Purchasing Guide for 2021

Offering Value & Early Ordering

Gardening is soothing, productive, and somewhat predictable, which is why it blossomed as one of the most popular activities nationwide during 2020.

At FBTS, the x, y, and z of our value equation are providing quality plants at fair prices, being as reliable as possible about delivery dates and resolution of shipping problems during this difficult time, and working hard to offer a sense of certainty through policies like Early Ordering. Normally, we wait until after Thanksgiving to give you the leap on making orders for the next growing season. But this year, we will open early ordering before the holiday. 


Combined Shipping Saves Money

One of the big benefits of registration at our website is being able to save on shipping charges by combining orders. This is a substantial perk, because it reduces your shipping charges per plant, and there is no limit on the number of orders you can combine. Combined shipping also makes it easier to add in a newly introduced plant that catches your attention after placing an order.  However, here are some important things to remember about this process: First, when requesting combined shipping, you must be logged in to your registered FBTS account. Second, when you combine orders, the original delivery date(s) for the earlier order(s) automatically changes to the delivery date set for the latest order. That’s because the later date is when all the plants will be ready for shipping and planting.

Combined shipping is the only way FBTS merges orders now. We no longer accept additions to orders or combined orders via email or telephone. For combined purchases, this policy eliminates the confusion of refunding shipping fees. Read more about combined shipping at our Everything Salvias Blog.


Accessing Rare & Unique Plants

Rare Salvias and other unique FBTS plants can be difficult to obtain. Examples of challenges limiting their availability include difficult propagation and seasonal growth patterns, such as a plant that is ready to grow in summer but not spring.

It can be risky to list these plants well before they are ready for shipping. To avoid out-of-stock disappointments for you and headaches for us, we now wait to list some of these species until they are nearly ready to ship. Some of the plants exemplifying this situation include:

  • Many of our Fuchsias
  • Milkweed species like Asclepias speciosa, A. incarnata, and A. tuberosa
  • Fruit Sage (Salvia pomifera) and
  • Sacred White Sage (Salvia apiana).

When one of our plants is out of stock — whether rare or a high-volume favorite — the least time-consuming way to track its return to availability is to click the button on its description page that says Notify me when back in stock. You will receive an automatic email alert when it is available again, but you may need to act quickly. Here are some tips for avoiding out-of-stock frustration.


Creating Wishlists to Aid Planning

The FBTS Wishlist Registry is a helpful and easy-to-use tool for planning purchases. Unlike a temporary list of ideas you might leave — and lose — in a digital shopping cart, an FBTS wishlist is something you can return to repeatedly. However, you need to be logged in to your registered FBTS account to access this tool.

The Registry can be used in a number of ways, including:

  • Setting up a list that account-holding friends can see when they want to give you an FBTS gift
  • Maintaining private lists of plants you want to give to family and friends and
  • Keeping private records of plants you intend to purchase for your own garden.

At Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery, our shopping cart will only retain your choices for three days. That's because as soon as you log in to your registered account and put a plant in your shopping cart, it's no longer available to other customers. If we allow plants to stay in carts overlong, they become overgrown and unsaleable. An FBTS Wishlist solves that problem.


Looking for a Larger Quantity?

Some of us love to mass large swaths of the landscape with one kind of plant or use green groundcovers instead of gravel or bark chips.

At FBTS, we continually propagate hundreds of Salvia varieties, many companion plants, and — as of 2020 — several kinds of luscious Fuchsia. Yet we usually can only maintain a limited number of any given plant in our greenhouses at one time. Often, however, we accept special orders to meet your specific needs. If you need a large quantity of an FBTS plant that exceeds what is available in our inventory, please contact us. We can discuss a delivery schedule that fits both your needs and our propagation schedule.


Understanding Shipping Dates

Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Nursery grows and ships plants year-round, weather permitting. We serve gardeners in varying climates nationwide. Customers in warm winter locales may already be planting in early February while others in chilly regions have to wait until late spring. But whatever your weather expectations, FBTS makes it possible for you to order now and select a delivery date.

Unlike most mail-order plant companies, FBTS maintains a propagation schedule designed to meet the needs of many climates. We can closely estimate set shipping dates far in advance of when you need your plants.

When you place an order, our shopping cart page lets you select a shipping week from a list of choices. But if extreme weather is predicted for the week you choose, we’ll protect your order by shipping later. Here’s more info about FBTS shipping practices.


Registering for a Secure FBTS Account

Before saying anything about the benefits of registration for an FBTS account, we need to note that we never share or sell your data. Also, we don’t store information from credit, debit, or any kind of payment cards. Furthermore, we protect user privacy via the cyber security leader Trust Guard, which secures you and us against data breaches and malware as well as payment card fraud.

Now, on to the benefits, some of which are already detailed in other newsletter articles here. They include:

  • Money-saving combined shipping
  • Participation in the FBTS Wish List Registry
  • Ready availability of records about your past purchases and
  • Access to special discounts, such as the Salvia Daily Deal — a 24-hour sale offering a limited number of a specific plant at a rock-bottom price.

It’s easy, fast, safe, and helpful to register for an FBTS account.