Thank you to all our dedicated customers who have supported the Unityverse in 2020. Since our last newsletter in April, we have been working diligently to keep up with the much-appreciated inundation of patrons and projects we have experienced in our Landscape Design/Build and Nursery businesses. We have strived to keep up with the pace, and we appreciate your patience as we navigated the increased activity to the best of our ability. We truly feel blessed to be able to provide our goods and services to all the wonderful people we work with each day.
Unity Landscape Design/Build
The Unity Landscape Design/Build team has been humming along with a steady flow of exciting projects in the design/permitting phase, on the schedule, and in the construction phase, which is everything we can ask for in 2020. Brittany Chadick is our newest team member as our dedicated bookkeeper. Brittany has seamlessly integrated into the Unityverse offering direct support to our entire team in the office. Please stop in and take a moment to meet and say hello when you next visit Unity.
The Unity design team has been collaborating with local artist, Rob Glebe, on a few recent exciting projects. Rob constructed a "Sculpture Wall" serving as functional art in an Eastern Shore residential project. The wall is constructed using overlapping and stagger spaced Corten steel Oak leaf panels and a gate to define the new courtyard space. Unity installed a low voltage accent lighting system to illuminate the sculpture wall providing an additional level of interest afterhours which has been quite a hit with the shorter days now upon us. Another fun collaboration project with Rob Glebe was also a small courtyard garden space where Rob constructed 3' x 8' raised steel planters for herbs and vegetables. Rob added a nice touch to the boxes with a rounded steel bead along the top of the boxes to soften the edge and raised decorative floral accents which enhance the ends of the planters facing the pathways.
Currently we are installing a collaborative project between Prospect Bay County Club and Shore Rivers converting standard stormwater drainage swales into designed stormwater management bioswales to clean and reduce the stormwater runoff entering the Chesapeake Bay. Lucas Lees, our Environmental Designer, is heading up the project and making great progress with the installation, and completion is scheduled for early November.
Lucas and the Unity environmental construction team soon will be moving to Templeville in Caroline County to begin construction on a series of stormwater Best Management Practices in conjunction with a large pond renovation to promote and establish vegetation to treat and improve stormwater quality. Look for highlights on Unity media platforms and in our December Newsletter.
Michael Jensen, President
Unity Landscape Design/Build, Inc.
Unity Church Hill Nursery
I love walking through the nursery and observing how the plants transform as the seasons change. From the first leaves emerging in spring, spring colors change to summer, buds open into blooms and then transform into seed pods or berries, bark color or texture changes. Many plants put on a dramatic show this time of year. Over the last several weeks, the leaves of Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet' have evolved through a rainbow of oranges, reds, and purples. The "twigs" of the red twig dogwoods have taken on their brilliant red winter color. Berries turned from green to red, orange or yellow of the winterberry hollies.
This year, I've spent more time than ever in the nursery as I helped manage our new venture of growing native trees, shrubs, perennials, and herbaceous plugs using sustainable methods. We are excited to now be able to offer our own homegrown plants for sale and for our community to see how we've "grown" this year. We are happy with how things have turned out and have already started planning and planting for next year.
To see what we are growing and what we currently have in stock, check out our website
. This spring, we started posting a frequently updated list of our current plant inventory including what we are growing ourselves. And, of course, if you do not find what you are looking for, please contact us. Take advantage of our "THE ANSWER IS YES" program to make your special requests.
We'd like to introduce you to Ashley VanSant. If you've been to the nursery in the past month, you probably have already met Ashley. She has been welcomed aboard as our new Nursery Manager and has hit the ground running. With Ashley transitioning to taking over nursery management, I will now have more time to focus on plant and food production.
This year had its ups and downs, but help seemed to appear when it was most needed. Hannah, Michael's daughter pitched in for several months in the spring and summer and helped us get the nursery ready for Spring sales, improved our signage, and kept things looking good while helping customers and the rest of the Unity Team. Daniel Ortiz helped out between summer classes and before heading to grad school this fall. He helped us provide great customer service between potting up and moving shrubs and keeping up with watering in the heat of the summer. Sarah Appel joined us this fall with an interest in learning how to grow her own food. She helped plant up our high tunnels with the delicious fall greens we now have available. We couldn't have done without all of them. Thank you!
Speaking of food production, this year we ended up scaling back our food production here at Unity. I'm devoting more of my time to growing native plants which our Landscape team and larger community can use for environmental restoration. We do plan to continue growing produce and raising vegetable and herb transplants next year and are now in planning mode. We just received funding from NRCS to construct another high tunnel which will allow us to expand our winter offerings and early and late season summer crops. And, with some great part-time help this fall from Sarah Appel, we now have some delicious fall greens and radishes available along with our hardneck garlic, red torpedo onions, and sweet potatoes.
Please stop by, enjoy strolling through the nursery during this lovely fall weather, and say hello. The nursery will continue to be open on Saturdays until November 21st. We will then be closed on Thanksgiving Day and the following Friday and Saturday to give our staff time to relax and spend time with family. We will then continue to be open through the winter months Monday through Friday 8am - 5pm.
Unity Church Hill Nursery