Hello, again!

This week I'm sharing a special memory from our archives.

There is something really cool about old glass greenhouses. The light quality plants receive is almost as good as direct sunlight. Plants grow faster and stronger when grown under glass, and flowers have better color. There was also something memorable about the sight and smell of greenhouses from days past. Dirt floors, wooden benches, and plants grown in peat pots all make for great memories for me.

Our first greenhouses that my grandfather Orie put up in the early days of Johnson's were glass. Back then, there was no other option, as 'space age' materials were not available. Hail storms were a big problem. I remember KAKE meteorologist Jim O'Donnell coming by the store after a hail storm while we were on the roof doing repairs. Bill Jackel jokingly called out that it was all Jim's fault!

Before the days of FedEx shipping where we can receive beautiful flowering plants from Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer in Aalsmeer, Netherlands, retail greenhouses in towns large and small grew their own flowering plants for all occasions. Not only did they supply plants for weddings and funerals, but also holidays. Poinsettias for Christmas, Easter lilies for Easter and tulips for Valentine's Day.

Just like a lot of businesses, times have changed in the world of greenhouses. It's sad to drive through small town America and see old greenhouses going into disrepair. It's like seeing an old barn in the country where the trees are taking over the once majestic structure, no matter how large or small it was.

With Valentine's Day approaching, we've brought some very nice flowering plants into our greenhouses for your someone special. Here are a few of my favorites:

Cyclamen, sometimes called 'Persian violet', are bright spots indoors at this time of year. They bloom from fall to spring, with upturned flowers in vibrant pinks, purples, reds, and white. I can't think of a better houseplant for the Valentine season.

Bromeliads are one of the best houseplants you can invite into your home because of their adaptability to a host of different environments. Easily grown indoors, these beautifully colored plants can be enjoyed for years to come.

Orchids are really quite easy to grow indoors, and give spectacular blooms for weeks at time. Keep the plants in a sunny spot indoors, water weekly and fertilize regularly with Jack's Classic Liquid Orchid Food. You'll be amazed at your success with these unique plants.

Tropical houseplants in general make delightful gifts. Our greenhouses are brimming with other options, like croton, sansevieria, and dieffenbachia, just to name a few. Add one of our new pots to make it an extra special gift.

Thanks for letting me reminisce while we're working on our new greenhouse build. We're getting closer to complete every day.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Centers