Issue #131 November 2020
November 2020

It’s that time again. You could say that every month, couldn’t you? But it’s THAT time again: Time to cash in the precious BTU stash in your woodshed or oil tank. Time to adjust your daily schedule because it gets late so early, and the shortest day of the year is still (gulp) 7 weeks away. Time to shelve the shorts, shades, sandals and sunblock, and dig out the fleece. Note to self: Stock up on flashlight batteries. 
DOWN ON THE FARMS
Florida
Top o’ the mornin’ to ye from Pensacola, where our designated snowbird Al Mueller says, “It’s like a fall St. Paddy’s Day!” To get that little in-joke, it helps to know that even while recovering from Hurricane Sally, even while keeping a wary eye on the scary sky as Hurricane Zeta* approached, our Floridians were busily dividing the Irish-bred EverColor® Carex series for your potting and planting pleasure.
But even ECG does not live by grasses alone, so we’re also prepping the Ajuga, Echinacea, Heuchera and other perennial liners you’ll be loving in January, February, March and beyond.
Ajuga
Echinacea
Heuchera
*Update: Zeta caused only a small amount of poly damage. All ECG staff safe and accounted for. No crops were harmed. Shipping schedule remains on track. Whew! States to the west, however, took the brunt of it. It’s been a rough year on the Gulf Coast. 
Pennsylvania
Some autumns, our mixed deciduous canopy adorns Lancaster County’s rolling hills with paint-by-number daubs and smears of red, orange and yellow. Other years, we go from green to brown to zero. This year we’ve got a pretty one, the kind that brings the leaf peepers out from the cities to clog the roads. Tourists: The price you pay for living in a lovely place.
In our greenhouses, naturally, our rectangular starter trays make very different patterns, a pixelated quilt of color blocks. One of your favorite natives makes its triumphant return this month after a brief hiatus. See “What’s Hot!” below for details.
PA shipping greenhouse
ROCK STARS 
Our Rock Star award honors ECG employees who demonstrate a sustained high level of performance and inspire others. This month we honor Jonah Camp.
Jonah started in 2017 as general greenhouse labor, rising to assistant perennial grower at our Milton farm, where he serves as night watchman.
Jonah’s manager and colleagues had lots of good things to say about this young man, especially after Hurricane Sally. You almost expect to lose plants during a hurricane, but even worse losses can occur after a storm, to watering issues or lost greenhouse cover.
“Jonah Camp did an amazing job during and after the hurricane. He worked throughout, and did everything asked of him and then some. During Sally, he was the man here making sure everything was running smoothly.”
“Storms almost always reveal character. During those difficult Hurricane Sally days, Jonah showed that his really shines.”
Even in calmer times, problems can arise suddenly.
“We had an unexpected power outage at the Milton farm – a major issue because of new tissue cultured transplants under mist. Jonah recognized the risk and helped make sure everything was ok until power came back on.”
“Without Jonah, our perennial facility would not be what it is. He’s hands down the most reliable (assistant) I’ve worked with, which in this business is critical.”
“Jonah genuinely cares about the crops and the greenhouses. He’s learned a lot over the past few years, and seems eager to continue that on-site education.”
Congratulations, Jonah, and thank you for your solid presence come heck or high water. You rock!
WHAT'S HOT! 
Carex pensylvanica: Low-light highlight!
This low-growing, shade-loving native sedge returns to our Availability late this month after a lull, but beware: It tends to disappear in big bites. Why? Because “Pennsylvania sedge” is the go-to choice for difficult situations like, say, dry shade and hard-to-maintain slopes and roadsides.
So, now you see it – but don’t wait, because Poof! Suddenly, you won’t.
THE GRIDDLE SIZZLES AGAIN
Last month, our in-house puzzlemeistress Anna Graham made a big pot of alphabet soup. As plant-related words bubbled to the top, she skimmed them off and hid them in the grid below. Can you find all 15?

Words run every which way: Forward, backward, horizontally, diagonally and vertically. 
Amsonia
Campanula
Daylily
Galium
Garden
Gaura
Geranium
Glisten
Melinis
Muhly Grass
Nepeta
Rudbeckia
Sedum
Spotted
Thymus 

No, it’s not interactive. Anna’s middle name is Logg. Print it, solve it and send a scan or a snap to anna.graham@ecgrowers.com. You can circle whole words, or individual letters. All correctly souped-up Griddles will be entered in a drawing for cool ECG swag, so use your noodle!
(Picture is only a serving suggestion. Your actual swag may vary. Model Al Mueller not included.)
TRAY BON!
“You can call me anything you like, but my name is Veronica.” – Elvis Costello

We’re very fond of Veronica Royal Candles, but you can call her ‘Glory’, PP18932. And we love Snow Candles, too, but she also answers to ‘Joca 128’, PP28777.

By any name, these two set the border aglow. Free-flowering, long-flowering and vigorous, they belong in your lineup for 2021. They’re wick-edly lovely. Light ‘em up!
Veronica Royal Candles
Veronica Snow Candles
EPILOGUE
This weird dark cloud of a year held a huge silver lining for our industry. Retail records were set every spring weekend. An estimated 16,000,000 new customers ventured into the garden center. Let’s keep them close, comfortable, informed, inspired and supplied.

Our hope for you – for all of us -- as November begins is that we’ll all have lots to be thankful for as it winds down. Until next month, please stay safe, sane and sanguine. Especially safe. 
John Friel
Marketing Manager