Where does the time go?  By the time you all are reading this summer will be in full swing!
Spring in the Mid-Atlantic was cool this year, especially May.  I remember last year when the temperatures shifted from mild and comfortable in April to sizzling mid-80’s and 90’s throughout May and into the whole of the summer.  
The good news this past spring is, with those cooler temps, and decent rainfall, we hade a bumper crop of spring flowers from our hoophouses.  Even at this writing (May 31st) our sweet peas are still producing in abundance.  We usually grow two varieties of sweet peas, ‘Winter Elegance’ and ‘Mammoth’.  Both perform very well for us, but this year we also grew ‘Old Spice’.  The colors range from deep burgundy to cobalt blue, and the fragrance is insane.  For any of you already growing sweet peas, or those of you who would like to, I strongly suggest adding Lathyrus odoratus ‘Old Spice’ to your repertoire.
Cooler temperatures also brought setbacks.  We lost several hundred plugs in early May due to some late frost.  Even covered with rowcover, they still couldn’t take it.  So we started over.  It’s the risk you take trying to beat the calendar.
Some of us will be reading this just before our Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting, which this year will be held here at Charlotte’s Garden on Monday, July 18th.  Part of my reasoning for having my first Regional Meeting here in Louisa County, Virginia, is to keep it within my comfort zone.  But come to think about it, there’s nothing comfortable about having a group of seasoned growers visit your farm to see the weeds, mistakes, and, chaos!  That said, I feel our meeting this year will be substantive, and, hopefully, fun for all who attend.  One of my goals over the next two years is to find other locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic to hold our meeting, making it convenient for all to attend.  If anyone has suggestions for other venues, particularly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts.
Lastly, and keeping within the theme of “Where does the time go?”, the National Conference in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania will soon be upon us. Conference chairman Dave Dowling, and Judy and Linda are putting together a program that all growers will benefit from greatly.  A preview of the Conference program can be viewed by going to the ASCFG web site, ascfg.org.  Please plan to attend.  Lancaster County is an easy drive from just about everywhere in our region.  More than that, as it has been with all of the conferences over past years, meeting other growers and the sharing of stories, and assimilating a wealth of information from speakers, will be invaluable to your future efforts as cut flower growers.  I look forward to seeing you all there!