We have ordered from Kurt Bluemel's wholesale listings in the past but will not order from them again. In 1997 I ordered several hundred dollars worth of plants as a small test order. It was prepaid by check, which was a mistake. Many of the items became unavailable by the time the order was filled. When I called for a refund the person was not very friendly and said they would only issue a credit.In 1998 I faxed another order to them. The order was lost for 3 months. When they finally found it they mailed it back to me and said that I must order from their retail catalog since only legitimate businesses can order wholesale. I explained that I am a legitimate business and they even have my sales tax license and nursery stock license on file, plus my customer number was included on the fax. They looked again and noticed the customer number and said they would process the order that day. Every single item was out of stock so I received nothing. In 1999 I placed an order for 6 flats of plants. Two became unavailable by the time my order was to ship. One of the flats arrived completely rotted and moldy while the others were just fine. I called to request a new flat for that item and was told that it was not their fault since it takes so long for UPS to ship from MD to MI. The person said they would replace it once, but if the replacement arrived dead they would not replace or refund it again. The replacement arrived 5 days later in perfect shape. In 2000 I ordered 4 flats of liners. By the time the order was shipped only one item was available. Those plants were supposed to be Tricyrtis hirta but based on foliage and blooms they clearly were not. There was no label with the plants and a positive identification could never be made. I haven't ordered from them since and won't be ordering from them again, which is their loss, considering the total amount of plants our nursery purchases and grows.
I placed my first order (for over $75) with Kurt Bluemel in early January a few years ago. In April, two days before it was due, they sent me a letter and a refund saying they were sold out. I have never tried to order from them again.
Apparently, Kurt Bluemel has turned over his retail mail-order business to his sister Monika Burwell, who mailed a 2001 catalog called Earthly Pursuits, with the Bluemel name sharing the cover. The address is 2901 Kuntz Rd, Windsor Mill MD 21244. By e-mail, it's [email protected]. There is still a considerable collection of Bluemel's famous and excellent ornamental grasses, bamboos, ferns andperennials, with sparse information and no photos. Prices are moderate (for mail-order) and discounts are given when you order 5 or more of a single variety. It's odd that the $50 minimum order is still specified on the order form but is not mentioned in the Order Information on page 2. Looks like the company is trying to find its new footing. Kurt Bluemel Inc. is clearly more interested in selling wholesale, but also takes retail orders. Wonder if retail orders placed online are handed over to his sister's company for shipping.
I had a bad experience with them. I ordered several hundred dollars worth of grasses from them two years ago for my employer. When they arrived, ONE plant needed to be replaced (less than 15.00). It had been knocked out of the pot and looked dead. The woman on the phone gave me a very hard time. She said they didn't normally replace plants, but she would ask. She never called me back. You'd think on an order that size, they would be glad to. She acted as if I was trying to cheat them. I will never order from them again.