It’s that time of year again!
Some of y’all might not know this, but all of the beautiful annual plants displayed throughout the garden are grown down in our greenhouses and on our production mats. We produce two annual crops per year; one in the late winter/spring for the summer displays and one in the fall for our winter/spring displays. While our summer displays contain a plethora of colors, shapes, and varieties of many different species of plants, our fall crop consists of many, many, many…pansies and violas; this fall it will be about thirty four thousand. Often it seems like an endless sea of pansies and violas when it’s time to pot those little suckers up! Thank goodness we have wonderful volunteers that show up to help us out; otherwise we’d be up a creek without a paddle.
If you’ve seen the episode of I Love Lucy with Lucy and Ethel working on the chocolate assembly line (who hasn’t?), then that will give you a good idea of how the pansy potting process goes. We have a handy dandy potting machine, which is old as the hills but well loved, that fills the trays of pots with soil. After which, the trays are sent down a conveyor belt where staff and volunteers put the tiny pansy plugs into each pot. We won’t keep turning up the speed, like they did to Lucy and Ethel, and we certainly don’t recommend eating the pansy plugs. Ha ha! After filled, the trays of pansies and violas are loaded onto wagons and placed on the production mats to grow out.
If you’d like to come out and join the party, we will be potting from 9 to around noon on Aug. 25-26, Sept 1-2, and Sept 8-9. This is messy business, so be sure to come in clothes and shoes that can get dirty. We will supply gloves, water, snacks, music and a good time. In past years, we’ve even had some singing and dancing go down. We greatly appreciate any help that comes our way during this time.
Contact Stacy Scannell, the Landscape and Greenhouse Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help and/or for more information. Thanks!