Indy Steve (Login Stevenindy) Hummingbird lover 2007
This is a small town and WM is the largest and only dept store with definately the largest garden center. I have lived here for eight years and have had my fill. I have never seen anythings close to what I grow in my garden or order online or find in any good nursery[closest one is 35 min away] nor anything that I have seen mentioned on this forum.
So I called customer service in bentonville ar. and talked at length to rep that said my request would be turned in. Whether it is or not Im also sending a list I have prepared of at least all the more common desired plants and then some. If they would start getting any on the list I would happy and surprised to say the least.
Ok thanks for letting me vent and get this off my chest, guess Im good for another week.
Steve don't hold your breath. I can't get my plants at WalMart, Lowes, Home Depot or even most of the local garden centers without driving to another town or ordering online. The garden centers are only going to order the most common plants that sell well in any particular area. Until more people start requesting them for their area our requests will fall on deaf ears. Last 2 years I gave a list to one of our large local garden centers. She ordered one plant from my list and told me that the wholesaler didn't recommend them for this area. The wholesalers push what they want. I even tried contacting a local grower who does supply a lot of the local garden centers. I offered him free seeds and or cuttings if he would grow them for the local market and guess what....he never bothered to acknowledge me.
So all I can say is Good luck.!
The way I understand it each areas WalMart stores get their plants from a particular wholesaler/grower for that region. Ours come from Canada or Pennsylvania.
USDA hardiness zone 6
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
I too seriously doubt it will do any good at all but you have to try. In talking to the people that work in the local WM garden center suggested I call bentonville, first words out of their mouth. Three or four years ago I started complaining about not being able to get perlite or vermiculite in my local. Now you can buy all the perlite you want there but I havent seen any vermiculite although the workers tell me they have had it but it doesnt last long. That is also how I stated it to the customer service rep I talked to that if they got any they wouldnt be on the shelves long, just a manner speaking.
If you could find out what growers(wholesalers) they use, than suggest plants from them you might have a better chance.. Maybe 2% instead of a 1% chance. I would go to the 30 minute away nursery and try your luck with them.
I am lucky to have a great nursery, Morganville Flower Farm, that is 5 minutes from my house. He carries some good hummer plants and after bringing Ken and Vicki there from so far away, the owner suggested I make a list of plants that hummingbirds use and we would like to have at the nursery. He is going to a wholesale show in a few weeks and I have compiled quite a list for him. He does carry some tropicals but most of his annuals are $3.49 and perennials from 4.99-9.99 so he will have to see what he can buy to keep the price down. Wendy's Wish is a given because he buys from PW and they carry it. SHould be interesting.
Already this year 2 of the top 100 greenhouse growers in the country have filed bankruptcy. The big box stores have squeezed margins so thin, and for WallMart the grower doesn't get paid until the item is scanned at checkout! So the incentive for the grower (and 95% of the big box sales are from massive, regional growers) is to grow something that will hold on the shelf, have "curb" appeal and turn fast in the greenhouse. Any criteria beyond that could prove fatal in the current big retailer dominated marketplace.
The nursery business has changed dramatically in the last 5 years. Local, privately owned full service garden centers are a real blessing to have, and IMHO should get the bulk of our business. These are the folks that would stock something just for the birds.
Flowers by the Sea
On the Pacific Coast, USDA Zones 8 & 9
Kermit, Tony Avent tells much the same story and it is a sad one. The only answer I know is to work with the smaller folks, local if possible, and avoid the big box stores. The other thing to keep in mind is that we are dealing with businesses who have owners who have families to feed and they are going to mostly offer the plants the average Joe wants. Average Joe keeps them in business. It is hard to complain too much. These days with a little effort if you want something you can find it. Where once there was just a small selection of hummingbird plants we even knew to try now there are hundreds and more appearing every day. There has never been a better time to be a hummingbird gardener.
You are absolutely right, Ward. Help the local nurseries stay in business or all that will be left are the big home improvement stores.
Having been at this growing for hummers game for a long time, I am thrilled at the fabulous assortment of hummer plants available locally and via online sources. We can all be experimenters, but just need to choose wisely.
I am not purchasing much this year. However, if I want to shop for plants that might not be available here in New Orleans, I am not above driving to Baton Rouge for other nurseries. One Baton Rouge nursery monitors Humnet and they will get nearly anything Humnetters mention.
Nancy L Newfield
Metairie, Louisiana USA
USDA Zone 9
Current Topic - Walmart-- I just couldn't take it any longer!