We grow most of our plants from seed. If we can’t find seed for plants we’re lusting for and plants are available, then we buy plants. And we save our own seeds.
One of the most fun things about having a nursery is experimenting with plants you’ve never heard of, or are reputedly not hardy or just sound interesting. Because we grow plants in the ground we just plant them in the field and see how they do. We don’t feel guilty for trying out something weird and, if it doesn’t work out or is invasive, killing it. Sometimes we hit the jackpot. We classify Papaver anomola in the jackpot group – sweet white poppies that blooms all summer.
We grow our plants in the ground, like nature intended. Admittedly the field has an automatic watering system so I guess you could say we cheat, and we’ve also got soil to die for. But otherwise plants get tough love. We get to see how they grow here in Wisconsin with our very less than perfect weather, with our bugs, and with whatever nature can throw at them.
These survivors are the plants you get. We dig them up in spring and pot them up for sale. Those plants that are identified as being in a “pot” are those that we potted in spring. Those plants that are identified as “bareroot” are mature plants and if big enough field divisions, dug from our field with roots packaged in moist newspaper then enclosed in a plastic bag. Last year a customer did not pick up their plants at a post office in New York so they were sent back unopened 24 days after we shipped them. Those plants sat in the box for 24 days. They looked scraggly but showed a little green. So we potted them up and in 2 weeks the plants were fine! Shocking, but it’s true. Despite this odyssey we strongly recommend that you open the box and plant your plants promptly after they arrive.