As you can tell, this email is going to go all over the place. So many things to talk about in the Spring and so little time.

We have some sad news to announce. I have thought long and hard on whether this was the appropriate venue to share this with you. I just didn’t know if I wanted this information to get out into email land, but I hope that you will keep it private because something happened that I just didn’t see coming. Petunia quit. She quit without notice.

For all of you who don’t know Petunia, the cat, she’s quite famous around here. Now, I’ve had people quit before, but I always wanted them to quit for the right reasons, not the wrong reasons. I’ve always felt that if I can sit down and talk to somebody, I can resolve issues and we can all move forward. But Petunia did not sit down with me to talk to me about her issues or needs. She just quit. Her absence has become so apparent that people ask about her every day.

“Where’s Petunia?”, people ask.

“She’s around.”, I would say, internalizing the fact that I haven’t seen her for days.

Well, I figured it out. Petunia quit High-Hand and went to work for the Tin Thimble. I was quite irritated. I talked to the people at Tin Thimble about their hiring practices. Hiring each other’s employees in the same building makes bad politics. Right?

So, for all you wondering where Petunia is, she works at Tin Thimble now. I don’t get it. I’ve given her everything she needs. A roof over her head, food, a sanitary bathroom and her choice of whatever box she wants to sleep in. Well, I overlooked it. I guess if you’re a cat who lays around all day and does absolutely nothing, a towel is probably all it takes. Yes, you got it. Tin Thimble lured her away with the offer of a color coordinated towel.

Petunia, I’m glad you found a new opportunity and I hope it works out well. If they ever take your towel away, know that you’re always welcomed back at High Hand.

Speaking of Petunia, our petunia baskets are beautiful.

Our petunia machine is manufacturing petunia baskets with perfect results. We call these Halloween baskets. With loving care, these baskets can survive all the way into October. The big box stores’ flower baskets I call End of School baskets or Fourth of July baskets. They’re grown differently. Generally in smaller pots and you will have to work very hard to make them survive through Fourth of July. If you’re lucky, maybe you can name your basket a Back to School basket. Our baskets are big and beautiful and available. A few tips and tricks for the baskets include monthly feeding with a liquid fertilizer and cutting back hard when they get too leggy. Scary, but trust us. They’ll flush out and bloom again with a week or so. Really. Come and get one. They go fast.




I realize that voting online is a pain. We have been nominated to be part of KCRA’s Best of the Best for 2018. Fun! But then I thought, “Oh no, online voting. Capturing my information. Selling my email. Sending copious amounts of email and eventually the auto calls will come on my cell phone during work.”

Yes, I thought all this was going to happen.

So I went online and I voted for myself. At first, it felt kind of weird, voting for our nursery, but then I thought, “Wait a minute, if politicians can vote for themselves, why can’t I? Am I exempt from voting because it’s for our nursery?” I think not. So with a big breath, I went online to vote. As I was typing in my email and creating my password, blah, blah, blah, and, yes, giving them my zip code so they know where I live, I was fearful that I had given up my goods. All of my fear was erased as I went through the prompts for voting for High-Hand Nursery, I found a box that said, “Click here and we will not contact you.” Perfect. My fear melted away and now I was voting with confidence.

So, if you would do me a favor (by the way it only took me about 55 seconds), would you vote for us by clicking here? We will love you for it.


Who says aeoniums can’t be grown in Zone 9? Check out my aeoniums at Maple Rock.

You want to check out my peonies?

My peony. I have a lot of peonies at Maple Rock. Do you mind if I just show off for a minute?

Every year like clockwork the peonies burst out of the ground. You’re probably still struggling with my subject line, Petunia, Peonies and Tomatoes. Here’s where it all comes together as it always does if you’ve read my emails.

Peonies have big heavy buds, same as tomatoes with their big heavy fruit. How do delicate plants produce jillions of buds and pounds of fruit? What do our bones in our bodies need to grow strong? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Well, calcium. I actually did fertilize the peonies with tomato food. Hah! My subject line makes sense now. So clever.

As they burst every year, I start clicking off the days to Bloomtastic and I start to wonder, “Will this be the year?” Will this be the year that the peonies and Bloomtastic actually meet on the same day? It’s going to be close. The cold weather and the rain in April put a halt to the bursting.

Join us at Bloomtastic and see the conclusion to the peony and Bloomtastic race. Who will win? I have no idea. Or will it simply just be the perfect photofinish?


Stroll the gardens with a mimosa, enjoy live music, the trains will be running and lunch can be purchased. Parking is free. Tickets can be purchased at High-Hand Nursery or online by clicking here. It is not often that we open up the garden so don’t miss the amazing Spring at Maple Rock Gardens.

Here’s what’s coming up at Maple Rock:

  • May 12th | Bloomtastic at Maple Rock Gardens from 9-3.
    Join us for the race of Bloomtastic versus peonies.
  • Juneish | Succulent days with Robin, Sunset Magazine’s succulent guru. The time will be announced in the coming week.
  • June | Lavender pop-up. Why do we say pop-up? We have to wait for Mother Nature to tell us when to have it.
  • July | Sunflower U-pick. Yes, it will be a pop-up as well based on Mother Nature’s schedule.
  • August | Melons in the field.
  • Septemberish | Train days will come back. There will be flowers to pick and perhaps even tomatoes you can harvest. Fun, isn’t it?
  • October | Harvest Day. U-pick pumpkins and I’m sure a few other surprises.

We’ll be adding more things and we are extending the succulent class to a third class. If you missed the first two, check online and join us.

Please vote for us. It might be a photo finish. We could certainly use your help.

High-Hand Nursery equals happy gardening.


P.S. Let’s see if you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of the email. Full sun Seiryu Japanese Maples, regularly $195.00 will be $150.00 through Sunday, April 29th. There you go. Forty-five bucks off a great tree. They’re large and beautiful. Trust me. Or don’t. At least come in and see for yourself.

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