The fall season is upon us, the geese are flying and the nights are getting cooler. With the unmistakable smell of fall in the air, there is another instinct for gardeners like the geese that will start to kick in. It is time to start planting and refocusing on the garden after the long hot months of summer. We are here, as always, waiting to help you satisfy this instinct to plant and nest in your garden.
We have a couple of business items to discuss this year, and we would like to get them out of the way before we move on. The first and most exciting for us is we are preparing to launch a new and improved website. We anticipate the new site being online by the first of October. Our old site has served us well but it has become outdated and has needed to be revamped and updated with the newest options. Please enjoy our print catalog but also check out our new site once it is up and running. The second item we would like to discuss is our shipping policies. For at least thirty years we have held to our same shipping rates and percentages. Our goal has never been to make any money on the shipping of the plants but to simply cover our cost and get you the best plants possible. Unfortunately, we are increasingly getting into situations where we are not only losing money on the shipping, we are at times having to pay more for the shipping and the box than we have collected for the entire order. This is not something we can continue to absorb. At the heart of the problem is many of our plants are larger than you will receive from other mail-order nurseries. Most of our woody plants are 2-4 feet and therefore require larger boxes. These larger boxes have become the primary target for the major carrier’s shipping rate increases over the last 5 years. Therefore, we are many times not paying for the weight of the box but the overall size! With this in mind we are making changes to our shipping policies. First, the minimum shipping charge is changing from $10 to $15. The small single plant orders are where we are having the most problems so this should help offset those costs. Next we are going from a percentage system to a shipping rate chart. This will make it easier for you as the customer to be able to just plug in the shipping cost. You will be paying a little more for the small orders; however, there will be a reduction in costs on some of the larger orders. Another area on the shipping we would like to discuss is the requests for second and third day shipping. We are recommending ground on all packages unless absolutely necessary. The rates for the large boxes going air are so prohibitive that many times the shipping is several times the cost of the plants. We also believe our packing method of shipping, with the root ball still on the plant, makes regular shipping just fine for the health of the plant. If you really feel strongly, we will, of course still ship 2nd or 3rd day but we just want you, the customer, to be aware of the cost.
Now onto the lighter side of the annual introduction: as always we all have been very busy this past year. It has been a year without any major events or trips; however, we have been busy keeping up with everything.
As for Marj, she is doing well and is still golfing and bowling as regularly. Roger and Marj took a trip to Hawaii this last winter and really enjoyed it. Neither had ever visited the islands before and were thrilled to visit new territory. One site that was really interesting for Marj was the Pearl Harbor memorial and tour. She told me once as a kid somebody came running in saying the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. At the time nobody really knew where it even was! So over 70 years later she was able to finally visit and see where history was made.
Roger has been busy with the garden coaching this year more than ever. He has really come to love this opportunity. He is thrilled to be able to visit people’s gardens and help them realize the potential and see them embrace new ideas, and to still have it be their own creation. Roger also led a tour to the Bay Area this spring and he loved exposing friends to new gardens and visiting old friends in the process. He is considering other tours so keep checking if you are interested. He was able to get the people, in the group, into many gardens not normally open to the public.
Dawn is returning to school for her 27th year teaching! It hardly seems possible it has been that long. She is excited to get back and to reconnect with staff and kids. Dawn also attended several horse shows this spring and spent 10 days in Boise at regionals and has decided our horse Cooper is worth keeping after all! The jury was out for a long time on that decision! It has taken quite awhile for him to grow up and decide to be a good show horse.
Pierce graduated from high school this spring and is enrolled at Lane Community College for the fall. He is still trying to figure out what he wants to do but that is pretty normal at 18. He has spent the summer as a whitewater rafting guide and has loved it. He said “there has not been a day that seemed like work”. It was a strange realization for Dawn and myself to realize this spring when his basketball team was knocked out of the state playoffs, we no longer had any more sports to follow! After years of baseball, swimming, basketball, and football it is going to be a strange year not attending any sporting events.
As for me, this has been a busy year as well. I had my normal Alaska fishing trip and was able to restock the freezer with salmon and halibut for the winter. Also, with our newfound freedom from high school sports, we are looking forward to doing some small coast trips this year with the boat and just getting away for some weekend adventures.
We, as always, would like to see all of you here at the nursery. We love to have visitors and hope any of you in the area come visit. We would also like to encourage people to call if you have questions. If we are unable to answer the phone please leave a detailed message Roger checks the phone several time a day and will return your call as soon as possible. Roger is always willing to take the time to discuss your individual needs and help you assess what plant options are best for your situation.
This July we held our sixth garden dinner here at the nursery. This is the first year we had to move the dinner indoors because of weather. Everyone seemed to enjoy the new venue and took it all like a bunch of weather wise Oregonians. We plan on holding another dinner this next summer so watch the website or give us a call this spring for details.
Now to express, our thanks to those make this operation all possible. First, and foremost, Wayne Headlee is a wonderful friend, neighbor and nursery worker. His efforts are incredibly important to us. Next, Lisa Sebright is a great help with the inventory each year and in the office when needed.
We hope to see or hear from you all soon. Thank you for your business.