Saturday, June 11, 2022


The seedlings are looking stronger, the weather is tolerable except for the wind, and the on and off rain

showers are certainly appreciated.  So many weather changes during the day limits the old schedule of going out at 9am, stopping for lunch, then back out till dinnertime.  We all complain we are behind schedule.

In a few weeks, if not sooner, the plant clinic phone line clients, website clients and maybe face to face clients will be seeking answers to their questions which are more serious than anyone else and needs immediate attention.

All this encompasses "customer service" and how good are we?  The subject came to mind several days ago in a call with a medical equipment provider and their customer service department. Changes in insurance providers had been made and new provider and policy number needed to go on record.

The dialogue ranged from not being able to find me as a customer (unsettling background comments of 'hmmmmm' and more 'hmmmmmm') to the question of was I sure of the company name and please read it off the official card to which she commented she was not familiar with the company, even though it is a national corporation.

It was an unnerving experience and made me wonder if any client being served by Plant Clinic staff ended their experience feeling unnerved.

Other than the diagnostic search, finding out what the client means when they say 'weird growth' and having them describe the what, where and when of what is weird-leaves, roots, stems is difficult.

Where do you live?  Not just the city but what part of the city.  There are so many micro-climateswithin each of the cities, sometimes the problem is the wrong plant for the area.  In the 1980's when bamboo started becoming popular as a landscape plant we had a good friend who was President of the Texas Bamboo Society.  I was curious and always looking for one more plant we could grow in our climate.  When I asked our friend for advice he had a good 5 minute laugh and then asked what country with a high desert climate could I name that grew bamboo.  I told him I found several varieties that were cold hardy and he reminded me that cold hardy is often a good selling point--what about soil, moisture, daytime temperatures and our sometimes huge variance between day and night temperatures.

Bringing in adequate size samples should be encouraged.  Photos sent to the Plant Clinic is a great help as long as there is info about the surrounding area--construction, irrigation issues.

OSU Master Gardeners do so much to educate gardeners in the area.  You don't necessarily need to be a newcomer to the area.  There always seems to be something new we can learn and share with others (providing it is Research Based--of course)!

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