Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Logee's on A Field Trip

Our retail store space is small, only about a 20’ x 20’ area inside and a pergola about the same dimensions outside. By next year, we may be able to double or triple the size of our retail sales space once our new production greenhouse is built. So we went on a field trip to see how some of the more famous garden centers around the Boston area use their space.

Logee's has been around since 1892 and two of the garden centers that we visited have been in business longer than us. Take a look.

Our pergola with limited space.

A few pots that we sell inside.

We stopped at Mahoney's in Winchester, Mass. They have eight different garden centers and this is their original store started in 1959.

They have unique displays!

Tubs for large sized plants.

A bougainvillea cultured as a bonsai.

Amy, Logee's retail supervisor and Tiffany, also from our retail department surrounded by plants.

More interesting displays. These were some of our favorites: pottery toadstools displayed in tree stumps.

Great signs, directional and inviting.

We stopped at Wilson Farms, which is a local produce/small garden center store that's been around since 1884.

A fish pond at Wilson's Farm.

We stopped at another famous garden center in Wayland, Mass called Russell's. They have been around since 1876.

Amy and Tiffany standing under a Pitcher Plant.

Amy admiring a variety of plants, including a delphinium.

Lots of signs at Russell's too.

We ended our trip at J.P. Bartlett's, a wholesale geranium grower that's been around since 1911. Pictured from left to right:
Michael Hoffmann, manager at Bartlett's, Laurelynn Martin, co-owner of Logee's, Laura Abrams, president of Bartlett's, Amy Miller, Logee's retail supervisor, Tiffany Debruycker, Logee's retail/grower.

Tiffany, in the collage of colors of Bartlett's Geraniums.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Logee's annual company picnic

Our annual picnic last week was not held in its usual grassy spot because the land was being prepared for our new energy efficient greenhouse. Plus, the weather was questionable.

We needed a spot and greenhouse manager, Rick Logee had the perfect solution. He and his crew cleared out half a greenhouse that was slotted to be removed the next day and turned it into a temporary picnic pavilion.

Surveying the scene.

Part of our picnic set-up.

Some of our growers:Claudia (standing), Paula (in red), who runs our tissue culture lab, Kathy(in blue), a veteran grower; and Kim ( a former grower, now customer service rep).

Nate, who is a grower and does our Integrated Pest Management is pictured here sitting with his girlfriend Laura.

The party in full swing!

Allamanda cathartica 'Cherries Jubilee' growing in the corner.

Rick and Korey talking shop. Notice in the background flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata) and a spiky plant that is home to a friendly garden snake.

Tiffany and Amy leaving the party to go back to our retail shop. A papaya (T.R. Hovey) outside the door.

The next day, Pete is taking down the greenhouse and

The steel poles are being erected.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Chenille Plant-Everbloomer

The Chenille Plant has been well-loved at Logee’s for many years. Whenever, you visit Logee’s you will almost always see the everblooming Chenille plants lining the benches, showing off their dazzling, fuzzy bloom.

Today, when I walked through the greenhouses the long drooping catkins (flowers) of the chenille plant seemed brighter and more cheery than usual. June sunshine is much brighter and intense than even the March sunshine just several months ago. So of course, this would make sense because the chenille plant loves bright sunny light, which brings out the richness of color in its blooms.

Another, observation I had was Chenille plant’s versatility. All in the same space I noticed the two different varieties that we grow and their subtle differences in shape and culture.

Acalypha hispida "Chenille Plant" also known as “Red Hot Cattails” makes an eye-catching standard, where the central stem is trimmed clean of all leaves and flowers and left with a full crown on top.

Acalypha hispida can also be grown in a hanging basket as seen here.

Or trained to have a central stem with flowers and leaves cascading off the stem for the entire height as shown here.

Another notable difference is the length of the catkins. The length of the fuzzy catkins is longer than our other variety and resembles a show girls’ boa, hence its other common name “Red Hot Cattails.”

The other variety we grow called Acalypha pendula "Strawberry Firetails” has plumper and shorter fuzzy red catkins. And, like its name implies, the flowers pedulate and are shown off when grown as a hanging basket.

Acalypha pendula flowers like crazy at a young age as seen here growing in two and a half inch pots.

Care for both varieties are simple. Full sun, lots of water and fertilizer, especially in the active growing season. They can be grown outside year-round in Zone 10 or higher or simply bring outside seasonally if in the north. Read our cultural care sheet for more details on the easy care of these plants.