A customer visit today

Jamie Powers
A new customer stopped by this afternoon.  She and her husband drove FROM WISCONSIN (!!) to pick up 90 lilacs.  Granted, they did stop to visit family on the way!  But it was so gratifying to meet them in person along with their faithful traveling companion Felix who made friends with my two guys.  What a nice couple.  I'm so glad these lilacs will have a great new home with wonderful new owners.  Thank you Diane and Bob for your order!

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Update March 27, 2021 - Progress!

Update March 27, 2021 - Progress!

Jamie Powers

Yesterday I pruned last year’s cuttings so they start branching this year. The plants look good, so I am going to update the website this week and start shipping before they leaf out much more and start actively growing.  Less stress on the plants during shipping.  These mostly look like brown sticks right now.  But soon they’ll have a foot of new growth!  The big stock plants look great, other than a little deer nibbling.


 

 

 

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Clean-up day 3/21/21. Man, I’m beat after 4 hours out in the fresh air.

Jamie Powers

What a beautiful day.  We cleaned up the snow fence and leaves, got the riding mower and carts out of the collapsed portable garage, moved the two blocks of stock plants and got the leaves out of the pots, and sprayed Liquid Fence since those cute deer have been nibbling. 🤬  Next week we have to replace the garage since it collapsed during the last snowstorm.  The fun never ends here...

I’ve been laminating new signs since the ones from two years ago are pretty faded now.  So I got the ones that are finished into the sign holders and have more cutting and laminating to do tonight - if I last that long.  I tried to rake up under the oak tree, because I have some wildflower seeds that the crematorium sent with Pogo, Itty Bitty and Pooh Baby.  But the ground is still too wet.  Maybe next weekend.  

I'm so grateful to Mark and Julio for returning for another season of torture!  I couldn’t do it without them.

By the way, the plants look pretty good so far.

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What a difference a day makes! March 17, 2021

Jamie Powers

Yesterday the gang was covered up.  Today they are uncovered!  Not much to see yet.  I hope we can start cleaning up the leaves and whatnot this weekend.  The white plastic will stay on the sides of the hoop houses so we can re-cover fairly easily if it looks like frost.  I’m doing my best to prevent frost damage this year!

 

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Lilacs protected under snow-covered hoop houses for the winter.

If you’ve been wondering...

Jamie Powers

Why I don’t take orders now, here’s why.  My babies are covered for the winter.  That’s them under these two mounds!

 

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The dog days of summer are upon us already! August 2020

Jamie Powers

After a dismal, discouraging, disheartening spring with unseasonable cold, frosts and snow in April and May which resulted in severe damage to many of the plants, not to mention the CO-VID situation, and shipping delays, I'm proud to say that I've bounced back pretty well.  The plants look great in the new potting mix I switched to in March.  My first-time collaboration with another lilac colleague to take cuttings from her plants didn't go as well as I hoped this summer due to the learning curve with the new fogging system and the electronic leaf, but I did get some of them to root and we're very optimistic about next year.  In a couple of years we both will have more rare varieties to offer in very limited quantities, like 'Hugo Koster', 'Joan Dunbar', 'Ruhm von Horstenstein', 'Paul Hariot', 'P.P. Konchalovsky', and 'Azurea Plena', to name a few.  So I keep plugging along with my dream to make more lilac varieties readily available to the public.  Wish me luck!  And buy a lilac!  

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Update March 8, 2020

Jamie Powers

The lilacs are coming, the lilacs are coming!

Happiness is...

Uncovering the lilacs, and tipping them up and seeing that they look great.

We had a little setback over the winter.  The west wind has been roaring through here at times.  Most of the ground cover fabric that we laid so beautifully last year over the new gravel blew off several times.  We got it tacked down again yesterday and today.  It will never look as nice as it did at first, but it's done.

So, today, we were finally able to start up-righting the plants!  Everything looks good and as soon as we can get them set out in the sales area so I can take inventory, we should be able to start shipping.  This probably doesn't look like much to anyone but me, but I'm satisfied with the past two days of work.

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Happy New Year! We're looking ahead to Spring 2020.

Jamie Powers
Protecting the lilacs for the winter is no mean feat!  The buying season is over by the end of October.  At that point, we start grouping the lilacs that are in pots by size into blocks that are 20 feet wide.  The smaller guys that are still in their rooting trays get lined up to go under low hoops made of concrete reinforcing mesh. Then the potted plants all get tipped over on their sides and covered with opaque white plastic film for the winter. I'm up on a hill that is open to the west, and the wind comes through here like a banshee at times.  If we leave the lilacs upright and don't get much snow, they can really dry out and then are not in good shape come spring.  This is why we can't ship over the winter; they're covered and frozen.  This also is why we don't take pre-orders now.  We need to get them uncovered and uprighted in the spring first. Then we can take inventory and see what looks good.  We've been doing this for 3 years now and it has worked pretty well.  It took us about a week to get everything lined up and place the hoops. Then it took another week to get them tipped over so we could cover them.  For the larger plants, we just push them together and wrap netting around the group and throw leaves in for insulation along with some mouse bait.  This work is not too much fun, especially if the weather doesn't cooperate, as we can only do it on the weekends when I'm not at work!  But it's worth it for that day in March when it's finally warm enough to uncover them and see how they look.  Thanks to my mentor Evie King of Syringa Plus for teaching me how to do this and all her advice and wisdom.

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November 2019 - that's it for this year!

Jamie Powers

We're officially closed for fall/winter 2019.  It's too cold to be shipping bare root lilacs.  We've lined the pots up to prepare for tipping and covering at the end of this month.  Our low hoops for the rooted cutting trays are in place and the trays are lined up.  We just have to get them covered.  Over the next few weekends we'll be doing miscellaneous chores and getting the shed organized so that we're in good shape for next March.  I'll be making new signs for the lilacs in the display garden over the winter, along with printing new labels and benchcards for the sales area.  There's always something to do in the nursery!

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