Ask Mr. Sage: How to Place Advance Orders with FBTS
Dear Mr. Sage,
I'm hoping you can help me get the sages I want on time for planting in my area, which has chilly winters. Last year, I ordered from a different mail-order nursery. They promised to ship at "the best time" for my USDA zone, then mailed my plants weeks after the beginning of planting time. Some of them would have benefited from cool spring planting but didn't get into the ground until the weather was hot. This seemed to slow their growth and made me feel crazy!
It seems like a good idea to get the jump on spring planting by ordering months ahead of the growing season. I wouldn't want the sages I need in spring to sell out. When do you start taking orders? May I place an order now to be delivered in a few months?
Early Bird Gardener
Dear Early Bird,
Yes, FBTS has an advance ordering program that allows you to place orders well before the time is right for planting. We ship almost year-round at Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Nursery and serve customers in many different USDA Plant Hardiness Zones. Our production and shipping process is designed to help you get the plants you need in timely fashion, especially for spring planting.
We remember seasons when we’ve felt crazy due to not being able to plant according to our garden plans. So, we understand your frustration about deliveries that conflict with planting dates in your zone.
FBTS can help you. Our Advance Order process includes a user-friendly schedule of shipping dates. It allows you to sync your planting schedule with our growing schedule and to get first dibs on stock.
You get to choose the best shipping date for your climate and schedule through FBTS. We are different from most mail-order nurseries, which almost never have a comparable ability to ship year-round and don’t promise you a set shipping date like we do. Consequently, their deliveries may arrive well before or after your right time for planting.
Starting in late fall, you may advance order many plants from FBTS for shipping during the following growing season. This is particularly helpful for obtaining rare and limited items that sell out rapidly. Advance ordering ensures that you receive what you need when you want it.
Please be aware that some of the plants we raise can’t be grown to our standards of quality early in the season. Similar to people, plants aren’t all on the same biological schedule. So, the availability date for each plant reflects its unique cultural requirements. Please don’t be disappointed when a special or rare choice we offer is not ready for early spring shipping. The bulk of our stock can be shipped early enough to meet the needs of gardeners nationwide.
Every year, FBTS publishes a Purchasing Guide in autumn for the following growing season. Reading it helps you take advantage of unique features we offer such as Combined Shipping for reducing shipping charges and FBTS Wishlists for gift giving and garden planning.
Please feel free to call or email us for further information, because we remember times when we’ve felt crazy about learning a new process. We’ll do our best to help you feel sane whenever it’s time to garden.
Thanks for your question,