Who's Woods These Are.....
Our photos usually sit in the nest over at Flickr( http://www.flickr.com/photos/mustangrolling/539840086/ ) until they're ready to hatch. We found this nice comment on one today: Momma Kass says: 'A potted garden in a forest. Lovely!'. Our thoughts entirely.
It is quite literally an enchanted forest in which every patch of open ground is studded with plants in pots of all types. It seems that any planting which will grow in this place is growing in some pot somewhere. It may seem odd to have potted plants in a thickly wooded forest, something on the order of coals to Newcastle, but this happens to be a nursery.
Who's woods these are,
we think we know,
because the signs tell us so.
Signs leading down a tiny twisting road inform one that they have entered Hollow Tree Nursery. The nursery well off the beaten path and is listed as being in Ridgeville, but it's really more in the Lebanon Community just off Hwy 176. You won't get here following the signs to Ridgeville. You must first take the Jedberg East exit off of I-26 then go left on Hwy 176 and find Cypress Campground Road, SC Secondary Road #32. You run down a mile or three and look carefully on your left for the right path. One path is PRIVATE the next is for the rest of the world to use. Many little signs explain life in this part of the woods.
There seems to be no office, no showroom, no check in or out, but at some point one lady or another will emerge and show you where to park. They will ask what you're after then disappear on foot or in a golf cart and shortly produce the plant you want or some worthwhile variation. They are courteous, clear and to the point.
The numerous warnings signs and rules lists suggest that one too many city slickers have come to grief of one sort or another by blunder or incaution. These measures seem designed to protect people from the hazards of nature and the plants from people. The initial impression is one of advance knuckle wrapping, but you soon realize that common sense is being served. Some people aren't alert to the danger of snakes, spiders or other creatures unwilling to be disturbed. Even more folks think nothing of crushing anything underfoot and wandering into any space with interests them. This is, after all, Hollow Tree's land and business which they are conducting in a manner which they see fit. The didn't beg us to come and they are not begging us to stay. The also seem to want peace and order on their land which seems entirely reasonable and refreshing.
At some point in the not too distant past, merchants and entertainment providers developed an obsequious posture toward the customer who is not only always right, but now is held harmless from any and all responsibility. Bring your screaming kids into the restaurant, break or spill anything you please in the grocery store, blab loudly on your cell phone anywhere and be as rude as you like in the process. There is no absurd or dishonest claim to which we will not surrender. We will lay prostrate before the customer's every whim, insult, assault and dishonesty and will give in at every opportunity to any tyranny you care to visit upon us.
We did a little research and found Hollow Tree on a list of unregistered nurseries, a list of the unlisted if you will. The State of South Carolina has gone to the trouble of generating a list of nurseries which don't seem to want to register with the state. We don't blame them. We don't like registration of things in general. We wish that the we didn't have to register the Mustang or pay the property taxes which registration allows us to do. The people of S.C. don't like to register things either. We don't have to register firearms in our state so why would we have to register a nursery? It's not as if they're making opium or cloning pug dogs out there. There may be more to this, but at first glance it suggests independence and integrity. Who knows how many backsides must be kissed in order to be registered or how many inspecting hacks must be allowed to ransack the place at will ?
They grow everything except Lemmings at Hollow Tree. They seem to live on their own terms, a trait which we deeply respect. Their part of the woods is distinctly different from the modern, hectic world and is a place of peace into which we are pleased to be allowed.