Hello all! Here we are, back again for another newsletter update. Since last month, we have completed all of our spring flower installations, and everything looks spectacular! We've been posting photos to Instagram, so keep an eye out for our latest designs.
This month, we're gearing up for another season of flowers while our Plant Healthcare department prepares for summer. Here's a little of what we're up to:
We've gone through all of the flower inventory lists from last year to total our orders for this year's summer season. We are proud to announce that the vast majority of last year's customers have signed on for another summer season, as well as a good handful of additional new customers!
Before we get to the really exciting news, we will have to mention supply chain shortages again. As usual, we are perpetually searching for the highest quality plant materials, and this summer is no different. Like last year, Bougainvilleas are in high demand, but again the supply is scarcer than hens' teeth. Thankfully, we've just secured a vendor in Florida who has the bougies we were looking for! In addition to those bougies, this new vendor will be keeping us stocked in Mandevilla and Dipladenia for the season. The continued line-up of tropicals will include Agapanthus, Canna Lily, Hibiscus, Jasmine, Lantana, Oleander, and Plumbago, among others.
And just like that, by the end of the month, we will be out planting again! Quotes will be sent out within the coming weeks, so keep an eye out so we may get everyone on the schedule as early as possible.
Potomac Flower & Garden Design's Plant Healthcare (or PHC) department is looking for winter damage this month. Since the winter's freeze lasted through April, we've had to hold off on solving problems caused by such a long cold period. We expect to see higher than average incidents of winter damage this year due to the inordinate fluctuations in air temperatures over the past few months. We intend to take care of these items quickly so that everyone is able to resume enjoying their gardens and landscapes in the warmer coming months.
While we continue to scout for damage, we will also be applying some preventative treatments both for insects and funguses. For insects, we use low-risk pesticides as they are less harmful to wildlife, kids, and pets. Low-risk just means they have a lower rate of toxicity compared to other products. Some of the ingredients that are considered safer and therefore may be found in low-risk pesticides include herbs and essential oils.
In addition to pesticide treatments, we will be using horticulture oil to treat for scale, aphid, and mite eggs. It may take a couple of applications, but the oil will eliminate eggs before they get the opportunity to hatch. This is an essential measure in your garden as these pests have the ability to suck precious resources from your trees while also secreting an unsightly black fungus.
We are also applying fungicide treatments to prevent diseases such as blight. When applied in the spring, these treatments can keep fungus from ravaging your trees and shrubs through the summer. We typically do three of these treatments in the spring, and one more in the fall. Funguses have a difficult time growing in the colder months, so these treatments are only necessary to combat infection in spring through fall.