This year I ordered more plants from more nurseries than I've ever done before. Ah, the dangers and delights of online plant catalogs! The first delivery arrived last week and I've just been notified that another is on its way.
Since many of these plants are from nurseries that I have not dealt with before, I thought I would take the opportunity to report on each shipment as it arrives. Thus, you may consider this the first in a series. I will post these reviews on Fridays as each shipment arrives.
Odyssey Perennials / Massachusetts
This box arrived in such pristine condition I might be forgiven for thinking it was hand-delivered rather than shipped half-way across the country. My plant list was right on top so I could easily check things off as I unpacked — to say nothing of refreshing my memory about what I ordered back in February.
The contents were in good condition and looked to be situated exactly where they were packed at the nursery. They soil and the shredded paper "mulch" was still moist. The plants were held in place with rubber bands which I removed carefully to see exactly what I had. That's a pink native Hepatica below.
I've ordered from Odyssey Bulbs in the past but this was the first time I've ordered from the Perennials side of the business. I have to say that the plants are exactly as described: Seedlings.
Some might think that $7 or $8 is too high a price to pay for such tiny plants. I made my buying decision, however, on the fact that I have not seen many of Russell Stafford's offerings elsewhere. I bought two 'Black Barlow' columbines, two Digitalis parviflora 'Chocolate', the pink Hepatica and Asparagus pseudoscaber 'Spitzenschleier.' I have a ten year old plant of this Asparagus which is ornamental rather than edible. It's fading in the shade but when I tried to get some kind of cutting last summer, it was like trying to cut a rock with a shovel. The only piece I managed to hack off did not survive, so I am going to try again with this seedling plant.
Odyssey Perennials offers discounts depending on the total amount you spend and there is no charge for shipments totaling $30 or more ($6 otherwise). All in all I am happy with my purchases and think they are good value for the price. I immediately planted the Hepatica near some other pale varieties and used a sod staple to hold it until it roots itself in place. Otherwise the squirrels will fling it to kingdom come.
I potted the other plants up for the time being, mainly because I need to wait for the plants in the ground to make an appearance. I want to be sure these little guys can stay where I put them and that they are not on top of a late bloomer.