Re: succulents/ nurseries
No offense at all, David. I find it interesting, the significant differences
around the country, as well as opinions, etc. I merely stated what I have
found here. People usually tend to grow what is easiest, and go to the places
that are cheapest. I suppose that if the box stores here would keep their
garden sections open year round and offer the plants that actually do well
here,other than annuals, then they too might put the smaller nurseries out of
business. But since they start their season way after everyone has already
purchased their plants for spring, and close way before everyone starts getting
the mulch and necessities for fall, the local nurseries stay in business.
The slowest months here are Dec/Jan and July/Aug, but the nurseries are open
year round. Nurseries here have created interesting ways to bring in
customers during these times too, by having huge sales and parties that they
host.....these have proven to be quite profitable and bring in new customers as
well.....since these are the times when the box stores have minimal inventory if
any for gardening.
Another example.....Lilypons nursery was the only watergarden nursery in the
area. People would come by the busloads from other cities, even States to
shop there, and attend their annual festival. As watergardening took off, and
purchasing over the internet became popular.....instead of being
competitive, they kept to their old ways. The long time managers quit after trying
repeatedly to get the owners to try new things that were working and opened their
own small water garden nursery. The owners brought in managers from up
north, ran the place the way they would up north...bringing in truck loads of
de-icers and other winter items in the fall already, when temps were still in
the 90's, etc. Within a year or so they closed not only their California
location but also the Houston location. The former managers place is now more
than tripled in size, they have become the grower for the area, and supply
many nurseries with plants, etc. They have festivals through out the year, not
during the hottest month of the year, and are thriving. The box stores on
the other hand have introduced water plants to their inventory in recent years,
but brought in plants that only grow in cooler zones, and only hardy water
lilies which cannot take our heat.......as well as water plants that are
illegal in the State of Texas to own, transport or sell. Totally clueless.
I grow a few hibiscus, but am not into that particular plant as I am the
bromeliads, orchids, caudiciforms, etc. Not that one is better than another,
but there again, I think it depends geographically. As Jim stated, for
someone in zone 9 and 10 the hibiscus, as well as the bougainvillas, are often not
regarded as highly because they are overused as landscape plants. Like I
said, I'm not that knowledgeable about Hibiscus, I'm just going by what I've
seen and heard from friends in the Hibiscus society and having attended the
annual shows here, etc. Hybridizing among hibiscus growers is relatively new
compared to other plants, thus still worthwhile (and fun) because there are not
many species hibiscus that are still being discovered, and the market hasn't
been overly saturated with Hibiscus varieties. Hibiscus are, as you
mentioned, popular in cooler climates all over the world, where they are relatively
easier/less costly to purchase and grow, as well as more rapidly rewarding
with blooms in a shorter growing season than a bromeliad, orchid, or rare
tropical fruit might be. Not that one plant is better than another......it's just
a matter of geographics.
Texas Gulf Coast/ West Houston
In a message dated 8/14/2008 12:56:43 AM Central Daylight Time,
Hope I didn't offend with the "people with money" thing. Wasn't
trying to. But here we now have two private nurseries left and all of the
private nurseries are hurting unless they specialize and this in a city of
160,000 people. It's a shame I think because you could get real help at
nurseries which you typically can't get in the big box stores...unless you
lucky enough to find Zem in one of them.
Funny what you said about hybridizers
because again bringing up the hibs almost all of the hib hybridizers do it
fun rather than profit but that could be because they are a smaller "thing"
and they haven't had the opportunity to get big money like they do with roses
and other more popular plants.
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