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  #1  
Old 12-31-2009, 10:33 AM
MikeWeathers MikeWeathers is offline
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Seasonal Color questions

Do you install seasonal color beds? If you do, where do you get your flowers? Why do you buy from them? What makes the flowers the best, for you? How many flats (or other units) do you buy a season? Do you like 4 inch, 6 packs, or some other size flower, best? What could a grower or nursery do to better serve you? I ask because after 12 years running a landscape company, I am looking to switch to nursery/greenhouse. I know what I look for in flowers when I buy, but I imagine it varies from landscaper to landscaper. Thanks for your help!
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:40 PM
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ed2hess ed2hess is online now
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As an example in our area Landmark grows the flowers and charge about $10 per flat of 20. We can order ahead if you get more than 100 flats and they set them aside until you are ready. Most other outlets like JD get their flowers from colorspot and charge around $15 per flat.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:35 AM
MikeWeathers MikeWeathers is offline
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Thanks ed2hess! I will look up Landmark. Do you like going direct to the grower or to JD (John Deere Landscape Supply I'm guessing?)? I know with me it all depends on how much planning I've done for the job..if its just a few flats I'll bite the bullet and pay extra at a rewholesaler, even though sometimes their stuff can be picked over as well as over priced, thinking I can get them planted, fertilized and looking great fairly quick. I am trying to figure out something that adds so much to the product/service that landscapers would want to drive past JD and 3 other possibilities to buy my flowers. I haven't found any one that is doing that for me, even though there are several good growers in our area...there just isn't that "must have theirs and only theirs" thing about them. Maybe the product is just too much a commodity?? It's also very tempting to just go by Home Depot and pick up a few flats even though their stuff is plainly lower quaility. Around here, they under price our local growers, and when HD is 2 miles away and the grower is 20.... Your thoughts on this are greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:14 PM
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ed2hess ed2hess is online now
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While Landmark is very large they sometimes don't have exactly what we will need and in that case we will shop around. Newtons is another store that has top quality/high price plants and they carry color spot flowers. We are not a large landscaper mainly maintenance side with lot of commerical accounts that require flowers. One accounts has 200 flats and so we look entirely for low price. Only one grower in our city and he is about 5 miles. We would not drive 20 miles for just a few flats. In our city HD does have good quality sometimes better plants but same stock as John Deere and the rest who get them from color spot. We don't know why but JD and Landmark is close in location yet I see customers that seem to go to JD even though their prices are always a little higher than Landmark. Landmark has the staff to jump on the truck when you enter the gate and have you out in record time. Another big company in our area is Skinners and he is an example of a guy that is 15 miles from us and we only go there a couple times a year shopping for price comparisons.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:03 AM
MikeWeathers MikeWeathers is offline
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Getting in and out in a hurry is always a big plus. Competing on price is a last resort..I could compete on price, be lower than established growers, for a little while, but as I grow, I am sure my expenses would be similar to others and then competing on price is just no good. Goes back to trying to deal with lowballers in landscaping. While price is not something I want to make central to my USP, I realize that it is something that really drives us in buying seasonal color.

Thanks again ed2hess..really helpful stuff!
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:28 PM
MikeWeathers MikeWeathers is offline
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Bump...still intrested to hear from folks on this..Thanks
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:28 PM
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Oxmow Oxmow is offline
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We buy from a local grower here. We do the same with commercial accounts. Not much in resi install here as we only have a few resi year round accounts. 99% commercial YR maintenance here. We usually use between 600-800 flats per season. We use the 18ct flats with 4" pots. For us the larger flowers have a better presence from initial planting.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:19 PM
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EagleLandscape EagleLandscape is offline
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We buy all of our stuff from Skinner Nursery in Lewisville (Garland in another year or two when it opens back up).

Seasonal color (pansies, begonias, impatiens, etc...) are purchased in 4" pots, typically 18ct flats.

We like to background alot of our designs with 1 gallon coleus, kale, cabbage, ornamental peppers, lantana things of that nature.

we typically buy the 4" pots for 50cents ea. and the 1 gallons are like 2.75-4$ per pot.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:18 AM
MikeWeathers MikeWeathers is offline
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Thank you Nick and John! Any thoughts on what your grower or nurseryman could do to better serve you?
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2010, 08:14 PM
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Oxmow Oxmow is offline
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John,
We also do our plantings in layers with coleus and lantana. K.O. rose as well. We use alot of Josephs coat in yellow and just last year in red too. We are very much an asymmetrical philosophy here unless the customer just wants it that way. I'll try to get some of last summer's pics onto here shortly.

Mike,
You are welcome. My nursery here is great. They propogate here so plants are used to these climes.
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