The perennials I ordered from Bluestone Perennials for the front flowerbox arrived a couple weeks ago! I am always happy with the quality of plants I receive from this company, and this time was no exception. The plants were packed beautifully and arrived in perfect condition. Most plants are sold in three-cell packs, and although they are much smaller than plants you would find at Lowe's or other garden centers, the quality is incomparable. From my experience, Bluestone Perennials trumps them all.
East Friesland Salvia:
Early Sunrise Coreopsis:
A view of the entire flowerbox. (There are some straggler tulips and daffodils mucking up the scene. I know I should just throw them out because they didn't bloom this year, but I have trouble throwing things away. I guess I'm a plant pack-rat!)
I will take monthly photos to show how quickly perennials from Bluestone Perennials grow. I'm sure these will bloom the first year too!
I top-dressed the soil with compost to give the plants a little jump start into the growing season. You should never fertilizer newly planted perennials with chemical fertilizers, but always wait 1-2 weeks to avoid damaging their tender roots. It is stressful on a plant to be transplanted, and fertilizing the roots only increases this stress. Also, the plants usually have enough left-over fertilizer from their original potting soil to last a while. Always be sure to water the plants thoroughly and keep them well-watered for the first week while they are adjusting to the new site.
When you purchase plants on-line, always take time to harden them off before planting. This involves setting the plants in filtered sunlight for an increasing amount of time over 2-3 days. The first day, set them out in the morning for an hour or two, then bring them back into a shaded area. Increase this time each day little by little. If cold weather is expected, keep them sheltered in a covered porch or garage overnight. When plants are grown in a greenhouse, they suffer shock if they are transferred to a garden site without gradually adjusted them to outdoor conditions. The sunlight in a greenhouse is filtered and less hot than outdoors. If the plants have not been hardened off, and you plant them immediately into a full sun site, they could suffer irreversible damage. Furthermore, you should plant them on an overcast day or near the end of the day so they have time to adjust to the new site without the added stress of the mid-day sun. When purchasing plants from a garden center, be sure to ask the salesperson if the plants have been hardened off. If the salesperson doesn't know what that means, you probably shouldn't buy plants from that store.
I am definitely becoming a plant snob.