Hello, again!

A few weeks back, Piet Stuifbergen made his normal late fall sales call to the store. It doesn’t seem that long ago when Piet would bring his binder with dozens of pictures of spring flowering bulbs for us to pick our assortment of bulb displays for our customers. Piet has always been “old-school”. He’s been traveling from the Netherlands to the US since 1968, and he’s made Kansas his second home. Actually, Kansas City became his American home when he married Cheryl, whom he met when she was working here at Johnson’s.

Piet is a person who likes routine. He wears the same wool slacks every day. This summer at the Bartlett Arboretum croquet party was one of the few times I’ve seen Piet in shorts. Everyone loves Piet, and he’s truly an ambassador for both the garden and bulb industries. A couple of years ago, he had a “mishap” while driving, and ended up needing some medical attention. Naturally he left a couple of Amaryllis bulbs for the medical staff, just because he’s Piet!

On Piet’s most recent trip, even though I knew where he’d want to go for lunch, I asked him anyway. Naturally he said, “That place by the roundabout, The Monarch”. Calling in a favor, I messaged Jen, the owner, and had a table waiting for Piet, Jeremy and myself.

Just as we trust Piet to select the bulbs for the garden center, he also chooses tulip bulbs for the planters on the patio at the Monarch. Next spring you’ll see mixed Darwin hybrid tulips blooming above yellow violas. This year instead of planting bulbs in the fall in the planters, Piet suggested we start the bulbs in the spring, keeping them in the cooler until next March when we’ll plant them. Knowing what he would suggest upon inspecting the bulbs we were growing, I wanted him to give us his advice. Sure enough - “They’re dry, keep them moist,” was his suggestion. So I promptly watered the bulbs for the Monarch and mine in the beds at home as well. As dry as it’s been (and windy today!!), be sure and keep your bulbs watered well this winter. They’ll thank you next spring.

This week's Christmas selection is from Eric, another longtime industry friend. The thing about the songs is that I’m hoping they will bring back fond memories of Christmases past. Here’s Eric’s note after last week's enews. The song may be a repeat from the past, but it’s always good!

Your favorite Christmas songs list on the newsletter always gets me thinking about my favs for Christmas. My favorite has always been “The Little Drummer Boy”. But the For King and Country version, live at the CMA’s, is by far the best version. Check it out. It’s on YouTube, I’m sure of it!
Thanks for the kind words,

He was correct. Check out this week’s Christmas song selection here

Your friend in the garden,
Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center