Re: Mail Order Nurseries / One Speaks
I'm sure you're right on almost all counts. I hope your prediction of "I
will say that one day there may only be the big discounters
> remaining, or close to it." doesn't come true in my lifetime.
I have no interest in being some sort of 'plant elitist', but with the
space I have I want to grow interesting things. That doesn't mean
there's no room for tradition - I've got Tawny Daylilies (Hemerocallis
fulva) and Tiger Lilies (Lilium lancifolium), some old fashioned
peonies, hostas w/out names, Black-eyed susans, and purple coneflowers.
These plants appeal to me with their natural, unapologetic vigor. But I
also want more Fringecups (Tellima) and Naval Worts (Omphalodes),
18-inches-at-maturity Lilacs, Colchicum, Hardy Cyclamen, Species
Woodland Peonies, Epimediums, and on and on. For these I must depend on
I know you try very hard, Gene, and it must seem like an uphill battle
at times, but we really need people like you. And I, for one appreciate
you and Munchkin Nursery. It's a tough business, but we're glad you
continue to plug away at it.
> Well, Gang
> You knew I would eventually have to jump in here;-)
> One of the things that gets lost in a conversation among ourselves is we
> are "preaching to the converted". Most on this list are above average on
> plant knowledge. Not as with the general population of gardeners or
> yardeners. Not everyone shares your passion or depth of knowledge.
> When I grow on or order 72 plugs to grow on for 6 months to a year for
> resale, I need a market for same. If I do not sell them I go out of
> business. There is a balance in all this and it is a fine line. If I get too
> far ahead of the curve I "eat the plants". Too far behind and "everyone"
> already has one. Also I must build a customer base that wants the rare,
> unusual, or different from their neighbors. ... and will purchase a plant
> that is going to cost them a bit extra. Most gardeners want what they have
> seen elsewhere. Nothing wrong with that, unless you are among the "few".
> I spend a tremendous amount of time educating gardeners hoping that they
> may one day become a customer. Articles in magazines, on my web site,
> newspapers, etc. Slide presentations and lectures each month all over the
> place. All these email lists each day, 7 days a week. One on one with
> customers here. My catalog which I must write and publish each year. And so
> Will you notice and purchase from me??? Odds say you will not. The
> majority of gardeners will purchase what they know where they live ( and
> most likely from a very large discount store). Nothing wrong there or "bad",
> just reality. We live on a very thin slice of the gardening pie here.
> But, I will say that one day there may only be the big discounters
> remaining, or close to it. No one to ask questions of, no one to pass out
> printed information or maintain a web site where you can check up on a
> plant. Just here it is, and it will be tiny and poorly cared for. Shoppers
> will have gotten what they purchased over the years.
> Gene E. Bush
> Munchkin Nursery & Gardens, llc
> Zone 6/5 Southern Indiana
> ----- Original Message -----
> > Well, Jim, as others have said; depends a lot on where you are and
> > what plants you're interested in. I've ordered plants via mail for
> > 30 years because I wanted something I couldn't otherwise get. Yes,
> > if you can find what you want locally in a nice large pot, you're
> > ahead of the game, but even around here, where more and more is
> > becoming available, the really choice and rare stuff is only going to
> > be found via mail.
> > IMO we need to support our mailorder nurseries. Many of them are the
> > last remnants of true nurseries where they propagate and grow the
> > plants they sell. Most garden centers and large local nurseries
> > around here buy in their plants; don't grow a thing; never propagate
> > at all. The people selling don't know much about plants, even the
> > ones they're selling. The knowledge and years of hands on experience
> > in growing and propagating rare and difficult or unusual plants rest
> > with our *good* mailorder nurseries.
> > Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
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