This week I'll post reviews on the last four online nursery sources I have made purchases with this Spring.
If you're unfamiliar with my reviews or how I am grading each merchant, please feel free to check out the link at the end of this post(highlighted in blue).
To this point I have completed reviews for:
Bloom River Gardens
Ebay Merchant: Bonzai Bob
Ebay Merchant: Plantspluspines
Stanley and Sons
Coming this week are reviews for:
Cloud Mountain Farms
Singing Tree Nursery (conifers and heaths)
Girard Nursery(later this week - maybe early next week)
WHISTLING GARDENS Ltd.
Whistling gardens is a 56-acre piece of land in Ontario, Canada covered with rare conifers and other trees and plants. Darren Heimbecker is the owner and their nursery stock covers an extensive range of trees and over 1,000 different conifers.
Whistling gardens has an impressive catalog. Plants range from the rare to the unheard of with a large variety of sizes amongst them offered as well. Darren told me that the largest plants he can realistically ship are 5 gallon sized, but for the price, there is certainly some rationale to collectors living close enough to making a visit with a wad of cash and a moving van. Some of the larger stock are 10, 15, and 20 gallon plants, probably 10+ years old or more. Also, for the harcore collector, Whistling gardens offers 'liners' which are smaller plants, usually 1 or 2 year grafts of some very hard to find varieties for sale as well. If you've 'Gotta have' a particular plant, this may be a good route for you.
Stock Quality/Size: ***
Stock size is listed pretty descriptively in the catalog, listing 'age' for most plants offered. I was pleased with the size and quality of the plants I received. The 5 gallon tree I ordered(listed below) was a very nice sized plant for less then $50 U.S.
Customer Service/General experience: ****
Darren was both patient and helpful during the order process. The plants had to undergo a 'customs' check which required a before-shipping check for pests, I presume. This cost about $10 U.S. but in an order of a few hundred, the price is insignifigant. Shipping overall was actually pretty quick, about a week from Canada to the West coast U.S. The plants were sent 'partially bare-root' which I found to be fine considering it is still winter/early spring and the plants are dormant. It helped save on shipping which was also quite reasonable.
Whistling gardens has very affordable prices - and even better - there is an immediate 20-25% knockdown of the price from U.S. to Canadian currency. The liners came down to about $10-12 each and most gallons were very inexpensive as well.
Overall, Whistling gardens is a great find. A source that has both extremely rare conifers rarely seen elsewhere and at a very affordable price. At a minimum, check out their catalogs, you'll probably find yourself placing an order soon after!
Picea omorika x pungens 'Kosteri' 5-Gal ~$50 U.S.
A nice enough plant that I gave it the honor of my center circle.
Picea abies Ohlendorfii Broom 3-Gal ~$28 U.S.
An example of a few of the 1-gallon and 'liner' sized plants.
CLOUD MOUNTAIN FARM
Cloud Mountain Farms is a family owned nursery out of the NW part of Washington state. With 20 acres of nursery lands, they started with apple trees thirty years ago and have now extended into other areas, including conifers.
Cloudmountain has a pretty nice selection of conifers, with heavy inventories of dwarf and miniature conifers. The quirk is that more then half of their conifers are strangely not offered online. You might expect larger, full-sized uprights to be excluded from online purchases, but there are also miniatures also listed as 'in-person' only. Even more curious is since my purchase a few months ago, one of the plants I purchased online is no longer listed as available for online orders - it's now listed as 'nursery only'.
Stock size/quality: ****
I found the stock size to be very impressive, on par with some of the best I've seen amongst online nurseries. The Cedrus atlantica 'Uwe' that I ordered was a nice full plant, at least four or five years old. I also found the plants to be very healthy and well grown. A definite plus.
Customer service/General experience: ****
I only made one order with Cloudmountain farm, but their packaging, shipping and business acumen was great.
While some plants were very large, for a very reasonable price, I paid a small randsom for the Cedrus atlantica 'Uwe' that I coveted. For it's size, I wasn't disappointed, but in this economy, or any other for that matter, most people may balk at spending upwards of $90 on a 1-gallon plant.
Cloud Mountain Farm is another good option for collectors or garden enthusiasts looking to pepper their landscape with some cool plants.
Abies procera 'Hupp Compact' $35
Cedrus atlantica 'Uwe' $88
Cedrus deodara 'Feelin Blue' $20
Tsuga mertensiana 'Bump's Blue' $20
I'll give a small review for Singing Tree garden later this week(I only ordered one conifer and a half dozen heaths), and Girard Nursery as soon as the order arrives.
Below are also links to the previous review threads.
Hope this was helpful to you! Also feel free to add input here or your own reviews. I'm sure people would love to hear what you've found out there.
Here is a link that might be useful: Original review thread
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