Hey, it’s Jessie here!
If it were up to me, I would write this entire blog about my new niece Lovi, but that might be a little over the top and self-serving. Instead, how about a look back at the last year in my life and at Tonkadale, which is basically the same thing.
Shown above is our family Christmas card. Walter (age 7) is doing arm pit farts and Margaret (5, now 6) may be sticking her tongue out at me.
This is Lovi (short for Lovisa) dressed as St. Lucia. She is basically fluent in Swedish and already has her place in the hall of saints. My family was lucky enough to meet her on our trip to Connecticut in August. We spent three steamy days at my brother’s (Al who is coupled with Jo) house in Wilton, CT and then traveled to Massachusetts to visit the Cape. Jo’s family has a home in Hyannis Port. They are basically neighbors with the Kennedys. Well, not really, but you can see their estate from the little inlet that is walking distance from their adorable 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom bungalow (or some other kind of architecture that makes sense for New England). Margaret (5, now 6) and I both were stung by jelly fish while wading in the ocean during low tide. Bugger! En route to Mass, we made a stop at the most darlingest ever garden store just outside of Newport, Rhode Island. The Farmer’s Daughter. This is where life and work intersect. The kids and the husband sat in our rented mini-van eating Subway while I sweated in the sweltering heat combing my way through each little hoop house for treasures and ideas. I finally made it to the beach which is one of my happiest places. One evening I was left to enjoy the surf and the sand and all by myself until almost sunset. 36 lobster rolls later we were back in MN and back to school.
Moving backwards in the summer. Before jelly fish stings, there were hives. July is always a travel month for Tonkadale. First I was in Atlanta for our spring buying trip and then off to Columbus for an industry convention. There I met two members of our team – Val and Hayden. En route I broke out in hives. You see, I had two speaking engagements on the horizon and was very, very nervous. I didn’t puke, die or cry at either of them, so I am calling that a success. Hayden enjoyed 20 or so oysters at one of the industry events we were invited to and Val enjoyed less than 1. Neither broke out in hives. We all came back inspired with more knowledge of beneficial insects – good bugs that kill the bad bugs and a remedy for Japanese beetles – nematodes.
Too bad nematodes aren’t viable as a stocking-stuffer. Best applied in the fall before the ground is frozen.
I came home with a Monstera andansonii, rare at the time, now we have several dozen in store.
Portland was another notable destination. Three of us Tonkadalians – Sam, Megan and myself ventured to the Pacific NW to visit Monrovia’s nursery and tour plant stores. Before we even made it to our first stop, we had lunch at Pok Pok. Probably one of the top 5 meals of my life. We toured 15 destinations in two days. In my opinion, Portland is one of the coolest cities and the love child of Duluth and San Francisco. Of note from our visit was a stop at the ginormous compost pile/soil mixing station at Monrovia, NEW hydrangea varieties for 2019 and inspiration for the Plant Shoppe at Tonkadale. In case you haven’t heard, indoor plants are all the rage so we must to rearrange to accommodate their goodness. I now spend my free time creating “inspo” binders one of which is called the Plant Finder Binder. It contains all the coolest plant varieties known to Instagram kind. The second binder is colors, shelving, containers and other top secret stuff. So much to look forward to.
As I scroll though my phone I can’t help but notice that it was a very busy year. Here are some of the most notable moments:
Take some quiet time, you know the time when your sick kiddo is home from school and entertained by the Ipad to reflect on the year behind you. Think about what lies ahead in the year before you. Happy Holidays from me, Jessie.
See you at Tonkadale!