Vocational Horticulture Programs such as the one that I run, are few and far between in the VA Medical Centers. However, I take pride in the fact that veterans in the program are helping to take care of a veterans hospital. Best yet, these veterans will learn general landscaping ideas so that they can take care of either their own home, or have a business doing landscaping. Whenever visitors or staff give praise to me or my co-worker, I graciously accept it but ask them to please give kudos to the real work force, the veterans in Horticulture Therapy. Without their help (strong bodies) none of the beauty would occur as my back has seen better days.
We have started working on the "formal" garden. The area has been weeded and edged. The picture on the left is the area in June with the pink roses in bloom. In another area, the bushes will have to be trimmed next week because I have to show the guys how to trim hedges and not scalp hedges. Although it would be nice to lay down mulch tomorrow, Fridays are busy days in the Flower Shoppe and that trumps mulch. In addition to trimming hedges, laying mulch, the formal garden needs some annuals planted.
In our Zone 6, planting of summer annuals is safely done after Mother's Day. I would love to plant some of my annuals earlier than that... and may do so on a limited basis in a few protected areas (such as right next to the greenhouse). We have thousands of Cut and Come Again Zinnias, Cracker Jack Marigolds, Blue Mink Ageratum, and Secretecea waiting to be planted in the whiskey barrels. But these annuals don't like frost, and I will wait until after May 1st to tempt the planting gods.
But I am saleswoman sometimes, and staff have been asking for the perennials and annuals that we grew in the greenhouse, so I brought lots up the shop to sell tomorrow. Let the buyer beware.