We rely totally on natural methods for insect control. If necessary, we will bring beneficial insects into our greenhouse, such as ladybug larvae for aphid control. However we generally find that nature takes care of things, so any problem plants are put outside to recover. We encourage all forms of bird and insect wildlife in the fields and display areas - you'll often find a praying mantis or ladybug on our plants!
None of the plants we raise are treated with any kind of herbicide to control weeds in the pots. Sometimes this results in a less-than-perfect presentation, but we do our best to keep things under control. Plants are hand-weeded when necessary and we use barrier fabrics in pots to control weed growth. These fabrics stop weeds from growing while allowing water and nutrients to pass through to the soil and are very effective in the landscape as well as in containers.
We try to minimize the use of non-renewable resources, such as peat moss which is dug from extremely old peat bogs. Where possible, we select potting medium containing alternatives such as coir (produced from coconut husks) which still functions well to keep good drainage in the medium. We also make every effort to re-use pots & trays whenever possible.
The standard plant industry is now heavily productionized with more of a premium being placed on uniformity, ease of shipping and packaging than on the inherent joy & value in the plants themselves. To this end it is standard practice to use growth hormones to restrain plants into a certain pot size or to create a perfectly rounded specimen (think fall mums). We believe in a more natural product and use no growth hormones. We prefer to see our plants tumbling out of pots or looking a little leggy than faking perfection. The world isn't perfect & we prefer character over chemicals.