La grenouille terroir…

I look forward to Plant Nerd Night in Portland every year! If you’ve never been, Nerd Night is an event hosted each year by Mike Darcy, longtime TV and radio host of various gardening shows in the Portland area.  Each year, Mike invites a number of speakers from the nursery and gardening community to talk for a precisely timed period of time about favorite plants they grow. Many of these great plants are for sale at booths run by the speakers, and many are also raffled off to lucky gardeners during the evening. I enjoy this evening immensely as a way to fellowship with kindred spirits in the gardening community, and to learn about great plants that I absolutely NEED in my garden, or even that we might bring into production at Little Prince. If you’ve never been to Nerd Night, you must plan to go next year! To stay informed about this event, and many other opportunities for the gardening community, I highly encourage you to become a member of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon. The HPSO now sponsors Nerd Night, and many other great events, like garden tours, speakers, and after-hours events such as the one Little Prince will host in June this year. More information on that will follow over the next couple months.

On Saturday, Michelle and I headed out for parts unknown. We decided to take backroads down the east side of the Willamette Valley on roads that I don’t think I’ve ever driven on, through towns like Mckee, Monitor, and Sublimity. Just outside Monitor, we stopped at Hanson Vineyards for a wine tasting and delightfully informative explanation of Hanson’s winemaking philosophy. I enjoy learning new things, and we learned about how an idea described by the French word terroir guides the winemaking process at this lovely vineyard. Terroir is how a particular region’s climate, soils and aspect (terrain) affect the taste of wine. Some regions are said to have more ‘terroir’ than others. As I listened to our host talk about the idea, it dawned on me the concept is applicable to what we do at Little Prince. We have “la grenouille terroir” …Frog terroir! What is it that gives Little Prince and our plants a uniquely different, exceptional quality? Here are just a few of the reasons.

First, we are ‘cold growers’, meaning that we heat our greenhouses only minimally. This has the advantage of more compact plants with robust root systems that are already acclimated to being outside when they arrive at the garden center or landscape job site. This also makes the plants more resistant to opportunist pests and diseases that occur when soft, warmly grown plants are suddenly exposed to much colder temperatures. This is GREAT news right now, because it means that during this cool early spring, our plants will stand up to the weather on garden center benches.

Secondly, we actually hand-water almost everything here at Little Prince. Water is of course essential for plants, but too-much water can be disastrous! At Little Prince, our professional waterers don’t water unless the plants really need it, creating healthy and strong root systems that will take off when planted in the garden. Your customers will notice a difference!

Finally, our customer service and branding are extraordinary. Your complete satisfaction is very important to us, and we strive to make your experience with Little Prince a happy one. In the retail setting, our tags are the most recognizable in the industry, and the crowned frog is a symbol of quality to gardeners everywhere our plants are sold, besides just being ridiculously cute! BTW, we can currently ship pallets of 72 flats to the East Coast for under $300, so no matter where you are, you can be part of the Little Prince family.

There you have it! La grenouille terroir is REAL, and it’s why our plants are better! We can’t wait to hear from you!

Cheers,

Mark

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