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.
Breeze ( sue burnham)
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.
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.
- Tallahassee, FL - Only where
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
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 /
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
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.
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
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:
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