I grow some of my own annuals, but have limited grow light space. I
check my local stores - one grows many of its annuals - but usually
find that as far as perennials are concerned, they don't have the
species/varieties I'm looking for . The other issue is that when I
look for a plant, it is not just 'one' -- I generally want 3 - 6.
Then price does become an issue for me (size is less so - plants
grow). Shrubs are a whole other story. I look for healthy, small
plants that will more easily adapt to my location. Most of my local
nurseries carry the same varieties, and they insist on selling me a
large plant. I understand that most homeowners want something well on
the way to maturity, but I want an adaptable plant that I don't have
to cut a wide swath through tree roots to plant. Have never been
successful in convincing a nursery to sell me a shrub in less than a
Cathy, west central IL, z5b
On Jun 1, 2006, at 12:19 PM, Christopher P. Lindsey wrote:
>> Chris- your 5 flats of annuals are normally purchased
>> at a big box store.. around here anyways, the smaller
>> places that have the unusual perennial plants also
>> have annuals that are a tad better (different
>> varieties/colors of the standard ones) but cost more.
>> By supporting their other plants, it helps them get
>> thru the year and on to the next.
> Part of it is that I don't feel any real loyalty to the only nursery
> around me selling annuals: Prairie Gardens. They've been very
> unfriendly to me and a hort professor that I know when we wanted
> to photograph plant leaves and buds for classroom use, so I say
> screw 'em. :)
> I do buy some perennials from them when they have interesting stuff,
> but they're not my primary source.
> The other reason that I have is that I don't believe in supporting
> middleman nurseries.
> If a nursery is getting plants from the same place as a big box
> store, they deserve to lose my business. They can't compete and
> they're not offering anything new. If they grew their own plants,
> I'd probably buy some (I do that for some nurseries in Chicago).
> But when they get a truckload in the spring and just lay them out
> like Osco and Walgreens do, what's the benefit?
> Then they throw in 'specialty annuals' from Proven Winners that cost
> an arm and a leg because they're marketed through PW. There's not
> competition any more now that PW is dominating the market, so the
> can go way up. Now if I want a dark red coleus I have to pay $5/pot
> because they're not going to carry 'regular' packs of the same color
> I found a hardware store here in town that gets their stuff delivered
> from Michigan. Yes, they're a middleman, but they've adjusted their
> prices to compete. This place in Michigan has their own line that
> competes with PW, but at a much lower cost. I purchased 10 extremely
> healthy sweet potato vines (light green and dark, but not named
> cultivars) for $1.59 each less a 15% discount for being a U of I
> employee. I also picked up four heliotropes for $2.59 each with the
> same discount -- much less than I could find anywhere else. And, in
> a way, I'm still helping the little guy out...
>> Although I am not familiar with Heronswood's local
>> operation, I am wondering if the 'locals' supported it
>> enough. Did they just drop in to view the gardens or
>> actually put their money there too... since the profit
>> end was mailorder- which can be done from anywhere-
>> the bottom line profits caused the nursery end to
> Heronswood wasn't really open to the public except by appointment or
> on special days like their Hellebore Open or Hydrangea Open. The fact
> that they were only accessible by ferry made things more complicated.
> What I don't understand is why Burpee didn't just downsize Heronswood
> and treat them more as an R&D facility to feed new products into the
> main Burpee line. Right now it sounds like they're raping the
> but there obviously won't be an influx of new blood.
> I do know that there were other cost issues as well, but I don't think
> I can go into details. Certain ordinances and county stubborness
> have made running Heronswood a much more expensive endeavor, so I'm
> that played a big part.
> It's ironic because Heronswood was such as strong supporter and
> contributor to the community. They were very charitable and
> for the county.
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