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Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Posted by carl18 z6 NJ (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 10, 11 at 14:28

It was bound to happen, sooner or later: when my new BP catalog arrived
today, I quickly glanced at it to see if several perennials I was planning to
order were available. . .

First change: it appears there are no more 3-plants-for-a-single-price. . .
just price savings on multiples of three. . .which might be fine, actually,
because sometimes you only want one plant. . .but, then, start adding up
those 3-or-more-plants at the lower price, and you'll find price increases
of 50% to 75% over their most recent Spring catalog !

Sadly, the party's over - when catalog prices are the same or higher than
local nurseries, the marketplace has spoken.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I got mine a couple of days ago. I do not like the change. Unless they have something I really want and can't find anywhere else for the same size, etc., then sadly, Bluestone will no longer see any more orders from me. I liked their three packs, though those were getting pricey as well. Oh well. There are other nurseries out there.

Karen


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Mine came yesterday but I'd already seen a couple of threads by folks angry/unhappy with the higher prices and no more three-fers. They do have a couple things I want to order that I haven't found anywhere else, not even seeds, so they'll get one last order from me. From here on I'll wait until the Santa Rosa Gardens end-of-season sale and pick up anything new for $2.99 + the best packing I've ever seen.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I too have read other threads, so I was kind of prepared. When I brought in the catalog I actually left it on the table for awhile, walking by it now and then and almost afraid to pick it up, lol. Finally did and wish I hadn't. I knew there were no more 3-packs, but I was expecting such a rise in prices for singles. Yikes is right!

Dee


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I prefer 3 packs since I like to plant in drifts, and buying them singly is very expensive. They are too pricey now for me.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

ditto... I've noticed their pricing inching up the past couple of years. No more bargains that's for sure.

I haven't bought from them in a while, I wonder if the plant sizes have gotten larger to match the prices.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Bluestone just added this "company announcement" to their page on a popular mail-order nursery ratings website:

"We are now growing all our plants in 100% biodegradable pots made from coconut husk fibers (coir). We are excited for many reasons:
* You plant the pot directly in the ground with little to no transplant shock.
* You may now purchase in any quantity you wish, with a price break for 3 or more of a variety (as we have stopped growing in 3-paks),
* No more shipping peanuts! Growing in one size pot has allowed us to redesign our packaging.

Please don't be alarmed by this change. We're still the same company, growing and shipping the same great plants with the same great service - only now with a more earth-friendly product! Thanks and see you in the garden! "


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Another company to raise prices for the sake of being more "green." Count me in the camp of I most likely will not be ordering from them anymore.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I don't care for "biodegradable" pots and always remove the pot whether it's peat, coir, burlap, wire baskets, whatever.

I have never ordered from Bluestone at full price, always waited for the Spring sale or a special, so the plants were about 50% off. We'll see what their prices are during next year's Spring sale.

In the meantime, I finally contacted Bluestone about replacement plants for this past sale. 1 or 2 of the plants in several of the 3-packs didn't make it. Also all 3 of the Echinacea 'Prairie Splendor' have survived, but the older leaves have molded and the new leaves are so small. I told her I was worried about them making it over the winter at that size.

They are replacing all of them without hesitation, so their customer service is still great.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Years ago, there was a company that tried to make a name for itself with biodegradable pots. Unfortunately, the pots didn't biodegrade, and too many people lost the plants.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I like the idea of ordering one plant, but not if it costs what 3 used to cost!


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

The thing that gets me is this. The 3-packs were about $12 to $15, roughly. That's about $4 to $5 a plant. Now the plants are about $8 to $10 each (after a quick look through the catalog). So not only has the price gone up quite a bit per plant, but honestly I have to wonder how much bigger the plants will be. Could be the same sized plants in a (bit) bigger pot....

Dee


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I sure won't miss those packing peanuts.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 11, 11 at 17:54

I was looking through the catalog and wondering what the heck they were smoking. $14.50 for a single Baptisa? Maybe for a nice 1 gallon pot.
I'm sure some people will be suckered into their slick catalog and marketing though.

What I find off putting about the the new pots is that they say to plop them in the ground. I don't know about you but I ALWAYS tease the roots so they take quicker and don't become an entangled clump that strangles itself.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

And I don't know about prices in anyone else's neighborhood, but as Dee
(the math whiz) has pointed out, $8.-$10. for a smallish pot - the biggest
they ever shipped as I recall was a 4" pot - PLUS SHIPPING (!), just isn't
competitive any more. For that price, I can get quart to gallon size plants
at a dozen nurseries near me . . . and actually chose the one's I want!

Time to check out your local plant swaps, folks. . .

Carl


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Gee, I've been called a lot of things in my life, but "math whiz" has never been one of them...

;)
Dee


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Okay I just took a closer look at the website. The coir pots are 3 1/2 inches square by 4 inches deep. This is about 1 pint, a lot bigger than a section of the 3 packs, but it is a very small nursery pot. In fact do nurseries ever sell perennials in pots that small? Anyway, right now they have the species Echinacea purpurea on "special" for $6.36 each ($6.00 for 3+). Regular price is $7.50. For a plant that reseeds wildly once established in those tiny nursery pots. I can understand a steady slow increase in prices - just like everything else. But how do they justify such a jump in prices?

I like Bluestone, but this feels like the usual end-run in the marketplace out there these days - change packaging, put "New" and "Improved" on the label, make the product smaller, charge more.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I think species Echinacea should be cheaper. They are so easily grown from seeds!


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Not sure I want to pay that much for plants that small. For just a little more I can get plants twice the size from local nurseries and they do just as well.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Coreopsis Sienna Sunset - $15.95 for a four inch pot.
Are you serious Bluestone?
I bought one last year from Santa Rosa`s sale for $2.99.
Liked it so much, I bought another from their sale this summer.
Still $2.99.

For shame, Bluestone.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I will continue to shop Santa Rosa. Also, check out Garden Harvest Supply. They sell perennials, annuals and vegetables. Good prices and excellent reviews on the Watchdog. Half price annual sale in early summer, plus perennial sales. I have never been disappointed with Garden Harvest Supply or Santa Rosa.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Harvest Supply


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I think I'll check out Santa Rosa and Garden Harvest now.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Still have the 2011 spring catalog. I flipped through and looked at some of the prices. Many prices on the single plants have not changed. The increases show up with the plants you used to get by threes and now are only available individualy.

Pot size. Their website proclaims they now have new, LARGER pots which they say are 3.5 x 3.5 x 4 inches. These are the same size as the old pots they used for their single plants. Except the old pots were an inch deeper! So, larger than what? Well, sure, larger than the 2.35 x 2.22 x 2.75 inch ones used for the 3-packs which they no longer use. Thus, the larger pot size they describe is not an across-the-board development and it is not a huge increase in size either. Gotta read the fine print!


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Well, this past spring was my first time ordering from Bluestone (yes, yes I know I'm late to the party). Overall I was pleased with the quality and size of the plants. Quite frankly, I'm not sad to see the 3 plant offer go away. I usually only want 1 plant of something and am more than willing to wait a few years and divide the plant if I want more. Unfortunately there were a few plants I wanted in the spring Bluestone catalog that only came in 3's, so I had to order them that way.

I think because it was my first order I also received a 15% discount which basically paid the shipping costs. That was nice. Plus - enclosed was note saying if I mailed the shipping box back to them I would receive a voucher for free shipping on my next order. Since I know the shipping on my next order will be over $20, the $7 I spent to ship their box back to them was a good deal.

I'm not ready to give up on Bluestone yet. Since I hate, hate, hate shopping at garden centers and avoid them like the plague, I'll order more from Bluestone next spring.

Kevin


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customer loyalty

you know, I don't think it would hurt too many of us to give Bluestone one more try. They served us well for dozens of years and we got bargains. Maybe it was a choice to raise their profits or go completely out of business. Maybe not, and there's a sinister motive. But the motive is certainly not to piss off long time customers and get no orders.They run a business and we don't know a thing about their cost of doing business.What we all know is that no one gets rich in the nursery business.

I sound preachy, but to tell the truth I'm put off by all this righteous indignation. A good counter balance to our griping about Bluestone is the other thread about WWF.

I'm not trying to curtail anyone's freedom of speech or choice to buy where they want. So often we talk about supporting more expensive bricks and mortar stores in lieu of big box stores. The same goes here: Bluestone is a family run business that has survived a rash of mail order nursery collapses. If you've been ordering there for years, I hope you'll think once more before withholding a trial order with their new system.

idabean/Marie


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

If you support them, it's saying you like the changes. I don't think you should support a business just because they used to be good. There are other sources now like Santa Rosa Gardens and High Country Gardens. If a business wants to keep customers they have to listen to them. Otherwise, Coca-Cola would still be selling New Coke.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I shop sales. Big Box, my local Nursery,Santa Rosa, and even Bluestone if they have a good enough sale. I just do not order a plant unless I cannot find it locally. I do not like spending a lot of money for a little tiny pot that will take 2 extra years to grow to a size that is a true garden plant.

I prefer to shop locally and have a large plant. I do not want a year old seed grown plant for 15.00. Sorry I am not doing it to keep anyone in business. I have other living needs a lot more important than a 15.00 seedling in a pot.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

But Ech, that's exactly my point. We don't know that they are "worse" than before, just that their prices went up. For most of us,including me who loves a bargain, more expensive loses points. People complained all the time about their tiny 3 packs while others said these wee things got twice as big twice as fast as larger plants grown for sale in nearby nurseries.

Once again, (and again and again) buy where you will, when you want. I'm presenting a rationale for giving them a try before crossing them off the list forever and ever.

Except for my curiosity about anyone agreeing with me, that's all I have to contribute to the conversation.

idabean


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

If they have a plant I can't find locally, I will continue to purchase from them.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Idabean, perhaps a little preachy, but a good point. Their new product may be excellent. On the other hand, we all know White Flower farm charges ridiculous prices for common cultivars and I would hate to see Bluestone become more that way.

Besides, I like the old 3 packs because I like to plant in groupings. Maybe a $10 or 15 plant in a large pot from the nursery can be divided into 3 clumps and accomplish the same thing. I just bought a couple of Polemonium 'Stairway to Heaven' in 2 gallon pots at a local nursery (Mahoneys) on special for $5.00 each. There are clearly 3 good sized clumps in each pot so I plan to divide them up and hopefully get 6 plants. A Bluestone 3 pack couldn't beat that deal on its best day!

Marquest, I think most of Bluestone's plant in the 3 packs were 1 year old clones, not seedlings. Not sure about these new coir pots.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Marie, I am not ruling out buying from bluestone ever again. (I'm sure I'll place a small order just to see what things look like!) But I can probably say with some certainty that I won't order as much. I too liked the three-packs, for one thing, and their new prices for singles are just not much of a bargain anymore, and certainly not when you add in shipping. So I will probably buy more locally - which to be honest, is not something I usually have done in the past. The majority of my garden is from Bluestone, and I'm sure I will still buy some plants from them, but nowhere near what I have bought in the past.

One could say that we had it good all these years, getting such good quality for such good prices, and with great customer service. And that's true. And I'm sure the quality of their plants (and service) will remain high. But I just can't justify paying $12 to $15 dollars for a small plant, plus shipping, and for the most part, it is something I can find locally for the same price, bigger plant, and no shipping.

I'm not slamming Bluestone (I would never do that after our long relationship, lol) and I'm not indignant or (I hope) righteous. :) I just have a limited budget and have to spend it where I can get the most value for my dollar. That will more likely mean buying locally now.

Dee


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

You know, all that plastic and those peanuts never once stopped me from ordering.

However, their expensive "green" and "plantable" pots most certainly will.

The "green" movement is simply big business just like everything else, and I hate to see my favorite nursery jump on that propaganda bandwagon while expecting us customers to pay for that decision. If they want to go green, fine. Offer it as an alternative and keep the 3-packs, plastic, and peanuts for those of us who prefer that.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

The green movement is not simply big business like everything else. What are you comparing it to? Big oil? The finance industry?
There is no "propaganda bandwagon."


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Yes, I'm pretty offended by that "propaganda bandwagon" statement too. You want to talk propaganda? Let's talk about the "clean coal" ads I keep seeing on TV. Now that's some real propaganda! Interesting how the energy industry is trying to use the so-called green propaganda bandwagon to sell us what they have to offer.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I don't care much for the coir pots. I bought some veggie seedlings this summer from a local nursery and they were in the coir pots. It was actually difficult to remove from the roots, as the seedlings were a bit pot bound. The coir kind of shreds up, so I put it on the compost. I keep all the plastic pots, and reuse them or pot seedlings in them, or bring to swaps.

The packing peanuts were ridiculous, really. I save all packing peanuts and take them to the UPS store for re-use. Sometimes the Bluestone peanuts would have plant debris I'd have to pick out (they only want clean peanuts).

As for green propaganda, there are always going to be exploitative people who take advantage of a trend to make money. But some of us "green" folks sincerely care about the planet and reducing our use of natural resources.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

This is very sad news. I gardened years ago, and was a fanatic Bluestone admirer. I JUST bought a house with a nice size yard after living without a garden for years, and I've been super excited to get the Bluestone catalog and start dreaming of next spring. Sigh. I'd love to hear about other favorite companies people have for quality perennials.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 19, 11 at 10:35

From Bluestone:

I was here when we changed our small 6 pack to
the jumbo 3 pack and we had the same results only no internet
at that time. We are so excited about the new "plantable" pot,
no more plastic or peanuts, and many customers are now very
happy with us. We will still be offering our early order discounts,
coupons, online "Specials" and our 100% guarantee.
The plants are growing so much better in the coco pot and I hope
you will give them a try


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I am glad to see the end of the packing peanuts. I found them immensely difficult to remove from some of the more delicate plants and I lost a couple due to that. It always took me longer to unpack Bluestone order than any other mail order nursery I have used and the plants weren't in as good shape (to say nothing of my state of mind after carefully picking away all the peanuts that had stuck to various plants.)

I guess I'll take a wait-and-see attitude about the pots to see how the plants do. It always seemed like the Bluestone pots were so thin that they didn't use much plastic, but I also found them too delicate to be reused. Regular pots I reuse or can give back to local nurseries for cleaning and reuse.

Where I live there are limited nursery choices, and I might spend more in gas to drive an hour to a really good nursery than I would spend in shipping to get something I really want, and there are many things not available at all here. So I'll continue to support local nurseries for what they carry as well as various mail order sources (including Bluestone at leas for now) for the plants that aren't relatively common.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I'm sure there are many people now happy with Bluestone, but there are many who are not and I, for one, am not. Without the need to deal with peanuts and recycling, Bluestone should be able to cut down on their number of employees. Less overhead for them should equal savings for the consumer. Hmmm.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Except Sunnytop, they've just invested in new pots, new packing materials, new content on their website, etc. I assume they will need to recoup those costs, i.e. the customer will pay more, not save.

This is one thing that really annoys me about the constant changes in packaging and labels out there. Who's paying for the design, materials, machinery??? When the old package was just fine.

Oh...except the new package usually means higher prices, and a smaller product. :-/


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I was disappointed to see the price increase, but even more disappointed when I received a back order yesterday. I had ordered 3 adenophora lilifolia last spring, received a note they were backordered and would arrive this fall. They arrived yesterday. The plants are in the new plantable pots, in a box that was too large for the three pots and had no packing peanuts. The plants had obviously just been transplanted into the pots. They had not rooted into the soil at all. Because there were no peanuts to hold them in place, the soil and the plants had fallen out of their pots and were just bouncing around inside the box. They looked pitiful. I unpacked the box, put the plants into their pots and packed soil around, watered well. Checked this morning and, surprisingly to me, they are still alive, but look very very stressed. I honestly don't know if they will survive.


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RE: Ladybells - adenophora lilifolia

prairie_love - My seed-grown ladybells/adenophora lilifolia bloomed this year and I will harvest seeds in a few weeks' time. They're incredibly easy to grow from seed. I grew mine via winter sowing from commercial seed. If you would like to grow more, you're welcome to some seeds in exchange for SASBE/BEAP. Mine started blooming in June and are still flowering--definitely a keeper. Send me an email or post here if interested.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

  • Posted by mytime 3/4 Alaska (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 27, 11 at 12:50

Prairie love, I was wondering how using coir pots was eliminating the need for packing peanuts, but when I looked at a picture of their new packaging, I thought, "Well, maybe..."
I'm sorry to hear it didn't work for your order. I should be receiving my replacement order (for the wrong plant sent earlier) in a few days. Hopefully mine will be in better shape, as it's marginal for planting here now anyway. There's no time for plants to "recover" at this time of year.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I can't believe anybody plants Adenophora lilifolia ON PURPOSE!


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

gardenweed - thank you, that's very kind. I will see how these guys look over the next few days. If they survive, great. If not, I will contact you.

mytime - it will be interesting to see if your plants arrive in better shape than mine!


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Well, I hope my back ordered and replacement plants don't arrive as you describe, Prairie love.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

"I can't believe anybody plants Adenophora lilifolia ON PURPOSE!"
Perhaps you are confusing it with the dreaded Campanula rapunculoides? A. lilifolia isn't invasive, but spreads slowly. Mine has been here for several years, without apparent problem.
I bought the seeds from Gardens North, which explains the botanical differences between Adenophora and Campanula and knows a thing or two about selling good seed.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Ninamarie, Campanula rapunculoides have all flowers on one side of the stem. The beast I'm trying to kill have flowers all around the stem.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

  • Posted by mytime 3/4 Alaska (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 28, 11 at 11:42

Wieslaw, in all my reading, I've never found that description of the difference between the 2. Instead, I've found this test:
" Take a flower and gently pull off the petals, leaving the style standing in the center. You will be left holding the base of the flower with a bumpy appendage (the ovary) in the middle and the style sticking straight up out of the center. VERY CAREFULLY peel off the outside of the bumpy appendage, leaving the style standing. If underneath, all you see is a flat base to which the style is attached, then you have a campanula. If, however, you see, after the peeling, another bulb-like appendage surrounding the style, then you have an adenophora."
I'd be curious what your plant is according to this...


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Ninamarie, the botanical name in Danish for Campanula rapunculoides is 'One-sided campanula'. The name is self-explanatory.

Here is a link that might be useful: Campanula rapunculoides


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I also recently received a plant that Bluestone had run out of when I ordered it earlier this year. The plant was well rooted and the roots had even grown through the coir pot, but like prairie love's plants, mine was bare root, the potting mix having all removed itself from the pot during mailing. I think that Bluestone will have to either tweek their potting mix or their packing. Unlike prairie love's plants, mine came though just fine. I cut away the upper part of the coir pot where the plant hadn't rooted through and repotted the rest in a slightly larger pot and it's looking happy. The plant was quite a bit larger than previous plants I have gotten from Bluestone. I did send them an email letting them know of the issue since I'd just as soon they figure out a way to fix it.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Glad to hear that I am not the only one receiving plants that have fallen out of the new pots! My back order came on Friday and the box was in great shape. But when I opened it the Campanula Bavarian Blue that I have been waiting for were all broken and the soil was all over the inside of the box. I took pictures and sent Bluestone an email so they can see the damage. This clearly didn't look like it was caused by FedEx throwing my box all around. I don't know if the poor things will live, but I have given them every chance so we will see.
I still have one more back order that hasn't shipped. My decision to order again will be based on what that shipment looks like and on how they handle this issue.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

You might want to consider Sandy Mush Herbs as an alternative. I read an article in one of the big garden magazines on perennial Salvias awhile back and one of the companies they referred people to, was Sandy Mush Herbs. Although their offerings are not extensive, what they do offer is a small size at a small price. I haven't ordered from them, so I have no personal experience to offer. Sorry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sandy Mush Herbs


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Hmm - PM2 - your link just hooks me back to this thread.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Sorry about that, try this one....

Here is a link that might be useful: Sandy Mush Herbs


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

Full circle. . .this OP just received a back-order from Bluestone, and just as
Prairie Love described, the plants' smaller root system (with a clearly different
colored planting medium) had been repotted into the larger new coir pot,
no peanuts, plants and dirt all over the box. At the old prices, I might have let
it pass - but this doesn't encourage me to order anything new at the much steeper prices.

Carl


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

They should adopt a similar packing process like Lazy SS's, especially now that they jacked up their prices. Plants I've received from Lazy SS's don't move around at all in those boxes, and the dirt stays put. They have a great selection and their plants have done well for me. No, not affiliated with them, bought from them for the first time this year and was very pleased, so I made a second order a month ago.

Karen


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

My backorder just arrived. Only one plant, a Clematis, was alive. All others were scattered in the box. They didn't let them take root before shipping.


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RE: Bluestone Catalog Just Arrived - YIKES !!!

I do hope that everyone is taking pictures and emailing them to Bluestone...


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