Growing flowers is a way of life for us.
Plants need to be nurtured and looked after every day. After all these years, we still enjoy the process. The thrill of watching a seed grow up and become a beautiful flower, the joy of watching people's face light up when they experience the greenhouse and are surrounded by the wonder of it all and also knowing these little babies we have spent so much time growing will beautify yards and lift people's spirit makes all the hard work have purpose.
Technically, the growing season for Spring begins for us in the Fall. Our lovely Boston Ferns arrive as new babies the first week of August. During the next 6 weeks our zonal Geranium stock plants come in as unrooted cuttings. Much care is given to these items so that they may have a good start in life. September, October and November a great deal of time is given to planning variety, color and amount of every single item we will be growing so that the seed and plant material orders can then be placed. This is also considered our down time. Our schedule is very relaxed. Retail is not open.
Retail opens the day after Thanksgiving with Poinsettias. We have a very reputable, WestMichigan source from which we buy pre-finished Poinsettias. Retail is open Monday - Saturday 10 - 4pm through December 23rd.
Most people think we have winters off. On the contrary, January/February is when production steps into gear. Sowing/germinating seeds, propagating cuttings, filling pots, planting Hanging Baskets are just a few of the ways we keep busy during the winter. No time for winter doldrums here!
As a small business, we employ a small group of dedicated, conscientous people and we could not make this happen without them! By March, all hands are in full force planting. Flats, pots, baskets, Everything ~ 20 greenhouses need to get filled up in the course of about 6 weeks!
We are working 7 days a week at this point.
Come late March/April, whenever Easter is, we bring in Easter Lilies and assorted spring bulb flowers such as Tulips and Hyacinths. Retail is open the full week before Easter, Monday- Saturday 10- 4pm.
April is the beginning of the shipping season for our Commercial division. We ship truck loads of flowers to customers in Chicago,Il down to Muncie, In and up to Traverse City, Mi and others in between. At the current time our wholesale department is closed for new customers as our growing space is maxed out!
Retail is open by the last week in April. It's still too early to plant, however it's fun to come in to look and dream. Make sure you are aware of your area's planting season according to when the last frost date is. We are in zone 6 surrounded by zone 5. The local farmers say 'don't plant until after the last full moon' in May, which is generally around May 19th! Many people like to buy their flowers for Mother's Day, however, planting too early can be risky. Be mindful of the weather and ready to cover up or move plants inside at night until the chance of frost has past.
May and June is busy, busy, busy! Not enough hours in the day. Sleep is usually sacrificed as well as most evening meals! Life is interesting and rather stressful when you only have 8-10 weeks to make a year's living.
As July draws near, people have planted, replaced and filled in any holes and all that's left is to enjoy Summer! We agree! Therefore, Retail closes the second Saturday in July in hopes that we can enjoy the end of summer. It takes the rest of July to clean up and get ready for those ferns that will arrive the first week of August!
That is a year in our life in condensed form! Thank you for taking a moment to learn about the time it takes to produce the beautiful flowers from our (green) house to yours!