Spring Planning for Creek Side Gardens begins the previous summer with an evaluation of the seasons flowers. What worked well and what needs improvement. We begin making the adjustments needed to make so that everything is just a little closer to perfect. And since summertime is prime time for growing, this is our best opportunity to take a good look at each variety of annual and perennial flowers we are growing. Did they meet our expectations or did they fizzle out during the hot, dry summer growing conditions? This is very important evaluation because we want to know that our customers are going to be successful with the flower varieties we are offering.
Flower Trials and Evaluation
During the month of August the Green Team visits the flower gardens and new variety flower trials in our region. Denver Botanic Gardens always has a lot of fun and interesting flowers. Colorado State University in Ft. Collins hosts one of the largest and most respected flower trial gardens in all of the US. These are a couple of great regional gardens that are open to the public for taking a look at what new varieties at becoming available. Consider paying them a visit next summer.
Our flower industry breeders and plant suppliers begin to offer their new flower varieties pictured in their catalogs during the summer months as well. We visit them at trade shows around the country and attend private flower trials and demonstration gardens located throughout the region. Our regional breeder/suppliers will stop by to visit in August and September. Of course, each of the breeding companies believe they are offering the newest and latest and greatest flowers out there and we are interested to hear all about it! Then it is our job to sort through the hype and choose what Creek Side truly believes will be the best based on our flower trial observations.
Best of the Best
As the summer finishes up and we move into the fall season, it is time to consolidate all our evaluations, and put pencil to paper. How are we going to offer our customers the best of what we have discovered. What varieties are best for Hanging Baskets? How about which varieties are going to be best for the Container Gardens? Did we identify new vegetable and herb varieties for the home gardener? How about the new roses, trees and shrubs?
Now that we have a good idea of what we want to grow for our customers, it’s time to pull out the crystal ball to help us decide how many we are going to grow. If we had flower varieties or pot sizes that we ran out of, we want to consider growing a few more. And the plants we had left over, perhaps we should consider reducing those numbers. Through September and October all the varieties are chosen, the recipes are designed and the orders for new plants are placed for delivery beginning January, February, March and April when the planting begins.
And then there’s the weather forecast to consider. Is it going to be a warm early spring season? Or is it going to be cool and wet again? Do you think it can snow again on Mother’s Day? Your guess is as good as ours.
Updated January 12, 2022