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Re: Heronswood


interesting discussion, IMHO- although I didn't really
expect folks to explain why they buy or don't.

I guess I am spoiled.  My local nurseries are
definately more customer friendly.  As an example, if
I am wandering around with a list in my hand of plants
I am looking for, they will fill what they have and
ASK to keep the list. Next season it seems they have
those plants, yet I am not expected to purchase them
as in a special order type thing.

I have a few places I regularly shop- for annuals,
they grow all their own and have acres of greenhouses
to do that with. For natives, they also collect their
own seeds/cuttings and are mostly wholesale, but have
moved into appoints for retail. For all else, there is
that nursery, grows some stuff but others he just
imports and grows on. I try to keep all of these
places in business, but do when I have time, check out
other places.

Donna

--- Cathy Carpenter <cathy.c@insightbb.com> wrote:

> 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  
> gallon container.
> 
> 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.
> >
> > Ahhh.
> >
> > 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  
> > much
> > competition any more now that PW is dominating the
> market, so the  
> > prices
> > 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
> > plants.
> >
> > 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
> >> close.
> >
> > 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  
> > inventory,
> > 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  
> > would
> > have made running Heronswood a much more expensive
> endeavor, so I'm  
> > sure
> > 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  
> > profitable
> > for the county.
> >
> > Chris
> >
> >
>
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