In addition to my travel experiences, I also learned more about horticulture in Europe and about the nursery that I am working at. One of the most important things I learned is how much the weather can impact the field of horticulture. It may seem obvious that weather is important to our industry but it is not every day that I think about all the various impacts it can have. There have been many extra things to do in these first two months that would not usually have to be done if the weather was a bit more normal. For example, the cold spring has caused people to wait much longer to start buying their flowers, which means that the plants have stayed in the greenhouses longer than normal. Therefore, the older plants not only took up a lot of space but also started going past their prime and had to be composted. It also meant that many people skipped over the early spring flowers and started buying summer flowers. Even though the nursery I work for does not directly sell to customers, it is greatly impacted by what other customers buy. If the customers don’t buy the plants from the various garden centers, the garden centers are not going to buy from the nurseries, leaving many plants still standing on the tables not being sold. This has caused a lack of space for the new plants that have continued to be planted throughout this second month. Finally, this lack of space has caused us to continually move plants around to make space for the new ones and ensure that each plant is in the proper environment.
In addition to learning about the various impacts the weather has had on this nursery, I have also learned more about the marketing of this nursery. My fellow coworkers and I spent this month getting ready for an open house. This event is a very important marketing tool as it brings people from around the area and allows the owners to make more contacts and potential future clients. This event was also used to promote and inform other people about the Golgi plants that are being grown at this nursery.
In this last month, I have not only become more accustomed to my new surroundings but I have also learned more about myself and how important it is to be willing to try new things. I am grateful for the opportunities that I have had this month and look forward to my upcoming experiences.
My host’s son and I made a traditional German apple strudel together. Thanks again for all your support and generosity!