Well, what a month! After a steady early spring of orders, May seemed like an avalanche. Perhaps it was the warm weather or soaking rains or maybe even the end of the Iraqi conflict, but everyone got busy gardening all at once. Open house was huge this year when some good publicity, especially an unusually large newspaper profile bringing new visitors out in droves. We are just now getting caught up from the “spring rush”. As of now, we should be able to ship orders as they are received…weather permitting. Speaking of shipping, we would like to welcome the newest member of our management team, Waverly Hawthorne. Waverly joined us as a shipper this spring and has now been promoted to the position of shipping and receiving supervisor. Waverly is now in charge of making sure your order is pulled correctly, packed gently, and sent at the proper time. On most days, this is the most thankless of jobs, so if your order arrives in great shape, be sure and say thanks to Waverly.
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’ll even keep the gardens and nursery open until 8pm on the two Saturdays of the summer open house (July 11-13 and 18-20).
May also gave us the opportunity to take another road trip. This week long journey was to Texas to both do some botanizing and visit with some of the top Crinum breeders in the world. Carl Schoenfeld of Yucca Do, Brent Heath of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, and bulb guru Dr. Thad Howard joined us for the journey. What we saw was a truly amazing diversity of plants including some jaw-dropping crinums. We have our fingers crossed that we will all be able to work together to get some of these plants mass-produced and available to gardeners around the world. If you haven’t been to Yucca Do in several years, you are in for a real treat. Carl and Wade have done an amazing job in transforming the nursery and surrounding gardens into a truly amazing destination. While you are there, try and set up a visit to the adjacent Peckerwood Gardens of John Fairey. This magnificent garden has matured wonderfully since I last visited and is truly a magical experience. If you find yourself near Houston, the nursery and gardens are only an hour from the airport.