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|On Sep 20, 2015, MollyBlooms Grosse Pointe Farms, MI wrote:
I see on their website that Arrowhead is holding a big sale on trees and shrubs to clear out that part of their stock. They explain that they are downsizing to refocus on alpines.
|On Jan 2, 2012, Emma60 Grassy Creek, NC (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on January 2, 2012, updated January 2, 2012
On January 2nd, 2012, Emma60 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Thanks to the member who informed me that Bob Stewart, owner of Arrowhead Alpines, died in mid-December, I have amended my rating to neutral. This company's rudeness to me may very well have been because because of Mr. Stewart's illness. My condolences go out to the family.
|On Jan 2, 2012, dave12122 East Haddam, CT wrote:
Posted on July 9, 2005, updated January 2, 2012
On March 30th, 2008, dave12122 added the following:
I just placed a recent order with Arrowhead, hoping they have improved since my last order. Alas, my extensive earier comments have been further substantiated to such a degree I feel compelled to give a new report.
I ordered three forms of Cyclamen coum which the catalog descriptions were quick to point out were indeed quite different. What I received were two forms that were wholly indistinguishable, even to a Cyclamen expert, and a third that was a smidgin different (more green in the center of the leaf). Here, Arrowhead only needed to list one form...the other two would probably only be of interest to that hapless collector that has to have everything. And one could go through just about any genus listed and "slim down the pickins' with ease. Most of the Acantholimons listed are extremely close, being spiny cushions with pink flowers, the Primula allionis are virually indistinguishable when not in flower, and even the flowers on some hybrids are extremely close, etc.etc.
The color of the plants was that "greenhouse green", specimens that have obviously been grown in a soft, overfertilized manner. The soil appeared extremely rich and was entirely unsuitable for the Lewisia rediviva they sent, which only grows in sand beds in the East. The plants were very "ahead" of where they would be in the open ground, so it is going to be a real chore to acclimate them. Some may never recover from the shock of wind, rain, dew, and frost, in other words, the real world. In one case, a Roscoea humeana (?spelling), two of the dormant roots had rotted away and needed to be seperated from healthy tissue. Who knows if it will grow or not...time will tell.
I think any intelligent person gets the idea. Arrowhead lists far too many species that are similar to others, probably in an effort to get the die hard collector type to spend more money, gives the plants a very cushy life in a cool greenhouse, and practices very poor quality control. The person who wrote "the quality of Arrowheads offering is inconsistent" has my considerable respect, certainly more than a nursery that just wants to amass a laundry list of offerings, many of which are of dubious quality and poor doers in many gardens.
On January 2nd, 2012, dave12122 added the following:
I regret to report that Bob Stewart passed away in mid December, 2011, after a courageous battle with stage 4 colon cancer. And while I still have misgivings about the garden worthiness and hit or miss quality of the plants Arrowhead Alpines sells, the fact of the matter is the man has died. I did not know him personally, and suppose it is unfair to judge him on a somewhat blunt phone personality alone. Those in the know have reported that Bob had a nice side and was an expert on the plants he wrote about, and I respect that. I can only offer my condolences to his wife Brigitta and son, Ender during this difficult time. Apparently, Brigitta is continuing the business, but there no longer will be a paper catalogue. Tony Avent wrote an excellent tribute to Bob as part of a recent Plant Delights Nursery newsletter which can be found elsewhere. RIP, Bob.
|On Apr 17, 2008, ic_conifers Iowa City, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:
My order arrived today from Arrowhead Alpines. I saw the boxes on the porch this morning and assumed that it was camping supplies my husand ordered, so I left for work and he went to bring the boxes into the house. About four blocks away, he called and said, "It is your order from AA!" (We were both excited waiting for the order.) Hubby took the plants out of the box, took a few teaser pictures that he emailed to me when he got to work, and scanned the packing slip for me.
On July 11th, 2008, ic_conifers changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Well, I was very excited when my order arrived, but I feel I have to change my rating from positive to neutral after everything that happened since then. One plant died within four days of arrival, all the needles just fell off. Shortly after that, I found a worm/larvae on one conifer - turns out it was infested. A week later, I found evidence on a second that it was also infested and so that one went. One failed to thrive at all, the new growth just shrivelled and the plant started to lose all needles, so I saved myself the misery of watching needle by needle fall off and pulled it. One week after that, another died suddenly. Over the course of two months, I lost about half of the order, around $300 worth of plants. The ones that have made it (and appear fine) were those that were advertised as "older". Only two of the newer grafts survived - thankfully they were the most expensive of my order! I wonder if the shipping time, just as new growth was pushing, had something to do with the high mortality rate. One conifer person suggested the roots systems were to blame. I don't know what happened or why. I do know that I placed orders from two other companies this year and have not lost a single plant from either of those companies. I changed my rating to neutral because the plants that survived are nice and I felt I got a pretty good value on the older plants, which takes away some of the financial zing.
|On Jul 3, 2006, thistlepunk East Lansing, MI wrote:
I live nearby, relatively speaking, and was quite excited to visit. The selection of rock garden type plants is quite excellent, the rest is good for an independent nursery.
|On May 5, 2004, DanickiThom wrote:
I have visited their location & bought plants there at least twice over several years. These visits followed review of their extensive catalog and were quite frustrating, as I feel their operation is primarily set up for mail order business, not in-person visits. While they are quite accomplished growers, I would not say people skills are Bob's forte. This place is most suited to the educated buyer who already knows the specifics about the particular plants she is interested in purchasing & deals with the company by mail. If you need company personnel to hold your hand while shopping for plants, you'd better go elsewhere or you'll very likely be disappointed.
|On Oct 31, 2003, davidrt28 Columbia, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
They have a mind boggling selection. Generally the quality of the plants is average-to-good for mail order. In a couple cases though, I received plants they were way to small to ship. Once I carefully prodded around in the pot to be sure, and is was obvious that what had been sent out was a seedling that could not have been more than a few months old. It needed another year on the bench.
|On Jun 1, 2002, angeladuckert wrote:
Interesting catalog, but not for the novice; I downloaded it and spent weeks poring over it. All text, not many photos on the website either, but loaded with opinion and education. (Bob Stewart could be Tony Avent's long-lost brother). I ordered about $80 worth of plants, which arrived promptly at the requested time. Plants were pretty well-packed, not large but fairly healthy. I was interested to notice that the owner referred frequently to another Michigan nursery, which also has a website (H & H Botanicals), and which offers many of the same items. I will probably give them a try next year, too.
|On Jan 1, 2002, marilynandpa wrote:
Would have to agree that Bob is not a people person and his wife should keep him locked in the house when the nursery is open to visitors. My husband got chastised for looking at their waterfall adjacent to the gardens. Many signs posted all over "keep out" and that type of thing. Yes, they have a nice selection of hard to find items. Things have been looking pretty dismal when we visited 3 times. Perhaps we expect the plants to look better than they do but then again, why not? Perhaps they should just be mail order and call it a day.
|On Apr 1, 1997, katehunter wrote:
I ordered from Arrowhead for the first time this year. I was pretty pleased with the offerings in the extensive plant catalog. They sent good-sized plants and I have enjoyed having these, many of which were large enough to bloom this year. One Campanula is clearly not what it was labeled as, and I am in the process of contacting them to let them know.