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December 2016 - Time for Reflection

Time for reflection. 2016 brought many changes to our family. As most of you are aware by now we sold the store on June 30 of this year. Much of the community was surprised by the sale and probably no one was more surprised than myself and Nelson. We had not really considered selling the store. It was a family business, Gary 3 was finishing college in December and coming back to work in the business, I was getting ready to step aside and let him and Nelson take over the business. We even spent a good bit of money on remodeling the store over the winter.

Things change, however, in early March a young man asked if we would consider selling the store. It was not the first time we had been approached about selling and truthfully we didn’t give it much thought. He came back in a few days and at that we said we would think it over. The third time he came back we decided he was dead serious.

Nelson and I sat down and took a long look at what it would mean for the family. An easy way out for me and a comfortable retirement if that was what I choose. The buyer wanted Nelson to stay but he would only have to work about half the hours. When we had it an 80 hour week was routine. Gary 3 was going to be most hurt. It meant he would have to job hunt in totally different areas.

Without going into all the details everything seemed to fit. The offer was fair and all the details seemed to fall into place. it all just worked and everyone both buyer and seller thought it was a good deal all the way around.


Six months later we still think all things considered it was best for everyone. Nelson is still there and business is being done as always. There have been some minor changes and I am sure some more will be made. But most of them will be improvements not anything to drive shoppers away.

I am out of the business but not really retired. Keep your eyes open I may turn up somewhere. Bagging groceries, I did that many years ago, greeting at Wal Mart or doing some consulting on my own. Maybe I can get paid for all the questions I have answered over the years for nothing. Just as long as I don’t have to go play golf the world is good.

Gary 3 has completed college with a degree in Business Administration and is in the job market. If you know of anything let us know.

With all that said it has made for an exciting 2016 in all our lives. In summary it has been a good year but a busy one.

Now from all of us a heartfelt thanks to our customers and friends. The Forest community has been good to us.



Maintenance Tips for Winter

Gary's Lawn and Garden Maintenance Tips for Winter

Things are beginning to slow down now, but there is still work to be done to maintain a nice looking landscape.

  1. The fall has been so mild that a last mowing may still be in order.  You want to leave the lawn cut nice and even at a height of about 3 inches.
  2. If you are doing the 3 fall application program you still have plenty of time to do the last application.  If you have not put down any fertilizer you still have time to apply either 1 or 2 applications.
  3. Continue to keep leaves and debris out of your beds through the winter.  They are the perfect habitat for insects and disease to overwinter.
  4. As long as the soil is workable you can plant shrubs and trees.  Professional landscapers work all winter - weather permitting.
  5. Shrub pruning, mulching and liming can all be done anytime the weather permits over the winter.
  6. If you have a vegetable garden, I suggest you cut the dead vegetation and burn it.  Again, it is a perfect place for insects and disease to overwinter.  If you put it in a compost bed you are asking for trouble.
  7. Whether you rake, vacuum, mow or mulch, the important thing is to get those fallen leaves off the lawn as quickly as possible.
  8. Gather all your scattered garden tools in one place.  Wash all the dirt off, sharpen blades and spray with WD40.  This will prevent rust and the tools will be where you can find them and ready to go in the spring.
  9. Make compost.  Compost requires a carbon source (brown stuff) and a nitrogen source (green stuff).  The challenge is to have brown stuff and green stuff at the same time.  A good trick is to use rabbit pellet food as your nitrogen source (green stuff) and dead leaves as your carbon source.  Alternate dead leaves, rabbit food and water in a compost pile.  Table scraps can also be added to the pile.
  10. Clean your perennial beds.  Leave seed heads that might be appealing to birds at least until time for new growth.  Mound mulch or leaves around tender perennials to offer some winter protection.  Remove any weeds from beds and mark them so you can find them next spring.
  11. Read a good book on gardening in Central Virginia or take a class that might help you in 2017.
  12. Last but not least plan for next year.  Design beds over the winter, jot down what needs changing in the landscape.   Now is the time to decide what you will plant in 2017.  Planning ahead will vastly improve the looks of what you do as well as save you money.

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Plant of the Week - Pansies



**Cool weather flower
**Heart Shaped, overlapping petal
**Bright colors, bi-colors or face-like centers
**Full sun to partial shade
**6 - 9" H, 9 -12" W
**Bloom Spring to early summer.
**Repeat bloom in fall throughout winter


Plant of the Week - Vinca



·         With blue, purple or white flowers paired with dark, glossy leaves, the periwinkle plant is a fast-growing crawling vine that will quickly cover trouble spots in your garden.

·         A member of the Dogbane family, the Vinca minor and Vinca major will take root in virtually any area as long as you provide adequate water.

·         The vining plants will thrive in partial sun and will produce blooms most commonly in April and fall.

·         Since it is such a versatile plant, the Vinca varieties are planted in any season except harsh winter.

·         Break up the soil, mix in fertilizer or mulch to help the process, and avoid watering overhead as fungus can become an issue.

·         Once the vines have established themselves, the plants need little care aside from water and some light trimming if you find the often invasive plant moving into undesired areas of your garden.


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