RE: [gardeners] Perennials for the south

Catharine Vinson (
Fri, 11 Sep 1998 13:42:51 -0400

Harry wrote:

> Hi Liz/Catharine,
> If either of you would like to share the problem with me, I'd like
> to know.

Sorry to be so slow in reading mail...I'm still awaiting my new system
(Intel's new 450 chip is in shorter supply than anticipated) and the old
system is coughing and sputtering a lot.

Anyhow, SP&H has been a huge disappoint to me. In years past (3-4) I bought
from them with much satisfaction, although I never received even 50% of what
I would order. This year, I needed to buy 5-6 thousand dollars worth of
uncommon herbs for a fund raiser at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. I
particularly wanted to buy from SP&H, since the sale was focused on Southern
adapted and native plants. To make a very long story short (and Liz' recap
is 100% accurate), SP&H could not have made a bigger mess of things. The
owner, Barbara Bridges seriously let us down and gave every impression that
she didn't give a darn. Bad business in my opinion. I am very sour on the
place...I had driven 12 hours to pick up an ordered that had been
*confirmed* in writing for weeks and weeks. The plants were not there...and
no apology or explanation was offered.

The nursery itself was in shambles....I have never seen anything as bad (and
I have been to many, many commercial growers operations). The read sadness
is that there are some incredible specimans...wonderful plants...all dying
for lack of weeding and the simplest of housekeeping efforts (like picking
up household garbage that's strewn all over the yard). Everything is field
grown; there is only one hoophouse. The conditions in the greenhouse were
not good.

The staff was overworked and unhappy. They were consistently belittled and
humiliated by the owner while I was on site. I was embarassed for them.

Barbara is from Illinois; she married a southern "boy" who seems to have
lost interest/enthusiasm for their business. I'm sure she is very much
overworked (she has small children). Still, that is no excuse for bad
manners, bad business, and keeping an office/house that I fear any health
department would condemn in 5 minutes flat.

One plus: the plants that I was able to purchase were in good
shape...unfortunately, they weren't the plants I'd ordered or needed! When
you've spent 3 months writing and producing a detailed catalog/growing
guide, you aren't too thrilled when you suddenly find you don't have the
plants you ordered/expected!

Atlanta, zone 7b