Nursery Tour: Take Your Blog Readers to Work Day

| 9/17/2009 5:09:44 PM

Tags: nursery, work, tour,

CindyMurphyBlog.jpgIn 2003, “Take Your Daughters to Work Day” expanded to include boys, becoming “Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day.” “Take Your Dog to Work Day” was instituted in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, and is now celebrated around the globe. On June 26 of this year thousands of canine companions accompanied their owners to work. Fortunately, the ill-conceived “Take Your Cats to Work Day” never got off the ground; plans of hostile business takeovers where discovered early on, and in a worldwide effort to prevent company break room pantries from being stocked with only Fancy Feast, the event was cancelled immediately. “Take Your Blog Readers to Work Day” isn’t as well-known as “Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day” or “Take You Dog to Work Day”; in fact, I’m pretty sure there is no such event. But it certainly can’t be as dangerous as “Take Your Cat to Work Day,” so I figure, why not give it a try?

Welcome to Huntree Nursery and Garden Center, my place of employment for the past nine years.

Huntree Nursery and Garden Center

The nursery has been around long before I was even a twinkle in my parents’ eyes. It began in the 1930s after the lumber industry had clear-cut most of the white pines and other evergreens in Michigan. Walter Studley started raising seedlings in 1932, and his tree farm became the first private nursery in the state to grow large quantities of evergreens.

The nursery changed hands in 1954, when Howard Hunt purchased it from Mr. Studley. Howard and his wife, Sally, gave the nursery the name it still has today: Huntree. Along with the tree seedlings, the Hunts began to sell azaleas from their front porch. One azalea led to another species of plant, and soon a retail garden center was added to the nursery. In addition to still growing seedlings, the Hunts started growing ornamentals in a newly added greenhouse, using discarded tin cans from the Michigan Fruit Canners and Lloyd J. Harris Pie Factory as containers.

In 1971, shortly after graduating from Michigan State University with a forestry major, David Landry and his new bride, Jan, started working at the nursery. They purchased it nine years later, and are still the current owners.

Cindy Murphy
9/23/2009 8:20:33 AM

Hi Jean, Brenda, and Dave. I'd love to give you all a real-live tour sometime; my less-than-adept photography skills don't do the place justice. I'd show you this and that, and make sure Jean leaves with dirt under her fingernails, (smile and snicker). Brenda, I can't imagine bringing my two cats to work. Even getting Dusty (the Hell Cat), and Ranger (the Lovable Idiot) there would be a challenge. Dusty would want to drive just because he's always got to be in charge. I'd probably have to turn the wheel over to him because Ranger would be would be wrapped around my neck and up in my face in fear and I wouldn't be able to see a thing; he hates car rides. Once they got there, Dusty - the brains behind the operation - would put Ranger to task as the bumbling henchman carrying out plans for a nursery take over. Dave, it's great to hear you not only didn't commit planticide this year, but that your garden did so well!!! I'm flattered that you thanked me, and though I can't take any credit for your success, I'm glad if some of my suggestions might have helped a bit.

Nebraska Dave
9/22/2009 4:54:44 PM

Cindy, that’s quite the tour of the nursery. I love spending time wandering around in nurseries, box store garden centers, and well planned and taken care of parks. Our city is blessed with a city green house for the planting material for the city green areas and the parks and is open to the public. We also have huge a garden that was designed as a private garden, but has since been turned into a garden that can be toured for a nominal fee. The walk through the garden is well worth the fee and both native and exotic plants have been planted in dazzling displays. This garden has a waterfall which fills the air with that wonderful refreshing smell as well as other water features. We are also blessed with a world renowned zoo that has a rain forest as one of the dome features. It is filled with plants of the rain forest and has dripping, falling, and flowing water throughout the exhibit. As you can tell I love water features as well as plants. I don’t have one yet, but I’m working on it. The impatiens and begonias have taken over the poor man’s patio wall. Thank you so much for your expert advice about what to put on the wall. The nine foot tomato plant produced from the first part of July to the middle of September. It was really sweet to sit on the patio sipping coffee and munching the little cherub tomato clusters. I did not murder one single plant this year. What a record year this has been. My earth bound tomatoes are still producing luscious tomatoes. So far this year it has been 122 tomatoes and counting from the three plants. They have not been bothered with blight, bottom rot, splitting, or spotting. I’ve canned six quarts and four pints of seasoned tomatoes for the winter soups. I’m already planning on the expansion of the miserly 4 X 8 foot garden. Cindy, thank you so much for helping me to have such a successful year. When gardeners garden, it is not just plants that grow, but the gardeners themselves. - Ken Druse

Brenda Kipp_1
9/21/2009 4:42:59 PM

Thanks for the tour, Cindy. It sounds like a great place to work. How blessed you are to be surrounded by such beauty and get paid for it! BTW, I would LOVE to bring my cat to work. :)

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