Friday, May 2, 2014

Images of spring at the container farm

John Proffitt Delosperma
What do you love about spring? Jonathan, our grower, wrote last week that he loves the emerging foliage and the shades of green. For me, it's all about the flowers!

I spend Friday afternoons at our container farm taking pictures of the crops for our sales reps and marketing materials.

Potting up hostasWhile I was at the container farm on Friday, Jonathan mentioned that they go from waiting for spring to arrive to rushing around because everything needs to be done at once. The plastic has come off the winter mini-huts and the huts are being dismantled. Crews are busy potting up new crops, pruning and fertilizing the established crops, and the robots are spacing plants. It's fun watching the robots zip about.

robot moving plants

The dock is always a busy place in the spring and fall where the pulled orders are staged for shipping and the containers are tagged according our customers' specifications.

Orders staged for shipping

My focus on this trip to Ottawa was to check out the deciduous crops and see what is breaking dormancy. The ninebarks are leafing out and the new foliage of the Amber Jubilee and Coppertinas glow in the sunlight.

Amber Jubilee Ninebark

Spirea, barberry, hydrangea, weigela, burning bush and callicarpa are all leafing out too. The forsythias and cistena plums are full of flowers. The azaleas are loaded with buds. The rose crops are incredible.

always save my favorite area, the perennial and groundcover houses, for the end of each visit. Jessi, a recent horticulture graduate from K-State, has joined our team of growers this year and is in charge of this area.

Though I may be a bit biased in my opinion as I have known her since she and my daughter were in kindergarten together, she is doing a great job!

Jewel Desert Delosperma

My current favorite plant (it changes week to week) is the Jewel of Desert Delosperma. The flowers are like golden light bulbs.
Jewel of Desert

If you would like to tour the container farm, give us a call (913-897-7010) or send us an email to  
By Susan Mertz, Director of Marketing

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