June is always a tough month in the nursery business as much more money flows out than in. At least with our summer rains, this June was not a disaster like last year. Normally, by June 1, we can ship orders as they arrive, but this year is the exception. As June drew to a close, we were still had a one-week turnaround to get your order out the door. While we are always working to speed up our order processing turn-around time, let us stress again that we truly value you as a customer.
To that end, we have made a change in our customer service and shipping department. We have hired Bob Gram as our new Director of Customer Service and Shipping. Bob comes to PDN from IBM (love those initials), where he spent 30 years. We are confident that you will see our shipping and customer service continue to improve under Bob’s leadership. Please join us in welcoming Bob to the PDN team.
June started out with a speaking engagement at The Richmond Hill Inn in Asheville, NC. It’s always great to be on the same program as my friend and West Coast counterpart Dan Hinkley. Also on the program was Hunter Stubbs, a former employee of PDN and now the horticulturist for Richmond Hill. Rounding out the program was Brian Upchurch, an amazing wholesale nurseryman near Asheville who specializes in rare and unusual woodies. Even if you aren’t interested in attending one of their superb symposiums, you will want to make Richmond Hill your place for a romantic getaway in the NC mountains.
Adding to this great weekend was a chance to do some botanizing in the Asheville area with former PDN staffer Richard Olsen, who is now working on his PhD. with NCSU plant breeder extraordinaire Dr. Tom Ranney of NCSU’s Fletcher station. Tom’s work is some of the most exciting woody plant breeding in the world today. Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer until the first of his releases are available.
The gardens here at Juniper Level look fabulous this spring and growth has indeed been phenomenal. Adrienne and the rest of our garden staff have not only been able to maintain the existing plantings but have also added several hundred new plants to the gardens. I do hope you can all make it out to the summer open house for what we have dubbed our summer “Shock and Awe” festival. We even keep the gardens and nursery open until 8pm on the two Saturdays of the summer open house (July 11-13 and 18-20).