Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

A Less Colorful Spring on the Way? (over Easy)

Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

A Less Colorful Spring on the Way? (over Easy)

Article excerpt

Weeks of calendar-defying warm weather late last year reportedly confused plants around much of the country, worrying horticulturists and dotting gardens with unusual December bursts of color.

"As beautiful as the phenomenon may be, it will mean a less colorful spring in many parts of the country," an Associated Press report notes. "It will also mean less fruit such as peaches, cherries and strawberries, and lower-quality fruit, too."

Across the country, 10 to 40 percent of flowers that were not supposed to bloom until spring flourished in December, according to Gary Couvillon, a University of Georgia horticulture professor who was quoted in the AP article. That phenomenon may leave plants weak and vulnerable to hard freezes that came in January, destroying the flowers and the buds.

Because of the early blossoming, "the bloom just will not be as heavy next spring," Couvillon told the AR.

"There's really nothing you can do," says Mildred Pinnell, a horticulturist at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, also quoted in the article. "It's one of the challenges of gardening. The weather never does read the books."

Lawn care for Home Depot?

A rumor circulating at presstime is that Home Depot, the "big box" hardware retailer, will soon have a lawn-care division.

According to morningstar.com's Pat Dorsey, Home Depot head Bob Nardelli "plans to diversify Home Depot's product offerings into services like lawn care and carpet cleaning through an alliance with ServiceMaster."

Nardelli is considering this option as part of a process that will build Home Depot's revenues from $49 billion last year to $100 billion per year by 2005.

The good news, though, is that Home Depot may open new types of stores, one of which will cater solely to contractors, and one of which will be small and located in more urban areas. …

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