Brooks are burbling, birds are babbling and buds are breaking here in the Hudson Valley, so spring is imminent in spite of lingering winter weather. We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be opening for the 2017 season on Saturday, April 15th, so stop in, say hello and ease your tax-time blues with a dose of horticultural happiness… plants are the best anti-depressants!
The upside of all the snow and precipitation we’ve endured is plentiful groundwater supplies heading into the warm months, a welcome change from last year’s near-drought, so we’re very optimistic that this will be a banner growing season and we’re stocking more great plant material than ever with that in mind. I’ll be getting my first deliveries of early perennials in time for opening, and Jake has sourced some great shrubs and trees to have on hand for early interest. Our pottery orders will also be coming in next week, and lots of annuals, tropicals and succulents are in the pipeline for creating those beautiful seasonal displays. Plus we’ll be getting our usual giant truckload of exceptional evergreens and Japanese Maples from the west coast for all you connoisseurs of the exotic and unusual.
And for all of our many customers who are concentrating on native plantings, we’ve again expanded our offerings with even more native and pollinator-friendly trees, shrubs, perennials, ferns, grasses and sedges. The sustainable gardening movement shows no signs of slowing down and we want to be in the forefront of providing the appropriate plants to our nursery customers and landscaping clients.
We have a lot of exciting new upgrades at Pondside this year, beginning with some staffing additions that will significantly improve our ability to offer all phases of garden design, construction and maintenance to our clients.
It’s a great pleasure to introduce you to our new design associate, Tyler Horsley. I’ve actually known him for 25 years… we were both members of the 6th St and Ave B Community Garden in the East Village, where we served as officers at various times, attempting to guide a fractious group of 100 gardeners toward some sense of purpose and consensus. Tyler earned respect from all factions there for his level-headed fairness, his intelligence and his love and knowledge of plants.
A native of Utah and a lifetime gardener, he holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Virginia and a Certificate of Horticulture from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and he’s a registered architect in the state of New York. In 2005 he founded Tyler Horsley Garden Design, LLC in New York City to specialize in garden design, his first love. After thirty years of urban gardening on balconies, backyards and rooftops, he’s looking forward to working with more expansive and earthbound projects here in the Hudson Valley.
Tyler has a great work ethic, a vast knowledge of plants, phenomenal design and organizational skills and a terrific aesthetic. We’re lucky he’s chosen Hudson as his new home and very pleased he’ll be working with us here at Pondside.
Redmond Nielson is back in town, and we’re very fortunate to have snagged him this season to work with our landscape division. A native of the Hudson Valley, Redmond moved to Berlin several years ago where he and his partner made an incredible 2500 square foot garden on ground once occupied by the Berlin Wall (see photo above). Prior to that adventure he built a well respected landscape and garden design business here that included impressive properties featured on the Garden Conservancy Open Days and award winning garden design projects. His Berlin garden was also on open garden tours and featured on German television, so he brings loads of experience, talent and passion about gardening back to his home region. At Pondside, Redmond will be client liaison for the landscaping side of the business, consulting with customers, planning and scheduling projects and making maintenance recommendations. We’re confident that with Redmond at the helm, our maintenance division will be second to none in the area. Plus, he’s a really nice fellow and I’m sure our clients will enjoy working with him!
Most of our customers from 2016 will probably remember Emily Carpenter’s contagious smile and customer-centered attitude, and we’re delighted that she’s returning for another season, this year with a larger role as our principal grower and propagator for the expanded range of plants we’ll be raising ourselves. We’re very excited to be moving forward with our on-site growing operation, which will enable our designers and customers to pull from a substantial quantity of perennials and grasses right here on the property. Emily is particularly interested in working with native perennials and gardening for pollinators, and has studied horticulture at both the New York Botanical Garden and the Berkshire Botanical Garden. And she’s worked for farms, gardens and nurseries in Quebec, Maine and New Jersey, so she brings lots of talent, experience and positive energy to Pondside.
As always we’ll be doing several off-site sales this season, always a great way to reach out and connect with plant aficionados who may not have visited our nursery. Currently on the schedule are Trade Secrets in Sharon, Ct. (May 13), Garden Conservancy Open Days at the Bevacqua/King garden in Claverack (June 3), and Spencertown Academy’s Market on the Green (June 17). We love putting ourselves out there to show off a sampler of our wonderful inventory and talk plants with other enthusiasts and vendors. Here’s hoping you’ll join us for some (or all) of these worthy events!
I’m very flattered to be asked again this year to design and exhibit a group of planted containers at Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, Mass. This annual show features containers planted by local garden designers that remain on display from Memorial Day until October, and always surprises, delights and amuses. Last year I designed the group shown above on the theme “Little Pots of Horrors”, a nod to many of our customers’ (particularly children’s) fascination with dark, thorny, creepy and downright monstrous plants. This year I’ll be doing something completely different, and I urge all of our customers who aren’t familiar with Berkshire Botanical Garden to do yourselves a favor and visit this season. It’s a small but beautifully maintained place that will engender lots of ideas and inspiration for your home garden. They have a great education program also (in fact our Pondsiders April and Mike have been taking classes there this winter), and their children & family programs are excellent. This is one of our greatest regional resources that really deserves your support, so check out their website at berkshirebotanical.org and plan a visit… you’ll be so pleased that you did!
Finally, we’re expanding our physical plant with a new building up the hill from the nursery that will house an equipment shop, offices, a conference room, kitchen area, storage, and lockers for our hard-working landscape crews.
We’re also adding a large new propagation greenhouse in the same area where Emily will be starting new plants that will eventually make their way to the nursery and to our landscaping clients. It’s all a very exciting addition to the property that may not be so evident to our customers, but will really contribute to our efficiency and ability to serve our clients’ needs.
All of us here at Pondside are really excited about this season and look forward to seeing all our loyal customers (and some new ones too) again. As we enter our 5th season, please know how grateful we are for your continued patronage, your kind words and your smiling faces. Hoping to see you soon.