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Re: Starting a nursery

I've discovered that what was popular last year, and can't be found at the
nursery (example Hydrangea 'Endless Summer' 2 seasons ago) is EVERYWHERE by
the next season and no one wants it. 

The first year I did my nursery everyone wanted Verbena 'Homestead Purple.'
So, on the advice of one of my retail nursery owners I ordered a bunch of
plugs the next spring. I could barely give it away. I know people see
things in Southern Living Magazine (here especially) and fly out to the
nurseries to get it. By the next year they're looking for something else

So, my advice would be to start keeping up with what's named most popular,
or best plant of the year, etc. Because next spring people will be looking
for it if it's been mentioned in a magazine. 

Isn't there a Mid-West Living magazine?

Andrea H
Beaufort, SC

> [Original Message]
> From: kmrsy@netzero.net <kmrsy@netzero.net>
> To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
> Date: 8/16/2005 11:55:44 PM
> Subject: Re: [CHAT] Starting a nursery
> Oh Chris, there is no real way of telling. We brought in 25
> Schizophragma hydranginoides 'Moonlight' in 2003 and still have half of
> them. We thought they'd sell very well, especially at only $8 (I just
> saw that Gardeners Supply is selling it for $24.) Then there was the
> Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Purpurea'. I liked it and brought in 32 of them.
> They looked great, but they just sat there, couldn't seem to get anyone
> interested. I could only stay for about half the sale, had to go back to
> work. When I did inventory the next day, they were all gone.
> Then there's the chicken/egg thing. Who is your market? How will you
> reach them? How many customers will you have? If you knew, you might be
> able to guess better. But you won't be able to that until they see what
> you have to offer.
> Someone earlier mentioned stating Limited qtys available. That's good,
> but you should really stay on top of responding to folks quickly if
> their order comes in after you've sold out. Offer a substitute. Offer to
> send it next year. Offer a discount on something else. Or cheerfully and
> quickly send a refund.
> Kitty
> -- "Christopher P. Lindsey" <lindsey@mallorn.com> wrote:
> > In general you're locked into the way the wholesaler sells them. Walters
> > likes 25s and some 20s, while other suppliers sell in 16s or 32s...or
> > whatever fits the plastics they use. Bluestone gives price breaks in
> > 10cent increments. One price for 6, another at 18 and another at 36.
> > That's one nice thing about Sunshine. Yes, he sells in 100s, but you can
> > make up that 100 any way you want - 6 of this and 30 of that.
> But what I mean is, how many should I have?  If someone sells them in 
> groups of 6, should I only carry 6?  What's considered normal inventory
> for a new mailorder nursery?
> For example, I only have 4 Aronia prunifolium right now.  Is it worth 
> getting more?  I think it's a great landscape plant, but I obviously
> don't want to end up stuck with more expensive inventory.  And only
> 10 Geranium 'Tiny Monster'.
> I know it's a guessing game, but I'm trying to figure out the upper and
> lower limits.  Is a successful plant going to sell 12?  24?  I know that
> I won't sell more than 12 Dennstaedtia punctilobula or 6 Eupatorium 
> purpureum 'Little Joe' because they're not particularly mainstream right
> now, but what about the hottest new Tricyrtis?
> Or am I wrong?  Will I sell lots of those plants that I mentioned?
> Chris
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