Sign by road- we are coming back, promise!
Monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico. We overwinter away from the nursery. Turns out EVERY TIME you buy avocados from Stop and Shop, Trader Joe’s, and BIG Y, you are creating demand that results DIRECTLY in the extermination of monarch butterflies in Mexico. Limes too. Check out the blog in my ENVIRONMENT section of this website. None of those companies claimed to know (BULLSHIT) anything about it.
Maybe the days of playing hockey on our beautiful pond are over, with global warming giving our planet the warmest winter temps EVER in Antarctica and Europe. Warmest January on record. We are DOOMED.
Winter flowering native witch hazel flowering on time!
Arnold’s promise witch hazel flowering yesterday- a reliable friend indeed.
Parasol-shaped canopy develops slowly on witch hazel, topping out at ~12’
We screen our own topsoil. It’s covered so that in the spring it’s soft and fluffy and ready for you to spread easily. Zero rocks. That piece of plastic cost us $550- we spare no expense in order to sell the very best to you. I call our topsoil “homeowner soil,” because it’s so easy to shovel around. Perfect pH of 7.0.
Hoopsi blue spruce USED to be my favorite evergreen tree. Not anymore. The “needle cast” fungus that used to be a rarity is now commonplace for some reason. These unsaleable trees used to sell for $800 and up. They are worthless now.
Bald cypress (taxodium disticum) on the other side of the pond. Native from Florida to Maine. Thrives in swamps and desert-like crappy soils. It’s the OLDEST living native tree on the east coast living over 3,000 years. Second longest living tree is nyssa sylvatica at ~700 years, a fact discovered just last summer in the swamps of eastern North Carolina. I planted this tree in 1985 from a two gallon pot. It’s beautiful in the fall when it turns rusty-red and reflects off the dark water of our pond early in the autumnal mornings.
Dawn redwood (metasequoia glyptostroboides) I planted the very same day. They grow twice as fast as bald cypress and beautiful yet just not as beautiful as bald cypress in the fall.
Avondale redbud flower buds getting ready to flower in April. There is no tree that flowers more profusely than Avondale redbud.
Food applied on all our evergreen trees in December. Trees need food in the winter too- otherwise, they turn yellowish-green and are hard if not impossible to sell in the spring.
Winter gives us (me) time to surf in winter.
Incredible bamboo, yellow all year, takes on a classic brown look all winter.
Plants inside our hoop house sleeping till spring.
I heat my entire house with wood, can’t help it. It’s not for everyone, but heating with wood is for me, and I’m of the opinion that once one heats with wood, there is no going back to oil or gas. The heat has a source. The cat and dog lie in front of the stove, life-giving flames visible through the glass.
Im lucky to have this cool salt box with room for six or seven carefully stacked cords under the roof. I bring the wood home in July when it’s still green and recently split. As it seasons, we can smell the white oak terpenes drifting through and around the house. There is something really organic about it. It’s hard work, too, stacking wood. Actually, EVERYTHING about heating with wood is hard, except for the fact that my gas bill is about $45/month all year long.
My son and I brought these cages home yesterday knowing that what was left was insufficient to last through the rest of the winter. We got something accomplished yesterday at least. The dog Peetee wasn’t much help as much as she wanted to be involved, dodging tossed pieces with each and every throw.
The blueberry field in the background got re-mulched, weeded and fed last month during an unfortunate warm spell. Europe had its warmest January EVER in the history of temperature record keeping, and last week, Antarctica recorded a depressing 65f, the highest temperature EVER RECORDED.
tRUMP says global warming is a hoax- asshole! Lots of republicons have spewed this lie for a few decades (insufficient data they say), but tRUMP has had the absolute worst effect on our planet’s chances of turning this thing around. Say goodbye to your favorite species- nice knowing ya!
It’s so depressing to read these items- all across the environmental spectrum mankind is destroying our planet’s long term prospects.
American demand for AVOCADOS is causing the deforestation of the overwintering habitat for our threatened monarch butterflies. The Mexican cartels last week murdered two Mexican environmentalists who have been trying to save the monarch forests. Bodies dumped into wells.
We go to the store to buy food and toss a couplea avocados in the cart and sponsor the extinction of the most amazing insect. Who is going to stop this madness? DON’T BUY MEXICAN AVOCADOS!
When we were picking up the wood, I noticed these bagworms up in a sugar maple tree. They usually have their dangling bags in arborvitae. The scales are from a nearby arborvitae. For some reason, these bugs took the arborvitae foliage to the sugar maple and set up camp there. Why??? I sliced open this bag to show my kid what’s inside, and when I did, I noticed for the first time how damn ingenious the construction of the sleeping bag is. Inside the scaly rough tough impenetrable outer bag is a soft silken inner layer that made me imagine being comfortable in if I were that bug. How many millions of years did it take for that technique to evolve? How many people appreciate the sophistication of the insect world? Most people come to see me to find out which chemical kills them, and as I am in my FIFTH DECADE in this business, I find it harder and harder to help people kill insects. I’m just disgusted by that entire approach to stewardship of our environment.
Overwintering bagworm female disturbed by me yesterday so I could show my son the sophisticated pupating technique this insect evolved over millions of years.
The birch trees out front look awesome at night with their ten watt LED light bulbs shining up through the canopy. Not many trees can boast better looking night time than daytime appearances. Himalayan birch trees- our signature tree.
Plastic plastic plastic! It’s everywhere!
Peetee had to remind me to bring my canvas bag. I’ve been good this month using these instead of those horrible bags. When are they gonna be outlawed?
Removed protective plastic from our hoop house to find lots of happy plants looking for a home like pound dogs.
Lots of care goes into overwintering valuable shrubs and trees. One customer asked what kind of discount he could get on “left over stock...”
My reply was “none, these plants are about to get repriced because they are a year older.”
Its still cold, Peetee wants to stay home. NO.
Sometimes they look better in the spring than they did in the fall. We repot most of everything into bigger containers. It’s a lotta work!!!
Hundreds of BLUEBERRIES for planting now!
Alberta dwarf spruce look great
Norway spruce huge and medium look healthy, especially after consolidating.
Nursery work takes a LOT of time, effort, and skill. But you get to work outside.
I love this sign... but it’s time to put it away!
Time to take down the gone surfing signs. I love putting them up and also love taking them down.
Nobody is thinking of planting now (its 10f right now) but the snow will be gone soon.
We have been working- replacing the plastic that keeps our sifted topsoil bone dry.
Oil and filters need to be changed.
Peetee, the nursery dog, tries to keep warm while I drive to and fro. She faces what’s left of the sunlight. I take that as a cue for us to go home.
...surfing, skiing, lazin’ around. But when we get storms like this one, I gotta try to reach people-
1-3” turned to 3-5”, then 5-8”, now 8-12” of HEAVY WET SNOW.
Some plants I sell cost $13. Some cost $1,300+. Sometimes the $13 ones turn into $1,300 plants in your yard. Depends.
If your priceless Dwarf Japanese Hemlock really means something to you, set your clock for two and five am and go outside (you heard me) and knock the weight off your valuable plants. Off your other ones too. I’m not liking this idea but we are getting 12”+ of snow at 32f -really really heavy wet snow. A little- well, a LOT of effot will go a long way in preserving the value of your landscape... This snow is the kind that kills when you shovel it.
PS- I did go outside yesterday morning (do as I say, not as I do) and used my backpack blower to blow snow off all my prized plants- mainly huge American boxwoods, a thirty two year old dwarf golden hemlock, a forty year old golden dwarf hinoki cypress... they all thanked me by springing back to their upright stance after the whine of the blower swooshed the slushy snow off. They were all about to break- woulda been an irreplaceable loss for me. The American Boxwoods are four to five and a half feet tall, and I’ve been nurturing them for seven years, bring them back from the brink of death.
Im looking for people who are responsible, diligent, hard workers, good with people. Outdoors work mostly, taking care of our plants and our customers.
This is is my 45th year, and I know exactly what I am looking for. The work ethic at the nursery is high- everyone needs everyone else to carry their part of the bargain, or else it won’t work properly.
NO CELL PHONES ALLOWED AT WORK- it’s too dangerous to be gawking at your phone whilst the world spins around you.
Its pretty physical work work so you really need to be in shape or be willing to get into shape.
No two days are the same. Ever. Birds chirp and sing, the wind blows and the sun shines upon your skin.
If if you are interested, leave a message on our phone at work. Please do not email us....
I have (had) a supervisory license for chemical applications in the state of Connecticut. The exam is supposed to be brutal with only 5% of people passing because it’s difficult.
One of the things that stuck with me is that chemicals can enter our bodies through breathing and ingesting. Pretty obvious! But chemicals also enter our bloodstream directly through our skin. The more private our skin is, the easier the chemical becomes part of us. If the chemical is used daily, then that chemical becomes part of us permanently!
Take a moment to think about showering when your entire body is exposed to whatever you wash with. Your vanity might just be killing you and the planet with the products you buy and use. Look up “palm oil” some day- how it is used in products and the environmental destruction that is occurring in Indonesia as we speak. Are you a part of that with your shopping choices? Hard to sleep when you consider the orangutan population has virtually been wiped out because of American vanity. Let’s get back to my point about chemicals in your body...
I hate to be a skeptic (maybe I don’t), but American culture dictates that if it’s on the shelf then it must be safe for us to apply/consume. Wrong.
Just consider HFCS- high fructose corn syrup... approved by our government for our consumption, but how can that be when they know it’s not good for us? (I read up on this after writing it and there are two camps- Wikipedia says it’s ok and many sites say it’s not. I think I’ll stick to my suspicious doubtful self and stick to sugar- as little of it as I can ingest).
It’s in EVERYTHING as a cheaper sugar, but it causes huge issues in your body, with long term health consequences. If a product has HFCS, I don’t buy it! Period! I’d rather pay more for products that have sugar. Campbell Soups, for instance, promotes their soups as healthy for your family... ads with kids coming inside from sledding and sitting in front of a bowl of steaming chicken soup- ummmmm!
Must be wholesome, till you read the label. When I saw HFCS, I was PISSED! I wrote them a letter and they gave me coupons for some zany alternative soup they make that doesn’t contain it. From that point on, I decided to make my own soup using Goya cans of misc stuff.
Point being you CANT TRUST. You gotta educate yourself. Read the labels. Be your family’s first line of defense-we have to be our own advocate in this life, because the government is bought and paid for by the Koch brothers, Monsanto, etc. I’m not saying it’s a giant conspiracy! I’m just saying that it’s up to YOU to do the best for yourself and your loved ones, and if you don’t and then develop some condition later in life then you’ll just wonder how you got it.
So, as these doubts about these chemicals creep to the front burner from the back burner of our minds, it’s up to all of us to spread the word about alternative solutions to mainstream needs, and that’s why I’m writing this today.
I found this great shampoo/body wash!
Label makes good reading whilst you eat cereal before work. It’ll take a week to read the whole thing. This company is the real deal! Their website says it’s two to three times more concentrated than similar soaps (TRUE), so it can be used sparingly or diluted. I use it by the teaspoon yet the shower is covered in suds and the lavender fragrance is great.
Check out this label! All plants, two chemicals. I bought it and discovered that this bottle is enough for a year or two because you need a TINY amount to wash your hair and body. That’s it. I gave some to friends, and now they use just Dr. Bonner’s soaps. The word is spreading. There ARE better ways that are safer for you, cheaper also.
These seemingly crazy products are found on the bottom shelf usually- you have to sniff them out. I actually sold some to a fellow shopper two days ago- didn’t know the dude. He was looking for a product for his daughter that didn’t contain something that she was sensitive to. He left with this shampoo/body wash, and I’m sure that it’s the only product he will ever buy again- ever- for showering.
Try it, I guarantee you’ll like it!!!
Anti perspiration stuff. I always call it “B.O. medicine.” Chemical antiperspirants STINK BAD! You can smell them on some people when they walk by. Ever wonder what’s in them? You don’t wanna know. If it bothers you, there is an alternative... mineral salts that are mined, ground up and reformed to fit into an applicator. Just wet the tip and apply, and the natural salts will kill the bacteria that makes us reek! Today is my first day using it- till Friday, the jury is out.
I have been using this product for a few weeks now and it’s just what the label says it is- it works 100% for a full 24 hours+ with no scent. Even after skiing full speed for entire days I couldn’t get this stuff to fail. Internet says it has been an antiperspirant in the orient for hundreds or thousands of years.
Both of these products you can find at BIG Y. Stop n shop is way too scared to offer anything other than the “same old stuff!”