With the nice weather, business has picked up again. What a spring! We have a lot of catching up to do, as do area gardeners.

Phone call of the year: 

"Yeah, my husband just picked up some apple trees at Home Depot. When is the best time to plant them, morning or evening?"

I responded that apple trees die if they aren't planted at 3 a.m.

Second question, same caller: 

"That plastic thing that is around the roots, does that need to come off?"

"You mean the pot?"


Here I wasn't ready. I should have said that the pot should stay on, but I was honest and said it had to come off. 

Another one: A woman who has found two roses of the same variety, but one is one inch smaller than the other and she has decided that, even though both are clearly labelled $24.99 that the one which is an inch shorter should be given to her at a reduced price. 

"Okay, now, I found these two in different areas, are they a different price?"

No, I said, they are the same price.

"Well," she said, "this one is smaller, are they still the same price?" 

Yes, I said, they are still the same price.

"So," she went on, "even though this one is smaller, it is still the same price?"

"Yes," I said. 

"I was thinking it might be less." 

"You were thinking wrong," I said with visible irritation.

I had to walk away and let somebody else ring her up. My next statement was going to be, "What makes you think if you ask the same question four times that you are going to get a different answer?"

That would have led nowhere fast. 

Another favorite, already repeated several times this year: Two women come to the till with one overflowing cart. I start to count the plants. I start to ring on the till. Suddenly, they break away from their deep conversation to announce, "Oh! This is two orders." 

Then they have to sort out the orders from each other. Slowly. Debating all the while. Enjoying the interaction, for that is what it is about. This is not a business transaction, it is an interpersonal moment between two friends. I should remember that, but I don't. And I get a little irritated, as I have to void out the till and start over. Behind the two friends on an interpersonal gossip outing (which incidentally includes the purchase of plants) are several parties waiting to be helped.