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The second item on my list of chores for September is to order perennials.  On September 4, I placed an on-line order, not as I did last year with Great Garden Plants, but rather with New Garden Plants, a company that has received slightly more favorable reviews on Dave’s Garden Watchdog list.

New Garden Plants ships orders on Mondays and Tuesdays, so I requested that my order be sent the week of September 8.  I received an e-mail in the late afternoon of the 8th telling me my order had been shipped.  On September 10, a FedEx truck rumbled up my street and left a large box, right side up, in the shady back corner of my covered side porch.  003The large box was actually two smaller boxes securely taped together.  Here is what each one looked like upon opening:002004That’s Heuchera ‘Grape Soda’ on top of this box.  It will stand out nicely in the lasagna bed.

The top plant in each box was laid on its side and secured with glue to the side of the box, as well as to one or two of the other bags in the box with it.  I assume this minimized movement during shipping:008

Each box contained ten tightly packed-in plants in quart-sized containers, individually wrapped in a brown paper bag and secured with one or two rubber bands.  Additionally, each plant contained a thin stake to give it further stability during the trip from Michigan to Pennsylvania.  The plants were moist, but not soggy.005The plants are about the size I expected and look healthy.  The Butterfly Bush and Hyssop came with blooms.  The Solomon’s Seal is bent over and nearly broken, but I am confident the root-stock is healthy and it will grow for me next year.012The plants for the sunny, nameless perennial section of the terrace garden include Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’, Agastache Kudos ‘Coral’ Hyssop, Dianthus ‘Fire and Ice’ and ‘Purple Picotee’, Buddleia ‘Blue Chip’, Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’, Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’, and Creeping Phlox ‘Emerald Pink.’  New additions for the lasagna bed include Heucheras ‘Paris’,  ‘Grape Soda’ and ‘Berry Smoothie’, Astilbe ‘Look at Me’, and Polygonatum ‘Variegatum’ Solomon’s Seal.

I rate this order 8.5 out of 10.  After placing the order, I received a prompt e-mail confirmation.  New Garden Plants shipped it the day I requested.  The plants were packed securely in their boxes.  Only one of the twenty sustained damage, and that is not fatal.  The prices are reasonable, and they carry an extensive number of items.  The plants all seem healthy, if slightly limp and, in a couple of cases, ever so slightly pale.  New Garden Plants and FedEx did their jobs; now it is up to me to get these newcomers planted ASAP, so they can begin to establish themselves here in their new home before winter sets in.  The drizzly, warm-ish day today would have been an ideal time, but, alas, the mom-duties superseded gardening today!

(If you want to compare my experience with New Garden Plants to my experience last year with Great Garden Plants, please click here.)