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Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Silver Lining

Why is it that some people see the glass half-full rather than half-empty? The nursery and farming industry are good examples of this philosophy. Folks that deal with living things realize you have to be positive and look on the ‘bright side’ when nature plays such a heavy hand in your outcome.

A perfect example of a resilient bunch is Van Berkum Wholesale Nursery in Deerfield, NH. At yesterday’s open house, plant geeks gathered for conversation at the nursery’s annual gathering. Some buzzed around on golf carts while others methodically scanned the thousands of unusual groundcovers, perennials, and natives that Van Berkum is well-known for in the industry.

Yet what is truly amazing is the resiliency of Peter and Leslie Van Berkum, the owners of the nursery and their dedicated staff. A little over a year ago, July 24, 2008 to be exact, a devastating tornado tore through their nursery. Along with the torrential flooding and the wreckage that comes with such a natural disaster, this shaded nursery became desolate and completely changed forever as 800 trees were ripped from the ground.

Most folks would throw in the towel. Others would find a reason to discover a new line of work. But we’re talking about plant geeks and the Van Berkum clan meets that criteria. Peter said yesterday on his post-tornado rebuild tour, “They never thought twice about reconstructing the nursery” as silver tinsel hung from Peter’s hat. With a smile, Peter lifted his tinsel and used their inspirational quote that guided them through this, "Every cloud has a silver lining." All across the nursery, silver balloons and tinsel glistened in the afternoon sun.

The origin of the phrase "Every cloud has a silver lining’ is traced to John Milton’s ‘Comus’ (1634).

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© 2009

© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)