Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Administrative Professional Secretary Assistant or whatever you call it Week.

As I enjoy this freshly baked cookie from Rialto, I realize it is the last week in April. And you know what that means, kids... Administrative Professional Secretary Assistant Week! See, I don't even know what the proper name for this is anymore, so I just strung all the names together. It's easier that way. Anyway, the next few days will celebrate the millions of people who hold down the fort at companies all over North America. Thousands of floral arrangements, plants, chocolates, novelty mugs and cliche greeting cards with awkward messages of thanks will circulate throughout Canada and the U.S., and of course Edgewood has its soil-caked fingers in that pie. Between our corporate clients and our customers in medicine, law and various other services, we'll be nice and busy from here until Friday.

Murray gave me this nice arrangement for A-P-S-A week a few years ago:

Now, I think that's just smashing. I think it's important that those in a position of power at least pretend to appreciate their underlings once a year - you know, because some people in managerial roles can be pretty jerky to those they manage. I've seen it happen to other people and it just breaks my heart. Thankfully, working for the family business means that I don't ever have to endure that. If Murray's acting crabby, I just tell him off. Kidding.

But I digress. As I was saying, if you can get past the political-correctness-spawned mutation of its name, this week can really be a way to get a lot accomplished on personal side of your profession. Thank the ones whose hard work make your job easier, whose overtime enables you to take a longer lunch. It will foster trust and camaraderie, and one day when your subordinates rise up and usurp you, you may be able to avoid the guillotine. Figuratively. Hopefully.

Have a great day and enjoy the sunshine.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Jan Van Egmond

Our uncle, Jan Van Egmond, passed away Monday, April 16, 2007 at the ageof 90. He had endured many hardships during the past few years including two hip replacements and a bout of c. dificile, but it was a stroke a week earlier which proved to be the one thing he could not overcome.
He came to Canada from Holland with his wife Catherine in 1949, like many immigrants of the post World War II years due to the slim resources in Holland and was sponsored by Charles Gratton of Gratton Greenhouses in Saint-Laurent who would later also sponsor his brother Dick, our father. In the mid 60s, along with his two sons, Danny and John, he started Hudson Greenhouses where it still stands to this day. They became growers and producers of flowering plants which can be found in many of the floral shops of the Montreal and Ottawa areas. My earliest memories of him were the week-long vacations during the summer when I stayed with my aunt and uncle at their house in St. Lazare. I was reminded recently of these visits when I visited him the Saturday prior to his passing. I walked from their house to the greenhouses which are located in a lot in back of the house. As I walked, the smell of the moist sand and soil brought back the memories of my childhood stays.
Jan leaves behind many family and friends and will be missed dearly. Viewing will take place at Aubry & Fils Funeral Home on 434 Main Road in Hudson on Friday April 20, 2007 from 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral service will be held at Wyman United Church 513 Main Road on Saturday April 21, 2007 at 11 a.m.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Towards Mother's Day

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers in their continued faith in us during this past holiday time. I would also like to thank our dedicated staff without whom we would not be able to fulfill our clients' needs.
And so we find ourselves working towards the next big flower event - Mother's Day, which is Sunday, May 13th. We have some interesting new concepts brewing and a rehashing of old ideas. As much as I like new ideas and concepts, I recognize the need to hold onto time-tested designs, the very backbone of Edgewood.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sympathy for the Hydrangea.

And so Passover has come and gone - in any form that affects us anyway, as I understand that Passover actually lasts a week. Pardon my goyishness.

Things are pretty quiet around here; we're closed to walk-in business today and most of the phone orders have been for decidedly more modest Easter gifts. Easter's on Sunday, by the way, so keep that in mind.

We sold a lot of hydrangea plants this holiday. Hydrangeas are a popular offering at this time of year, due to their bright colors, substantial size and overall springy look. But spring after spring, we get a lot of returns from customers who claim that their plants have "died". Allow me to take advantage of this public forum to set the record straight on hydrangea care.

Hydrangeas are thirsty - exceptionally thirsty, in fact. Giving them a cup of water a day generally isn't enough to sustain them. When a hydrangea is thirsty, the blooms will keel over as the plant's way of alerting its owner. When the plant is in this state, it is far from dead, and can be revived by placing the plant in a saucer containing about an inch of water, and letting it drink to its heart's content. As a rule of thumb, a hydrangea should be fed about two big glasses of water a day to keep it thriving and satisfied.

Hydrangeas are actually the only plants we still grow ourselves in the greenhouse, and my grandfather (or Sir, as he will hereafter be known) is very protective of them. One year, a rather frantic lady hurried in with a hydrangea that she'd pretty much dried out and started raving that it was a piece of crap and had died the day after she received it. Sir, in his typically Sir way, got quite upset and informed the lady, in no uncertain terms, that she didn't know how to take care of the plant and had killed it herself. He was pretty pissed off, which is perfectly understandable given how much he invests in their growth and care. And they are absolutely precious when they're little. Cuter than I was, anyway.
In any case, it's a good thing to know. And they worry about the seal hunt. Just think about how many hydrangea plants are thoughtlessly slaughtered each and every spring by those who neglect to read the care card. The lesson here - with apologies to Blue Oyster Cult - is don't fear the watering can.