Just noticed Bluestone changes...

irene_dsc(5)July 18, 2011

So, my daughter was looking through a Bluestone catalog, and starting to put together a wish list for next spring for her garden. (Ok, so right now it is just a long list of things she likes - lots of editing needed!)

So, I went online to find out more about some of the plants, since she picked out a bunch of things I've never grown. I started noticing that everything was priced individually, but with a small discount for 3 or more - unlike how they usually have things either in a 3-pack or a larger pot. I finally went to the home page, where they said that they have changed to planting everything in larger coir pots, to get rid of the plastic. What they *don't* mention is that the prices have now gone up a LOT, since you can no longer get the smaller 3 packs. For instance - Delphinium Connecticut Yankee - in my Fall 2011 catalog, it is listed as 3 for $14.95. Online, it is $7.95 each, or $7.50 for 3 or more, which translates to $22.50 for 3!

I wasn't really planning to order anything this fall, so I guess it wouldn't do me any good to complain to Bluestone - but this is not making me as likely to order from them in the future. (Actually, I think I am going to complain, on principle - it's no fair to change the prices after you send the catalogue!)

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Is it a fall 2011 catalogue with the old 3-pack prices? If it is, they may honor those prices this fall. I haven't ordered from them since they switched to the higher prices and single plants rather than 3-packs. With winter sowing I don't order as many plants as I once did--I grow my own from seed and they're far more robust and healthy than anything nursery-grown. I grew my own delphinium from seed and they bloomed this year.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 12:57PM
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Well, I did send an email complaining about them changing the website so that it is 30% more than the Fall 2011 catalogue. I haven't heard back from them yet. I'm curious about what they will say, but since I wasn't planning to order anything, it won't really make a difference to me.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 3:05PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

On the flip side... I am actually a bit pleased to hear they are selling single (and perhaps larger?) plants. I rarely mail order plants, but had always avoided Bluestone when doing so because they DID sell in three packs. I have a small/average sized garden already near "full" stage and couldn't find the space for those extra two plants at all! I would be ordering and wasting money since I had only needed or wanted the one plant. Now I would be much more willing to consider odering from them, knowing they sell in singles.

I am sorry for those, like yourself, who wanted to take advantage of their three-pack deals ;-( Think they have been doing the three pack thing for quite a while, so I am sure you are not alone in feeling annoyed. Hopefully you will be able to find the things you were looking for somewhere local, for a better price too ;-)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 7:04PM
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Well, I probably will still order from them, but will be more likely to order just one of things to see how well they do.

It was funny going through the catalog with dd - at the end, she had written down 24 different plants she liked. When I told her that at an average of $10 (once you add shipping) that if she bought one of everything, it would be $240, she definitely understood that she wouldn't be doing that! (We also don't have appropriate spaces for everything, either - she just wanted to write it all down.)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 7:44PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Irene, I remember ordering from them 20 years ago when they had their small 3-packs for about $3.50 or so and it was always buy 2 3-packs get a 3-pack FREE! Boy was I able to buy a ton of plants as a new gardener. Then they got rid of that special deal, then they went to larger pots, and now they are selling singles. I have heard from others besides CMK that they did not order from Bluestone specifically because they had to buy in 3's so maybe they think this will bring a new base of customers as well as more $$ overall.

I kind of feel badly for anyone who wants to start out gardening as a hobby these days because even places like the big box stores have changed to much larger pots for more $$. It used to be you could start a nice perennial garden for pretty short money but not so much anymore.

I'm with gardenweed that I am starting perennials from seed now. I did a ton this past winter and filled up the garden. I do use grow lights so there is cost associated with soil and electricity, but I could never afford the amount of plants I need/want to fill my yard otherwise.

I'm disappointed at the high cost of plant material in general. I tend to now stick wtih my local nurseries and figure if I'm going to spend the money I'd rather keep it in my own town. I'll only order fairly special things online where I used to order a lot of "basics" online and most often from Bluestone.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 8:50PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

I have only ordered roses online from J&P when they were in Medford, Oregon and was so pleased. Then I started find J&P roses at the local garden centers/nurseries. I will only order plants that I have a hard time finding locally. Shipping costs are expensive to these mail-order companies and like everything else, the cost of postage, and shipping cost have skyrocketed just like fuel costs,etc. The rule of thumb is to plant in 3, 5 or 7 for an effective look..so that is maybe what Bluestone and some of the other companies are thinking about. It's all about marketing techniques and whatever the consumer wants or needs. I find myself ordering more online these days because I'm not willing to spend hours walking these malls, plus the cost of gasoline. When we got shopping at malls anymore, it's a struggle to walk from one end to the other. We try to park near the store and we do use our handicap parking priviledges; more for my husband than me. I like having the packages delivered to my door and not having to walk or drive all over the place for what I want.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 8:52AM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

I placed an order on Walter Drake's 800# last night for 3 items and they charge a processing fee of $1.99 plus the shipping cost. The C.S. rep. told me it is the cost for processing the order for our customers..the box and all the waded up paper they put inside. Ever heard of such? It will be the last order I ever place with them. What I ordered I have never seen locally. Guess a lot of catalog companies are hurting through the weak economy like everybody else.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 8:23AM
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