Saturday, June 05, 2010
I got a surprising email recently, informing me that the nursery where I used to work had been sold. The email was somewhat upbeat about the "transition", but in fact, it was a way of letting all their newsletter subscribers know that everything in the store was now 35% off.
I knew things were bad, because I still have a lot of friends there, and they've been texting me with cryptic gossip about the ominous changes that were happening. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but I don't think anyone wanted to acknowledge what was coming. Sales were slumping badly. It had already started while I was still working there. They never picked up again, they just continued to slide. Two years later, and it's all over for another independent, locally-owned garden center.
The email lured me in, but it was such a sad sight. the once bustling four-acre nursery yard was bare-bones empty. It was sobering to see all the empty fields, and only three employees watering plants in the middle of the day, where there used to be 8 or 9.
I spoke to my old friends, the ones who were there that day. There were emotions ranging from bitterness to resignation in every conversation.
One person seemed particularly down- a fellow who has done some part time work for my company since I quit working there. I felt so bad for him, and wished I had some work to offer him. His expression was flat as he told me not to buy anything, because it would all be going down to half off in another week.
Inside the greenhouse, same story. It was like a ghost town. A handful of glum employees, and empty, skeleton shelves.
I walked out into the sweltering parking lot, the islands once well-tended and filled with pretty plants, glancing at my part-time employee's still-new Mustang, and another friend's shiny Corvette. How sad.
The search continues for new trees to replace those that will be coming down this month. Today I drove a little further to check out another nursery. I was able to cross some items off my list as "unsatisfactory", while I found others that looked promising and were nicely priced. On my way back to town, I stopped to fuel up the truck.
The gas station was busy, and another truck quickly pulled up behind me, followed by a sedan on the opposite side of my pump. The driver of the truck quickly struck up a conversation with me, but he was no match for the chatty sedan driver, who immediately flattered me by complimenting my BIG truck. I noticed he was well groomed, and driving a late-model Volvo.
Both the men spoke to me, but neither was in direct view of the other... we maintained this pleasant conversational triangle for a few minutes. I would have liked to continue talking to both of them, and could tell my new aquaintances felt the same way. I was sure the guy in the Volvo, who was much closer to me, wanted to contact me again, but as I waved goodbye cheerfully and hopped back in my truck, he still hadn't asked for me for my card.
I made it one block and caught the traffic light when the Volvo pulled alongside me, honking his horn and waving his arms. We pulled over, and he got my card.
He called when I was back at home sitting at my desk.
He asked me for a job.
Friday, June 04, 2010
One thing my garden has been lacking is a conifer. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that my garden is so SMALL. I planted a Chamaecyparis when I first moved here, but it didn't live.
I've wanted a conifer BADLY, and now that the big trees are scheduled to come down, I've been shopping for new stuff. I was specifically hoping to find something narrow (so I could fit it into the small space) and unique.
A local nursery is liquidating their inventory, and they have a beautiful weeping Serbian spruce. I want that spruce.
It's priced at $260., but if nobody else snatches it by the 20th, it will be half price, and MINE.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I've NEVER had such terrible insomnia. It's killing me.
I solved the hot flashes/night sweats problem by ramping up my HRT, but the insomnia persists, and it is truly awful.
I usually have no problem falling asleep. But my sleep only lasts about 3 hours. Every night, I miss huge, 4-hour chunks of sleep. By the time I am able to nod off again, it is daybreak. At that hour, whether I get up or stay in bed is immaterial. The day will be ruined either way. If I get up, I will crash after lunch; and if I drop everything and succumb to sleep, I might wake up around dusk: day ruined. If I stay in bed, I'll wake up around lunch, feeling groggy, and I'll stay groggy until dusk: day ruined.
I'm not one of those people you'll hear bragging about how well they do on four or five hours of sleep. It messes me up. I like my sleep schedule, and I protect it. I don't like staying up late or being awakened in the middle of the night. I like being well-rested and waking up early with lots of energy. I used to be a morning person- not any more.
Last night it was only 3 hours. Again. I had to pull myself together and do a planting job for I client (I promised it would be done today when she came home from work). I'm also working on completely redoing my own yard; right now I have a large tree soaking in a 100-gallon stock tank in my backyard, waiting for me. I love the tree, it's one of my favorites. I've been growing it out in progressively larger containers for four years, and it is too big for the one it was in. NOW, it is in limbo... like a stem sitting in a 100 gallon vase, waiting for me to attend to it... and I am just too tired. If my tree croaks it will cost me $250 to replace it.
I just want to SLEEP.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
This isn't a long diatribe about the importance of trees, it's a lament about the cost of removal.
There's a tree in my backyard that has to go. It's a hazard (and I say that with some authority). It's time. Every hurricane season, I feel like I'm playing Russian roulette.
So, this week, as summer school begins, I'm collecting estimates... and it ain't pretty. The two I got today: $1400 and $1600.
Oh and by the way, there's also a long crack in the plaster on the living room ceiling that didn't used to be there.
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