“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not,
but rejoices for those which he has.”
I am very grateful today that our spring order from The Michigan Bulb Company is now complete.
A large box arrived this afternoon; many times larger than a box to hold the three tubers for Colocasia “Black Magic” Elephant Ears that I ordered on March 4.
And in the box were three reasonably healthy Elephant Ear plants
I am grateful they are finally here.
“Go to foreign countries
and you will get to know the good things
one possesses at home.”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
The Michigan Bulb Co. and I have become regular correspondents over the 14 weeks it has taken to fill my order. We started off well with the order confirmation and a promise to ship the Elephant Ears so they would arrive between April 10 and 15.
They made it clear from the beginning that my order would ship out in stages, with the onion sets and Lilac shrub arriving first.
Everything else in the order was set to arrive right around our normal frost free date, which was appropriate.
On April 4, an email informed me that the order processing was complete, and the remaining plants would still arrive between April 10 and 15.
But, when the next part of the order arrived, the Black Magic Elephant Ears were missing.
Michigan Bulb said they were temporarily out of stock and were on back order. Disappointing, but fair enough.
So they wrote a note again on April 17 to inform me that my new delivery window was April 24-27. But that didn’t happen, either.
Then on May 6 Michigan Bulb assured me the missing Elephant Ears would arrive between May 15 and 20, but….. You guessed it! No plants.
But they are faithful correspondents. I heard from customer service again on May 27 with the promise of my already paid for Elephant Ears sometime between May 30 and June 4.
Somewhere in here I found time to take their customer service “Satisfaction Survey.”
Was I a happy customer? No.
Would I recommend Michigan Bulb Company to a friend? What do you think?
Maybe someone read my survey. Who knows? But, they faithfully stayed in touch. A “Shipping Confirmation” showed up in my email on June 3. Did I dare to believe the plants might be on their way?
“Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.”
John Henry Jowett
Well, they arrived today, June 6, 2014. I’ve made a note on my desk calender.
Although I ordered dormant tubers, I received plants. Yes, there are tiny little tubers in the pots. Each plant cost $7.49 plus the shipping, but without any sales tax.
Now, I’ve been watching the stock at Homestead Garden Center. They’ve had Colocasia esculenta plants for several weeks now. They offer a healthy plant three times this size, in a much larger pot, for $9.95.
(And yes I’m especially grateful for the very honest and reputable Patton family, who have become an important resource to gardeners in our community.)
I can’t tell you how often I’ve been tempted to simply buy their Elephant Ear plants and attempt to cancel this order.
But, I was beyond another series of interactions with Michigan Bulb to even attempt a cancellation. They money was already spent….
So, I waited it out. And I am grateful the plants arrived today in good shape.
Is there a moral to my story?
If you live in a very rural area with no good nursery nearby, and want a plant unavailable locally, your alternative is to order what you want to grow. I mail ordered Colocasia in early spring because I wanted certain cultivars which aren’t commonly offered by local nurseries.
If you enjoy hunting for “bargains”, there are certainly bargains available from many mail order nurseries.
But there are also scams. I often find plants listed at “sale prices” in catalogs from several well known mail order nurseries, which are actually three times higher than what the same plant retails for locally .
You have to know the going rate, or you will pay way too much for many popular mail order plants.
So, as with so many other things, “Buyer Beware.” What appears to be a deal, may just end up as a headache.
“Develop an attitude of gratitude,
and give thanks for everything that happens to you,
knowing that every step forward
is a step toward achieving
something bigger and better than your current situation.”
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014