We were fortunate to visit with a good – no, a great! – customer yesterday who came to the nursery to place an order for this fall and next spring. She has ordered from me for over 30 years and is always happy and always pays on time. Her retail nursery is in the Seattle area so it's an all day commitment to come here, but last year, for the first time, she just couldn't get away from her business. Consequently the order she placed (which we shipped this past April) was smaller than usual. In other words she likes to see the plants that she wants to buy rather than order off a list or our website.
Before we shipped I called and carefully expressed my concern that she hadn't order the “normal” amount, and was everything OK? She practically cried and explained how her nursery crew was relatively new and she couldn't find competent help and no one could do anything without her micro-management. Gee, I feel the same way sometimes. Anyway, her relatively small order, placed on our website, was due to her not being able to walk around and see the plants. I said, “W., let me do it for you. I'll make you a list of plants that I think you'll be very happy to get, and if there's something you don't want just cross it off.” I spent half of a Sunday and covered the entire nursery, and submitted to her a super list of great plants at great prices.
She took it all and when her payment check came I got five enthusiastic thank you's. She reported yesterday that spring sales were strong and that she's very grateful that we exist to supply her. A happy woman with a great smile absolutely makes my day, makes for a wonderful career. What is important for me is trust, that a customer trusts that they'll get good plants at a fair price. Of course we make mistakes and sometimes a plant should never have been shipped, but overall I'm proud of what we grow and thankful that others agree.
Let's take a look at some of the plants from my super list.
Picea pungens 'Gebelle's Golden Spring'
|Sciadopitys verticillata 'Fatso'|
Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Sparkling Arrow'
|Punica granatum 'Sarasa shibori'|
Daphne burkwoodii 'Brigg's Moonlight'
Hamamelis intermedia 'Birgit'
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Slender Silhouette'
|Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Miss Grace'|
Pinus contorta 'Taylor's Sunburst'
Abies koreana 'Ice Breaker'
|Sempervivum 'Gold Nugget'|
Leptospermum scoparium 'Kiwi'
|Acer palmatum 'Fairy Hair'|
Fagus sylvatica 'Aurea Pendula'
Bletilla striata 'Alba'
Cornus florida 'Autumn Gold'
Acer palmatum 'Akane'
|Acer palmatum 'Marlo'|
Picea glauca 'Pixie Dust'
|Rhododendron macrosepalum 'Linearifolium'|
Acer palmatum 'Red Sentinel'
|Pinus parviflora 'Kinpo'|
Cornus kousa 'Akatsuki'
Pinus parviflora 'Bonny'
Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'North Light'
|Davidia involucrata 'Lady Sunshine'|
...and much more.
I won't tell you her name or her business name because she might not want the attention, but it's sooo tempting to shout it from the mountain top. This mystery woman, and all the other men and women just as great, have given me your trust, and I'll work hard to continue to earn it.
Plants are fascinating. So too plant people. Thanks to all.