Saturday, November 6, 2010

After I judged pumpkin bread at Behnke's Nurseries, I visited the pansies (and the Johnny-jump-ups)

As usual they were perfect. Behnke's takes their pansies seriously, protecting a long tradition of excellence. I can picture the pamphlet the declaimed, not modestly, but accurately, that "We're known for our Pansies".

When I began work there, about 30 years ago, they still started pansy seed in sand beds outside. seedling were hand dug to go into large packs of 50 seedlings or smaller "market" type packs, or potted into small pots. They were moved in and out with the weather and any that "stretched", that is to say, grew out of tight clumps and became leggy, were ruthlessly, and with no regard for financial cost, discarded. At some point the seedlings began to be grown in cell-packs, filled and planted by machines, and mechanically transferred to their final containers but management stayed pretty strict about quality control and it shows in the plants I saw today.

I met an interesting woman, a fellow customer, who explained to me on noticing that I had heard her talking to no one, that she always found herself talking to pansies because they had such distinctly human faces.


susan harris said...

Hi, Chris! I'm amazed I've never met you, and almost stopped by Behnkes today - drat. I love your blog, and aren't you working on a bog for the Arb?
Anyway, I'm blogging for behnkes now and want to post about this post there; wonder if I can grab one of the photos, with credit, etc? Susan

Stephanie said...

Hey Chris, you know when Albert Behnke use to say, "Bring your smiling faces to see our smiling faces" he was not just talking about our wonderful employees! He was talking about those beautiful pansies faces. Thanks for being a judge today! Stephanie