A Spring Lament

Spring blubs with snow
Originally one of my Presidents’ Notes for the New Hampshire Landscape Association newsletter

At the point as I am writing, I am going thru what you might call a ‘Spring Lament’. Now, I not talking blubs breaking ground or chirping birds or even love in the air, rather it is the bonging kind.

Robin spring


For we are trying to finish up some of our winter projects and we seem to be faced with trying to find items that don’t seem to exist anymore, an example of my spring dilemma, for what I am talking about is looking for a couple tension springs verses compression or extension types. Tension springs are the types that pop open garbage can lids which is what we are trying to do in a modified form. Now you can buy garbage cans that do have them, but try to find just the springs, no one has them and our problem is compounded by the lost of something even more important and that is our local hardware store. At one time, not too long ago, Rochester (where we live) had 3 hardware stores and each had it own flavor and specialty as to what they carried. A few years ago, a ‘Big Box’ home improvement store moved into town and then there was only one local hardware store left. This past year, the second ‘Big Box’ arrived and then there wasn’t any local hardware stores and there isn’t a day that goes by that it isn’t missed. For it is a strange thing about ‘Scale and Space’ for at my small local place they seem to carry so many more of the items that I was looking for, whereas at these huge stores (where you almost start looking for shuttle forklifts to get you from one end to the other) they may carry huge quantities of products, yet seem to lack the quality and the variety, which amazes me. And it is more times than not that I go into one of these big boxes, leave and wind up traveling down to another town where there is still that old fashion hardware store that carries the loose and odd items that I tend to be looking for. How long it will remain in business I’m not sure, but I do try to be a loyal customer, for I know what it will be like once it is gone.


I know it is progress and bigger is better, but there is something missing when you there aren’t any local anything’s’, only national or international chains that will offer only what they think you and I might want or need. Even in our green industry, I think it is better to be loyal and deal with your local nurseries or supply places; that if they don’t have what you might need, they might be willing try to get it for you. For if these places disappear, there is only going to be that many less options and choices and that will be our new lament.


A last, I’m gone off track again, well let’s hope that when it comes time to write again I’m not bonging all over the place looking for that .50 cent spring that isn’t for sale or uncoiling a compression spring, trying to make it into something it’s not. So for now I will enjoy the green (or snow) that is out there, and I hope you are all enjoying it too and having a good season.


5 thoughts on “A Spring Lament

    1. Hi Thanks for comment, I agree about the snow, who knows maybe we meet and the open house. I’ll be manning the NHLA booth there for parts of the time and enjoying tropical greenhouse

  1. Mark says you can find compression springs at http://www.McMaster-carr.com. I agree about the big box stores. There is a reason we can find the things we need infrequently – they want to maximize their profit per square foot vs. serving all of their customers needs so they only stock the things we buy a lot of. .

    1. Thanks, I did manage to find springs, in fact used some from an old garbage can. It more to all the things we had one time knew were available but because of what you mentioned, it not worth them keeping things on hand that they don’t make a lot of money on. So it a limited options but a lot of them and a big box isn’t a local hardware store, but they don’t try to be.

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