Almost ready! Saturday April 13

Jamie Powers
The sales area is shaping up nicely!

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We're getting there. Saturday April 6.

Jamie Powers

The gravel is spread out and rolled.   Looks pretty good overall.  Tomorrow we'll see if we can get the new ground cover fabric down.  We worked on the 3rd section of the greenhouse too.

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Progress... sort of. April 5, 2018

Jamie Powers

Here are some before and after pictures today.  Chuck had brought in a bunch of gravel but was on another job and couldn't start spreading it until today.  I'm so happy with how this will turn out, but we're so far behind for Opening Day that I want to either cry or drink heavily.  Tomorrow he will bring in the rest of the gravel, then it needs to be smoothed out and rolled.  Hopefully we can start tacking down the new ground cover fabric on Sunday.  In the meantime, I have a lot of berries, assorted trees, some figs, and lots of lilacs to pot up.  We're also working on the new greenhouse for the cuttings, which needs to be ready by Memorial Day weekend.  Wish me luck!

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The Big Reveal - March 17, 2018

Jamie Powers

We're still working to get open in early April.  Check out our progress today!

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March 2, 2019 Update

Jamie Powers

Here's what's going on in the nursery on March 2.  Absolutely nothing!  I'm dying to get out there and start working.  We need to redo the ground cover in the sales area before we set out the plants, but the weather is not cooperating!  Then we'll be putting the plants in their proper locations, fertilizing and taking inventory, and we'll be ready to start shipping, hopefully in early April.  It's hard to see, but the plants are tipped over and covered with white plastic to keep them hydrated and protected from the wind.  So they're all still frozen and not ready to be shipped. 

And here's the lilac display garden on the other side of the driveway, and two of my little helpers.

And finally, here's what I'm really looking forward to seeing again this May!  I hope you'll come by and see it too.

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Summer 2018

Summer 2018

Jamie Powers
This hasn't been a great summer for us.  July was the wettest July on record, and it seemed like it rained every weekend.  August hasn't been much better!  My mother died  unexpectedly on August 18.  And more rain!  The plants have struggled with all the rain.  My potting mix doesn't seem to drain well enough, so I lost more plants this year.  I have it on good authority that they probably suffocated.  We've been frantically repotting in a new coarser mix which I hope will help them do better next year.  We're up to the "P's", President Grevy is next on the list.  I got started on the cuttings too late this summer; couldn't get the area for the hoop house leveled in time as planned, so everything got pushed back and it doesn't look like a lot of them rooted.  But "hope springs eternal", so I keep plugging away!  We're getting a few more stock plants into the ground over Labor Day weekend.  At least the display garden plants look good!  And I had the boys of summer keeping me company and supervising.

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March is going out like a lamb!

Jamie Powers

Today - March 25 - the lilacs still sit patiently under their 8-inch blanket of snow.  It's going to warm up this week, so we can start organizing at the end of March.  Shipping will resume the first week in April.  Finally!

Next up, a sea of mud.... 

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Our name

Jamie Powers

Hope Springs Nursery.... why is it named this?  Thinking about this now after the nasty weather on Friday.  Last Monday, the lilac pots were up and looking great.  Today, they're submerged in snow again.  Poor little sticks!  I planned to work outside this weekend to start setting up for our 2018 opening in April.  Instead, I've been very busy filling gas cans to keep the generator going!  It's just a dreary snow-and-mud mess here now.  But.... "Hope springs eternal in the human breast..." From Alexander Pope's poem An Essay on Man.  "Hope"-fully next weekend will be better!

 

 

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We're trying something new this winter

Jamie Powers
For the past two years, we've had to throw away a lot of dead lilacs in May and June. We've done something different this year. Instead of leaving the pots out in the nursery area, we tipped them on their sides in early December. It was a mad dash one weekend, because it was going to snow on Sunday and I was going out of town the following weekend. We tipped them over in rows and covered the entire section of pots with white overwintering film, on the advice of a wonderful lilac expert I know who has grown in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The pots were well-watered and the potting mix was frozen when we covered. This will help keep the plants at a more consistent temperature over the winter and protect them from drying winds. The past two years we have had early thaws - it was 80 here last February - followed by hard freezes. This damages the plant tissues and makes the plants susceptible to lilac blight. After tossing hundreds of plants for two years in a row, we decided to try covering. If it gets warm, we can open the sides of the "package", and when it cools down again we can close it up again. Let's hope this helps the plants to be in better condition when we open in April!

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Colors of Lilacs

Jamie Powers

Let's talk about lilac colors.  The most important thing to remember is that the color is whatever YOU see! There are a number of factors that impact the flower display.  These include the weather at bloom time - amount of sun, temperature.  The type of soil you have also affects the color.  The bud color is not always the same as the color of the opened florets.  There are 7 basic color groupings that are assigned to lilac varieties, but the variations of hue and value are very nuanced.  I've grouped my lilacs into these categories and added an 8th category for unique varieties that don't quite fit into one of the 7.  But keep in mind that what you see as magenta, someone else may see as purple! 

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