When I first set out to order some plants through the mail, I was totally unsure of how it would work out. Will the things live? How will they arrive? How on earth do they ship them in one piece? Hopefully this may answer some first-time mail orderers’ questions. This is the order from Bluestone Perennials detailed here. The order came on April 9, which is a very good planting time for zone 7. A bit early for veggies (end of the month is better for them), but fine for perennials. Note that the Springhill Nursery order I placed at the same time came a bit early – when there was snow on the ground, in fact! (My plants from that order do seem to be doing well despite that, though!)

1. How are they boxed?
Bluestone packs theirs in a large size box – large enough to line all the plants you’ve ordered on the bottom. My mail lady leaves mine on the back step (sidenote: I plan on leaving my mail lady some seedlings in the mailbox next week as a thank you for handling my many mail orders!) On the box is a certification for passing various agro inspections (japanese beetle, gypsy moth). Inside is a very informative welcome package. They give you planting tips, explain that some plants have been cut back to ease shock while mailing, and even offer free shipping on your next order if you mail back the box of packing peanuts so they can reuse them! (I may do this.)

Unboxing - welcome/thank you

Unboxing - welcome/thank you

2. How are they packed inside?
Bluestone uses packing peanuts (non CFC ones and all that stuff, plus as stated above, they’ll reuse them if you send them back). In the welcome package it explains that they’ve tried more “friendly” materials, but nothing works nearly as well as packing peanuts. (Springhill’s box is a bit different – they have little plastic cells that each set of plants goes in, so they can stack their plants on top of each other. There are holes on the outside of their boxes, but not on Bluestone’s.)

I see a helenium!

I see a helenium!

3. So are the plants ok in there after traveling all that way?
Yes! All of mine were perfectly fine! It’s kind of fun digging around in the peanuts trying to find them all. The plants were even very moist still (some a bit mossy, in fact), so its clear they give them a very good watering before sending them on their way. I could also see where some of mine had been cut back to reduce shock and breakage – all very healthy looking plants. Each plant sports a label with the name of the plant and (most of) your name, so its very clear what’s what. (For another Springhill comparison, theirs arrived rather dry and not as healthy looking, but I was still able to revive all but one I’ve ordered from there. My mom has lost a few from Springhill but has gotten refunds for all.)

tadaa! mardi gras helenium

tadaa! mardi gras helenium

4. So what’d you get!
Glad you asked. A link to the original post outlining why I bought what I bought is here. Below is a pic of the goods. The violas belong to my mom (how are violas different than pansies? One a biennial and one a perennial?) and everything else is mine.

the goods

the goods

More pics:

  • After unboxing, I went to put something in the shed and saw two wild violets! They were too cute and I knew my hubby was going to cut grass the next day, so I dug them up and planted them in the new herb garden to enjoy for a while longer.
  • WARNING – NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART! Bunny carnage. Note red pepper sprinkled EVERYWHERE.
  • Tulips are coming up! I think this is one of the ones featured in my header image from last year! Also a second tulip with a little garden stake that I HAD to but that reads “tip toe through the tulips” – love it!
  • The seedlings enjoying a bask in the sun. My sacrifices have been doing OK, so I think these will go out for good next week. They’re prepared!
  • wildvioletsbunnycarnage1tiptoe1tulip411-01seedlings2009411

    If you found this post helpful, drop me a comment and let me know!

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