Early start to the 2017 season

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Just received a package of plants from Japan! Everything looks great. Bare-root perennials. A bunch of unusual plants you'll never find in an American catalog. They were shipped from Hokkaido 12/26 and arrived on my front porch 12/30. I spent about $150 (incl shipping & phytosanitary) for 11 plants. Given the unusual offerings, I thought it was a pretty decent deal.
We're having a nice day for New Year's Eve (50 degrees & sunny!). So I enjoyed spending some of it planting up my new bare-root guys. I'm eager to see how they do this spring.
I posted some pics. The newspaper packing is of course in Japanese.
The plants are wrapped in moist sphagnum and arrived moist.
The last picture shows how big the plants are (though some of the rock garden plants are smaller). Overall very pleased with the process.

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Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Look at those roots! So awesome! We had a warm New Year's Day too. Did you plant them outside?

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I was afraid to plant them out - not sure if the ground is frozen or not, since we've had a pretty mild fall. I decided to pot them up and will heel them in some mulch on the east side of my house away from the winter winds.

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

I would be nervous too.

Camano Island, WA(Zone 8a)

What are the plants, Wee? What a fascinating and fun order!

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

My order:
Pulsatilla taraoi
Pulsatilla sugawarii
Mertensia pterocarpa var. yezoensis
Lagotis glauca
Adonis multiflora 'Sandan-zaki'
Synurus excelsus
Ranzania japonica
Pteridophyllum racemosum
Ainsliaea faurieana
Ainsliaea dissecta
Polygonatum odoratum 'Dai Kouga'

I was so pleased with my order, I couldn't resist putting in a 2nd order.
I haven't received it yet.
The 2nd order is just 4 plants:
Ranunculus acris var. nipponicus 'Plena'
Astilbe odontophylla
Gentiana 'Midoribana Sandanzaki'
Silene sachalinensis

I'll of course post this spring if anything survives!

Camano Island, WA(Zone 8a)

Wow, I'll have to look some of them up! Lagotis Synurus Ranzania Pteridophyllum Ainsliaea -- I never heard of these! How fun!

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

I, of course, already went through their catalog once you posted that picture. I'm very tempted (but I always am). The Ranzania looks very nice and the lagotis reminds me of a blue spiked flowered bergenia. They have some really nice selections and seem reasonable.

(Zone 4b)

I am impressed 'robin...very exciting for you to have healthy new plant material this time of year.

I would like to persuse their catalogue....what is the name of the company?

With your success re prompt and reliable shipping I wonder if Japanese companies should now be considered as sources for less expensive seeds. (Might seeds be less 'trouble' in terms of phytosanitary requirements?)

This message was edited Jan 6, 2017 4:10 PM

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Here's a link to their home page (hope I did it right).
They have a seed catalog as well.
Don't know if they're any cheaper - I thought prices were reasonable, not necessarily cheap. The important factor for me was the unusual offering of plant material I've never run across before. Take a look.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Santa Rosa Gardens is offering 25% off through January 31 for this coming season. I love these offers. I buy myself a gift certificate from High Country Roses every year. This year, $75 worth of roses for $56. I preorder (already asked for Ballerina) and then the shipping is consolidated. These are two terrific companies, and I have been thrilled with their plant material.

(Zone 4b)

As a Canadian, I can recommend the mail order companies CANNING PERENNIALS and PHOENIX PERENNIALS (sorry, only shipping within Canada). (But I even if I don't purchase from either I often make use of their extensive on-line catalogues).

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I knew about Phoenix and sadly that they don't ship to US.
I hadn't heard about Canning, so I just looked them up - looks like they also don't ship to US. Bummer.
I've ordered from 2 Canadian nurseries for years, Fraser Thimble Farms and Wrightman Alpines. Always excellent service.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I hope that you are posting this on the Canadian site, because I think that very few people on this forum can make use of the information. The Canadian companies I could recommend that shipped to the4 United States are gone, except for one, and I know the owner, having met him at last year's North American Lily Society Convention, so I have my own contact. What I do find useful is a resource that tells me who does have what I want and whether they will ship to me, not companies that have what I want and refuse to ship it to me (I have had this experience). Kindly put it on your website and save us both some time. I didn't realize that Pickering was importing roses from foreign companies that would ship to them, but not to the U.S.

That's why I purchased "The Combined Rose List" from Peter Schneider, author of "Right Rose, Right Place". It lists every rose in commerce anywhere in the world. It also informs you of which will or will not ship to The United States. 15,568 cultivars, over 300 of which are not even registered yet.

It's useful to know that, other than Canada, you need an import form. Not bad, just a bit of paper, but you have to agree to quarantine your import roses three meters away from any other roses for two growing seasons, and "welcome" a government inspector into your garden two or three times a year. And you have to pay an inspection fee in some states. Well, David Austin (who has certain roses only on his UK web site), Peter Beals and others who welcome you to order from them fail to mention that.

And, interestingly enough, you cannot import roses from Australia, Bulgaria, Italy or New Zealand into the United States. There are some phenomenal and rare roses in those countries because there is more emphasis placed upon retaining older roses. Some I had given up on. Now I have a source.

Because of Peter Schneider's great list, I found a rose that is only available at ONE nursery in the United States - De Grice's Pearl Drift, which I have been trying to get for some time. He provided invaluable information. The company, Greenmantle, of California, does not utilize email or on line ordering. You call them. I was a bit dubious, but I left a message yesterday and got a call back within an hour! It turns out that the couple (two of them only, and 400 roses amongst many other plants) imported Pearl Drift from England over 20 years ago. They had two, and I grabbed them. I was asked for a $5.00 deposit only. I also asked for another very hard to find rose that Peter had recommended to me, and for $5.00, I go onto the list to receive it. They will ship to me early in May.

The most amazing part was not only did they have what I was seeking, but the roses were a rather standard $20 each, and better yet, we spoke for at least half an hour, and they are in the midst of shipping roses because they are in California. I apologized for taking up so much of her time, but this great lady paid me the HUGE compliment of saying that she really enjoyed talking to me about roses.

This is really great, because a lot of the roses I want either are unavailable locally because of the awful roses that are now in popular commerce, or the companies that supply them have changed hands, moving under corporate umbrellas, and the roses reflect a disinterested mentality or are incredibly overpriced, often double the prices of the former family owners. If I can get a beautiful and quality rose from High Country Roses (highly recommended) for $15.00 (a family firm) then why pay $40 for a rose grafted onto non-hardy rootstock from what is essentially a conglomerate? I realize that I take it too personally, but it's insulting, because people new to roses and are trying to get something beautiful and unique are cheated. They give up, and some roses that are fabulous are lost forever.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

We're half-way thru a strange slow-motion 48hr ice storm. So far, so good. Just hunkering down for the weekend. Power has stayed on so far ... One more day to go. Hasn't been a bad winter so far, but ready for spring regardless.

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Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

I know it's not a good thing but it's so pretty when the ice coats the trees.

(Zone 4b)

Quote from Weerobin :
I've ordered from 2 Canadian nurseries for years, Fraser Thimble Farms.

Did you know that FTF is under threat due to pending much more severe water restrictions soon to be implemented. For more details see here:


(Zone 4b)

Quote from DonnaMack :
I hope that you are posting this on the Canadian site, because I think that very few people on this forum can make use of the information.

I did know (and I think I did write in the post) that neither ship beyond Canadian borders. But I make mention of them in this thread because anyone can glean lots from their on-line catalogues in terms of useful information.

(Another Canadian nursery that is similarly good for its catalogue alone is "Lost Horizons" in Ontario.


Fortunately for me it is within an hour drive of my home. But disconcerting is that it has been up for sale by the original owner for the past two seasons).

This message was edited Jan 17, 2017 10:40 AM

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I had read about the water dispute at Fraser Thimble Farms. It would be a shame if they went out of business...

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

One of my Japanese mail order plants is blooming in my garage.
I have found it rarely over the years from a couple American nurseries,
so this won't be my first opportunity to kill it.
But it's certainly the first time I've seen it bloom,
since my prior experience with it has been nothing short of tragic.
So, of course I quickly took a picture,
since I'm certainly not confident I'll ever see it bloom in my yard.
This is Ranzania japonica.
The blooms are pendant, so hard to look up to see the bloom face on.

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Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Beautiful! I did take notice on that one when I went through the catalog but I don't feel confident about growing it. It just looks like one of those plants that likes damp woodlands that up and die once July heat hits. I'll be curious to know how it does for you.

Camano Island, WA(Zone 8a)


Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

I deleted this reply, since weerobin already answered my question.

Thanks wee.

This message was edited Mar 16, 2017 9:20 AM

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