Well, 2002 is finally here and so is the 2002 version of the plant-packed Plant Delights Website. The printed catalogs were mailed on December 28, so until yours arrives, you can enjoy our updated website. Here, you will find over 400 additional plants that are not in the printed catalog, but which are only available in sufficient quantities to list here. The new printed catalog contains 16 more pages than last spring, which allowed us to provide more and larger color photographs.
We will begin spring shipping on February 11 to those in the deep south, so specify any delivery date between then and your date of last frost. For those of you in Buffalo, that may take quite a while. Of course, this year, those of you in the Great Lakes Snow Belt will probably find zone 8 plants hardy with your deep winter blanket. So far, we have had a great winter for overwintering perennials here at the nursery, so losses should be at a minimum.
In other PDN news, we are delighted to welcome our new head grower Candi Byrd. Candi has a strong background as a grower and takes over from Bridget Zazzara, who is headed north to study at Longwood Gardens.
We were very pleased to be rated as the #2 Mailorder Nursery in America for Hostas, and the #4 overall best Mailorder Nursery in America for Perennials in the 2001 GardenWeb.com customer poll. We would like to thank those customers who voted for us, and we will strive to not only maintain, but improve on that ranking.
You will notice a slight increase in some plant prices this year, as well as the same in the area of shipping costs. We could no longer hold the line in shipping, after absorbing 5 years of increases from the shipping companies. Although we truly hate to raise prices, and have actually still lowered prices of a few of items, we constantly study our production costs. Between increased production costs and the desire to reasonably compensate our staff, we found the small increase necessary.
Maybe you missed the fact that many popular mailorder nurseries have bit the dust or filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy during the last year. These closings were due to many factors such as the economic downturn to the events of September 11, but most of all to a difficulty in managing a proper balance between sales and expenses. What may seem easy and potentially lucrative to a back-yard hobbyist is in fact a very difficult business, made worse by the fact that most nursery owners are plant geeks and not MBA’s. We are again reminded of the importance of maintaining a livable bottom-line as well as making great plants available. Please, be sure to patronize your favorite nurseries, and help them to be here for tomorrow.
From the owners and staff of Plant Delights, we would like to take this opportunity to wish our customers and friends a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. Enjoy the website! -tony