News Story: Frank's Nursery goes bankrupt

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Frank's Nursery goes bankrupt: http://money.cnn.com/2004/09/08/news/midcaps/franks /
"Frank's Nursery & Crafts, Inc. announced Wednesday that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, due to a steady decline in customers, unfavorable weather and general economic weakness."
--
Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)

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Yes, it is too bad. But then it is a fact of life for a lot of companies. I think I have gone to Franks about once in the last year. Most times I pick up garden supplies at Lowe's or Home Depot. Matter of a fact, Walmart's got a lot of my money this year for plants and supplies. Franks as of late never had the plants or the good prices (or help) I wanted as they other retailers did.
Dan

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Filing for bankrupcy seems to be a standard, business-as-usual tactic these days. Often it doesn't affect the customer in the least as the company re-structures itself.
Even if the chain closes, I can look upon much of my landscape - the 12' - 16' tall blue spruces (4 for 20.00 in 1986) the cherry (20' tall) and the weeping cherry trees 15-20' tall, 9.99 - 19.99 in 1988) and a variety of assorted shrubs, conifers, (4 or 5 for 25.00 in 1987- 1992) mass plantings of stargazers, black-eyed susans and ornamental grasses and revel in the fact that Frank's Nursery and Crafts (once called Flower-Time here on Long Island) shall live on forever in my gardens, as many of the hard-wood plants still bear the original, legible "Flower-Time" tag.
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If they learned to simply water their plants, they may have not had this happen.
Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for yourself or a friend? http://www.animaux.net/stern/present.html
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Oh no.
So now the only places we can buy crappy plants is Lowes and Home Depot?
Are we to suppose that their crafts division is in the red too? Where are little old ladies, grade schoolers and cub scouts supposed to get their doo-dads for their Christmas gift projects?
opined:

happen.
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Lowes, Home Depot, KMart, etc. get excellent plants. If you buy them before they kill them, you too can get an excellent plant. The growers that these chains use are top notch. They produce a quality plant. The trick is to get them before they are abused.
In any case these potted plants are never as good as a field grown plant. You can only get field grown plants from your local nurseries that grow their own plants.
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I bought 3 sick clematis plants at Lowes for 10 cents each. They still looked weak one year later, but after 3 years they have bushed out over 10 feet on a trellis I built. One blooms in the spring and the other two in summer and fall. I worked compost into the soil and kept them mulched. The condition of plants depends on the garden manager at the store.
wrote:

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If the plants were any good, they would have been vigorous when you bought them without the need to coax them along for years.
Buying sick plants is a foolish thing to do regardless of your ultimate results. The risks far outweigh any possible reward, especially when you are buying generic plants of little value in the first place.
wrote:

Depot?
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Oh, I dunno. There are a few top-flight nurseries that sell mostly only seedlings, especially those who are doing mail order or growing extremely rare cultivars, & they just don't sell them more mature than that. They expect their customers to be able to baby mere seedlings for a couple of years, though people without coldframes or greenhouses end up buying them, plop them immature or unhardened right into the garden, where they get baked to death within the week.

Depends on what means "sick." Plants that look like hell in their nursery pot are often merely at the end of their ideal season, or got battered while exposed to weather & mishandling, or were visited by one industrious little snail, so the nursery marks them down from $12 to $2 to get rid of them. If there's no reason to suspect an actual disease, buying worn-out-looking plants can be great.

Many of the mass-produced plants & Perennial of the Year award-winners are chosen & developed not because they are genuinely superior garden plants (some are, many are really not so good) but because they are very responsive to mass-production. The Perennial of the Year winners in particular are voted on by production-growers who are looking for plants that respond to chemistry for rapid mass production, or can be forced to bloom ahead of their natural schedule to get a jump on sales, or are sterile so that amateur gardeners can't grow them themselves from seeds, & last a long time in pots under nursery conditions.
A plant that meets all those criteria isn't invariably as good a choice for the garden as it was for wholesale production & retail presentation. Many far better garden plants are never going to hit the mass-production outlets merely because they don't "dress" well in pots (but are fabulous in gardens), or break easily in shipping, or wilt the first day chainstore workers forget to water anything, or grow so swiftly they don't look properly dressed a week after shipment to chain stores.
The criteria for the Award of Garden Merit by commparison has nothing to do with the needs of wholesale growers or retail outlets, but have criteria strictly related to their benefits, beauty, & ease of growth in the garden. More of these will be found through independent nurseries which are not as reliant on mass production lines to sustain their stocks.

Actually, there are many plants that resent being dug out of the ground (from perennials with wide-spreading roots or deep taproots, to weeping twisted beech trees), & will do MUCH better if pot-grown before placed in their permanent locations. Even some easy bedding plants home-grown from seeds should be started in pots so they won't undergo the shock of being dug out of the ground before going into permanent locations, such as poppies.
As for field-grown plants that do transplant well, some will be superior, others won't. I've seen field-grown rhodies carefully developed to a mass-production standard for shipment to the likes of Lowes. Of a hundred shrubs sent to market, they all have one identical look to them, & are devoid of individuality or character. To me these are ho-hum shrubs though perfectly healthy & all that. Then again, some of the shrubs I've gotten from small growers active in the Rhododendron Species Foundation let their shrubs develop quite naturally, & these back-acre half-wild specimens often have a great deal of individual character & are already very used to exposure to the elements, unlike some greenhouse-grown dwarf rhodies that are marketed without being hardened off enough to face the elements.
-paghat the ratgirl
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"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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Cereus-validus wrote:

For some people, the reward of gardening *is* taking something that has little chance of living, and turning it into a beautiful thing. At risk was the 30-cents paid for the three plants, and some compost, mulch and water. The pay-off was three years of enjoyment. The positive results were a bonus. Even if they had not survived, the experience of trying to save them was the real pay-off.
Anyone can go out and buy healthy, vigorous plants. That's no more fun than going out and buying new socks.
--
Warren H.

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I've never in my life met anyone who enjoyed buying unhealthy sickly plants. Unhealthy plants invite disease, which spreads to healthy plants.
I do know many who prefer to start their own things most inexpensively from seed, & nurture a plant through its entire life cycle. But shopping for stuff other people have started, but waiting until it is abused & sickly & on sale, just sounds loony, & nothing at all like buying new socks.
If socks was the comparison, going for the unhealthy sickly plants would be like buying dirty socks with big holes in the heals from hobos for the sheer joy of seeing if you could successfully get rid of the fungal diseases before you pulled them parasitized & disease-ridden over your feet.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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paghat wrote:

Who said anything about disease?
Unhealthy does not equal disease.
Healthy appearing plants may be harboring disease, and unhealthy plants aren't necessarily unhealthy because of disease.

That's like saying people who go out and help abused children are loony. Should they just reproduce, and turn a blind eye towards things they haven't raised themselves?

You missed the whole point. Going out and buying socks is _boring_. Anyone can do it. It takes no special skills, and there is no thrill involved. "Ooooo... Look at that! A perfect shade of gray!" Yeah. I see a lot of people who's hobby is buying socks.
Seeing the potential in a plant that has not been cared for properly, and then bringing that potential out is a thrill. I can go out and buy a big, full, ready to fruit next year blueberry bush, or I can buy that scraggly little thing that the folks at Home Depot are about to throw in the dumpster. To you, once I get it to fruit, the fruit may taste no different. To me, it's an accomplishment. There's no accomplishment involved in getting fruit from the perfect bush. Anyone could buy that bush and get the same results.
And you seem to be obsessed with disease. No one else had even brought it up yet, but you seem to have decided that's what's being talked about.
--
Warren H.

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Aren't you the optimist, Warren.
Maybe that can be your epitaph?
Would you like that?
You are just like the stubborn fool that refuses to see the doctor and then drops dead from an easily curable disease!!!
No matter if you try to sugar coat a turd, its still a turd!!! You may claim its good to eat but nobody else will believe you!!

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"Cereus-validus" wrote in response to Warren who stated:

Karl Marx is known to have said, "I am not a Marxist."
--
Jim Carlock
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I thought the correct quote was "I am not a marmoset."
Other great Marx quotations:
"I'd horsewhip you if I had a horse."
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it."
"If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute & a huff."
"While hunting in Africa, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How an elephant got into my pajamas I'll never know."
"I don't have a photograph, but you can have my footprints. They're upstairs in my socks."
"I have nothing but confidence in you. And very little of that."
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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Stressed plants invite diseases to degrees healthy vigorous plants do not.

Now for sure THAT'S loony. Abused children are not plants. If they were, making a house out of lumber, or using a branch for firewood, would be inherently evil acts on par with crimes against humanity, & the compost heap should be on blessed holy ground, while you should be carted away to prison for mowing the lawn.

I just bought some bright red socks with white pokadots. They're a joy on my feetsies. If they were worn out & needed fixing, THAT would be both boring & a nuisance.
Buying healthy vigorous plants & maintaining healthy vigorous plants in one's gardens is most certainly never boring.

The occasional freebie otherwise destined for the compost heap or dumpster can score very high on the cheapskate scale, & I've certainly been pleased by many such freebies over time, but it's a delusion to believe it takes some special skill to "save" a plant that just needed watering. If I wanted a super blueberry bush however, I'd obtain a HEALTHY young bare root & raise it to maturity very skillfully. If you personally get some deeper thrill out of having ugly plants for a year or two then suddenly they bounce back, & you couldn't've been nearly as happy about it if your garden had looked nicer sooner, then you certainly should continue to go this route. But it's a peculiar & very personal preference, & it takes no special skill whatsoever.

If you're intentionally planting stressed plants, then you're inviting diseases, funguses, & insect pests into your garden for no good reason. Nature is very handy that way, culling the weak. Now if you WERE intentionally inviting diseases because the diseases & pests were of personal interest to you, that would make more sense; plant diseases can be fascinating to study, & experimenting with techniques of eradication of diseases can potentiall be very useful to everyone. Not, however, anything like saving abused children, or even abused dogs. Plants are PLANTS, & unlike with children, it's even okay to eat them.
-paghat the ratgirl
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"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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paghat wrote:

Then you are guilty of the very thing you are riling about.
Go flog yourself for "intentionally planting stressed plants, then you're inviting diseases, funguses, & insect pests into your garden for no good reason."
--
Warren H.

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Cheapskate meter does sometimes override common sense. On the other hand, the ultra-cheapies & freebies I've gotten (from quality nurseries) were jack in the pulpits & monkshoods & trout lilies which some nurseries would rather jettison than care for until the following spring. Not quite the same as being moronic enough to intentionally bring home stressed plants, but without denying that it would be moronic, cheapness might override intelligent decisions sometime. I wouldn't have to convince myself that such a bad decision was the same thing as saving children from abuse. That self-deception was really crazy.
-paggers
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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apparently you have not gone on the post-shoe shopping accessorizing exPEDition with my ex-girlfriend.
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At our local Home Depot, "they" don't water the plants. They have a service that comes in and takes care of the watering, sprucing up, etc..
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