Plug for a great hosta grower

Johnsp(6b)March 7, 2012

I just had to give a thumbs up for Rob Canning who bought Mary Chastian's business a few years ago. I bought a number of hostas from him last summer and all were great plants many multi eyed and very reasonable prices. He has a huge number of plants for sale-he just sent me his price list including many hard to find Lakeside hostas. If you haven't bought from him give him a holler and I'm sure he'll be happy to send you his price lists.

Scott

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Gesila(MI Z5)

I'm looking forward to being a first-time from Rob this year.

Here's what on my list from Rob:

LS Fancy Pants
LS Paisley Print
LS Cindy Cee
LS Foot Prints
LS Foiled Plot
Stag's Leap
Viking Ship

Gesila

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 7:24PM
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Johnsp(6b)

Wow it is almost identical to mine. You won't be disappointed. I did 3 or 4 orders with him last year and couldn't believe the size of the plants. Some were mature multi eyed plants. If you don't have Lakeside Fancy Pants,Hazy Morn and Breaking News give them a consideration they are just beautiful and are on his list.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 7:57PM
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Johnsp(6b)

I wanted to post Rob's Lakeside Hosta's email if you would like to receive his list of available plants. It is quite extensive and as you may be aware he purchased the Lakeside Hosta business from Mary Chastain and has many hard to find Lakeside hostas. For questions or plant list email at robslakesidehostas@gmail.com. I have no financial interest in his business just an addict who bought a number of hostas from him last summer and was extremely pleased and wanted to let other collecters know of another great source to purchase hostas from.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 1:27PM
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emme-dc(7b DC)

I didn't see a link or contact information for him--and where is he located?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 9:59AM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Just an email address:

robslakesidehostas@gmail.com

Ask for a plant list. Or if you are on facebook you can contact him that way as well as see some very beautiful pictures.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Lakeside Acres on FB

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 10:21AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

It seems like it would be difficult to do a mail order hosta business without a catalog or website. Not everyone uses Facebook (although it seems like it sometimes). A simple website is not that difficult or expensive to produce and maintain. It would make him a lot more accessible.

bkay

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Gesila(MI Z5)

Rob is located in Fenton, Michigan. He sells a lot of his hostas on the auction at hostalibrary.org.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

I also would like to see a website with photos like Mary Chastain had with Lakeside Acres. In many cases it was the magnificent photos that sold me. That is where I fell in love with Lakeside Dragonfly and first saw Lakeside Dividing Line, Sapphire Pleats, Black Satin etc. A website can list all those other mundane but important details as size and shipping info, HVX precautions, etc. A phone call and a list just can't do that.

-Babka

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:33AM
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roblksd

Babka, Most people know me from the HL auction where I take the time and effort to take pictures and sell that plant being shown. I always have an item such as a can or basketball to show scale in the picture because I feel pictures can be misleading. I also think it can be misleading to show a mature picture of a plant and not know what you are actually getting. I have purchased by mail order from probably as many places as anyone. Many of which do not have websites and just have a printed catalog or on their websites just have a list. I do not sell plants on FB. I just like to put pictures on there to share. I give very honest feedback to questions by email. Giesla asked me about a plant recently and I am pretty sure I talked her out of buying it from me. I even refer people to other growers when I can't help them. I am just getting started and quite frankly I am cheap. The cost of a website may be cheap to you but it would just be another bill for me right now. It is a tough economy for most including me and I have had a few injuries that have hurt me both physically and financially the last few years. I am just trying the best I can to get back on my feet, take care of my family and move forward in a positive way. I am sorry you feel that what and how I do things is not good enough. I do not try to use this forum for self promotion. I hope that people get some benefit out of my contributions. I know in my heart that I put great effort and passion into what I do and will continue to try to improve and correct my past mistakes. I thank Scott for the kind words and am very glad you are happy with your plants. Rob

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 10:25AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

What's FB?

I've seen you here, Rob, but I don't frequent the HL auctions. I kind of guessed you were a grower, but didn't know more than you were somehow connected to Lakeside hosta. I even did a web search looking for your company and ended up finding some stuff about Mary Chastain (?).

I'm sure Babka didn't mean to be critical, nor did I. I think we were both thought we were being supportive and making positive suggestions.

I, too, am a small business person. I have a website that is pretty cheap, but I couldn't make it without it. There's almost no other way for people to find you these days. If I can be of any help, you can contact me directly at bkay_2000(at)yahoo.com.

bkay

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Oh, Rob, I'm so sorry you took my words as criticism. They were not intended that way at all.

I am not a grower, so I can only speak from a customer's point of view. What I tried to convey, is that you need an internet presence if you wish to reach more customers.

I'm not on FB (Facebook for bkay) either.

-Babka

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 1:15PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

Hi Rob,

I just picked up lakesidehosta.com for you. When you are ready to use it, I'll trade it for a hosta.

bkay

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 1:52PM
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Johnsp(6b)

There are many growers/sellers of hostas on the net. Some were very disappointing who I bought from. For Rob who I also bought from his plants were exceptional. I don't often give praise to online businesses but as a professional horticulturist I do give recommendations to others when they provide a quality product and in Rob's case I found his plants exceptional and wanted to share that with others. I'm sure others find it upsetting when a company advertises a plant in say a 4 inch pot and you get a little seedling as some do. Its an old trick in the nursery trade to take a small plant put it in a much larger pot and sell it at a much higher price when the value really isn't there.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 3:51PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Wow! Hooray for bkay!

-Babka

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Gesila(MI Z5)

And, I was willing to pay $75 for the hosta that Rob talked me out of. I'm looking forward to meeting Rob in person when I pick up my order ....Rob's only a couple of hours east of me!

Never under-estimate the power of word-of-mouth. I started my own tax practice in 2007 with one client. I now have over 850 in 30 states and 2 foreign countries. Not a single penny paid on advertisement and no web-site.

Running a seasonal business in which there is a short window for you to make most of your money is different than one in which the revenues might be more consistent year-round. You get so worn out by the end of the season, you think long and hard about how much bigger you want your business to be.

Gesila

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 9:40PM
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Johnsp(6b)

Oh so true about word of mouth. Yes Rob did the same thing for me last year about not to purchase a particular hosta because he was going to have TCs available this year of the same plant. He has the most extensive availability of Lakeside hostas since he purchased the franchise from Mary Chastian a few years ago and many rare Lakeside hostas you just can't find anywhere else.

Scott
r

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 11:09PM
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roblksd

Babka, please do not take my response as a negative. I was just trying to explain how I felt and where I am at with some of the things you brought up. What you wrote was criticism and that is fine. Any comment or opinion is just that. Bkay I will contact you. I could be just like anyone. I could copy other business models. I am just finding my way by trial and error. I really just want to be the main source for Lakeside plants. I have hundreds of plants that I hope to add to the Lakeside family of plants. Mary told me how she would grow a plant for 8 plus years, divide it for many more to have enough to start selling. Then have someone put it in tc legally but without her permission or compensation and kill her sales. She told me how she felt and named names. She may have been asking a lot for those OS plants but believe me she worked for every penny plus some. We have become a society of "I want it all and I want it now " and have forgotten about basic values. That is why I am so passionate about hybridizer rights and consumer awareness. It is not just me ask Ran Lydel, Don Dean, Bill Meyers, Rick Goodenough, Indiana Bob and many others how they feel. The patent laws are set up for big business and not people like me. There is not the simple fairness that what I create is mine.It is part of the public domain unless I can pay. I am working on driving change to the business. Unfortunately it is a distraction from what I would rather be doing. Rob

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 12:16PM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

I think we all think about how much bigger we want our businesses to be, especially after the busy season (all businesses have busy seasons, whether it's tax season, christmas, new years, summer or winter.)

The best possible source of clients you can have is word of mouth. I've had some clients who tell everyone they meet how wonderful our product is. When you get one of those "chatty cathys", you're blessed. For me, those "chatty cathys" don't come along every day. Right now, I don't think I have any, which is a bummer.

When I put up my new website last summer, my business increased at least 30% and has held. I get two or three inquiries each week from interested potential clients. If I were a better marketer, the website might not be so important.

I reallly didn't spend a lot of money on it. I think I paid the woman who did it $250.00. I supplied all the photos and wrote some of the copy to help keep the price down. I think I paid $60.00 for a year of web hosting. I pay her $12.00 a week to put up new menus for me each week. I pay $10.00 a year for my URL, and I have two - one forwarded to the other.

I don't think you can compare tax preparation with selling a product. For one thing, most people don't have more than one tax preparer. It's a one time, one unit purchase and usually a very important purchase. Taxes are something most of us don't want to mess around with. We want them right and on time. There's not room for error.

Buying hosta isn't like that. It's a spur of the moment purchase sometimes. You go shopping without a list. Whatever looks good, you buy. That's an in person purchase.

Other times, you have a certain hosta you want. You do an internet search and find out who has it and try to figure out who is the best vendor who has it. I've been known to go to a website and see what they have. However you choose them, you buy them repeatedly and from different vendors (at least we hostaholics do).

Do you realize how few people know Rob even sells hosta? I've been hanging aroud this list for a couple of years and only figured that out in the last few weeks. He's got a great franchise - Lakeside hosta. He just has to figure out how to make money on it.

bkay

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 7:27PM
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Johnsp(6b)

Wow so many different thoughts on this issue and all I wanted to do was give a great hosta retailer a positive thumbs up. Bkay your right so everyone who ia looking for some really great plants especially some of those Lakeside hostas you can't find anywhere else email Rob for a price list. Nuff said.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 1:02AM
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bkay2000(8a TX)

OK

bkay

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 12:18PM
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