What do empty hanging baskets, four and a half in pots, plant plugs, and thousands of pounds of soil have in common? If you guessed, “production,” you’d be right. Production is in full swing once again at Ebert’s Greenhouse Village.

Each day more and more plants come in. We don’t often think of the stress these young plants are subjected to as they make their way from the propagation centers around the country to our little chalet of Ixonia, Wisconsin. These young plants are put into insulated boxes or racks on a (somewhat) heated truck, and deprived of light for several days while being bounced, jostled, or thrown around for a thousand miles. As you can imagine, they are stressed and very pleased get out into the warmth and sunshine of a greenhouse again. Once they’re out of the box or off the rack we inspect them for health: root growth, leaf coloration, pests, and more. Once they pass inspection, they are ready to be planted in their assigned containers and greenhouses. How do we choose what plant goes where? It’s a mixture of art and science. Experience helps a great deal, but we’re also always testing to see what can work better.

Gardening is always a delicate balance between what plants look good together and what plants get along with each other. Some of the factors we look at are sunlight requirements, soil types, and water needs. We also decide which colors complement each other, leaf patterns, plant heights, and position in pots. In addition, we want to make sure the plants are in an appropriate sized pot to accommodate its growing needs until it finds a new home. What’s wonderful about gardening is that as long as you follow the basic rules that each plant has for proper growing conditions, the possibilities are as boundless as your imagination when it comes to putting combinations together. Some of the most creative containers and landscapes blend annuals, perennials, herbs, and veggies all on one palette. It’s exciting to explore new ideas each year. Some things will work and other won’t, but it’s the journey that’s most important.

Have a fabulous week!