|Before Landscapers Arrived|
I am slow posting today's blog, but it has been a wonderful day. Several days ago, we discovered a nursery in Kingman, KS whose owner, Roy R. Riggs, is the third generation of his family to operate the business begun by his grandfather. John W. Riggs was born in 1887, and Roy's father, C.W. Riggs was a late in life baby born of John's second marriage, so it is almost as if the business has been owned for four generations, based on the number of years that it has existed.
We have enjoyed several beautiful yards, some of which we inherited when we bought a home with an existing garden, and others of which we designed and planted ourselves. But, until today, we had never had the nursery do the landscape installation. At 7:45 a.m. Roy called to say he would arrive late morning to begin installing the plants I had carefully selected with his assistance. I had done the design, but I needed his advice about which plants would work best in my sandy loam soil and the sunny and shady conditions of our yard. I was already working in the yard, getting ready for his arrival when he called. I have just come inside from my day involved in the landscaping, and after 12 hours I am tired but delighted. I decided I would share my day with you.
As you can see from the "Before" photograph above, I have spent many days plugging Bermuda grass from our existing yard into the new area, also building the stairs and raised bed in the picture, as well as installing pavers for the sidewalk and small patio area. I was ready for some help!
|Taking a lunch break|
Roy arrived at noon with J.L. and Joseph, ready to unload the plants but inquiring about the closest restaurant. They had counted on The Hornets' Nest, a wonderful cafe in Byers that has closed, so Larry offered to go to Macksville to get their lunch and bring it back to the farm so they could get started.
By the time he returned, the crew had set all the plants where they were to be installed, and they were ready to take a break before beginning to dig!
My objective was to select plants with colorful foliage, different textures, and a significant number that would retain their leaves or needles year round. I chose bald cypress trees, two colors of bayberry, two different yews, a spruce and a pine, two different euonymus plants with yellow and green leaves, and two flowering deciduous shrubs--crepe myrtle and hydrangea.
|At day's end|
I am thrilled with the result!...as you can see from my smile as I posed with the crew at the end of the day. I told them what a pleasure it was for me to stand with my hands on my hips and watch someone else dig, after all my days of sodding the yard. Actually, it was an even greater pleasure to watch their professionalism and their genuine effort to do a good job and make sure I was pleased. What a joy to experience a crew who worked so hard to make sure their customer was completely happy.
No, they don't know that I am posting this blog about them, and no, I am not getting a discount for praising their work and their beautiful plants. But if you want a nursery with over a century of experience and a determination to make their customers happy, you may want to visit Southwestern Nurseries in Kingman, KS...or, (for all my international and distant blog followers), you may just have to wish you lived close enough to be able to do that!