We do this because we love helping people find plants that will provide joy, food, or solve a problem in their garden or landscape. We love the years-long processes of testing plants in our challenging environment and sharing what we learn with others. They say gardeners spread their love of plants with a missionary zeal.
And we are a local small business. I feel like, and I’ve been told, this is an especially local establishment. the VAST majority of customers who come in are local folks who live here and who participate in our community and culture. We appreciate each an every person who takes the time to stop by and wander or shop or just say hello to the cat.
As a nursery business, we do well over half of our annual sales after Mothers’ Day and before 4th of July. Much like ski areas and ski shops, if the weather is good for those 5-6 weekends, then the business is good. July and August are very slow, so if you would like very personalized service in a very quiet nursery, stop by then. We mountain folk are weak when it comes to heat. When it’s over 85ºF, the parking lot is empty… I get it. Just before Labor Day, when temperatures start to cool and people are home from vacations and days in the water, we get slightly busier. Autumn is THE best time of year for planting trees and shrubs. It is also great for perennials and the only time to plant spring-blooming bulbs. And lots of people get it. As a business, it is our little second season, a bump, but people are busy gathering wood and buttoning things up in preparation for winter so it is still relatively quiet. We frequently continue planting until mid-late-November but once the soil stays frozen after Thanksgiving, it’s just more work.
The last two years / seasons were the most challenging I’ve ever had for finding and bringing in interesting, cold-hardy, native, and unique plants for our climate. In response, last fall and winter, I booked, pre-ordered, held, and had grown so much great plant material and we brought it to the nursery in late May and early June.
This spring, it was either snowing or raining or well below freezing on every single weekend of our very short spring. New material had to be covered, while acclimating, almost every night of the season. Two of the weekends were so cold, that we didn’t spend the 4 hours with 5 people it takes every day uncovering and then covering the entire nursery. So it was a challenging spring and we had a LOT of really cool plants that we’ve fed and watered and trimmed all season anticipating the sweet relief of autumn planting time.
From mid-August we were in the 90º’s until September 8th, the later half including the tragedy of the Mosquito fire and weeks of hazardous air quality (over 700AQI). When we received three days of glorious rain we were all relieved and elated. But we’d lost another three weeks of our season. It has been a rough one but “there’s always next year!”… as we gardeners say.
Our plants are tough as nails and we always over-winter a large inventory so we’ll have plants on our climatic schedule to folks taking advantage of late-winter root growth before leaves emerge.
We do have a tremendous inventory and probably more than we’d really like to keep in pots for another year. The up-side for our customers and clients is that the selection is amazing, we’ve actually been bringing in a lot of fall color plants these past few weeks and the Fall Sale is on. There are usually about 6 weeks of good planting from the first of October on.
Here’s to a good wet winter with lots of snow, great trails and plenty of sunny weekends. Here’s to fall planting and anticipating a glorious spring and summer 2023!