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Plan to be Flexible

March 19, 2010

Much of what happens in winter for the home gardener is encompassed in a single word: planning. Pull out all of those shiny new catalogs and figure out how much new stuff you can fit into your yard.

At Busch Gardens, the planning never stops. Records are kept from year to year of plant counts for each bed, and notes made on performance for any annuals used. This then morphs into a shopping list for the following season.

At home, you have the challenges of weather, diseases, and pests of various sizes. Here, we have those, plus a few more. Thousands of visitors (starting tomorrow) eager to visit our park sometimes dictate plant choices or changes. I love foxglove, but its poisonous leaves keep it out of the park.

Another challenge for our planning involves our interaction with other departments’ needs. Perhaps there’s a new sidewalk going in … or coming out … or a new ride that needs proper theming. So the plans get adjusted to meet the new needs of that area of the park.

Winter weather can make early season plant choices for us. Our season begins before the weather in Williamsburg can be trusted to stay warm, so some of the annuals chosen for containers are hardy to the mid-20’s, one of which is Osteospermum. It’s availability in many colors makes it very useful for our early opening.

For early growing, the greenhouses are kept in a very narrow range, 68-72 degrees. It takes about three weeks to harden off the plant material as we reduce temperatures about 2 degrees per day until the greenhouses reach 38 degrees. This helps acclimate the plants to their new homes outdoors.

So even when we plan, we have to make changes. I’m sure a lot of you have to do the same sometimes.

Sheila
Landscaper at Busch Gardens

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. patricia figueroa permalink
    March 20, 2010 11:51 pm

    WENT TO PASSHOLDERS DAY WAS NOT HAPPY WENT TO FESTA HOUSE GOT BABYBACK RIBS THEY WERE RAW MY HUSBAND GOT CHICKEN IT WAS RAW BROUGHT IT BACK THE CHICKEN HAD BLOOD COMING OUT THEY HAD A PROBLEM TAKING IT BACK HAVE BEEN A PASS HOLDER FOR YEARS DONT UNDERSTAND IF ANYONE CAN EXPLAIN PLEASE CALL 804-776-8467 THIS IS VERY SERIOUS CAN MAKE SOME ONE REALLY SICK

    • March 21, 2010 5:01 pm

      You’re supposed to mention that to the managers or guest services not on a blog about flowers…

  2. Jason permalink
    March 23, 2010 12:21 pm

    I would suggest contacting their Guest Services department, not the blog here. Usually you can find a CONTACT page on the website.

  3. Lucy Messick permalink
    March 24, 2010 8:51 pm

    I am so in awe of the job you do- my heart swells every time I walk into Busch Gardens and see all of the beautiful flowers and landscaping! I wish I could make my garden look half as good! Thank you so much for making such a beautiful park for my family to enjoy! We’ll see you soon!

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