‘THE SAGE’-Klein’s Online Newsletter—MARCH 2017
Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses
3758 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53704

Join Our Bus Tour to the Chicago Flower & Garden Show
March Classes and Workshops at Klein’s
Our ‘Mad Gardener’ Is Ready for Your Questions
Ever Thought about Working at a Garden Center?….
10 Elements for Beautiful Flower Arrangements
Seed Starting Basics for Maximum Success
Klein’s Favorite Seed, Bulb & Plant Sources
Possible New Warning Labels for Roundup®
You Asked the Mad Gardener About a Non-blooming Christmas Cactus
Plant of the Month: Peperomia
Our Very Favorite Recipes for a St. Patrick’s Day Feast
Product Spotlight: New Products for Home Seed Starting
Notes from Rick’s Garden Journal—From March 2017
—A Reminder about Elephant’s Ears
—Hot Enough for You?
—Ramping up for Spring
March in the Garden: A Planner
Gardening Events Around Town
Review Klein’s @: Yelp, Google Reviews or Facebook Reviews
Join Us on Twitter
Follow Us on Facebook
Join Klein’s Blooming Plant or Fresh Flower Club
Delivery Information
Related Resources and Websites
Plants Harmful to Kids and Pets

FOR NEIGHBORHOOD EVENTS OR GARDEN TOURS that you would like posted on our web site or in our monthly newsletters, please contact Rick at (608) 244-5661 or [email protected] or Sue at [email protected]. Please include all details, i.e. dates, locations, prices, brief description, etc. Our readership is ever-growing so this is a great opportunity for free advertising. Events must be garden related and must take place in the immediate Madison vicinity.

…with a stop at the beautiful Garfield Conservatory. Join us as we welcome Spring after a long and cold Winter. We will depart Klein’s on a tour bus and make a stop at The Garfield Park Conservatory and then be on our way to the show at Navy Pier. The cost is $50 and includes breakfast snacks/coffee, bus ride and ticket into the show. We look forward to the life-sized gardens, how-to workshops and instructional seminars that will give you a reason to enjoy the greener side of the Midwest. Call today, and book your seat on the bus for this fabulous trip! Payment is due at time of reservation.

“Madison’s Firsthand Source for Expert Gardening Advice”

Ask any of your gardening questions by e-mailing them to us at [email protected]. Klein’s in-house Mad Gardener will e-mail you with an answer as promptly as we can. We’ve also posted a link to this e-mail address on our home page for your convenience. Your question might then appear in the “You Asked” feature of our monthly newsletter. If your question is the one selected for our monthly newsletter, you’ll receive a small gift from us at Klein’s. The Mad Gardener hopes to hear from you soon!

Sorry, we can only answer those questions pertaining to gardening in Southern Wisconsin and we reserve the right to leave correspondence unanswered at our discretion. Please allow 2-3 days for a response.

Please note that our Mad Gardener is not only an expert gardener, but can answer all of your indoor plant questions as well.

We would like to thank all of you for making the Wisconsin Public Television Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy a great success for us at Klein’s this past February. The fantastic weather made for record breaking sales at our booths. Your feedback and support were above and beyond. Attendees commented often that they appreciated the burst of spring we brought to the expo with our spring blooming plants and fresh herbs.

We also welcome all of you who newly subscribed to our monthly newsletter at the show. The Garden Expo is Klein’s biggest gardening event of the year. We enjoy talking with all of you and sharing our love of gardening with you.
Thanks again! The Staff at Klein’s

Now is the time to stop in and ask for an application or fill one out at Employee Application. We always need seasonal, part-time counter help in the spring and greenhouse production swings into gear by mid-February. If you’re interested, ask for Sue or Kathryn for the retail area or Jamie or Rick for the greenhouses. Benefits include a generous discount on all those plants you buy at Klein’s anyway. Join our team and experience how it’s all done.


Monday thru Friday : 8:00-6:00
Saturday: 9:00-5:00
Sunday: 10:00-4:00

March 1—Ash Wednesday

March 8—International Women’s Day

March 11Seed Starting Presentation Presented by Purple Cow Organics. Join us at Klein’s, Saturday, March 11 at 10:00 for this informative presentation to learn the basics of successful seed starting to get your gardens off to a great start this spring. No sign up or preregistration ia necessary. After the presentation, check out Klein’s large assortment of seeds and seed starting supplies.

March 12–Daylight Saving Time Begins.

March 12Drop-in Miniature Gardening & Terrarium Workshop. Join Kathryn from 11:00-3:00, Sunday, March 12 at Klein’s as she guides you through the how-to’s of indoor gardening on a small scale. Bring your own container(s) or choose from our large selection of pottery and glassware. Soil for your project will be supplied. Kathryn will help you select the best plant choices, show you planting tips and help you create your own miniature world from Klein’s large array of miniature accessories. This is a great hands-on project for kids! Though reservations are not required, give us a call (608/244-5661) if you are wanting to attend to give us an idea of expected numbers.

March 12–Full Moon

March 17–St. Patrick’s Day. From shamrocks to green carnations–we have it!

March 19Chicago Flower & Garden Show with a stop at the beautiful Garfield Conservatory. Join us as we welcome Spring after a long and cold Winter. We will depart Klein’s on a tour bus and make a stop at The Garfield Park Conservatory and then be on our way to the show at Navy Pier. The cost is $50 and includes breakfast snacks/coffee, bus ride and ticket into the show. We look forward to the life-sized gardens, how-to workshops and instructional seminars that will give you a reason to enjoy the greener side of the Midwest. Call today, and book your seat on the bus for this fabulous trip! Payment is due at time of reservation.

March 20–First Day of Spring!!!! It’s still too early to plant, but you’ll notice spring bulbs peeking through the cold soil, trees buds bulging and maybe even that first robin. Keep in mind that Madison’s average last frost date is May 10 so there’s usually still lots of cold and snow to come.

March 25Kokedama Workshop. Saturday, March 25, 1:00-3:00 at Klein’s. Learn the art and create your own kokedama in the latest trend in home gardening. Kokedama, sometimes called string gardens or Japanese moss balls, are a form of bonsai that dates back to the Edo era in Japan, circa 1600. Please reserve your spot by calling Klein’s at 608/244-5661 or emailing us at [email protected]. A $20 fee includes everything needed to create one kokedama moss ball. Care instructions will be provided.

April 1–April Fool’s Day


10 Elements for Beautiful Flower Arrangements
By Jamie McIntosh @ www.thespruce.com

It’s fun to pick up a bunch of mixed cut flowers at the grocer and set them into a vase for some quick cheer at the table. However, with a little effort, you can turn a ten dollar bouquet into something a bit more artistic. Use the same design principles florists apply to their arrangements for professional looking results.

Balance in a floral arrangement doesn’t mean that every bouquet must be symmetrical.

The final arrangement may have a crescent or right triangle shape, and still be pleasing to the eye. Check the balance of your arrangement by examining it from the front, back, and top of the bouquet. If your design looks crooked to you from one of these angles, counterbalance the arrangement by adding or removing flowers or foliage.

Contrasting Colors
Combining bright and dark flowers is a common way to give a floral arrangement extra eye appeal. Green flowers can play an important role in contrast, as they pop out against both warm and cool hues. If you favor the darkest burgundy flowers, which can appear nearly black in some lighting, place them beside white, pink, pale green, or peach flowers so they don’t recede into the darkness.

A focal bloom can contribute to the dominance in a bouquet, but dominance can also mean a dominant flower is used throughout the design, or a dominant texture like ruffled petals are featured in the design.

Whatever is important to you can dominate your floral arrangement, whether it’s wildflowers or your impressive mixed zinnia cutting garden.

Focal Point
Most mixed flower arrangements employ a focal point, usually, a stunning large or unusual bloom or blossom cluster that draws the eye. These flowers are often more expensive than the rest of the filler flowers in the arrangement.

A large peony, garden rose, or orchid will stand out from smaller flowers like alstroemeria or poms.

Your flower arrangement should be in proportion with the space where you will display it, as well as with the container or vase that hold the blooms. A petite nosegay can brighten up the countertop in a powder room, but will go unnoticed in a large sitting room. Flower frogs may enable you to insert large blooms into small dishes, but unless you’re following ikebana principles, this pairing will not seem proportional.

You may employ a material like floral foam to achieve the perfect radiation of stems from your container or vase. The way your stems radiate should appear natural; it isn’t necessary to have perfect spacing between each stem. If some stems are too short to contribute to pleasing radiation in your design, you can elongate them with the use of wooden floral picks.

Just as repetition in the flower garden lends a unity to the design that enhances its appearance, so does repetition in the vase, albeit on a smaller scale.

You may have several bright yellow flowers scattered throughout the design, or the careful placement of several spiky flowers like gomphrena or sea holly.

A floral arrangement with good rhythm will make your eye wander across the entire design, rather than just causing you to glance and look away. Repetition can guide your eye across the design, but a varied bouquet can also provide a visual path for the eye to follow.

When a mix of flower shapes and sizes are part of your floral arrangement, a gradual transition between the types will make the final result appear natural. This is important when gathering flowers in various states of bloom, like peonies or roses. You should place the smallest buds at the top and center of the design, followed by partially opened blooms, while inserting the most full blossoms at the bottom or center of the arrangement.

Floral Variety
There is much to be said for a large bouquet of roses, but variety creates excitement in a floral arrangement. Even if you are smitten with one variety of flower, you can add variety to your piece with greenery or twigs.

In December 2015, I bought a Christmas cactus from Klein’s. At the time, it was loaded with buds. After a couple of days at home, I took it to work where I placed it on a shelf in my cubicle. By January, all of the buds had dried up and dropped off the plant and new leaves started growing. I was told that Christmas cactus don’t like a change in environment and need some time to acclimate. So I expected after a year in the same location at work, I would get plenty of blossoms this year. But once again, instead of any buds, I am getting new leaf growth. My cubicle is next to an aisle that runs along large sunny windows. So the plant gets plenty of filtered sunlight (the sun generally does not shine directly on the plant). I water it once a week and make sure the soil is not overly wet. Do you have any suggestions for bloom production?

Hi Barb,
So long as your Christmas cactus is green and growing, it’s very happy….perhaps too happy. I know that sounds odd, but stress in most plants induces bloom. With Christmas cactus, that stress can mean being kept in cool temps for a few weeks, being kept overly dry for a period of time or shortening day length. I’m guessing the last may be the problem in an office setting. In an office setting, your plant may be getting too many hours of light during the time of the year when the buds should be forming. During the fall, daylength in the office probably isn’t decreasing naturally to 8 hours of light come mid-December. Even stray light can offset bloom in plants where photoperiodism is critical for bloom.

For my own cacti, I apply all three: the cool temps, dry conditions in the fall and natural light for short days. All bloom reliably year after year.

In addition to the possible light issue, fertilizing can be contributing to the plant’s ‘extreme happiness’. Christmas cacti are very light feeders. They should be fertilized only during the summer months and at a very reduced rate. They should not be fertilized from September through March. Fertilizing contributes to beautiful green growth at the expense of blooming.

Repotting the plant into a larger pot will also hold back blooming while it’s rooting into the added soil.

I hope I’ve been of some help.

Thanks for your question,
Klein’s Mad Gardener

. . .that March is the month for indoor seed starting to begin enforce. Here’s how to begin:

Starting your own plants from seed can be both rewarding and frustrating for the beginning gardener. From experience, it’s best to start out slow. This eliminates some of the frustration. Experience will gain you knowledge and confidence. Before starting your seeds, read the packet and get a little basic information. Some seeds are best sown directly in the garden come spring and not started indoors. It’s best to do a little research by going on-line or purchasing a good gardening book. The packets themselves will usually tell you whether to direct sow in the garden or how many weeks before our last frost date to sow indoors. Our last frost date is about May 10. Using a calendar, count back from May 10 and this will be your sow date.

One can start seeds on any sunny windowsill and in almost any container. Warmth and moisture are critical in getting most seeds to germinate. But a few pieces of basic and inexpensive equipment purchased at your garden center and/or hardware store will help you get started and make your seed starting experience a great success. Here is a shopping list:

*A heating mat–makes seeds germinate quickly and uniformly
*A few 10×20” trays without holes
*A few clear humidity domes
*A sterile seed starting mix
*A 4’ shop lamp w/ 2 fluorescent bulbs (you don’t need “gro-lights”)
or a seed growing rack if you’d like to make an investment
*A few 10×20” trays with holes
*A few sheets of empty cell packs, e.g. 4-packs or 6-packs
*A water mister
*A timer
*A soilless potting mix
All of the above items, except the timer, are available at Klein’s.

Again, following package instructions, sow the seeds, as many as you want, in a very shallow, open container, filled with moistened seed starting mix. This container can be anything from very low or cut off dairy containers to disposable food storage containers. Per package instructions, cover or don’t cover the seed. Some seeds require light for germination. Next place your seeded containers in a tray without holes, mist them till well watered and cover with a humidity dome. Place your covered tray on the plugged in heating mat under the shop light. Set your timer so the shop light is on for 13 hours (off for 11 hours).

In a few days, as your seeds begin to sprout, remove them from under the humidity dome and place in a well-lit, warm location. Keep your seeds and seedlings moist. Different seeds sprout at different rates so this can take from a few days to a few weeks. Once all your seeds have germinated, unplug your heating mat. You can now move all of your seedlings to under the shop light still set at 13 hours.

Once your seedlings have 2 sets of “real” leaves it’s time to “prick them out” (transplant them). Do this by placing a sheet of empty cell packs in a tray with holes. The holes now become necessary for proper drainage. Fill the cells with soilless potting mix and moisten well with the mister. Using a pen or pencil “dibble” a hole into each of the cells. This is where you’ll now place your seedling. Remove the seed starting mix and seedlings as a clump from their starting containers. Gently break apart this root ball, separating your seedlings. The pen or pencil will come in handy as an added tool to help separate the seedlings. Carefully place one seedling in each of the holes you put in the prepped cells. Gently firm in with your finger tips. Mist well to water thoroughly and place in a warm, well lit area. Using your shop light again makes this easy. The seedlings may seem weak and somewhat abused, but they’re very resilient and will pop back quickly. When watering, fertilize your new plants with a very dilute solution, rather than at full rate. By May 10 your flowers and vegetables should be ready to put in your garden and you can say that you did it yourself–beginning to end.

In addition to the Livingston, Olds, Botanical Interests and Seed Savers Exchange seeds available at Klein’s, check out the following sources:
All offer free print catalogs and easy on-line ordering. Seeds usually arrive within just a few days after an order is placed.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds @ www.rareseeds.com or 417/924-8887
Johnny’s Select Seeds @ www.johnnyseeds.com or 207/861-3901
Jung’s Seeds @ www.jungseed.com or 800/247-5864
Park’s Seeds @ www.parkseed.com or 800/845-3369
Seeds of Change @ www.seedsofchange.com or 888/762-7333
Territorial Seeds @ www.territorialseed.com or 888/657-3131
Thompson & Morgan @ www.thompson-morgan.com or 800/274-7333

Note: To receive every possible seed, plant or garden supply catalog imaginable, check out Cyndi’s Catalog of Garden Catalogs @ www.gardenlist.com. Most catalogs are free and make for great winter reading!

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTEach month we spotlight some product that we already carry or one that we’ve taken note of and plan to carry in the near future. Likewise, if you would like to see Klein’s to carry a product that we don’t currently, please let us know. Our goal is to be responsive to the marketplace and to our loyal clientele. If a product fits into our profile, we will make every effort to get it into our store. In addition, we may be able to special order an item for you, whether plant or hard good, given enough time.
New Products for the Greatest Possible Seed Starting Success:

Purple Cow Organics Seed Starter Mix
Available in 1 cu ft bag

A living media containing beneficial biology and nutrients to get your plants off to a healthy start. Seed Starter Mix is a fine-textured blend that promotes rapid germination and vigorous seedlings. This mix includes Purple Cow Activated Compost, sphagnum peat, perlite, vermiculite, OMRI listed granular fertilizer, and mineral complex to get your plants off to a healthy start. It is intended for seed starting in trays, blocks or small containers–balancing drainage and wicking action to keep roots moist.
Black Gold® Seedling Mix
Available in 8 qt bag

This highly refined, organic seedling mix is excellent for root growth for newly germinated seedlings, has low-salt and is fine, yet porous and water-retentive and has an organic wetting agent to ensure uniform water penetration. Canadian Sphagnum peat moss, perlite and organic wetting agent. Plus RESiLIENCE®!
Hsu Seed Starter Kits
Available in 24 or 32 cell trays

No need to buy any messy bags of soil with Hsu Seed Starter Kits! Pre-filled pots provide customers with an affordable option for their planting needs. Kits are individually shrink wrapped. 100% Organic mix for starting strong seedlings, blended with Hsu Leaf Compost. Hsu Growing Supply is a Wisconsin based company located in Wausau.


NOTES FROM MY GARDEN JOURNAL–Tips and Observations from My Own Garden by Rick Halbach

ENTRY: FEBRUARY 1, 2017 (A Reminder about Elephant’s Ears)
Spring must be getting closer! Today I moved some of my stored and dormant elephant’s ears (Colocasia esculenta) from the cool root cellar to the warm part of the basement. There’s no need to put them near any light source. After all, they’re still dormant and new foliage won’t appear for a couple of months yet. For now, I simply move the tubs to a warm spot and start watering them.

Elephant ears are a tender tuber native to the tropical portions of the world. Their woody and bulbous roots store food and energy much like a potato. In fact, they are edible (taro root) and used in Polynesian and Southeast Asian cuisine, most notably poi from the Hawaiian Islands.

In my own garden, the now dormant tubers will produce their familiar gigantic foliage by the end of summer, given heat, humidity and plenty of water. In the fall, I simply allow the plants to freeze off. Before the ground freezes, I cut off all foliage and dig up the massive tubers, leaving as much of the root and soil ball in tact as possible. I place the roots on a layer of peat moss in the large and handled plastic “muck buckets” available at Menard’s or The Home Depot.

After a few weeks of curing in the garage, I top off the roots with a thick layer of dry peat moss and move the tubs to my basements root cellar where temperatures are in the low 50’s for most of the winter. Because the soil ball has been allowed to dry out and the peat moss is dry, the tubs are fairly easy to move. Now I let them rest, completely ignored, until late January or early February.

Once I move them to the warm part of the basement and start watering them, new growth will appear in about 8-10 weeks. By the time I put them back in the garden in late May, many 2 foot sprouts will have emerged from the peat moss. With our short summers, this 3-4 month jump start is invaluable. Alocasias (also called elephant’s ears), unlike colocasias, prefer not to go dormant. They do best when treated as any houseplant during the winter months.

Not only do I overwinter 3 huge tubs of common elephant’s ears, but also some stunning favorites including; Colocasia esculenta ‘Elena’, ‘Red Stem’ (also called ‘Rhubarb’), ‘Mojito’, ‘Lime-aide’, ‘Nancy’s Revenge’ and ‘Coal Miner’.

* * * * *

ENTRY: FEBRUARY 22, 2017 (Hot Enough for You?)
All-time High Temperature in Winter Set in Madison
by Bill Novak @ host.madison.com

A five-day record-breaking stretch of warm weather in Madison ended with a bang on Wednesday, with the all-time high temperature in winter being set in the early afternoon.

The official temperature at the Dane County Regional Airport at 1 p.m. hit 66, eclipsing the previous record of 65 for the warmest temperature in a Madison winter, set on Dec. 3, 2012.

The meteorological winter is different from the calendar winter. Weather people use December, January and February as the winter months, and not Dec. 21 to March 20.

The 2 p.m. temperature at the airport pushed the record up to 67, and who knows how high it’ll go, with a few hours left for the day’s record to get set officially. 70, maybe?

Milwaukee already hit the magical 70 mark, smashing its Feb. 22 record by 8 degrees and eclipsing the winter warmth record of 68 set twice before in 1999 and 2001.

The National Weather Service said February 2017 is the seventh warmest on record in Madison already, not counting the record warmth of Wednesday, but colder weather to end the week could stall any climb to the top for warmest average temperature for the month.

In the six-day stretch from Friday through Wednesday, Madison set five records for high temperatures Saturday through Wednesday, while Milwaukee set four records, Friday and Saturday then Tuesday and Wednesday.

Neither city had more than three days above 60 in February before.

* * * * *

ENTRY: FEBRUARY 26, 2017 (Ramping up for Spring)
This is one of my biggest indoor gardening weekends of the entire year. I use March 1 as a key date for many of my indoor gardening tasks.

First and foremost, this is my first big seed starting weekend in my basement grow room. I’ve already started some seeds, but it’s during March that seed starting swings into high gear. Plants that need to be started about now include petunias, dianthus, snapdragons, browallia, cuphea, portulaca and a few other minor players. After the seeds germinate on my propagation heating mat I move them to the top shelf of my grow rack until they are ready to be transplanted into cell packs or pots. I use an old shower curtain draped over the rack to retain any heat given off by the light fixtures. In this basement environment I try to use all heat that might otherwise be wasted.

Once my seedlings have developed their second set of true leaves, I carefully transplant them into cell packs and pots (size determined by plant vigor and how the plants are used in the garden). It’s best to transplant seedlings as soon as they can be handled. The smaller the seedling, the less shock from transplanting. I choose to transplant my seedlings rather than planting them directly in their final pots and cell packs so I can choose only healthiest and most vigorous plants, ensuring greater success in the garden.

The second major task of the weekend is to prune, trim and clean up all the geranium, coleus, salvia and assorted cuttings I’ve been overwintering. This will be their final pinching before they go into the garden in May. Any later than this and I lose a few weeks of valuable bloom time in our short summers. I also trim and shape my potted geraniums and other plants that will be spending the summer outdoors. Hibiscus is the exception. I pruned them in the fall rather than in the spring–again as not to lose bloom time.

Thirdly, I move all remaining dormant bulbs and plants from the cool root cellar to the warmer parts of the basement. I do this to give them a good start before I put them outside. My collection includes cannas, brugmansias, pineapple lilies, callas, dahlias, begonias and a few odds and ends. By the time they move outside in May, they’re already growing actively and sometimes nearly ready to bloom.

KLEIN’S RECIPES OF THE MONTHThese are a selection of relatively simple recipes chosen by our staff. New recipes appear monthly. Enjoy!!

March is the month of St. Patrick’s Day and a traditional Irish meal goes hand in hand with the festivities. One of Klein’s staff members belongs to a very longstanding ethnic dinner cooking club that put together the following perfect Irish menu for one of their get togethers from February of 1994 to celebrate one of the member’s strong Irish heritage. This simple-to-make, foolproof menu remains as one of the club’s very favorites to this day–over twenty years later.

CHEDDAR & PARSNIP SOUP–This scrumptious soup comes from the pages Sundays at Moosewood.
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
2 TBS. vegetable oil
2-3 tsp. caraway seeds
1 lb. parsnips, peeled and cubed
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups water
1/4 tsp. ground fennel seeds
3 cups grated medium sharp cheddar (about 8 oz.)
3 cups milk
chopped fresh parsley or dill (optional)

In a 3 qt. saucepan, saute the onion with the salt in the oil on low heat until the onions become translucent, about 10 minutes. Mix in the caraway and parsnips. Stir and simmer gently about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and the water. Bring to a boil. Moderately simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced. Remove the soup from the heat. Stir in the fennel and the cheese. When the cheese has melted, pour in the milk. Allow the soup to cool 5-10 minutes. Puree the soup in the pot with a hand emersion blender or in batches in a traditional blender or food processor. Gently reheat, being careful not to let it boil. Serve sprinkled with parsley or dill. Serves 6.

IRISH SODA BREAD–A lovely and easy-to-make bread from The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors by Jeff Smith. This recipe makes two loaves.
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
3 TBS. cornstarch
t tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 375º. Add all of the dry ingredients to a large bowl an mix well. Pour all of the buttermilk into the bowl at once and stir, using a wooden spoon, until a soft dough is formed. Do not try to make it smooth at this point. Pour the contents of the bowl out onto the counter or a cutting board and knead for a minute or so until everything comes together.

Divide the dough into two portions and shape into a round loaf, pressing the top down a bit to just barely flatten it. Place the loaves on a large ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle a little additional flour on the top of each loaf and, using a sharp knife, make a cross is in slashes on top of each.

Allow the loaves to rest 10 minutes and then bake on the middle rack of the oven fro 40 minutes, or until golden brown and done to taste. Cool on racks before serving.

COLCANNON (MASHED POTATOES WITH CABBAGE)–Traditionally a ring or a coin is added to this dish, forecasting good luck for the guest who is served the portion containing the prize.
2 lbs. (about 6) medium potatoes
3 cups shredded cabbage (about 1/2 of a small head)
6 chopped scallions (greens and all)
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3-1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup softened butter of margarine
1 tsp. salt
a dash of pepper
more butter or margarine

Heat 1 inch salted water (1/2 tsp. to 1 cup water) to a boil. Add the potatoes. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and cook until tender, 30-35 minutes; drain. Heat the cabbage, scallions, water and 1/8 tsp. salt to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until tender crisp, 5-10 minutes; drain.

Mash the well-cooked potatoes until no lumps remain. Beat in the milk in small amounts. Add 1/4 cup butter, 1 tsp. salt and the pepper; beat until the potatoes are light and fluffy. Stir in the cabbage and the scallions. Put into a serving bowl and dot with additional butter to taste. Serves 6.

THE PERFECT CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE–From Great Good Food by Julee Rosso. This party-sized recipe serves 12 and makes for great leftovers! Adjust amounts as needed for your family.
5 lbs. corned beef, trimmed of fat
3 bay leaves
1 TBS. caraway seeds
freshly ground pepper
12 large onions
12 large carrots cut into 3” pieces
3 green cabbages, quartered
1 cup fresh chopped parsley
Mustard Sauce and/or Horseradish Sauce (recipes follow)

Place the meat in a very large, heavy stock pot and cover it with water. Bring to a boil and skim the surface. Add the bay leaves, caraway and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Add the onions and carrots; cover and cook 30 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook another 30 minutes.

Slice the meat and arrange it on a large platter, surrounded with the vegetables and sprinkled with the parsley. Pass the sauces at the table.

HORSERADISH SAUCE–Use with corned beef, roast beef, smoked fish or as a dip. Yields one cup.
3 TBS. grated horseradish
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup cottage cheese

With a whisk, whip together the yogurt and cottage cheese then blend in the horseradish and the mustard. Refrigerate.

MUSTARD SAUCE–Use with corned beef, fish or burgers. Yields 3/4 cup.
6 TBS. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup sour cream

Combine all of the ingredients and refrigerate until needed.


California Clears Hurdle for Cancer Warning Label on Roundup®
By Scott Smith from The Associated Press, January 27, 2017

California can require Monsanto to label its popular weed-killer Roundup® as a possible cancer threat despite an insistence from the chemical giant that it poses no risk to people, a judge tentatively ruled Friday.

California would be the first state to order such labeling if it carries out the proposal.

Monsanto had sued the nation’s leading agricultural state, saying California officials illegally based their decision for carrying the warnings on an international health organization based in France.

Monsanto attorney Trenton Norris argued in court Friday that the labels would have immediate financial consequences for the company. He said many consumers would see the labels and stop buying Roundup.

“It will absolutely be used in ways that will harm Monsanto,” he said.

After the hearing, the firm said in a statement that it will challenge the tentative ruling.

Critics take issue with Roundup®’s main ingredient, glyphosate, which has no color or smell. Monsanto introduced it in 1974 as an effective way of killing weeds while leaving crops and plants intact.

It’s sold in more than 160 countries, and farmers in California use it on 250 types of crops.

The chemical is not restricted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which says it has “low toxicity” and recommends people avoid entering a field for 12 hours after it has been applied.

But the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a Lyon, France-based branch of the U.N. World Health Organization, classified the chemical as a “probable human carcinogen.”

Shortly afterward, the most populated U.S. state took its first step in 2015 to require the warning labels.

St. Louis-based Monsanto contends that California is delegating its authority to an unelected foreign body with no accountability to U.S. or state officials in violation of the California Constitution.

Attorneys for California consider the International Agency for Research on Cancer the “gold standard” for identifying carcinogens, and they rely on its findings along with several states, the federal government and other countries, court papers say.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan still must issue a formal decision, which she said would come soon.

California regulators are waiting for the formal ruling before moving forward with the warnings, said Sam Delson, a spokesman for the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Once a chemical is added to a list of probable carcinogens, the manufacturer has a year before it must attach the label, he said.

Teri McCall believes a warning would have saved her husband, Jack, who toted a backpack of Roundup® for more than 30 years to spray weeds on their 20-acre avocado and apple farm. He died of cancer in late 2015.

“I just don’t think my husband would have taken that risk if he had known,” said Teri McCall, one of dozens nationwide who are suing Monsanto, claiming the chemical gave them or a loved one cancer.

But farmer Paul Betancourt, who has been using Roundup® for more than three decades on his almond and cotton crops, says he does not know anyone who has gotten sick from it.

“You’ve got to treat it with a level of respect, like anything else,” he said. “Gasoline will cause cancer if you bathe in the stuff.”


Peperomia is a genus which is a member of the Piperaceae family and is related to black pepper (peppercorns). Hence the name: Peperomia means ‘resembles peppers’. It’s a large group of plants comprising more than 1500 species, which mainly come from the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. They are often herbaceous plants, shrubs or climbers with fairly unspectacular flowers, which are usually spikes which resemble a tail. Peperomia is particularly about the decorative leaf shapes, colors and markings. The plants have semi-succulent properties, which means that they are able to store moisture in their fleshy stems or leaves to fall back on in times of need. However, they are significantly less good at storing moisture than true succulents and cacti.

The Pepper Family Piperaceae does not include bell peppers (Capsicum annuum) and chili peppers. These belong to the Nightshade Family (Solanaceae).

About a thousand species of peperomias have been described, mainly from tropical South America although a few (17) are found in Africa. Many of these plants are perennial epiphytes growing on rotten logs and they have thick stems and fleshy leaves, some with leaf windows. The palmate pattern of leaf veins is marked out in some species as furrows in the leaves or as colored lines. Most peperomias have tiny flowers which are packed into a characteristic greenish or brown conical spike (spadix) like an inverted catkin.

Peperomias are best cultivated in a light, well drained compost containing plenty of humus and do well in shallow containers. Coming from tropical rain-forest habitats, they love warm humid conditions and most need a minimum temperature of 50 – 55°F. However, the fleshy stems and foliage can be prone to rotting and peperomias should be watered sparingly from below (especially in winter) using soft water, avoiding wetting the crown of the plant.

Peperomias are non-toxic to animals.

Below is a listing of some of the more common peperomia species often available at Klein’s:

Peperomia acuminata
Name: Latin acuminata = gradually tapering to a point referring to the leaves
Thick scrambling green stems, rooting at their nodes where they touch the ground, with alternate, oval thickened, waxy green leaves with pointed tips. A succulent type.

Peperomia caperata
Name: Latin caperata = wrinkled
The green deeply veined heart-shaped leaves on red petioles of the wild plant have largely been displaced in cultivation by numerous selected forms with red and bronze leaves. During the Summer, narrow white flower spikes are produced. Commonly called rippled peperomia.


Native to the South American rainforest, probably Brazil, but described from a cultivated specimen. Although well known before 1958, there was no valid botanical description.

Peperomia clusiifolia (Red Edge Peperomia)
Name: with leaves similar to genus Clusia, named for Charles de l’Écluse (Latinized: Carolus Clusius) (1526 – 1609) a Dutch botanist
This species has thick reddened stems and fleshy, waxy dark green leaves with a red margin. Flowers are yellow or brown narrow spikes.


Native to the West Indies and Venezuela. Numerous selected named forms are in circulation. An easy, tolerant houseplant.

Peperomia clusiifolia var. tricolor has thick stems and fleshy, waxy green, pink and silver variegated leaves. A very showy plant.

Peperomia ferreyrae
Named for: Alejandro Huerta Ramón Ferreyra (1910 – 2005) Peruvian botanist
Green stems bearing long, narrow light green leaves with a darker-green window along their curved upper surface.


Native to tropical forests of Peru. As a forest-floor dweller this very succulent Peperomia grows best in bright diffuse light but not full sun. This unique looking peperomia is often included in our mix of tropical terrarium plants.

Peperomia griseoargentea
Name: Latin griseoargentea = grey + silver
This species has deeply veined heart-shaped, silvery-gray foliage, tinted green or copper along the veins.


Native to Brazil. Numerous selected forms are in circulation.

Peperomia magnoliifolia
Name: Latin magnoliifolia = Magnolia Leaf
This Peperomia spreads through adventitious brown stems to form mats or hummocks of glossy green leaves. Numerous variegated and colored leaf forms are in circulation.


Native to Northern South America into Mexico, West Indies and Bermuda.


For neighborhood events or garden tours that you would like posted in our monthly newsletter, please contact Rick at (608) 244-5661 or [email protected] or Sue at [email protected]. Please include all details, i.e. dates, locations, prices, brief description, etc. Events must be garden related and must take place in the Madison vicinity and we must receive your information by the first of the month in which the event takes place for it to appear in that month’s newsletter. This is a great opportunity for free advertising.
Bolz Conservatory Exhibit—Maria Sibylla Merian: The Suriname Expedition 1699-1701
November 5, 2016 thru March 5, 2017
Daily from 10:00-4:00, Sundays 10:00-5:00
In the Bolz Conservatory

Ahead of her time, Maria Sibylla Merian’s keen observational skills and work revolutionized both botany and zoology. Her artistic work changed the course of natural history illustration and left a lasting legacy of curiosity, knowledge, and beauty. See reproductions of her hand-colored engravings and some of the the tropical plants she studied in Suriname up close in the Bolz Conservatory.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
SEED: The Untold Story
Wednesday, March 8, 7:30 p.m.
Point Cinema, 7825 Big Sky Dr., Madison

SEED: The Untold Story is coming back to Madison for one night only! SEED: The Untold Story is a feature-length documentary featuring Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbell, and Winona LaDuke, following passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000-year old food legacy.

Tickets must be ordered ahead of time @ gathr.us/screening/19092. There will be no tickets sold at the door day of show. Tickets are $11.

Presented by Madison Traffic Garden, FairShare CSA Coalition, and REAP Food Group

The Sustainable Gardening Club
Primula Sale
Saturday, March 11, 8:00-4:00
Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Capture the first signs of spring with a colorful and classic primula at the Primula Sale at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Take home a rainbow of primroses in striking purple, red, yellow, orange, and pink, all grown from seed in Olbrich’s greenhouses.

These primulas are hardy and will bloom year after year in your garden. Often one of the first flowers to bloom in spring, some primulas also bloom again in the fall when the weather becomes cool. Primulas are cool weather perennials that do best when planted in the ground. They make wonderful gifts, so purchase them for your friends and yourself!

Olbrich’s primulas are grown in fiber pots instead of hard plastic pots. The fiber pots are “compostable, not plantable,” meaning that the primulas must be taken out of the pot and planted in the ground or a container. Then the fiber pot can be added to your compost bin. All proceeds from the sale benefit the Gardens. Plants are $5.00 each.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
Olbrich Garden’s Spring Show
March 11 thru March 26
Daily from 10:00-4:00
In the Olbrich Atrium

Immerse yourself in the splendor of spring!

Meander through an array of spring flowers and leave the stark winter landscape behind. Relish in the fragrance of hyacinths and admire the delicate petals of elegant tulips and the sunny hues of brilliant daffodils.

Admission: $3 for adults 13 & up, $2 for children 3-12, children 2 and under are free. Proceeds benefit Olbrich Gardens.

Select flowers from the show will be available for purchase on Monday, March 27, 12:00-3:00.

Olbrich Botanical Society members are the first to glimpse the beauty of spring in this indoor exhibit of spring blooms from 8-10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 11. Enjoy the invigorating colors and scents of spring bulbs, trees, and shrubs, and then enjoy music and light refreshments in the Evjue Commons.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
Beekeeping for Beginners
Saturday, March 11, 9:00-4:00
Dane County UW-Extension Office, 5201 Fen Oak Dr, Suite 138

You are invited to attend one of our day long ‘Beekeeping Classes’ to be held at the Dane County Extension Building. Beginners Classes will repeat on Apr 8 and May 6, 2017. Second Step Class is Mar 18, 2017. The fee of $50 covers coffee, handouts, free sample journals & catalogues, and props galore for you to handle. Individual, hands­-on Mentoring is also available, $20 for 2 hours in the apiary. To register, contact Jeanne Hansen at 608­/244-­5094 or [email protected].

Dane County University of Wisconsin-Extension
5201 Fen Oak Dr, Suite 138
2017 Green Thumb Gardening Series
Tuesdays, February 28 thru April 25, 6:30-9:00
Dane County UW-Extension Office, 5201 Fen Oak Dr, Suite 138

The 2017 Green Thumb Gardening Series will give you the practical knowledge to keep your home garden thriving! University of Wisconsin Extension educators, specialists, and local horticulture experts will provide in depth and accessible information for everyone from the novice to the experienced gardener.

March 7 – Native Plants for Gardens & Pollinators
Frank Hassler of Good Oak Ecological Services will discuss native prairie plants for gardens and some of the best plants to choose to attract butterflies and pollinator insects.

March 14 – Landscape Design
Ben Futa, Director at UW-Madison Allen Centennial Garden, will cover fundamentals and elements of landscape design for your annual or perennial home garden.

March 21 – Vegetable Garden Planning & Techniques
Claire Strader, Small-Scale and Organic Produce Educator at Dane County UW-Extension, will cover organic techniques for growing vegetables, with an emphasis on practical strategies for getting a good harvest.

March 28 – Vegetable Families, Pests & Diseases
Learn about common vegetable families, best growing practices, and how to prevent common pests and diseases. Taught by Joe Muellenberg & Lisa Johnson, Dane County UW-Extension Horticulture Program.

April 4 – Wisconsin Wildlife in the Home Garden
David Drake, UW-Madison Wildlife Ecologist, will discuss desirable and non-desirable wildlife in the garden. He will concentrate on pest exclusion and control strategies.

April 6 – Organic Landscape Maintenance (NEW!)
Many people are interested in reducing or eliminating pesticides and inorganic fertilizers in the landscape because of concerns about water quality and potential threats to humans, pets, bees, birds and other wildlife. Join Becky Kielstrup, General Manager and Horticulturalist at Avant Gardening & Landscaping, to learn about organic lawn care, sustainable planting methods, integrated pest management and simple steps and tips on how to begin!

April 11 – Growing Berries (NEW!)
Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and currants oh my! Learn which varieties are best suited for Wisconsin and how to properly care for them for a delicious harvest year after year. Taught by Lisa Johnson, Dane County UW-Extension Horticulture Program.

April 25 – Annuals & Perennials
Learn general techniques for selecting, planting, and caring for annuals and perennials as well as covering some new and recommended varieties. Taught by Lisa Johnson, Dane County UW-Extension Horticulture Program.

Sign up for individual classes at $25.00 each OR the complete class series for $150.00 (Includes a set of handout materials to accompany each class).

Dane County University of Wisconsin-Extension
5201 Fen Oak Dr, Suite 138
2017 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Open House
Sunday, March 12, 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Monona Terrace
1 John Nolen Dr., Madison, Wisconsin

Bring your friends and neighbors to this FREE community event, featuring a diverse array of CSA farms, workshops, kids’ activities, music, a raffle, and tasty samples of farm-fresh foods to showcase the many benefits of CSA.

The Annual CSA Open House brings most of the CSA growers serving the Madison area right to one location. You can meet, mingle with, learn from, and sign up for your CSA shares right here at the Monona Terrace.

For more event and CSA information see our Natural News section of this newsletter or visit www.csacoalition.org
Rain Garden Workshop
Wednesday, March 15, 9:00-11:00
Lake Farm County Park-Lussier Family Heritage Center
3101 Lake Farm Rd., Madison

The Madison Area Municipal Stormwater Partnership will be holding a Rain Garden Workshop on March 25th. Learn how installing a rain garden can help protect our lakes, rivers and streams and add beauty to your property! Register today @ www.eventbrite.com/e/plant-dane-advanced-rain-garden-workshop-tickets-31644908774 . Cost: $10

This workshop will focus on helping participants new to the world of rain garden design through the process of actually designing a rain garden plan for their property. It will include hands-on stations and resources to guide participants through the process of site selection, sizing, site preparation, and plant selection. Information on installation and maintenance will also be provided. Experts will be available to answer questions. ***Participants can expect to leave with a rain garden plan tailored to their site.**

The Madison Area Municipal Stormwater Partnership
c/o Dane County Land & Water Resources Department
5201 Fen Oak Drive
Madison, WI 53718-8827
Annual Spring Symposium
Edible Landscaping
Saturday, March 18, 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
at Rotary Botanical Gardens

Registration deadline: March 16

$65 for RBG Friends
$65 for Active Master Gardeners
$75 General Public
*Note – fee includes lunch *

The theme of this annual event is Edible Landscaping. Rosalind Creasy, celebrated author and landscape designer, will inspire you to add incredible edibles to your existing home landscape. Lisa Hilgenberg, Chicago Botanic Garden vegetable garden horticulturalist, will share the storied history of kitchen gardens and motivate you to start your own. RBG’s Horticulture Director Mark Dwyer will introduce you to some small-space alternatives for growing your own small fruits and vegetables.

Questions? Contact Mark Dwyer at 608/754-1779 or at [email protected]

Rotary Botanical Gardens
1455 Palmer Dr., Janesville, WI
Rotary Garden’s Evening Garden Seminar: Pruning Shrubs and Trees
Tuesday, March 28, 6:30-8:00 p.m
Rotary Botanical Gardens, 1455 Palmer Drive, Janesville, WI

Mike Maddox, State Director of the Wisconsin Master Gardener program and ISA Certified Arborist, will give an “Introduction to Pruning Shrubs and Trees.” Topics will include when to prune, proper pruning techniques, and problem solving. This lecture is intended for gardeners with all levels of pruning expertise. Bring your questions and photos because Mike will address specific pruning questions.

Admission: $3 for RBG Friends members and $5 for the general public. No registration required

Rotary Botanical Gardens
1455 Palmer Drive
Janesville, WI
Your Garden Can Feed You All Year
Wednesday, March 29, 6:00-8:00
Willy St. Co-op West Community Room

Instructor: Megan Cain
Fee: $25 for Owners; $35 for non-owners

With some planning, you can start relying on the grocery store less and your vegetable garden more for produce all year round. Learn to strategically plan your garden with easy-to-grow and easy-to-store crops, to elevate production with simple maps and records, when to plant so you’re harvesting from your garden for Christmas dinner, and how to grow more food with less work.

Payment is required at registration; please register by stopping at the Willy West Customer Service desk or by calling (608) 284-7800.

Willy Street Co-op West
6825 University Ave.
Middleton, WI 53562
Sustainable Gardening Club’s
Meeting and Potluck
Thursday, March 30, 6:00-7:30
at the Pinney Library, 204 Cottage Grove Rd, Madison

This new garden club is open to everyone in the Madison area! Our goal is to share our ideas, seeds, plants, etc. with other gardeners.

Please bring your own plates and utensils for this fun potluck.

The Sustainable Gardening Club
Olbrich Garden’s
Spring Pansy Sale
Saturday, April 1
From 10:00-4:00 while supplies last

Celebrate spring with a cheery pansy, panola, or viola grown in Olbrich’s own greenhouses. Pots of pansies are $6 each, with three plants per pot. Decorative containers are extra. Proceeds benefit Olbrich Botanical Gardens.

Pansies are cool weather plants that do best if planted in the ground. However, they also look great in a container, and make wonderful springtime gifts. Not only decorative, pansies are also edible and add a flash of color to dishes as a garnish. Or, try planting colorful pansies in a container with lettuce – it’s an entire salad in one pot!

Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
Olbrich Garden’s
Orchid Sale
Saturday, April 1
From 10:00-4:00 while supplies last

Celebrate spring with a blooming orchid plant. Orchid Growers Guild members will be available to answer questions. Sponsored by the Orchid Growers Guild. A portion of the proceeds benefits Olbrich Gardens. For information call 608-233-5559.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
Dane County Winter Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, January 7 thru April 7, 8:00-noon
Madison Senior Center
330 W. Mifflin

For details visit www.dcfm.org

MARCH IN THE GARDENA checklist of things to do this month.
___Pinch back over wintered geraniums one last time. Root cuttings if needed.
___Check perennials for heaving during warm spells. Remulch as needed.
___Check for early spring bloomers like crocus, winter aconite & hellebores.
___Begin uncovering roses by month’s end.
___Continue bringing out your cooled forced bulbs for indoor enjoyment.
___Inspect stored summer bulbs like dahlias, cannas and glads for rotting.
___Check for and treat for pests on plants brought in from the garden.
___Keep birdfeeders full. Clean periodically with soap and water.
___Keep birdbaths full and clean for the return of the first robins & other arrivals.
___Repair and clean out birdhouses. Early arrivals will be here soon!
___Inventory last year’s leftover seeds before ordering or buying new ones.
___Seed starting is in full swing: petunias, tomatoes, peppers and cole crops.
___Sterilize seed starting equipment and pots with a 1:16 bleach solution.
___Shop for summer bulbs like gladiolas, lilies and dahlias.
___Remove mulch & rodent protection (chicken wire) from tulip and crocus beds
___Use the winter days to plan next summer’s garden.
___March is the month to prune most fruit trees and apply dormant oil.
___Prune late summer and fall blooming shrubs.
___Do not prune spring blooming shrubs like lilacs, forsythia or viburnum.
___Begin bringing in branches for forcing: pussy willow, forsythia, quince, etc.
___As the days lengthen and new growth occurs, increase fertilizing houseplants
___Check your garden for any plant damage from weather or rodents.
___Ready the lawn mower—just a few weeks to go.
___Visit Klein’s—the showrooms are filling up with spring annuals. Pansies, violas, calendula, cole crops & onion sets become available by month’s end.
Some of our very favorite seed and plant sources include:

For seeds:
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds @ www.rareseeds.com or 417/924-8887
Johnny’s Select Seeds @ www.johnnyseeds.com or 207/861-3901
Jung’s Seeds @ www.jungseed.com or 800/247-5864
Park’s Seeds @ www.parkseed.com or 800/845-3369
Seeds of Change @ www.seedsofchange.com or 888/762-7333
Territorial Seeds @ www.territorialseed.com or 888/657-3131
Thompson & Morgan @ www.thompson-morgan.com or 800/274-7333

For bulbs:
Brent & Becky’s Bulbs @ www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com or 877/661-2852
John Scheeper’s @ www.johnscheepers.com or 860/567-0838
McClure & Zimmerman @ www.mzbulb.com or 800/883-6998

For plants:
High Country Gardens @ www.highcountrygardens.com or 800/925-9387
Logee’s Greenhouses @ www.logees.com or 888/330-8038
Plant Delights Nursery @ www.plantdelights.com or 912/772-4794
Roots and Rhizomes @ www.rootsrhizomes.com or 800/374-5035
White Flower Farm @ www.whiteflowerfarm.com or 800/503-9624

Note: To receive every possible seed, plant or garden supply catalog imaginable, check out Cyndi’s Catalog of Garden Catalogs @ www.gardenlist.com. Most catalogs are free and make for great winter reading!

BEHIND THE SCENES AT KLEIN’SThis is a sneak peek of what is going on each month behind the scenes in our greenhouses. Many people are unaware that our facility operates year round or that we have 10 more greenhouses on the property in addition to the 6 open for retail. At any given moment we already have a jump on the upcoming season–be it poinsettias in July, geraniums in December or fall mums in May.

—Transplanting is in full swing on the transplanting line in our back greenhouses.
Employees work 8-10 hour shifts planting thousands of plugs and tiny seedlings into the cell packs you purchase in the spring. Once planted, the flats move by conveyor and then monorail into the various greenhouses, all kept at different temperatures depending on the plant.

—The greenhouses and showrooms are filling fast with thousands of hanging
and potted plants. We’re constantly moving product around, trying to make the best use of our limited space.

—By the end of the month we’re moving product outside into cold frames and
hoop houses. We move product that is very cold tolerant, such as pansies, dianthus, dusty miller, alyssum and even petunias. The cold keeps them compact and pest free and hardens them off for the transition outside. We also need the room in our ever-filling greenhouses.

—Perennial plugs and bare roots arrive and are stepped up into 3 1/2”, quart and gallon sizes. Our perennials are grown quite cold so they invest their energy into rooting out, rather than growing. Plants remain compact. Any remaining perennials from last season are moved outdoors from an unheated greenhouse.

—Geraniums are pinched and shaped for the last time by the first week of the
month. Any later pinching will delay blooming too much for spring sales.

—Retail items are arriving nonstop for unpacking and pricing, everything from
garden ornaments and pottery to pesticides and fertilizers.