Early indicators?

We have had fantastic weather over the last few weeks. With temperatures in the mid 70s F you couldn't ask for a nicer mid-January. Of course every time I would comment on the beautiful weather the response would be," but we need the rain". Why can't people just enjoy the warm breeze and not stress about our lack of rain? This is northern California, and we are either in the middle of a drought, or flooding every January. Well, after the last few weeks of no rain it has started to rain again, and it looks like the chance of rain is on for the next week. Soon, very soon, people will start complaining about how wet it is. My fellow Californians are a bit spoiled when it comes to expectations about the weather. During those few weeks of glorious weather you would have to wonder where all the customers where? We had some very slow days, until we hit the new year and the arrival of bare root. Yes, it would seem people are planting fruit trees and bushes! I am re-ordering fruit trees as we speak, and look forward to more bare root sales.  The first to run out was"Granny Smith" Apples, followed by "Pink Lady" Apple, and the Pluot's. We are going to get more next week, and it's great to see the interest level high for these plants. Looks like Blueberries will score big again, and for the first time Figs are on the radar.

Not one to count my chickens before the eggs have hatched, I do think we will have a decent season coming up. Interest level is high for fruiting plants, and I assume for the warm season vegetables when they arrive.  We will have to see how the ornamental business is this year, but with all the doom and gloom around, it's nice to see one strong area at the garden center. I also can't discount the fact that we have  have been here now for over four years, and the community does seem to be embracing the garden center a bit more this year. In my opinion it takes years for a new business, especially a garden center, to be tested and embraced by the community. Maybe we have reached that level.

As we enter the new year I hope my fellow garden centers will be reporting the same thing from their regions. Increased interest in fruit and vegetable gardening, that translates to an appreciation of our backyards, and their relationship to the outside world.  We could all use some good news, and I hope these early season indicators translate into a better year for us all.

"Now if it would just stop raining..."

Just kidding, we need the rain...