to Gibbs, Streak, Popeye...and Griswold if he comes out to play.

And.. pull your hat down around your ears...don't say I didn't warn you!

1 comment:

  1. Looks wonderful! Wish we l ived closer! Thanks for linking this up at Country Fair Blog Party!