First Day of Winter

I don’t get to work on my blog as much as I would like. Since moving out of the garden center back to our house the only computer I have is here at work. What with the day to day activities I don’t have the leisure time necessary to do as much with the blog. The remedy is to get another computer just for home where I can do fun things as opposed to “work”.

We are getting ready for our winter break which means the store will be closed from Christmas through January 6th. I would love to take more time off but we have to get back to deal with the bare root fruit trees which arrive about then. In addition we don’t get a paid vacation here. Store closed equals little income.

Right now we are selling garden gift items and gift cards. We had a big 25% to 50% off sale just last month and it helped in moving some plants. I think our winter plant inventory is right about where it should be. This is the time of year when I look out and see too much planting mix and potting soil left over. Sure we can sell it next spring but why did I make that last order? Monica said we could hold off, but I never want to be out of a key item so I ordered it. Sure enough she was right.

There is so much to do here that it is overwhelming at times. We have a number of dead trees that need to be removed. I want to extend the sprinkler system to a new area which means digging trenches. We would like to get the main part of our newsletters ready for next year. Trying to write an e-news and snail mail newsletter during the busy spring is crazy. If we can get about six months done now it would be a great.

A post or two ago U.K. Bob left a comment. He said “Such as you and I keep on gardening no mater what the time of year because it's our life but I've noticed just by reading the blogs that were full of gardening when I first started to read them in August are now given over to other things like cakes and Christmas decorations. I notice also the last few times I've been to our garden centre it's been empty, it’s actually felt weird being the only one in the place. So I'm sure things will pick up for you, what you need is an early spring to get people out gardening again.”

I don’t like to see it but the fact that even in gardening crazy England the garden centre’s are slow this time of year gives me solace in that our occupation shares many of the same quirks no mater where you do business. While many people enjoy not thinking about the garden in winter we are busy planning for next year. We have to as if we wait we will be too busy when spring comes.

This is a good time to get out and spread the word. I will be talking at the California Home Show at the Sacramento Convention Center on Saturday Jan. 6th at 12:45. The topic is Mediterranean climate gardening. This will give us exposure to many people in the city who might want to make the drive up to the foothills to visit. On January 22nd I will speak at the Auburn Garden Club Meeting. This has been an annual engagement for me the last 8 or 9 years now. The subject is always “What’s new and exciting for 2007 at the garden center.” They are one of the most active garden clubs around with about 120 people coming to my last presentation.

Winter has arrived today! I like the fact that slowly but surely the days are getting longer and the nights shorter. Each day may only gain a minute or two of light but the minutes add up and soon I won’t be closing the store in the dark.