Via A Verdant Life and Art of Gardening, my attention is drawn to Amazon’s live plant section. I don’t know how long they’ve been in the plant-selling biz, but it is a bit scary. Much like the bizarre plant auctions Amy found on eBay, Amazon’s offerings seem geared toward the exoticists among us. And the gullible.
There are things I’d readily buy from Amazon. Books, obviously. But I also buy some clothing and other sundry items. (For example, a couple years back, they had an amazing BOGO sale on Speigelau wine glasses.) I like Amazon because all my information is already there, they’re reliable, their shipping is prompt (and much cheaper than it used to be), and they carry some companies I like (Lands End, Speigelau, Fresh). But plants? Not so much.
Here’s what you can buy on Amazon for $16: A Shrek Chia Pet. It’s listed, along with a bunch of other Chia items, a jasmine plant, some bonsai, and seed-starting kits, in the “outdoor plants” section. Along with a few things you actually can grow outdoors.
Here’s what you can buy for around $100-200: How about an artificial palm tree? Well, I guess strictly speaking, that could count as an outdoor plant.
And for $1000, and up, may I suggest anything, including this, from Bonsai Boy? Yes, just as on eBay, the bonsais get the big bucks. I think they’re kind of cool, but don’t see myself paying four figures. (A lot of men I know like bonsais. Why is that?)
As Jim and John (linked at top) point out, you can get seriously ripped off in the perennial section, like $50-60 for five-gallon plants, but fortunately for the uninformed, most of the perennials are “currently unavailable.” And unlike the trusted names in clothing and glassware that draw me to Amazon for bargains, I haven’t heard of most of these seed and plant vendors, like Hirts, Clifton’s, Orchids ‘r’ Us, and Calyx. The ones I do know I generally avoid: Park, Spring Hill, Michigan Bulb.
But, you know people will order this stuff, and it just might turn them off gardening. Though, on the bright side, it might make them chia believers. Or bonsai freaks.Posted by Elizabeth Licata on February 13, 2008 at 9:22 am, in the category Taking Your Gardening Dollar.