Seed Swaps

Do good things come in small packages?

06 Oct 2011
Storms 27°C / 81°F

Well after the excitement of my big fruit tree delivery from Daleys yesterday (which lost some of it’s gloss when i found scale on several plants), today my herb seedlings arrived from Four Season herbs.

I must admit my expectations were probably a little high after the Daley’s packages, but the two small Express Post boxes given to me by Australia Post had me wondering if I had the right boxes.

After unpacking them, the main photo (sans the seedling tray peeking out the back) is what my money had bought me. Compare that picture of 27 plants, the second picture, which shows the 15 (give or take a few out of shot, plus some ring-ins, in shot) Daley’s plants I received yesterday. But, the Daley’s order cost over twice as much as today’s order, so the question is, do lots of little plants beat a few big plants, or vice versa?

I’m a bit worried about whether some of the small ones will live. Not from the point of view that they are about to die, on the contrary, they al look quite healthy, but just that they are so you, they have yet to get out of their training pants and into the big wide world, which as we know, is cruel and harsh. The 3rd picture is one of the more expensive plants – a Lemon Scented Myrtle, which I had a hard time finding available anywhere else, and it’s barely got it’s first 2 leaves! Would you say that is worth $10.45?

It seems I should have investigated a little more as to what size the plants actually were, but I guess that’s my first lesson in buying plants online. The next plant is Stevia, which at $11 is the most expensive I bought, but at least it looks a little more advanced, so it might not die at the first sneeze.

The last picture is the purslane’s. I purchased one just to tip the order over the $150 (which also included $28 in seeds) needed for free delivery, and they kindly threw in a second one for free :P

I don;t mean this to sound like a whine. Nothing Four Seasons did was wrong, and their customer service was very friendly. My expectations were just for some more advanced plants for the prices. its more just a case of ‘fools rush in…’ for me. If everything lives and flourishes, then I’ll be very happy with my purchases.

But at least I’ve hit the magic 100 plantings mark with the last of these plants being entered, so WOOHOO :)

Live long, and prosper!






Folia Helper


Daley’s do set the bar high (except for your scale encounter, which I see they’ve responded to in an appropriate way) but those from 4 Seasons look like good plants. A little pricey perhaps but if you look after them then there should be plenty of propagation material for later. I do know that feeling though, and I’m sure there is a word in “Meaning of Liff” for it!

I’ve purchased live plants from Cornucopia (4 seasons appear to use the same software which was a bit of a WTF moment too :) and they’ve been excellent, and arrived promptly.
Diggers is another one but they are slow as a wet week to deliver, however the plants are good value and quality.
It is great however that we can order plants on-line. I recall in pre-internet days it was very limited and no one was geared up for mail order, well, there were some of course but it was very much like chasing down some exclusive club membership. :-)

100 plants – nice going, and considering you’re just restarting… Excellent.


Posted on 07 Oct 11 (over 4 years ago)

That’s a lot of plants to baby, but if you have to time to keep checking on their water while they are getting established and a way to make sure hungry critters wont munch them they should grow fast. I like buying plants while they are small because in the long run they establish better. You do have to use your imagination about their future size to avoid packing them in too close.

Posted on 07 Oct 11 (over 4 years ago)


Folia Helper


Never knew Purslane could be bought as a plant…
The wild subspecies (Portulaca oleracea subsp. oleracea) is not a native plant here in Belgium, but it has naturalized, and every year I have some in my garden.
Here in Belgium, you don’t find purslane in the supermarket, but in the Netherlands (were I work), you can find it in summer in the shops, although it isn’t sold so commonly as it used to be.

Posted on 07 Oct 11 (over 4 years ago)

@graibeard – my main reason for choosing 4Seasons was they had Elderflower plants, which my wife insisted we have. Everyone else seemed to be out. 4Seasons also had a good selection of ‘unusual’ plants not commonly found in the nurseries, and then there was the $150 free delivery catch. I always try to buy in bulk when i order online, to offset the per plant cost of postage, so there was method in my madness somewhere

@anelson – yes, good point about them establishing better. Quite a few of the ‘plants’ ive purchased are because they are slow to produce when raised from seed. I do have seed of some ofnthese as well though, so it’ll be an interesting experiment to see in the long run, which ones turn out best. As for time to care for them all, well, i have gokd intentions… :)

@Anne – i may be mistaken, but I think I remember wandering nurseries for hours with my parents (who instilled the love of gardening into me) as a kid, and portulaca was the ‘weed’ plant that everyone had, as it grew so easily, and had pretty flowers as well. Maybe I don’t get out and smell the roses as much as I used to, but I haven’t seen a portulaca flower for years.

Posted on 07 Oct 11 (over 4 years ago)

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