Alyssum to Zinnias and everything in between.

If there is such a thing as a green house conductor then I probably fit the classification. My first attempt at growing flowers came about when I discovered a cool plant seed called a lady's slipper. At Iowa State University I learned that its proper name is Garden Balsam. The small seed pod has a funny locking mechanism that gets triggered when you apply pressure to its sides and the seeds go flying. I wanted to see the trick again so I grew them from a jar of seed I stored.


As a youngster, I got a reprieve from delivering newspapers over two miles of up and down Council Bluffs streets. The Meyer greenhouse had an opening for a 5 foot 95 pound kid who thought grinding dirt through a machine beat grinding out a living pedaling papers. The Meyers soon learned I remembered what plant was what and where it was in the greenhouse range. I got the job of filling orders destined for a hungry Omaha Flower Market. Watching for bugs, weeds, overgrown product, diseased product, frozen product all came under my watch. For the next five years, I would learn plant skills from a second generation German plant guru. In his youth, Bill helped his family load fresh produce on horse drawn wagons that traveled to the Missouri river to get transported to the Omaha Market by the Bayliss Ferry Company. They used a Chevy pick-up with a home-made wagon topper in 1965.


While studying at Iowa State University I worked for the Earl May Seed and Nursery Company where I learned the other end of retailing. Today my quest is to find and grow the best annual and perennial flowers and vegetables. Council Bluffs is our retailing outlet and we grow another 10 acres of trees shrubs, perennials and annuals at our Underwood, Iowa location.


I think of the garden center in the spring as a symphony delivering beautiful blooms to an excited audience. Knowing there's someone there who knows where everything is in the greenhouse and who has made sure it is stocked with quality plants is what makes a Sherbondy spring visit worth the drive.

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