Spring Hill

Has anyone out there purchased from them? I have my first house and yard to plant this year so I am curious about the different mail order catalogs I get. Thanks in advance for your help. Pat
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Don't waste your time with that one. You think the prices are too good to be true---- you're right.
Over many years I've learned that its better to go slow and buy growing plants than to try to cut corners with mail order cheap.
Spring Hill has been by far, the worst of the worst.
Sue
-- Breeze ( sue burnham)

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On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 18:00:31 +0000, PBarnes149 wrote:

Where are you located?
Check with your county extension specialist and local master gardeners for recommendations. There are undoubtedly many good nurseries within a reasonable drive of your house.
Unless you really are considering specific varieties, starting perennials from seeds does work. If you start the seeds early enough indoors, you might even get some blooms same year.
Or contact a wholesaler to see if you can buy by the flat. Split the flats with friends.
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PBarnes149 wrote:

Before you buy plants mail order, check with www.gardenwatchdog.com. You can see what other people's experience with the particular vendor has been.
Suja
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- Tallahassee, FL - Only where people have learned to appreciate and cherish the landscape and its living cover will they treat it with the care and respect it should have - Paul Bigelow Sears.
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I had to landscape an entire yard for our new house last year. I saved money by growing a lot of stuff from seed. Also check out local fundraising plant sales and swaps in your area, your local hortacultural assn. probably has a list. Apart from the mail order places that other people have mentioned, I had good luck with Gilbert H. Wild, www.gilberthwild.com They have great deals on large numbers of plants, like their 50 hostas for 50 dollars, 100 hosta for 100 dollars. They don't have every plant known to mankind but they concentrate on daylillies, hostas, oriental lillies, iris and peonys for good prices. Those kind of perennials are the tough, rewarding kind that will form the backbone of a garden in almost any zone.
mm
- Tallahassee, FL - Only where

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I f you're the sort who can "wait" you can also get lots of plants for freeeeee by starting from cuttings. If you see a hedge you like being pruned, you can start many of them from those tender new shoots that are being shorn off that are a couple inches or more long, just gather them up and keep them cool and moist until you can trim the ends with a clean new razor blades.
Then immediately dip the cuttings in some rooting hormone (if it won't stick dip the cutting into water then the rooting hormone, then poke a hole into the rooting medium and insert the cutting I've used peatmoss and sand to do cuttings but that *could* carry fungus or bacteria, but it's what I had it and it worked. You can use vermiculite or perlite just make sure that its moist.
I used a clear plastic bag what I put my rooting media in a few inches deep. I poked holes in the media, inserted the cuttings, pressed the rooting medium together on either side, and then twisted the bag closed, after poking some drinking straws into the rooting medium to keep the bag from collapsing onto the cuttings, and I poked a few holes in the bag(s) for ventilation but not so large to let them dry out.
I put them in bright light, but not direct sunlight. I watched the media to make sure it wasn't drying out, and plucked out any obviously dead cuttings, and watched for any fungal growth and plucked those out. Eventually some will take root and if you took lots of cuttings, you'll eventually have a free hedge ;-) Well, you'll probably want to put them in pots for awhile or if you can protect them, you could probably set them out after hardening off and their developing a good root system, in place. So long as you can accept some losses and have enough to "fill in" with.
It's not fast, but it's fun! You can start all kinds of plants from cuttings, and there are some books out there that deal with getting free plants. There's one with "free plants" in the title that deals with plant propagation.
Oh, btw.. as to Spring Hill, I've never purchased from them, but there are web sites that rate mail order plant sources this one was helpful to me: http://gardenwatchdog.com /
Good luck
wrote:

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This is certainly true here in SE MI. It is a pity that I spent so much money and time when I started my house here in 1996 (having moved from California, I had no idea what worked here). Almost everything I bought failed, and a;most everything I got (except oriental lilies and coneflower grown from seed) I have transplanted from the woods around the house, or from the backyard to the front yard. It did help that the previous owner next door was a true gardener, and that three successive owners had left a Micronesia of small beds over my two acres.
The plants I found in large quantities (more than 100 plants) in the woods or along fencerows or in the ditch were lamium, lily of the valley, scilla, daylilies, forsythia, and bloodroot. I inherited lots of vincas, some ostrich ferns and bags of iris corms from various friends who were moving. I moved some peonies and about two hundred daffs from the front yard to the backyard. Again, I only added a few dozens oriental lilies, some houttunya, and several clusters of seed-grown coneflowers. Nature has since done the rest, with all plants propagating themselves (by now they have tripled in numbers at least), clearly being well adapted to the partial sun/ open shade that dominates around my house. This year I will add some blackeyed susans in the sunniest spots and then I will be done. I plant a tray of impatiens in containers under the windows every year. All these plants have taken one foot of wood chips in the past, and a layer of leaves every year, but are otherwise not watered or fertilized at all.
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Many thanks to all for the info. Pat
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Spring Hill has a bad reputation, some of it earned and some due to ignorance, in my opinion. They were taken over several years ago by a company that had poor customer service and many people had problems with their orders - some not receiving plants in a timely manner and some receiving poor quality stock. The other issue with them is that they show mature plants in the catalog but ship very small plants. There is nothing wrong with starting with small plants, but some people were mislead by the pictures despite the descriptions that indicated that the plants were very small.
About two years ago the parent company went bankrupt and sold off Spring Hill to a group of employees. Since then I believe that the level of customer service has improved. I live close to their facility and visit often. The plants they sell are quite nice, if small, there is a good selection, and the price is fair.
If you are looking for perennials or bare root roses or trees, I would recommend them. Don't expect to get five, gallon size hostas for $3. You will get small, bare root plants. The perennials will come in very small pots or cell packs.
Another good source for plants by mail is Bluestone Perennials (www.bluestoneperennials.com) I have also been to their facility in NE Ohio, and have bought their plants by mail. They have excellent customer service and healthy plants. However, the plants will be very small, but by year two, the will have caught-up with the larger, more expensive plants that you can get at the local nursery. The plants that Bluestone sells are the same size as those sold by Spring Hill.
If you are in the vicinity, I would recommend that you visit Spring Hill's display gardens and store near the junction of I70 and I75 in Ohio (near Dayton). Here is a link to some pictures that I took: http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens/springhill.msnw
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