Spring Nursery Report

August is often the slowest time, excluding winter, in the nursery. It’s when we sit back and try to figure out what worked and what didn’t this year. Let’s sit in these chairs in the shade and discuss the nursery year so far. Let’s look at the weather this post.

The weather is the all important dictator of sales. This year it rained, about 80 inches, all the way through April. Reminder, our rainy season is from November to March. No rain in summer! Unlike last year where it rained right through May, we at least had a dry May to help out this year. Did you know garden centers make over half the money for the year in a three month period? March, April, and May are the key months. If it rains excessively any of those months you will never be able to make it up. Most of California experienced the prolonged spring rains; therefore I would be surprised to hear of any nurseries having a great sales year. Two excessively rainy springs in a row now. This winter we will see some of the financially weaker centers closing down.

Not much we can do about the weather. Most garden centers try to have a full allotment of plants for the three months of spring sales. So you might imagine it’s tough to watch your center full of beautiful plants just sitting there weekend after weekend getting drenched. It’s amazingly discouraging, since the bills come no matter what the weather. Now I have heard rumors that in the Pacific Northwest, where rain is part of the lifestyle, people go to garden centers and shop even in the rain. We’ll, here in California the public wants dry weather to shop. The busy season ends as soon as school gets out in June. No mater how nice the weather, once school is out it's vacation time, and gardening drops in importance.

All in all, this years spring weather could have been a lot better for sales, but was not as bad as the year before.

I am going to look over what type of plants we want to increase in numbers next year, and which we are going to drop or reduce. I have something to say about roses!