Unity’s March 2021 Newsletter

Unity Landscape Design/Build
Unlike last year, this February actually brought us some real winter weather. Despite the ice and snow, Unity Landscape Design/Build has been hard at work completing a large-scale hardscape project in collaboration with Lindstrom Excavating. The South Main Street Project is a large undertaking in downtown Smyrna, Delaware that included the installation of new sidewalks in a five-mile block from South Main Street to Mill Street.

Our crews have been on site for the past four weeks, installing a layer of sand followed by 140 cubes of brick pavers – a total of nearly 70,000 bricks! The next time you are in the downtown Smyrna area, stop by and see the improvements.

In the coming weeks, Unity Landscape will be teaming up with Delmarva RC&D on a partnership for several restoration projects around the Mid-Shore region. The project has been organized and funded by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and includes a variety of stormwater ditch retrofits, bio-retention area improvements, plantings, and meadow establishment projects throughout the Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot County region. We will begin with the roadside ditch retrofits where we will remove the compacted native soils to widen and deepen the ditch and replace with planting media that is porous and allows for better filtration such as bio-retention mix or wood chips depending on the location. Once the roadside ditch renovations are completed and the ditches have been converted into bioswales, phase 2, or the planting phase, begins. This entails the installation of a variety of native tree and shrub species throughout the swales, meadows, and other planting projects included in this round of restoration. Stay tuned for project updates once we begin.

Many projects have been on hold while we wait for more conducive weather. The outlook looks good for early March, so we hope to quickly get back in the swing of things. Work has been piling up, and our crews and equipment are all ready to go.
We have a dynamic team here at Unity and are excited to welcome Robin Hanway, Licensed Landscape Architect, to the Unity Landscape Design/Build team. Robin graduated from the University of Virginia with a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture. In her spare time Robin enjoys kayaking, fishing, gardening, and watercolor painting. With her sunny disposition and vast design knowledge, she will be a wonderful addition to our team.
Lucas Lees and Sandy Appel
Unity Landscape Design/Build
Unity Church Hill Nursery
Feeling a bit stir-crazy after the past few weeks of cold, gray, icy weather? This time of year, I’m extremely appreciative to be able to take advantage of a warm, sunny, spring-like day to work outside. It is exciting to see the first signs of plants waking up from their winter nap. It gives one hope. Need some plant therapy of your own? We invite you to take advantage of the next warm, sunny day to come out and take a stroll around Unity.
When the weather was not so favorable to being outside a few weeks ago, we
 were busy inside at our desks looking for plant material, putting together our Spring orders, and receiving inventory. We have fruit trees such as peaches, apples, and figs, plus blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and horseradish lined up for mid- to late-March arrival. We have Seed Savers’ Exchange seed packets now in stock. Most are varieties that you may recognize as many are favorites that I’ve grown and continue to grow here at Unity plus some new items that looked fun. We’ve also been researching and putting together our Spring tree and shrub orders. The surge of interest in home/landscape improvement this past year left many growers short on stock which has made it more challenging than ever to find specific plant material, so we are widening our search area. If you have a special request, please give us a call or shoot us an email. In Spring, we bring in larger orders and source from growers who are located a little further away and who may grow species or cultivars that may be hard to find around here. We’ve also stocked up on bagged and bulk material (mulch, topsoil, leafgro, compost, and potting mix to name a few items) for all of your gardening and outdoor projects. Soon, we will be moving our current inventory of plant material back outside to make room for new herb and vegetable plants and spring and summer annuals inside our hoop house. Just sitting here writing this, it is hard not to get excited for the coming season.

March 20th will be our annual “Spring Opening” when we welcome Spring and a new growing season and resume Saturday hours (open 8am to 4pm). To celebrate, we will be offering the opportunity to earn double points. In case you haven’t heard yet, we now have a customer loyalty rewards program. Normally, for every dollar spent, you earn a point. Once you’ve earned 100 points, you are eligible to receive $2 off your next purchase. On Saturday, the 20th, you’ll earn two points for every dollar spent.
On March 27th, we plan to return to the Chestertown Farmers’ Market with herb and vegetable plants and fresh Spring crops such as lettuce, carrots, radishes, and baby bok choy. Sarah has been busy at work behind the scenes: seeding in the greenhouse, turning over beds in our high tunnels and reseeding them for early Spring crops. We also will be trialing an online ordering system for our Unity-grown produce. Stay tuned--I will send out a link to our new online store in the next few days. We've been looking for ways to streamline sales at the nursery, so we are hoping this will make it easier for you to shop our produce.

The greenhouse is filling up quickly. Alongside kale and broccoli seedlings, we have asclepias tuberosa, panicum virgatum and more. I’ve been fitting in time in the greenhouse to seed for our perennial and grass landscape plugs between working on lining up supplies for our native tree and shrub production and doing research on propagation, pruning, and more. So much to learn and so little time!

Theresa Mycek, Plant Production Manager
Unity Church Hill Nursery

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