Hello, again!

It’s always good to see our friend Piet Stuifbergen stop by the store. You’ve met Piet on some of our Facebook Live episodes. He’s been a traveling Dutch bulb salesman from the Netherlands for more than 50 years, covering Kansas/Missouri to the Canadian border. Piet knows every garden center around, and he’s much more of a friend to his customers than anything else. Yesterday, Piet showed up about 11:00am. Jeremy ran a sales report and handed it to Piet, and now our bulb selection is in his capable hands. Piet will choose all the spring flowering bulb var ieties for this fall for us.

Asked if we’d have time for lunch (obviously a yes), we were soon on our way to The Monarch, or ‘that place we go every year,’ as Piet calls it. The Monarch in Delano is close, quick and delicious. Being a bachelor most of his adult life, and on the road at least 6 months of the year, he’s not spent too much time preparing gourmet meals. His best dishes are buttered white bread with cheese, ham or chocolate sprinkles. Pretty typical Dutch food.

When placing our orders at lunch, Piet wanted the daily special which was Buffalo chicken sliders. He said they sounded good. Knowing Piet, I asked if he liked spicy food - which I knew he didn’t - and explained what ‘Buffalo’ indicated. He quickly changed his mind and went with the smoked salmon salad!

Jen, at the Monarch, is a great lover of plants and an avid gardener. She plants Piet’s tulip bulbs in her large planters every year. Last March they were in full bloom just at the start of everything being put on hold for Covid-19. Not giving up, she planted these spring flowering wonders again last fall. They'll bloom later next month. If you have a chance, go check them out.

One other thing to be added to the planters at the Monarch are spring pansies. We’ve grown a crop of low-growing, Cool Wave pansies, which were developed for outstanding spring performance. Their superior breeding has created a winter hardy pansy that will flush out and flourish in the warm days of spring. Their blooms hold up in the rain and weather better than any other pansy var iety on the market. Cool Wave pansies are also the best trailing pansies for baskets and beds. These vigorous plants ultimately spread up to 18 to 24 inches in the ground, and the colors range from white, yellow, frost, violet wing, and a mixture.

Our Cool Waves are out for sale now as well as our violas and a few of our greenhouse pansies. Stop and pick some up. They’ve been grown cold and love our spring weather!

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Centers