clear lake

THIS NURSERY GIG

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🍂This nursery gig 🍂

I hear often, “You have my DREAM JOB! I would love to work outside with plants all day! 🍃

Yes, yes, I do love that part, but as a business owner, that part is a small piece of the bigger picture of owning and operating a retail nursery business.

Running a business is no joke. There is so much that goes in to it—the marketing, the finances and accounting, the billing and estimating, the ordering, the inventory, tracking, bill paying, payroll, decision making, customer service, employees, Human Resources, emails and phone calls—oh the emails and phone calls, and the list goes on and on.

I’m definitely not complaining because being busy is a good sign in business... but, man oh man have we learned so much in the last 5 years.

And having Holtan has shifted priorities for us. We want to work a little less, so we can enjoy him a little more. Sometimes phone calls don’t get made, or emails don’t get answered because we choose family over business. We are grateful to have customers who understand. 

So thank you to all of our customers who have stuck with us over the last 40 years, and especially the last 5... as we have transitioned the business out of Dave and Linda’s hands into ours...

The nursery will continue to change as our family changes. I’m not sure what that looks like, but i imagine time will tell and I trust it will be right. I suppose that’s the beauty of this thing they call a “small family business.”

How fortunate are we that we get to choose what we want for our lives?

Is it scary? Yes.

Is it worth it? ALWAYS YES.

We are looking forward to trying some new things in 2019 and continuing to serve our customers with quality plants and the knowledge to care for them.

Thanks for being here!

PLANTING TO ATTRACT BIRDS

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There is nothing more delightful than seeing the spring and fall migration of birds, a robin’s nest with blue eggs, the bright yellow color of goldfinch, or the bright blue of an indigo bunting.

There are some things you can do to attract these beautiful birds to your yard.

Birds have 3 basic needs to survive – habitat, food, and water. With farm fields becoming bigger and bigger it is more important than ever that farmsteads, farm windbreaks, and urban homes provide these basic needs.  No matter where they are, any trees, shrubs, or perennials that you plant are good for birds. Adding a source of water is also helpful to attract birds.  

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Evergreens are especially important for winter habitat. Eastern Red Cedars are native to Iowa. Many other evergreens such as junipers and yews also provide habitat and berries for winter food.

All shade trees provide habitat and shelter. Many of the smaller ornamental trees are excellent sources of berries. During the fall migration cedar wax wings especially like berries from serviceberries. Other ornamental trees that provide berries include crabapples, hawthorns, mountain ash, and fruit trees –especially cherries.

There are many shrubs that also provide berries. Some of these include viburnum, dogwood, elderberry, coralberry, aronia, and cotoneaster.  There are many varieties of viburnums. One of our favorites is called “Blue Muffin”. These grow about 5-7 feet tall and have beautiful clusters of bright blue berries. Aronia (Chokeberry) produce an edible berry which is considered an antioxidant. These can be harvested and made into jams and other products if you can beat the birds to the berries.

Perennials can also provide habitat and food sources. Hummingbirds,  warblers and other varieties of birds enjoy both blossoms and seeds. Planting natives is always a good idea.

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Anything you plant will encourage birds to your yard. Add a water source and your yard will become a favorite stopping spot for them.  As always, be mindful of sprays, pesticides, and herbicides and avoid these as much as possible

TOP 10 REASONS TO PLANT A TREE

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Top 10 Reasons to Plant a Tree:

1.   Trees combat climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide.

2.   In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.

3.   Trees clean the air by absorbing odors and pollutant gases.

4.   Trees provide shade to cool homes and streets. Trees can cut summer air conditioning needs by 50%.

5.   Trees reduce heating bills by slowing harsh winter winds.

6.   Shade trees reduce the amount of water needed for lawns and other plants.

7.   Trees help prevent soil erosion and pollution of water in streams and lakes by reducing run-off.

8.   Trees provide food for humans and wildlife.

9.   Trees provide shelter for birds and other wildlife.

10.  Studies have shown that trees in yards and parks provide a sense of well-being and help reduce stress.

What will you do this year to protect the planet?

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Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

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As 2017 comes to a close, we want to thank you for supporting us and believing in us. We are so excited for our 2018 season, to celebrate Natural Plus's 40th anniversary and our 5th season as owners.  We will continue to grow the retail side of our nursery, however we are taking a break from large landscaping projects in 2018, so we can better serve you at our nursery. We will continue to provide design services and recommendations for plantings, and will be delivering and planting our trees and shrubs. We are making it a priority to better serve our loyal and supportive customers.

Thank you for everything and we will see you in the New Year!