where do you buy your online perennials now?

Wheatfield, NY(Zone 6a)

Hi, I used to rely on Bluestone for my perennials, but from recent complaints in Watchdog and my last order (they had to replace the whole thing), they are off my list. I live in Wheatfield, NY, near Buffalo, at the far eastern end of Lake Erie, zone 6, but I never buy anything that is not marked for zone 5, because it is iffy. I do like some of the catalogs that specialize in plants grown in northern areas.
So my question is, what are your favorite online perennial sellers for this season?

Jan

Thumbnail by grampapa
Beaver Falls, PA(Zone 6a)

Sorry to hear you've had problems with Bluestone because I was going to suggest them. I like the fact that they will replace plants, no questions asked. I also have purchased lately from Garden Harvest Supply with good results.

I'm not sure it's the place you are buying from, but the hardiness of the plants could be more of the problem. The "newer" zone numbers that I've seen in the past 10 or 15 years may not be useful any longer. For some years we've had very mild winters, unlike the ones I remember growing up. For two years now, things have changed back and our temperatures and snowfall are much more severe. I think buying for a zone colder than the zone maps say you should be is a smart thing.

Some plants listed as hardy to a specific zone just won't make it in that zone. I don't know if we should blame the hybridizers or the growers who sell the plants. It's a smart thing to read peoples comments on Daves as well as other gardening sites to see what their history is with a certain plant before purchasing it. If it's a "new" plant that just came out, well, you are pretty much on your own there.

Good luck,
Linda

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Romence Gardens is outstanding. I have placed several orders in the last two years. I have one for this season to which I am still adding plants. Plants the size of those in garden centers. And right now, $9.95. flat shipping. A Watchdog Top 5.

http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/6917/

So is Hallson. 229 positives, 1 neutral, no negatives. Ignore the "hosta" designation. They have all kinds of wonderful plants, and top grade lilies for the lowest prices I have ever seen.Bareroot plants - and they tend to send an extra one! Several orders in the last two years. Another Watchdog Top 5.

http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/155/

I have gotten good plants from Bluestone in the last two years after taking a break. But Romence and Hallson are absolutely outstanding.

Forest Farm is stellar but the shipping is high. I do order from them too.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

How about Lazy S'S, also a top 5 seller, and it is in VA so not too far from you. Huge selection.
I still order from Bluestone. They had a bad problem for a year when they switched to their new coir pot method. That year I had to have them replace almost my entire order, most had not rooted yet in the pots so they fell out and dried up in transit. I decided to give them another chance, and they have straightened out the problems. However, unless I expect at least a month of rain at planting time I have found it is best to peel off the coir pot. This is extremely easy, takes about 2 seconds, then the pot is compostable, so I am not left with a bunch of plastic pots.
However, my local curbside recycler this year now takes used plastic plant pots!

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Bluestone worked out their problems. Here is my order from 2014. Every plant a gem. And I ordered many of them in December and January on their half price sale. I placed an order for this year too.

And yes! Ditch the coir!

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Beaver Falls, PA(Zone 6a)

I agree - ditch the coir!

Natick, MA

I was surprised to read your post, as I've heard really good things about Bluestone, and they have been recommended to me....tho I have not ordered from them yet.

I have ordered from Santa Rosa, who came very highly recommended, last October and the plants I received were full, healthy, superbly packed and I couldn't have been HAPPIER with what I received. I have already placed my spring order with them. One aspect i really liked was you and request the shipping date that works for you! They also charge a flat rate shipping, and allow you to add plants if you wish, before the shipping date (I'd assume within a reasonable amount of time before) and all are shipped at the same rate, no increase in s/h cost.

Both times I ordered, I had a question or two before and/or after I ordered, and contacted them via email. They got back to me really quickly (within an hour or two). I strongly recommend you check out their website and give them a try.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Bluestone has restarted their 50% off on Friday promotion - they have done it before. I have taken advantage of it several times. They consolidate the order and ship it all at once. I really like doing it this way because I will order a few plants at a time and pay nominal sums for them, and then get a neat surprise when I am charged only for shipping at the end. Lots of companies will not charge you until they ship, but I can get sticker shock that way. I buy perhaps 2-3 plants at a time and am not charged individual shipping.

On November 14 I ordered, at half price Athyrium nipponicum 'Ursula's Red'. I bought two several years back, and brought one of them to my new home. I always wanted a couple more but could not find them, and to get them at about $4.00 apiece is great!

In December I ordered a panicum Heavy Metal and 2 Nepeta Souvenir D'Andre Chaudron. It is usually very expensive! Looking at the current list, I think I might get another eragrostis spectabilis. I got one last year and it was wonderful. And at $4.97 each - hey!

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Wayside Gardens, Santa Rosa, Oakes.

For TN natives, Sunlight Gardens and Plant Delights are two of my favorite.

Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6a)

I am somewhat new to peonies having 4 or 5 that I just planted many years ago and forgot then but admired them when they bloomed. Now after 20 years of neglect I am planting new ones such as Red Charm and A few Itoh's, and am enjoying them a lot. I am still confused by the advice for planting depth. Some say ITOH's should be planted with the eyes 4 " below the soil surface and other peonies only 2 " below the surface. please give me the benefits of your experience on the planting depth. arf

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I found that my biggest problem with lactifloras was that I would plant them at the recommended depth of two inches and they would sink, so I got no blooms at all. I do something that is NOT recommended but works for me. I plant them a maximum of two inches deep, and what often happens is that I can see the eyes a month or two later. I have discovered that this is not a problem IF you can keep people from steeping on the eyes, and it insures that the plant will appear.

I can see the eyes on at least 8 of my peonies, and could a month ago. I know this sounds very weird, but it works for me.

Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6a)

I use Gilbert Wild for most perennial orders. They are in relatively good price, and are of a decent size. I will sometimes order from other sources if the stock is rare enough, but fairly priced.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

I've ordered from Gilbert Wild. I think I last bought Iris there. I wasn't disappointed. BTW, I believe they have a sale on right now. :-)

Vashon, WA(Zone 8a)

I would agree with the others that Bluestone Perennials has fixed whatever problems they had. I have been ordering from them last year and received excellent plants. I love the fact that they allow you to combine shipments.
Do agree on the coir. Ditch it.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

They are doing their 50/50 Friday specials. I have purchased several. The plants from last year are on a par with some of the best. If you avoid the shrubs (they never work) and ditch the coir, it's great.

Vashon, WA(Zone 8a)

Oh! Are the shrubs no good? I was just eyeing "Viburnum x burkwoodii Mohawk" on their website. Where do you go for shrubs?

Decatur, GA(Zone 7b)

If I lived in WA I'd think about ordering shrubs from Forest Farm. I've ordered a few things from them and I've always been very satisfied. I ordered a Mohawk Viburnum last year from Niche Gardens. I've received a lot of good plants from them.

http://www.nichegardens.com/index.html

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

The shrubs are too immature and die no matter what you do! I get small shrubs from other places and they do well. Bluestone's are so small they tell you to put them in pots. It doesn't work. You baby them. It doesn't work. Their perennials are fantastic

I go to Classic Viburnums. They are fantastic. I have ordered seven so far. Read the reviews, please, including mine. He is revered by the great Michael Dirr.

http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/5988/

He will sell you a single viburnum if you like. Once I saw the sizes and the prices I was hooked. Gary Ladman is a specialist, as is his wife Sue. If you send him an email, he will guide you. But beware, there are a couple of hundred choices. And he will send them and THEN invoice you. Here are the first five viburnums I ordered and received last April. One is a five gallon. All five with shipping were $179. I later ordered two compact carlesi that are not even in commerce yet (he had hybridized them) for $29 each. I am the only person in the country who has them. Notice on the closeup of the two trilobums that they are budded out.

I cannot recommend any company more highly.

Donna

http://www.classicviburnums.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.main/

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi Back. We crossposted.

I actually have an order in for Forest Farm. They are great too, but the shipping is a killer for me here. They do have your plant, which they say is one to two feet for $25. So they are comparable.

Vashon, WA(Zone 8a)

Forest Farm is def my go to nursery. I have ordered some birch trees from them this past fall. Can't wait to have them bud out. I find that their "Tube" prices are pretty good and they have a great selection.

Donna - I will def check out Classic Viburnums. I am trying to find shrubs that have a good fragrance.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Their tube prices are great. I actually used to buy 5 gallon shrubs. I love them. Grasses, hydrangeas, perennials. No one is better.

The only thing is that CV may be able to sell you a bigger plant for less money. And the choices! No one has more. I could not have gotten my 5 viburnums for $179 - shipping included, from FF, and some of the things I wanted they did not have - or be expected to have!

With these two greats to choose from, you CANNOT go wrong!

Have fun!

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

This is so funny. I have ordered a few of those little shrubs from Bluestone, because they were so cheap. They did fine, I just watered a bit. The last one was a Viburnum 'Chicago Lustre' I got last May in a tiny pot. It is doing great. Granted, it is in a rather protected location and I did water it occasionally.
I also had gotten a "tube" plant of a witchhazel from Forest Farm. That one I did not plant for one hot day, and it dried out and I almost lost it. If I lived in Ohio it surely would have died. Just goes to show us how different it can be in different zones-the mild summer weather here allowed my tiny shrubs to settle in without any special care. So for me, it can be cheaper to order from Bluestone in Ohio instead of FF in Oregon! (FF really is fabulous-y'all are correct about that).
So, yadavgard, just go ahead and order the viburnum either from Bluestone or the "tube" size from FF, just make sure to plant it right away and keep it watered this year. In fact you might want to do it now, as spring has begun for us.

Natick, MA

Anyone buy from Gilbert Wild & Son: peonies,dailies, hosta?

This message was edited Feb 14, 2015 8:37 AM

Olathe, KS(Zone 5a)

I started with Gilbert Wild & Sons a long time ago. Went to their fields and saw blooming daylilies. Ordered many plants of dayilies and iris. Last 2 years, I got some peonies and hostas (and more daylilies). Always happy with their plants. Prices great, shipping great (I am close by). I started daylily gardening with Real Wind (when I could get it cheaper, for $10 - expensive when it started out). One of my favorite companies.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

I've been happy with their plants and seeds.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

I ordered their 'bushel of Peonies' last year and was VERY pleased. 5/$25for a mix but all were named.

carolmo have you ever been there to see the Peony blooms? That would definitely be a site and smell trip!!!!

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I find that you can abuse Forest Farm tubes and they still come out swinging. I flat out ordered too many plants and couldn't get their tubes in for almost ten days. Ferns and anemones. No problem!

Natick, MA

Kathy,
I placed my order yesterday, I hadn't even seen the Bushel of Peonies before you mentioned it to me earlier in the week. I decided to go with that and see what I get...and ordered one other lovely peony on sale. Tried to control myself. Great sale. I also go 2 buy one-get 1 free hostas and daylilies.

Vashon, WA(Zone 8a)

Pistil - Yup spring seems to have begun for us :) Busy ordering, planting and moving plants around as and when I have time.

FF tubes are certainly better. Deep roots. I am guessing they have a better chance to survive?
I have been reclaiming land from blackberries so I need fast growing shrubs and perennials to setup a garden.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I actually grew President Lincoln lilacs from tubes from FF. The bigger ones were sold out, since President Lincoln is a lilac that does not get mildew (REALLY!) They were wonderful.

Decatur, GA(Zone 7b)

Do any of you know whether or not any of the discussed mail order nurseries use neonicotinoids on their plants? Forgive me if I'm asking a question which has already been settled but I've just read disturbing commentary on the effects of this systemic insecticide on insects, particularly pollen seeking ones.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

For those who grow seedlings.look at: "TODAY'S ARTICLES". .................
"What to do with 10,000 Spring Sprouts in Your Winter Sowing Containers" . You don't have to kill your extra babies!!!!! So put the scissors away.

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