Spring Update – Swishes and Bricks

I haven’t really had much to say here for the last couple of months so I haven’t been expounding in my postings.  I felt that the pictures were doing a lot better job of showing you what we had versus my babbling. 

This morning I am feeling particular chatty and thought I would share what’s been going on around here this spring.

I played basketball when I was in high school.  Back then we had “swishes” when we scored without the ball touching the rim and “bricks” when we missed spectacularly.  I thought I’d share some of this season’s Swishes and Bricks:happy-flowers

Swish – Confettti Gardens.  These mixed pots have looked super all season with bright colors and full, mounding plants.  At first we thought we had too many and then the sales kicked in.  One minor brick on my part is that I did not schedule enough of the Hawaiian Calibrachoa Confetti Gardens.  It has been noted and will be taken care of for next year.

Swish – Tropical Hibiscus:  we grew a half a house of these last year and sold out by then end of the season.  We grew a whole house this year and sold it in one week.  I guess we can look at two houses for next year.

Burpee-cucumber Brick – Burpee Vegetables.  Higher price points due to the branding and advertising associated with the program coupled with exclusive varieties that the garden centers were unfamiliar with made these unattractive to garden centers.  Based on early interest in the program, we jumped into the program with both feet and quickly found ourselves in deep water.  We cut the price to match our regular like of #4 Charley’s Veggies which helped sales some.  Several stores really like the program, but they like it at the discounted price.  Unless the Ball/Burpee people make some major changes for the growers to the program or demand skyrockets, we don’t think we will be growing them again.

Brick – Ball FloraPlant and Syngenta lantana cutting shipments. If you are wondering why we are already out of lantana it’s because we were shorted on just about every shipment of lantanas by both Ball and Syngenta.  We are going to have to have a little talk with them about that when the season is over.

Swish – The availability of workers.  Due to higher unemployment we have not had as hard a time this year finding good help.  We probably have the best crew we’ve had in years.  There have been a few newly hired people that have not impressed me like the eight different employees who have had to go to court last month and one who spent all day on his cell phone when he was supposed to be loading racks, but overall they are a good bunch of workers.

Swish – Truck Drivers.  In past years we’ve had truck drivers not show up to take runs and never call or have had ones that couldn’t find their way out of a McDonald’s parking lot or have nearly been in fights with customers, but this year is different.  As far as I know this year there has only been one incident involving a driver arguing with a customer.  I did have one driver show up, take on look at our racks and quit right then, but at least he did it before he took the run.

Brick – Zinnia Availability.  I missed the boat on the zinnias this year by not scheduling enough.  I intend on rectifying that for next spring.

Swish – Stepables®.  We were the new Stepables supplier for the southern part of the US, and we did not grow enough.  We did learn a lot about how to grow them though.  Some of the Stepables proved to be quite contrary about getting ready when they were scheduled. stepables-thyme

Swish – The Entire Spring Season.  I have to say that it has been a long time since we have had a spring like this.  I say we had one like this back in 2000 or 2001, but Clay says it was back in the early 1990’s (I was still in high school then so I can’t say for sure).  Even with the cold weather in March, sales are up for the year and we are on track to break our record for the best spring ever.

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