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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.
zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast/ West Houston
In a message dated 8/14/2008 12:56:43 AM Central Daylight Time,  
dfranzma@pacbell.net writes:

Hi  Noreen
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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