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Lazy S'S Farm Nursery Plant Guarantee
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The Accepted Industry Plant Guarantee

The February 2008 Issue of Garden Gate Magazine actually addressed the issue of plant guarantees directly in an article entitled "The Best and Worst Mail Order Nurseries" written by Dave Whitinger of famed 'Dave's Garden',

"Check guarantees, substitutions and refunds.  Make sure that the company guarantees the plant to be true to name as well as healthy and viable when it arrives.  Nurseries can't be responsible for the health of the plant once it's in your care.  But if there are problems within the first 48 hours, most companies will work with you to correct the problem."   

Dave Whitinger

This is, in fact, our exact policy:

We guarantee:

    1.  That our plants are true to name.

    2.  That they are healthy when they leave here and arrive safely.  We must know immediately if any plant is damaged during shipment or arrives in poor condition.  We reserve the right to request the return of the material but are generally willing to accept a photo of arrival condition.  Often we can salvage them even if damaged and it can possibly be worth our paying return shipping.

 

What we cannot guarantee: 

1. The purchaser's gardening abilities and/or plant knowledge. 

2.  Drought, Tornadoes, Floods, Etc. or Acts of God 

3.  Lawn Mower or Weed Eater use in the area of your plant.

4.  The behavior of your neighborhood's male dog. 

5.  The behavior of moles, voles, rabbits, deer and other critters.

6.  Your soil and/or the conditions in your planting area, for example drainage or soil Ph

To put it succinctly, once the plant leaves here, too much is out of our control for us to guarantee itís survival. Our plants are routinely inspected by the Va. State Department of Agriculture because we are truly a nursery -- not a garden center or a broker -- so we feel confident about their health. But once they go to your home, they are in your care.

We can not replace plants that arrived in poor condition unless notified via E-mail with photograph of plants within 3 days of arrival and prior to being planted.  Once in the ground there are factors beyond arrival condition that can cause the demise of a plant.

Thomas Jefferson on gardening (and plant loss):

"No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden. Such a variety of subjects, some one always coming to perfection, the failure of one thing repaired by the success of another, and instead of one harvest a continued one through the year." 

Thomas Jefferson, 1811

Plant Replacement at the Big Box Stores and Building Supply Stores.

There are businesses, such as lumber yards, who do guarantee their selection of plants. One such chain lost 17% Nationwide in 2001 on itís plant department as reported in an industry trade magazine, but since they use it as a 'Loss Leader' (a marketing strategy) to get you in the store to buy other things, that is their chosen marketing technique. (Their surveys show that even when you come to return a dead plant that you buy enough other things to make up for the replacement plant.)   So they gladly take a 17% loss on their plant department because consumers more than make up for that buying other things while they're there.

Because these stores replace dead plants, many people have come to expect that.  And for awhile many vendors tried to follow suit, (and a few still do) but most gradually realizing that Lowes and Home Depot can operate under the Loss Leader Marketing Strategy, taking losses on plants because it's made up for by other purchases.  Nurseries and Garden Centers simply can't do that.

 

 
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