Two things happen to the wholesale perennial grower this time of the year. First of all the plants are getting over-grown, or flowered out, or a little bit dormant. They have arrived at the tail end of a long hard growing season. Second of all, the wholesale nursery owner has one last chance here in the fall to make a little money. Anything sold this time of the year is profit as well as a real convenience in freeing up over-wintering room, which is always in short supply. I would try to appeal to you for assistance in my domestic situation, but I think that you are probably more interested in your own domestic situation than in mine, so I will not waste my breath or my ink and paper.
Several years ago I changed the business model of Twixwood from supplying the mass merchant trade to supplying our historic landscape trade which I am much more comfortable with although we have to deal with more people and a more widely varied kind of people. For one thing our shipping is spread out over eight months—April through November—instead of being all jammed into an eight week frenzy in April and May. I am too old for anything that has the word frenzy in it.
I understand that the retail trade has to have a product that looks good in the pot, usually in bloom, and usually short, and usually gaudy. For the Mass Merchant we used to grow short and gaudy—dianthus, iberis, phlox subulata, convallaria, dicentra, short delphiniums, and lots of coreopsis. It did not seem quite ethical to unload upon the innocent retail customer some gaudy plant with a short bloom period that was unattractive the rest of the year, although for money I have done some strange things in my life, try to not remind me.
Now that we are in the landscape supplier business and have a line of big and tall perennials and ornamental grasses I would like to talk our customers into taking delivery of perennials that are not Looking Good in a Pot. These have good roots and a solid crown and will be really nice next summer and we will have the convenience of mowing them off before shipping. If you are a really good landscaper who is able to talk the customer into about anything then this is an opportunity for all of us. If you are not a fast talker, then blow some mulch over the new planting and assure the customer that faith is important. Let the sales personages know how picky either you, the customer, or the home owner, who is the ultimate customer, are going to be and we can supply you with a fine and valuable plant that has good roots but is a little short on top.
Until we get the approval from you, we will continue to ship tall and bloomed out and maybe a little flopped over. That is the way things grow and who are we to argue with Mother Nature.