Last Friday, a break in the cold, wet weather created a window to perform must-to-do chores. One such important duty is to spray the rhododendrons and azaleas with a solution of Deer Stopper which includes a solution of putrefied eggs with the nasty smell tempered with rosemary oil. A few arborvitae in the sales area were also be sprayed as hungry deer in heavy snow eye the arborvitae as a “deer salad”. Strangely, a group of Green Giant Western Red Cedar will not be sprayed as deer will not touch these closely related evergreens. In an early January thaw and again in mid-February, this deer repellent will be sprayed again on the plant’s foliage preventing any damage whatsoever.

In spring, thousands of tulips planted in fall will emerge and will attract deer by the dozens. One spray with the Deer Stopper over the foliage will prevent any browsing allowing the plants to put on a show that at least mimics the Keukenhof Garden in Holland around the first of May.

Branch cutting of conifers and grave blanket construction still continues as we near December. Wet leaves and water on flat stones in the cemeteries has made deliveries of grave blankets quite difficult and the next problem may be deep snow that covers the graves which will increase delivery time because of finding the snow covered graves.

Planting again is commencing on the nursery grounds as three Royal Burgundy Cherry trees were added to the front entrance mound, three Spring Grove Western Red Cedars were added to the Wolf Creek Botanical Garden and a whole host of azaleas to one area in the garden to add to the ever growing collection.

Tree sales have been somewhat brisk which will make for a shortage of our cut Fraser Firs since the scotch pine ordered was cancelled without any warning from the grower. Included in our services is a delivery and tree set up in our customer’s stand so that once the tree branches fall from the cold and being previously baled, the decorating can go on. Just be sure that the tree that is freshly cut on the bottom of the trunk and gets water immediately to stay fresh as long as water is in the stand constantly.

It has been said that German immigrants brought the Christmas tree tradition to America long ago. One note in history is when Hessian soldiers celebrated the night before Christmas in Trenton, New Jersey, George Washington decided to attack Trenton by crossing the Delaware River early Christmas morning to find these mercenary soldiers unprepared and unaware after a night of drinking and partying. Washington as we know was able to take back control of Trenton and Princeton by his surprise attack which started his reputation of being the “Old Fox”.

Some snow would be nice but maybe not a foot or more. We’ll see what is to come!