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What's Growin' On Stony Brook?

It was the third week of January. I sat inside my office and glanced out the window, desperate for any sign of a warm spring day.

Then, just in time, my office phone rings.

"Your first shipment just got in"

I throw down the phone, grab my coat, and run out the door! This day is like a birthday, Christmas, and every fantastic day of the year rolled into one! I hop in my truck and head to Central Stores. I gladly sign the paperwork, grab my cardboard boxes, and head to the greenhouse.

Once inside, I turned on my small radio, grabbed my knife and prepared myself. I gently sliced open the first box. (This was my fourth year performing this same ritual. I think each year I enjoy it more!) As I open the first cardboard side I can already see them and my heart begins to race. I pull back the next cardboard flap, then the remaining two, and there they are. Tucked safely between layers of cardboard and insulation are the first signs of a Stony Brook spring!

3,625 thumb tack sized seedlings, our first of five annual shipments! Ecstatic!

That delivery contained mostly pansies and violas that will decorate the grounds of Stony Brook University in just 7 short weeks. And just as the pansies and violas unfurl their new set of leaves, I start clearing bench space for the next arrival! It's full force now!

In the weeks to come, more annuals will continue to arrive. The Canna's and Dahlia's that have been overwintered from last year will once again be surrounded in warm soil and sprinkled with their first shower of the new growing year. Bench space has already begun to quickly disappear as these little plants thrive in the warmth of our greenhouse. The once empty space quickly springs into life and the air is full of the smell of warm fresh earth! And quietly and happily, among the snow piles and salt residue, spring has unsuspectingly sprung at Stony Brook!

So as you throw your scarf around your neck, and pull the zipper up tight on your winter coat, know that in just a few short weeks, we'll be planting spring. Our home grown pansies will find a new home among the Liriope and Spirea of the main entrance. They will surround our landmark "SBU" and welcome you as you turn off of South Drive onto Marburger. Then the Stony Brook greenhouse will be hard at work preparing for a beautiful, flower filled summer!


Article Written by: Andrea Petterson, Landscape Manager

Tags: Grow Red

Created by Application Support for Administration
Campus Operations and Maintenance @ Stony Brook University