From The Desk Of Bill Varga

G.A. Gibberellic Acid is a naturally occurring hormone found in plants. In plant systems, it stimulates growth and is used as a stimulant to enhance seed germination. It works! That’s important even though scientists have yet to determine a complete picture of just what happens. Now it’s important to know that environmental factors like moisture, light and appropriate temperature are primary in the process, but the addition of G.A. can be a game changer. During the past decade I have noticed a steady decline in the availability of our native water birch, Betula Occidentalis, within the nursery industry. Birch trees will generally produce an abundance of seed laden catkins. Harvested in the all and directly sown in celled flats, they begin to emerge as the environmental factors from above are applied appropriately but last year this didn’t happen. Not Good! My grandson Ethan, a student at U.S.U., tried pre-soaking Birch seed prior to sowing and pre-soak and chilling as well. Some seedings emerged but only a fifth of what was anticipated. This year at Perennial Favorites, our bug whisperer, Tim, and Rachel, our plant shaman, treated our native collected seed with G.A. As I write this article, these transplants are resting in quarts and hopefully later in gallon containers. Red bark, clump, water birch growing quite rapidly to 20 feet will again be appearing on the Perennial Favorites availability and more importantly in Utah landscapes to add a sense of place, shade and grace.

A Bottle of Wine:
   Sally was driving home from one of her business trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.  As the trip was a long and quiet one she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like a ride.  With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car.
   Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make a  bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Sally.
   “What’s in the bag?” asked the old woman.  Sally looked down at the brown bag and said, “It’s a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband.”
   The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two  then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said, “Good trade.”

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