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marthacr

support your local independent nurseries

marthacr
13 years ago

I am all for saving money, as much as anyone else. But please, this gardening season, remember your local independent nurseries. You know the one that has the really interesting, HEALTHY plants that you don't have to baby along!

Try to make an effort to buy from them to keep them in business. It would be a real shame if the only place to buy plants after the little guys go out of business, is the big box stores! If you plant from seed, buy some seed and fertilizer there!

Martha

Comments (44)

  • token28001
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We don't have a good local nursery here. We have a guy that sells shrubs and container plants, but no annuals, no soil, no accouterments. There's another that sells only holly. And another that sells only veggie plants which I grow from seeds.

    But I agree. I would rather shop a real nursery. My choices just happen to be limited.

  • gldno1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I do have a local nursery and I love her and the nursery.

    I bought lots of shrubs for the new front border and paid probably half what they would cost from anyplace else. Her prices are very reasonable. Mostly I buy perennials, shrubs, and clems..and geraniums for Mother's Day. I do most others from seed. She does carry potting soil which I will buy if I need more.

    I agree they are going to have a struggle along with most small businesses.

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  • michelle_zone4
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have a wonderful little farm nursery a few miles from our farm. She has such a great variety.

  • lynnencfan
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I echo the sentiment - support your local growers. We are very fortunate to live within 20 mins of our Farmers Market located up in Raleigh NC. It has well over 30 vendors of local growers with plants not to mention all the vendors with the home grown veggies. They get a good chunck of my change on a regular basis. .......

    Lynne

  • schoolhouse_gw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have four local nurseries that I support and spend a fair amount of money in each every year. My neighbor and I call ourselves "flower buddies", and as soon as the season begins, we go together and start making our rounds. However, I've been know to jump the gun on her and visit them all at least once before she does! So far, the nurseries have appeared to be doing well; but who knows what this year will bring. We lost another nursery about six years ago but that was because the owner wished to retire.

    For shrubs or trees though, unless it's something special, I browse the big box stores on account of the good prices.
    For instance, the local RKO (Rural King of Ohio) had 2 -2.5'
    Emerald Green Arborvitae for $5.49 ea. I bought 10 (!) because of the good price, the shrubs look healthy and I need to get a privacy screen started this year.

  • nckvilledudes
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Like some of the other posters here I find myself not having local independent nurseries that sell what I am looking for. I also think that we should think about those independent mail order nurseries and catalogs and purchase from them when we can't find what we want locally. They are mom and pop business just like the local ones.

  • zigzag
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I've always subscribed to the buy local from the independents mantra. Lots of my dollars to them (one in particular) and NONE to the big boxes.

    But .... I can't say that I've always had good results - have had more than a few (of my chosen) independent nursery purchased plants go down on me.

    So, this year I will stick with the independent nurseries/garden centers, but I'm widening my scope and including some venues I've heard about, but never visited.

    Will still support the independents, just different independents. No BIG BOXES for anything living .... no sirree!

  • Eduarda
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I mostly buy from local garden centres and hardly anything from the big malls - also because most of the time they have nothing that interest me or they keep it in such poor condition I don't bother to buy from them. But that doesn't say we are supporting a local business, other than the people who are there to service the public. I don't know about the US, but most of the plants in good garden centres in Portugal come from either Spain or Italy, nothing is produced here. The one I buy more often from has a truck coming from Italy twice a week to deliver the goods. That is true for most of the garden centres I know of here. So, in the end, you may be saving the work posts of the ones behind the counter, but the real business is in some other country. Roses I import bare root from England, as I can't find anything that I want here. Yes, globalization is alive even for the garden flowers.

    Eduarda

  • schoolhouse_gw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    All our indep.nurseries carry good stock and a great variety. One in particular has something new almost every year and not just two variety of anenome, but three or four, ect. They give you a card and punch it every time you make a purchase and after the card fills up you get a free perennial of your choice. Carry lots of garden tools, pots/urns, some nice statuary, too.

    All of these places are within a half hour from me, too!

  • midnightsmum (Z4, ON)
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, I must say that my loyalty is local, but also, mostly to my garden and my pocketbook. Firstly, I will search for local garden sales.....church sales, etc. Secondly, I will hope that the 'cool' plants get shipped here, cause it's way too expensive to order them in.

    Nancy.

  • luckygal
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Having owned a small business I know the importance of shopping locally. Even here in the back-woods we have several independent, and good, nurseries within a half hour's drive. We always go on Mother's Day as they give every Mother a free plant with their purchase! There are also several small growers at the weekly farmers' market. I buy at all of them but prefer the prices at charity and yard sales but there is not as much variety there of course. So I usually find something at each one.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    In Austin Texas , we are so lucky to have the nurseries that we do have. They are fantastic. The big box stores never get my money. It did not look like the nurseries were suffering last Friday. I think many people are gardening because they want food and the comfort of gardening helps us with the stress about uncertainty of our jobs. They have always gotten a large percentage of my money. I trade with you guys but it doesn't mean that I am able to pass them by on a warm, COLD,dry or wet spring day.

  • token28001
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm with Nancy. Even if we had a local nursery, the bottom line is that my money is going to be spent where I can get the most value.

    The guy that sells trees and shrubs charges $30 for a 3 gallon shrub. I can get the same shrub at one of the box stores for half that in most cases. Both started as cuttings from the same wholesale nursery.

    Within 1 hour of me, Metrolina Greenhouses and Rockwell Farms grows hundreds of thousands of plants each year. They both employ hundreds of people. So the way I see it, shopping at big boxes supports more than just a couple of Mom & Pops.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    As Miguel (nckvilledudes) points out frequently, what works in one garden doesn't necessarily translate to the same success in every other. The same with plant availability - some areas are very fortunate to offer a lot of independent nurseries and garden centers, others have a scarcity of them. I live in an area that not only has an overabundance of small, independent garden centers but we have scores of wholesale growers within easy travel distance as well. So there is never a question in my mind as to patronizing the independents - mail order is reserved for only those unusual plants you cannot obtain locally (and there's not very many of those!). Besides, I've been closely aligned with both the local retail nursery industry as well as the wholesalers for years so my loyalty and patronage will always go them first.

    I'd have to think the same regional variability would relate as well to the box stores. And no doubt they fill a need where retail garden centers are scarce. Here, box stores carry only the most basic and ordinary of plants. And they don't obtain them from any local growers (most local growers refuse to sell to them, for various reasons). And while prices may be good - sometimes very good - there is a distinct play off with quality. Aftercare is minimal, containered trees and shrubs are typically potbound with congested root systems and often display ill-advised pruning. But now and again, especially immediately after a delivery (like within the day), one can sometimes find something of quality. But I tend not to shop the big boxes much anyway regardless of product - even in these situations, I tend to frequent the smaller, "mom and pop" hardware stores or groceries. I hate to see any small independent business fail simply because of the proliferation of the Walmarts, Home Depots and Lowe's of the world.

    One thing to keep in mind when considering whether to frequent these types of stores, aside from whatever effciency and availability they might offer, is that these are mass merchandizers - they are NOT nurseries, not primarily plant-oriented, seldom have any kind of plant knowledgeable staffing and sell plants and plant-related items as loss leaders, making up their profits simply from volumes and high ticket items with larger mark-ups. For these reasons alone, I avoid them.

    Dollars don't come any easier to me than they do to anyone else and in this economy I also watch every penny. But I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for and I am always willing to pay for quality. For that reason alone I prefer to shop the independents.

  • sierra_z2b
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Luckygal, I have to question about many local nurseries? where??? What did I miss?

    We have one and they had 3 stores....but closed one already. That particular store, gets very little of my business.....why? Because they were rude and not very knowledgeable....and this was for many years. When the box stores came in offering plants....people have chosen to shop there...they don't have to deal with rude staff. Yes I think the owner of this store knows a lot about plants, but he isn't there all the time....and he says things to make sales. Also the plants are not as healthy and at times full of bugs.

    Last year I was looking for an Emily Carr rose...they had 2 of these...took over an hour for the staff to find them. Neither looked particularly healthy, had yellowing leaves and full of spit bugs. I was told that this was a healthy plant and that the bugs would fall off once in my garden and the rose would be happy...and this was from the manager. Harumph!!!! Needless to say I went out of town and got a beautiful healthy rose, double the size and half the price.

    There is the greenhouses that sells fushias....but they were also not very bright a couple of years ago. I took one of my big hanging planters in to have them plant it up early because I didn't have the room for this big planter till plant out time. I specifically stated I didn't want a couple kinds of plants in this planter and that I wanted the top and sides planted. When I went to pick it up at plant out time, expecting a huge full planter.....they brought out my basket with only a few punny plants in the top....and they were the ones I said I didn't want. They planted up the sides while I was waiting. This was a huge dissappointment for me......I could have done this myself. I never took my planter back, just plant it myself now. Also this greenhouse has 2 different size pots of fushsias. I buy 6 pots every year....I pick 3 big and 3 small. The older lady in there insisted that they were all big one year. I knew for a fact that they were NOT. I specifically picked 3 large and 3 small. She put her hand on the bottom of the pots and told me, she could just tell by putting her hand there.....she charged me for 6 large pots. I never bought 6 fuchsias there again. I didn't even go to that one last year. I may go buy a single fuchsia there....but they will never get my full business back again.

    We also have a few greenhouses that pop up in the spring for a short while...but who knows where they get their plants from....probably the lower mainland...which I don't consider local. Some of them also get their plants from the fuchsia greenhouses.

    There is a great independant nursery about one and a half hours from here...very knowledgeable and helpful. I shop there a lot.

    I buy a lot of roots and bulbs at Costco in the bags....and some potted plants, shubs and roses at Walmart. I watch for them, when they first come in...they are in pretty good shape then. I'm with Nancy and Tom, more plants for less money.

    Sierra

  • DYH
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    There are a lot of independent nurseries near me. I have shopped all of them, but I seem to always have bad luck with plants from one independent that I shall not name.

    As for big box stores - You see, Lowe's Hardware IS LOCAL. It is a North Carolina hardware store! I buy from Lowe's all the time (appliances, hardware and even plants). The plants that I see at Lowe's are grown by NORTH CAROLINA wholesale nurseries.

    Cameron

  • schoolhouse_gw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Just to make it clear, I'm not saying I never buy perennials from Lowes, because if they have a good deal on something I'll try it and their fall clearance sales are usually too good to ignore.

  • flora_uk
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I don't actually buy many plants because my garden is very tiny and already pretty full. I get vegetable seeds by post from an independent company. We have a couple of pretty good garden centres near here. One is walkable (independent) and the other is a 10 minute drive( part of a small chain - Hilliers). There are also the large DIY supermarkets which are uselful for the odd purchase. I was trying to thinnk of my nearest really special independent plant place and I remembered this one. (See link) It is about 15 minutes from here. I thought some of you might be interested to see the range of things available there. The owner is actually American but has lived here for years.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Local independent nursery.

  • christinmk z5b eastern WA
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I buy from the place that offers what I am looking for. It doesn't matter exactly where it is, but what they have. For what it's worth though, I have found very little in the way of plants at the 'big box' stores in recent years.

    Don't forget about local park plant sales. Our Manito Park holds perennial plant sales twice a year, spring and fall. I always patron those. It goes to maintain the beautiful grounds and conservatory.

    Most of the nurseries around here are pretty good. Last year I probably went out nursery hopping only once (to each store). Before I would go out monthly. Its a case of no space. But now that space is at a premium, I am willing to spend extra for those rare items.

    There is one local (and high-end) nursery that I don't buy from. They are rude, the prices are outrageous ($10 for a thuggish Campanula??!), and the plants sickly.
    A few years ago I saw at the same nursery I mentioned above were selling Wal-Mart shrubs for more than double the original price! They still had Wal-Mart tags on it! I know this is a common practice, but it isn't exactly fair either. It goes to prove that you don't always get what you pay for.
    CMK

  • nckvilledudes
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Cameron, you are absolutely correct. If you see the trucks bringing plants to the local Lowes or Home Depots in my area in NC, you will often find that they are from local growers who mass produce plants and sell them to the big box stores. I have gotten some great deals on quite a few plants such as daphnes and others which were raised at local nurseries which supply the box stores. The only thing is is that you often have to catch the plants when they first arrive or shortly thereafter, since the people employed at the big box stores are often not plant people and the care the plants are given is often lacking.

    Christinmk, I agree with you also. We have several boutique stores that sell plants at greatly inflated prices. If they have something I want and I haven't seen elsewhere, I will purchase from them. If I can find the same plant elsewhere, even if it is a big box store, I will purchase from them. I don't have unlimited resources so price does matter.

    Here in NC there is Plant Delights Nursery which sells some unusual stuff, but down the road in Sanford is a smaller, less known independent nursery which can sell some of the same stuff Plant Delights does but at a much lower cost. Needless to say, you know where I will purchase plants that both places carry. Both are independently owned, but one is more highly priced on their plants than the other one.

  • token28001
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    If you read Tony Avent's book, you'll understand why Plant Delights Nursery is more expensive. He's very money minded, but has the technical skills too. It was an interesting read to get an idea of what actually goes on inside an operating nursery. Anyone that has ever worked at one or is considering even an annual plant sale would enjoy it.

    So You Want to Start a Nursery by Tony Avent

  • Annie
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I window shop for plants everywhere I find 'em!
    If the plants are good and the price is right, I'm your baby! If I find some on a discount rack that I think I can nurse back to health, I buy them.

    Two years ago I got (5) one-gallon pots of Easter Lilies for 10 cents apiece at Lowe's after Easter was over. Gobs of them were heaped upon a 6 ft rack, turning yellow and all dried up, ready for the trash bin. The plants looked awful because they hadn't been watered since their blooms had faded and dropped. Most people won''t buy plants if they aren't blooming nor will they buy holiday plants after the holiday has passed. It was a great buy. They bloomed for me last May in my garden and were very fragrant and just beautiful. I only wish I had bought more of them.

    I buy plants from WalMart, Lowe's and Atwood's Farm Supply and find good plants. You have to look carefully, but sometimes those icky discount plants turn out to be great buys too. I bought a horribly bug infested Lady Banks rose from Lowe's discount rack one year and I nursed it back to health. It cost me $3. I figured it was worth a try. It was! I threw away all the soil and the pot and washed the rose with soapy laundry detergent and warm water. It bounced right back and grew. It is now a humongous rose that covers the entire south end of my front porch and blooms like crazy every Spring. Not too shabby for 3 bucks and a little work!

    I got a gallon pot of Golden Euonymus for $6 at WalMart the other day - it has six plants in it, all grown from clippings. That is about a 400% markup on what it cost to grow those six cuttings in that pot, incuding soiless soil and the pot. Now compare that to one plant of the same size in a BIG two-three gallon pot of peat and bark selling for $10-$20 at one of the local nurseries. Guess which one I am going to buy?

    There are several small nurseries around here, but only two I can afford! They get my business if they have what I need or want and the price is within my limitations. The others are too rich for my blood.

    ~Annie

  • nckvilledudes
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I know why the plants at Plant Delights are more expensive. It is because we are paying for Tony to travel and find more unusual plants in various parts of the world. That is fine and I don't mind paying more for those unusual hard to find plants, but when I can find the same thing at a lower price at another mom and pop nursery down the road in Sanford, I know where my limited resources will purchase the plants from. I do purchase those unusual plants that I can't find elsewhere at Plant Delights and have done so for several years now and visited the nursery numerous times during the open house.

    I am with you Annie. Don't know if you have ever noticed those clematis at WalMart in orangey-rust colored pots that have labels that say Roseville. Those clematis are great buys at $4.88 each, $2.44 if you purchast them on clearance. Pot them up into gallon sized pots and in no time you have nice gallon sized pots at a fraction of the cost of what you would have paid elsewhere.

  • armyyife
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm always making my rounds to my local nurseries. Luckly enough for me they have pretty reasonable prices and I get plants that you can't get at say Walmart or the other big box stores. Infact I am so excited as I was waiting for spring to come to buy 5 pink knockouts for the front of my house. Well one of the nurseries I buy from said he was going to Fl this week and was going to be picking some up. $20 for 3 gal., ok sounded good. Well then I decided the other day to drive by one of my other favorite nurseries to see what they had and they were running a 40% off sale on most all their plants and that included my pink knockouts! So I was so excited I bought (5) 3 gal. KO and only paid $60!!

  • spazzycat_1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am an equal opportunity plant buyer. No one place typically has all the plants I'm looking for, so one day I'm purchasing plants from a big box store and the next, an independent retailer. I also support a horticultural fraternity's sales twice a year...the plants are a good value and the proceeds go to horticultural scholarships.

  • LindaMA
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I always buy from the nurseries local to me, there are three of them in particular and they have a wonderful selection of perennials and annuals. I have had pretty good luck with all of them too!

    ~Linda

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I buy local because they use local growers. Plants grown in north carolina don't always make the transition well to central Texas alkaline heaven. I also buy local because it keeps my money in my area. The nursery owner has me repair his furniture. He goes to the doctor that buys my furniture. He also has 12 different prickley pears and 6 Nolinas and Natives that lowes never dreamed of having. He has more variety and he is thwe same price as lowes. I never go to Lowes. They don't do the bargain basement thing at my loes they get credit for dead plants from the wholesaler. The nursery guy lets me dig up volunteers and gives me agave pups from the agaves he is not selling. I think he likes me.

  • nckvilledudes
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wantonamara, I hope you didn't think that I was saying you should buy stuff from the big box stores just because I know that some of my local big box stores carry stuff from local nurseries here. I also agree that things grown locally are better suited to your own local environment. However, your local big box stores may similarly carry plants grown from local nurseries and if they do, purchasing them from those stores is indeed supporting local growers.

    I have a few mom and pop places around me that grow and sell day lilies, irises, and a multitude of other plants and have purchased from them as well in the past and will continue to do so when they have something that I want. However, like quite a few people who have posted on this thread, I am an opportunistic purchaser who doesn't even want to think about how much money I have spent over the 35+ years I have been gardening since graduation from college at untold numbers of growers and sellers--be they local, mail order, or big box stores.

  • nckvilledudes
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Meant to say above that I have been gardening for 35+ years (probably much more than that if you count when I was a kid gardening with my grandparents and parents) but not since graduation from college. I am not quite that old yet even though I was 25 when I finally got my bachelors degree! ;)

  • Annie
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The local nurseries here don't have that much in the way of variety, except a variety of different colors of petunias, dianthus, geraniums, & etc. One nursery does have an awesome variety of tomatoes, though. Lots of heirlooms. I like her nursery. Hope she is still going this year. She was struggling last year, even with her huge clientele.

    Once in awhile I find something really unique that I don't already have. This is farm/ranch country. No one around here gardens like I do. I probably have the only cottage garden in the entire county!

    I think if I went into the cities I could find more varieties of plant species and all the NEW eye popping plants that you see in magazines, & etc. But not around here. I keep saying that the next trip I make to South Carolina or Texas I will be bringing home a load of plants!
    The nurseries there are awesome and there are so many!

    ~Annie

  • frogview00
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I buy from independent nurseries. They will order things for me and can answer most questions I have.
    Plus, I'm all for the little guy!

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My Lowes garden store sucks. They bring in Oaks from East Texas . They have coastal live oaks, not the same thing. That is not local. East tx rainfall is 55" where my raifall is 25 if I am lucky. East Tx is acid, I am alkaline. Many plants come from growers in East OK. ThaT IS ABOUT as local as it gets. When I walk around my garden, and I see what plants I have that are still alive, I find that the big box stores are not represented. I think that many of the growers that they use , force their plants with large amounts of fertilizer to get them to bloom on que or grow huge . I get them home where my use of chemical fertilizers are minimal. These poor plants jones , crash and burn. For my style of gardening, I prefer organic or near organic growers.

  • nckvilledudes
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wantonamara, if my local big box stores carried plants of low quality and in the condition you describe, I too would purchase plants elsewhere. Each store or stores in a specific region seem to vary in what they carry and luckily I can sometimes find great bargains and unusual buys there and when I do, I snatch them up.

  • token28001
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I started my job at Lowes yesterday doing orientation for a few hours. I went out to talk to the Live Plants Specialist who is leaving Friday. I'm trying to get her job. She told me that when she first got there, she ordered all sorts of unusual plants. They didn't sell. The next year, she ordered different unusual plants. They didn't sell either. She said that her job is to order plants that appeal to the masses, not the gardener looking for rare and exotic species. But, on the occasion that she has had someone asking, she can order from several dozen local growers almost anything you want. But few people ask, and even fewer return to purchase the plants once delivered.

  • aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think if unusual, rare or new to the trade plants are displayed in a separate connoisseur's corner and signed as such rather than just in the mix more of these plants would sell. I know I head to these sections first and I don't think I'm the only one who does this.
    I'm for the local independents as well, as a rule these places have very knowledgeable staff if you need some answers and their plants are always looked after and in great shape BUT I can't say I've never picked up something at a big box store :o).

    Annette

  • midnightsmum (Z4, ON)
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Token - when I first went to college in my 30's, I worked at a Woolco store. It is a form of paid slavery. I worked as a cashier, in the lamp dept, then the jewellery dept, and finally, the plant dept!! Bonus - I might have done it for free, but for my bills. lol. One Fall, I was given a budget, and sent to the local nursery. This was the wholesale end of a very large (at that time) company in the Ottawa area. One of the nursery people was sent around with me, and I was like a kid in a candy store!!! A really big candy store!!!! Woo-Hoo!!! It was a girl gone wild with all of her clothes on.....I picked out chenille plants, fabulous ferns - not the normal Boston or asparagus. I can't remember what else, to be honest. No Florida palms, no variegated spider plants, no scheffleras, which were all of the norm for that time. They sold out....quickly. I even had the managers down, shopping for their own homes.

    Bottom line - trust your gardener's instincts. You know what a real gardener in your area wants.....did this other woman??? What did she bring in? I live near a very small, redneck town. The local Cdn version of a big box store brought in fabulous, lolly-pop gardenias - in bloom. They were kept blooming, by the guy in charge of the plants. I have never seen these, here, even in my really upscale nurseries. Oh yeah, and they sold!!!

    Go for it!!!

    Nancy.

  • happyintexas
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yesterday, I drove the five miles to a locally owned independent nursery...the place was very, very quiet. The owner came out and chatted with me, but there were no annuals to purchase, no veggie transplants...very sad. She said she wouldn't have anything for a couple more weeks. With all the interest in gardening this year, I'm surprised they hadn't stocked up. We are having an early spring, so people are shopping. She is losing sales by not being ready. (I itch to take over the place...what fun it would be to see if I could bring life to it.)

    I left there and went to the next closest place...a Home Depot...to get a few bags of topsoil for a raised bed. What a difference! There is a new garden manager there...three different staff people greeted me and asked how they could help. The garden manager manned a small table with a sign you buy the plants, you buy the pot, and we will pot it up for you. She was doing a brisk business for a Tuesday morning. Color, selection, and vibrant health. It was a fun garden place to be. Not many unusual or exotic plants, but a good place for people to stock their flower/veggie beds.

    The contrast between the two was marked. I have another local nursery I frequent often because of the incredible health of their plants. I do try to frequent the locals as much as possible. But a local big box will do if needed.

    I've stopped doing as much internet shopping because I want to keep my sales tax dollars local as well. I only order by internet when I can't search it out around here.

  • remy_gw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, I got my $10 bonus in the mail yesterday for spending over $250.00 at a local nursery last year.(I do get coupons all year from them too.) I also spent over $100.00 at another local nursery. I also picked things up here and there from others, so I am supporting the local nurseries way way too much! lol.
    From some of the things written here I realize I'm so very lucky to be a gardener around here. There are nurseries galore! Truly I can't count how many I have within 1/2 hour of me. The big box store don't do very well comparatively, not much selection or knowledge. And if one local nursery doesn't fit your needs, one right down the road will.
    Remy

  • lovemygarden09
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Having worked on the wholesale side of things for many years, I have seen how the big box stores are a mixed bag of blessings. On the one hand, they do move a lot of plant product (sometimes)which is great for a lot of businesses big and small. On the other hand, many times they force growers to sell their product at such absurdly cheap wholesale prices so growers cut corners left and right. I have seen it happen. There are always exceptions to this (there are some independent GCs that aren't much better than Lowes or Depot) but, in general, I have seen much better plant product at independent GCs, it's usually cared for at the retail level much better as well. As a grower, it always breaks my heart to have to buy a cheaper pot, poorer quality soil, the cheapest starter plant material in order to make it all work for big box stores. But what can you do? We know we can produce better quality plants but if their are some consumers who want to buy their dishwasher and plants at the same store, that's what we'll have to do. I think that there will always be a good amount of people that see value in making their purchases at the local independent GC, too.

  • DYH
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    After this thread, I decided to write another blog story about the local nurseries in my area.

    Cameron

    Here is a link that might be useful: Locally Grown: North Carolina Plant Nurseries

  • zigzag
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Great blog entry, Cameron .... but .... (you knew there was a 'but' coming, now didn't you?) .....

    While I know you're in Chapel Hill, the blog sort of glossed over many of the nurseries I know of here in the Raleigh area, you include us, but only hit the high points.

    I'm sure you didn't intend the blog to be all inclusive, but for the benefit of us still-riding-with-training-wheels gardeners ..... how 'bout, next time you blog, add .... for instance .... less flashy independents ....

    Logans
    Homewood
    Atlantic Ave
    Norwood Rd
    and .... drum roll, let's not forget .... the NC State Farmers' Market!

    (I'm sure there are many others, these are just the ones that cross my line of vision.)

    I'm beyond 'training wheels' in the gardening department, but not by much! I've had to stumble my way around this city seeking good garden centers. And I have been intimidated by some of the 'upscale' ones. It's worse now .... (the economy and all) and I'd hope your blog will guide some newbie buyers to the right sellers. You have the power! :o)

  • token28001
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Nancy, I have an availability list sitting here in front of me. Like I said somewhere else, I have a tough time with latin names. I know them by other things like Columbine, not Aquilegia. And I certainly don't know a lot of the varieties. But I do know that people are tired of seeing the same trailing phlox year after year. They're tired of being offered May Night Salvia every spring. I heard it from two regular customers today. "Why don't they ever have anything new?"

    Tomorrow I will be placing my first order. I've decided to bring in some early coreopsis and a few other things I marked on the list while browsing google. I would buy these plants if they were available to me. Why? Because they're pretty. They are covered in blooms and will hold up to the summer heat.

    I'm also stocking up on perennial grasses, which always seem to sell out just when it's time to have something in the garden that provides interest and can handle the heat. Our store has not sold zinnias either. I plan to order a rack of them when they are available. Why not? They're bigger than marigolds and can make a bigger punch.

    The manager has told me that he's going to let me choose. He knows very little about the plants, and he's happy to give me an opportunity to see if I can do better than the previous LNS. I'll still order Boston Ferns. We sold 294 from Friday at 5pm til today at 6pm. We had 6 left in the store when I clocked out. We will get another shipment tomorrow.

    Lots of people are buying edibles this year too. Trees, plants, everything. Tomatoes are a hot item right now. I don't order those, but I have to make sure they're tended for until they sell.

    Tropicals will start arriving next week. Mandevilla is a hot item right now. We got in 48 last year and they were gone in a single day. 8" pots for $6.95 each. I'm ordering 144 this year. He doesn't know it yet. But I remember being asked over and over the next day what happened to them. People were buying them in twos and threes.

    All my plants will be delivered by local independent shippers and grown locally. Metrolina is the largest supplier of ours. They employ hundreds of people. I wish they had more selection, but they can only grow so many varieties. Another nursery is Layman in SC. It's not really local, but it isn't too far away. A few hours.

    If we had a good local nursery that sold more than trees or sad little hollies, I would want to work there instead. But we don't. It's either this or Wal-Mart, and they don't have anyone on their staff that has a clue about plants from what I can tell. They hardly water anything. We have a system set up to make sure every table gets attention at least 4 times a week, usually more. We turn over a lot of plants each week. My budget for this week, a transition period between cool annuals and summer annuals/perennials, is in the mid 5 digit range. That's one store and I'm talking wholesale costs.

    And like Cameron pointed out, Lowe's is a NC based company started in North Wilkesboro and now headquartered in Moorseville, NC.

  • DYH
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    zigzag -- Oh, there are so many more nurseries than space permits me to write about!

    BTW, I did mention the Farmer's Market -- that's the photo that I used for the blog.

  • zigzag
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Cameron, I soooo realize that your list wasn't intended to be all inclusive and I just wanted to throw out a couple of other names I don't often see mentioned. If my post came across as snarky, I truly didn't mean it so .... please accept my apology.

    Sorry I missed the pic and mention of the NC Farmers Market. When I lived down that way, I often hit it in the early morn before I went to work. Now it's practically a day trip away so I don't get there as often as I'd like. This year I'm going to make the effort ...... do need (want) some major stuff and, as I recall, the growers there have great product and prices.

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