President’s Notes June 2021

by David DeJohn, NHCLP
June 2021

Is it just me or does it seem like April was a nice slow month that took its time getting to the end, but May is just screaming by? Full into it now, juggling too many jobs at once and still hanging on to the idea that I’m still on schedule. I’ve only gotten slightly better at saying no, but self preservation and sanity require that I start saying it more often. Luckily the clients that I do have on the schedule are being relatively patient and seem to understand the circumstances as I work to establish some sort of rhythm and plow through the project list.

It has been a beautiful spring so far, although it would be nice if it would warm up and the wind died down; and the display of color from the Forsythias, PJMs, and Crabapple trees seem especially vibrant. We are still in a drought though (see the article by Ted Diers and Stacey Herbold in last month’s Newsletter), and that’s troubling as we head towards summer. So I’ve started to have that conversation with clients who are looking for new lawns and new plantings to be installed, letting them know that there might be an issue later in the season. Most seem aware and understand they’ll be taking a chance, especially with lawns, if they decide to move forward that there could come a time when it becomes a choice as to watering their lawn or protecting their wells and drinking water.

In fact, along those lines I just recently met with a landscape committee at a 55-and-over community in Loudon that was looking for information about using more groundcover and plants in place of lawns. The community is built on the site of an old gravel quarry and the soil, what little there is, is of poor quality, and as there is no in-ground irrigation allowed. Growing a lawn, a good lawn, is next to impossible without regular and steady rain. The committee was looking for a little guidance when members of the community started submitting designs and ideas to replace their lawns. They asked great questions and were very open to the idea of using plants, groundcovers, and perennials to replace the brown grass, limiting the amount of bark mulch and encouraging homeowners to use rain barrels. It was nice to see the community start to look for – and be open to – new ideas and other alternatives to grass instead of continuing to struggle with something that just won’t work and is not sustainable.

We have a great educational opportunity coming soon! I hope you’ll join us at Canterbury Shaker Village on June 15. This will be a unique event, as well as our first Twilight Meeting in over a year; I hope to see you all there!

Have a great Spring!


President’s Notes May 2021

by David DeJohn, NHCLP
May 2021

Welcome to Spring 2021!

It’s March 21, the first day of spring, as I sit here in the bucket of my Bobcat watching the fire underneath the evaporator boiling sap into syrup and trying to get a jump on these notes. I believe this is our 20th year with our little backyard operation and these quiet moments in the woods never get old.

What some of you may be thinking that does get old is the fact that, yes, I’m back at it again for one more stint as president of NHLA. I can imagine some of you, maybe many of you, rolling your eyes and thinking “OMG is he going to be writing about that dog again and telling us which Grateful Dead songs go great with wall building?” Well… yes… and no. New pack of dogs, way more music to tell you about for all sorts of projects but also, I’m sure, reflecting on 2020 and the beginning of 2021 and the extraordinary roller coaster that it has been.

I hope you all were able to ride it out safely and stayed healthy, and I’m sure you stayed busy. As an industry we were obviously very lucky to be able to continue working, and the demand for our services was surprising. This year looks to be as busy as last year, and it will be interesting to see if it’s as difficult as last season to get materials. We also seem to be heading into another dry spring and possibly another drought, so that’s another issue on the horizon as well.

With that being said, NHLA has managed to get by during all of this, and though we missed out on a lot of our usual educational opportunities last year we are moving ahead this year with getting back to Twilight Meetings, the Golf Tournament, and a new NHLA Field Day scheduled for next year that we are especially excited about. Keep your eyes open for more information about that.

Thank you to Jim Moreau for the great job as president for the last few years and especially during this past year. I, for one, certainly appreciate the work you put in and the good humor you did it with. Thank you also to Pam Moreau for all her work as business manager of NHLA. She has kept us organized throughout this strange year and set up our monthly Zoom meetings so the Board was able to meet and take care of NHLA business without too much trouble.

Well, I guess that’s it for now. Just reintroducing myself as the president for 2021, and to say thank you again to Jim and Pam and all the Board members. Have a great season and be sure to watch for more information for all the upcoming NHLA events!