Why We Started a Mail Order Plant Nursery
Have you noticed, the interesting plants are harder to find?
We noticed, yet . . . we KNOW there are better plants than ever before!
There are more captivating and healthy plants being discovered than any other time in history. Plant lovers are working on introducing superior plants, both for our variable climates and contemporary aesthetics.
They are looking for many assets including better cold hardiness, more heat tolerance, improved disease resistance, longer bloom time, captivating flower colors, unique flower structures, and stronger stems — to name but a few.
These plants are written about in magazines, featured in ads, given air time in talks and podcasts, yet . . . where do we get our hands on them?
Plus, the association of plants with insects who need their pollen is better documented and the information is so easily available now on the Internet. Yet . . . we struggle to find these plants to grow in our own gardens.
We opened our on-line nursery to help solve the problem of where to find the interesting plants we want.
Our Story (or Why a Couple Started an On-Line Plant Nursery)
We are a husband and wife team who garden together and opened this nursery together. Our different skills and interests are what inspired us to open Cutting Edge Plants mail order plants, as a couple.
I'm Hillary, the wife, and I'm a professional horticulturist — I make a living with plants, but try to keep the youthful wonder that drew me to plants in the first place. That compels me to garden at home — a lot — because I'm crazy for plants. Mike started gardening with me and caught the plant fever. He looks at plants with fresh eyes and brings me fresh observations. He's learning plant names and recognizing patterns faster than I did as a student.
Mike, the husband, is a professional programmer — he makes a living with code and he codes a lot. It's his skills as a developer and with shipping and logistics that gave us the idea to grow plants and offer them on-line so people who are searching can find them. "Mail order plants" is certainly not a new idea, but now that it's harder to find the steady pipeline of new (and old) beautiful, captivating, and healthy plants, it's seems like an obvious solution. Our vision of offering mail order plants to gardeners near and far is the reason why I'm typing here in cyber space this morning rather than planting the 3 Calycanthus floridus cultivars out in the garden.
First Nursery Day
After six and a half months of planning, on July 21, 2017, we had our first hands-on nursery day where we propagated over 600 plants. A friend helped us out and he built these propagation frames from parts he already had. We are impressed by how handy and tidy he is.
Here are some of the cuttings we stuck. Material availability, time, and space were in short supply so we did a lot of single- and double-node cuttings. We were told it was getting late in the season to stick, but with many of our cuttings we had good rooting percentages. We are thankful.
Six weeks later, the first batch of cuttings were ready to be potted up. Here they are corralled safely in Pen 1 along with liners of patented plants bought in from a licensed grower. The smallest ones — those are the ones we propagated ourselves, with the help of the friend.
Our niece, Carolina, a MLA student, has been an enthusiastic help to us every "potting up day." With over 5,000 plants in our collection now, there have been quite a lot of potting up days. After the first long Saturday of potting and hauling, we went out to our favorite Mexican establishment to celebrate with Carolina and Hillary's mom. It was a two-pitcher-Margarita night.
Cheers to good plants!
Won't you come along with us as the rest of our story develops? Please join our mailing list to continue interacting with us that way, find our tel and email under Contact Us, or post a comment under one of our blog posts. We would love to hear from you about your gardening adventures, or anything else, including margarita recipes.
Hillary & Mike
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