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    • Palmarum
      By Palmarum
      Searle Brothers Nursery, Inc. & The Rainforest Collection®
      presented...
      The 22nd Annual Fall Extravaganza
      October 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th - 9th, 10th, 11th - 2020
       
      The Few and Far Between - A Palm Sale During the Pandemic
      Unknowns. The unknown elements pertaining to having a plant sale during the pandemic created the most concern. We didn't know what the interest level would be, or if there would be any demand. I figured there would be at-least some need for landscape material, as there always is... as long as there is any urge for homeowners and gardeners to play in the dirt. As for the plant explorers, enthusiasts and collectors, I personally had no idea as to who might show up; and if they did, do they have their list or cart in hand, or would they just be browsing for eye candy? For those who may not know, South Florida has been hit especially hard by the pandemic. So to have both the desire for plants and the urge to travel during the age of Covid-19, is a particular combo.
      The nursery had put every pandemic-related safety measure into place. Signs for social distancing and mask usage, a different entrance pathway for customers entering the sales area, screens and safeguards throughout the checkout process and enough hand sanitizer to sink a ship. Hand washing stations were spaced around the sales area and cleaning materials were used to clean the bathrooms and high-volume surfaces after each use. All we needed then was customers. The 'Ganza was effected by other factors as well. Due to the pandemic, we were short on volunteers that often help during the sale days. These included not only those happy to load a trailer, but those with plant knowledge. To reduce movement through the sales area we had assigned locations during the event. I was positioned at the white tent in the main shadehouse. This factor, along with the intermittent rainfall, greatly reduced the amount of photos I took during the sale.
      Leading up to the sale, I was monitoring the online plant world as much as I could to try and get a feeling as to the 'mood' of plant people. I do this regularly, but I was trying to get an idea of how well the sale might be as a result. The usual amount of communication I had regarding the 'Ganza was way down and those communications I did have had represented a mix of moods, from low to high. I waited to see how this would correspond with customers attending the sale.
       
      Thursday, October 1st
      - 7:41AM - For the first time, the Extravaganza opens on a Thursday morning. This was done to try and maintain social distancing and to help alleviate the crowding that normally occurs on a Friday morning. It didn't work. Most everyone that could attend on a Friday, came Thursday. Plant fanatics follow the credo, 'If they can seek plant, they shall'. It was still early, with the sun fighting to rise among a cloudy sky. The rain was going to play a big part during this already unusual 'Ganza. I took a long gaze down the sidewalk while at the main shadehouse entrance, looking over the Palm selection and anything that might need attention; a fallen plant, a stray hose, etc. Looking to the left (B) the Croton selection was primed and ready for the oncoming onslaught. Hard to make out, but there were 144 different cultivars in there; available in varying amounts.

      - On the right, the Aroid tables were packed with plants of all sorts. (B) The side road had more than its fair share of plant material ready for customers. In addition to the usual spread of Cordylines and ground orchids, there were unusual flowering shrubs, trees and vines. A botanical oddity or two was mixed in for good measure.

      - 7:43AM - Under the barn, the Orchids were on display. They were arranged in their groups, most if not all had a photo of the bloom, if they were not in bloom themselves.

      - 7:47AM - Red leaves everywhere. For some reason, the timing mechanism that controls the newly emerging leaves throughout the Chambeyronia macrocarpa population was in sync. In behind the sidewalk and yellow caution tape, almost every specimen of C. macrocarpa, whether it was a single or multiple, had a new red leaf. It was cool and freaky at the same time. I was not the only one to notice, as the showy leaves waved down customers throughout the first weekend, selling many of the plants in the process.

      Ryan
       
      - Link to For-Sale Topic: The 22nd Annual Fall Extravaganza - For-Sale Topic
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    • Palmarum
      By Palmarum
      22nd Annual Fall Searle Plant Extravaganza! Pt.2




      Follow the link below to the For-Sale topic for more information:

      https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/65345-the-22nd-annual-fall-searle-brothers-plant-extravaganza-●●●-october-1st-2nd-3rd-4th-–-9th-10th-11th-●●●-s-florida/  
      Ryan
    • Palmarum
      By Palmarum
      22nd Annual Fall Searle Plant Extravaganza! Pt.1
      Follow the link below to the For-Sale topic for more information:
      https://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?/topic/65345-the-22nd-annual-fall-searle-brothers-plant-extravaganza-●●●-october-1st-2nd-3rd-4th-–-9th-10th-11th-●●●-s-florida/
       
      Ryan
       
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