Hello again!

As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, I’d like to give some thought to why we have the day identified on our calendar. It’s much more than a paid day off, a weekend to go to the lake, or time to gather with friends and family and grill some burgers.

Memorial Day, formerly Decoration Day in the United States, is a holiday honoring those who have died in our nation's wars. It originated during the American Civil War when citizens placed flowers on the graves of those who had been killed in battle. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

Memorial Weekend is a busy time of the year at the garden center. It’s a time when we have many promotions at the store. I hope you come by, but most of all I hope you’ll take some time to reflect on the reason we spend time away from work. Most of you have ‘met’ my friend Hal Russell in previous newsletters. Hal was a Vietnam veteran, and was lucky enough to come home after a couple of years overseas in the late 60’s. In his book Touch Both Lines, Hal tells about what his Sergeant told them:

1. A certain percentage of them would lose their lives.
2. A certain percentage would be wounded, and
3. A certain percentage would come back unscathed, unharmed.

Hal writes that the Sergeant had lied to them. Yes, a certain percentage would come back physically unharmed, but the memories, hidden scars, and ghosts of war came back with them all.

For years, I’ve always targeted Memorial Day as the day to be on the lookout for bagworms. As the weather warms up, the overwintering bags containing hundreds of eggs hatch and begin feeding on conifers mainly, but will consume whatever is close by. For a safe and effective organic control, I use Natural Guard Spinosad Ready-to-Spray to control bagworms. From now on though, out of a deeper understanding, I’ll remember June 1st as the target day to spray bagworms, not Memorial Day.

On the June 25, 2019 the episode of Bikes or Death podcast when commenting about people thanking him for his military service, Hal says that Memorial Day isn’t about him, it’s about those who gave it all. He’s correct, but Hal and so many others gave something every day of their lives with the memories and scars they dealt with daily. On this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, remember those who have given in service to our country, including their lives, scars and time.

For those of you who were longtime Johnson’s Saturday morning radio show listeners, you might like this week's Wichita Chamber Business Accelerator podcast where Jeremy and I were invited to visit about Johnson's Garden Center, our history and where we are going in the future.

Your friend in the garden,

Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center