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Re: todays experience


> From: Donna  <justme@prairieinet.net>
> It was from a place called Plant Delights. I felt they were kind of
> expensive, still do, but the variety they offer is something not
> available here. I am still amazed they were sent in pots. I did
have to
> browse a tad and see if it was just a new plug and surprised to see
they
> were established plants in the pots. Maybe cause I waited so long
to get
> them delivered.
----------

Well,  Donna, you picked a good nursery for a first order.  Tony's
one of the best in the business.  He's gotten quite expensive these
days IMO, but he sends out good plants that are established and if
that's not what you get, you need to tell him so.  I'm  a Tony Avent
fan:-)  His nursery funds his botanical garden, which is pretty durn
fabulous.  He's said his goal is to grow every plant that can be
grown in his climate and I think he's well on the way.  He does list
a lot of unusual plants.  Just wish his prices and shipping had not
risen quite as much as they have in the past couple of years.  But,
also, he makes no bones about the nursery being a business who's
objective is making a profit - absolutely nothing wrong with that,
either.  His book, "So You Want To Start A Nursery' was just
published by Timber Press a few months ago.  Highly recommended for
anybody thinking along those lines.  He told me it's even being used
as a text book by some universities!  

I think you'll find that all the good mailorder nurseries send out
established plants.  They are often small because shipping is so durn
high these days, but their root systems ought to be well developed. 
Some nurseries ship in the growing pots and some, particularly with
larger plants, remove the pots and some of the potting soil to save
on weight for shipping.  If they do that, then the rootballs are well
wrapped.  

A good mailorder nursery tells you what size plants they are
shipping.  Of course, size also has to do with the plant; some plants
aren't big to start with and some are.

I've been buying plants mailorder for nearly 30 years; it's really
the only way to get a lot of things which local establishments don't
find it profitable to sell for a wide variety of reasons seldom
having to do with whether the plant grows well locally.  Most local
places that do not grow their own buy wholesale from a limited number
of growers who grow the most 'popular' and easy to grow plants -
their object is making money and not offering unusual plants for the
discerning gardener:-)

So support our marvelous mailorder nurseries - they are the people
who are growing plants, often as very small operations, who know the
plants they grow and propagate them.  Well, some are marvelous and
some, like Kitty's recent experience, are not so marvelous - they may
or may not be able to get their act in gear, but I agree with Kitty,
one order is enough if they are going to handle it the way hers was
handled.  But, I think you shouldn't balk at giving the better ones a
try.  Just order the minimum on your first order to see what they
ship.  

Tho' shipping from the west cost is high, I have been really pleased
with what I've gotten from Heronswood, Collector's Nursery and
Digging Dog Nursery...check them out.  I got my first order from Lazy
S'S and am pleased with their plants as well, plus Debby has been
fantastic about keeping me abreast of progress on one of the Paris I
ordered who was being recalcitrant about waking up....it just got
here today with nice fat nose showing above soil.

And, of course, do not forget our own Gene Blake's Munchkin Nursery -
he's not all that far away from you so if it grows for him, it's
likely to grow for you.

So many nurseries; so many plants; not enough $$$.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
mtalt@hort.net
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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