Last year Northwest Garden News reached the ten-year
mark, and now another milestone is upon us. This issue is the 100th we've
published since 1995.
I'm not sure if that makes this issue any more
significant that last month's or next month's. But what it means to me is very
simple. I have plopped myself down in front of the computer and labored until
all hours of the night 100 times. And you know what? I hope I do 100 more.
is a strange business. Whether you are a
daily, weekly, or monthly publication, you always have that period of time when
the hours are compressed and your adrenaline pumps a little harder.
I've always loved
the business of ink and paper, but like
many people I've come to rely on the internet as a source of news and
information. With as much embarrassment (because it took so long) as pride, I'm
happy to say that we've finally launched a web site.
While Northwest Garden News has
been late coming to the
online community, we'll make up for it with our comprehensive content. My goal
is to make northwestgardennews.com the largest repository of gardening
information in our region.
Unlike many publications, who only tempt web-surfers with
glimpses of stories, we will post as much content as we can. We are continually
adding stories from the past ten years to the site. You'll find new information
So as soon as you're done reading this copy of the paper,
boot up your computer and come pay us a visit. Our address is just like it says
on the front cover: northwestgardennews.com.
Crisis in Kingston
of you have probably already heard about the sudden,
sickening closure of Heronswood in late May.
In a maneuver reminiscent of a bankrupt
start-up, nursery employees came in for a company meeting where they were
informed that their jobs were gone. They were escorted off the premises and the
gates were closed.
George C. Ball, Jr. himself-President of W. Atlee Burpee
& Co. (who purchased Heronswood in 2000) came to Kingston to deliver the
On May 30, at 11:44 AM, the press release announcing the
closure and "relocation" of Heronswood popped up in my e-mail box.
The well-crafted statement had been carefully massaged. George Ball was nesting
this egg for some time. Presumably, even before the Heronswood catalog and web
site were revamped for the 2006/2007 season.
Heronswood junkies enjoyed the color photos
in the new catalog,
but sorely missed the colorful-and sometimes off-color-plant descriptions that
Dan Hinkley penned in his photo-less catalog. I know I wasn't the only one who
was riveted to the armchair after the old catalog arrived each winter.
The reason for
moving the nursery cited by Ball, is to
take Heronswood to a "...more appropriate climate location on the East
Coast,"-referring to his company's nursery and test gardens in
Pennsylvania. I don't think all of Heronswood's horticultural treasures will
find the Zone 6 climate more appropriate!
In reality, Heronswood isn't relocating at
plants are relocating, and sales will be through a "virtual"
nursery-the Heronswood web site. Let's face facts: Heronswood is gone.
for the Heronswood "brand" appear
to be to take the most cold-hardy plants and market them to a national
audience. I think the logic behind this move is fundamentally
flawed. And I don't say that just
because I'm a disappointed Heronswood customer.
In my opinion, the purchase of a place like Heronswood
must be driven by a passion for plants and the desire to share them with
equally passionate gardeners. These plants need to be introduced to the right
kind of gardeners-not the greatest quantity of gardeners.
Will the mass market be interested
in these subtle and
out-of-the-mainstream plants? The Home Depot crowd wasn't flocking to
Heronswood before... We'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Enjoy summer, and
visit our new web site. Until next