Shrubs: In-demand plants

Doug Danielsen says the reason he’s been selling Bailey Nurseries’ First Editions Plants since they were introduced to the market is very simple — they sell.

“They are high-quality plants. They are in great condition,” says Danielsen, who has been a nursery buyer for Bachman’s, based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., for 14 years. “We’ve never had any issues with them. Bailey supplies a top-notch product, and that’s one of the reasons we go with them.”

Strawberry Sundae hydrangea, which boasts flowers that emerge vanilla and transform over the season to a light pink and finally a deep strawberry color, is one of Danielsen’s favorite plants and thrives in his own garden. Hydrangea is the leading shrub at Bachman’s, and Strawberry Sundae is one of the five best-sellers they carry.

“Strawberry Sundae is a great color, and it’s a great size. It doesn’t get very big,” he says. The plant grows 4 to 5 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide.

Another standout plant for Danielsen that is also popular with customers is Technito Arborvitae.

“That’s a great evergreen. It’s a full-growing arborvitae, it’s great for hedges, and it’s good for smaller spaces,” he says. “That’s one strategy in the landscape industry — plants for smaller locations — and Strawberry Sundae and Technito are two plants that fit that bill for us.”

Other First Editions plants are also top sellers at Bachman’s, including Little Devil, their most popular ninebark, resulting in quicker turns for Bachman’s shrub department.

Not only does Bachman’s carry First Editions in its six retail stores, but the company grows the plants and incorporates them into landscape designs. In addition to the retail locations, Bachman’s has a landscape division, floral department and a 670-acre growing facility.

“We wouldn’t grow them if we didn’t like them,” he says. “We have people asking us for [First Editions Plants], and if we have customers asking for them, we know we need to carry them.”

Bailey Nurseries is based right in Bachman’s backyard in St. Paul, Minn., which makes working with them convenient and efficient. Both businesses are also fifth-generation, family-owned companies, and customer service is a priority for Bailey. When Danielsen needs a plant quickly, it doesn’t take long for Bailey to send his order, an essential quality he looks for in a supplier.

“They are an easy company to work with, and it’s a really good relationship,” he says. “The plants don’t sit on the ground. We sell a lot of them, and that’s the kind of plant we want to have.”

June 2018
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