H: Sunday, November 30, 2008

Van Veen Order 2009

Dear Members,


It's time to submit your Van Veen order for delivery in April, 2009.  Again, the order should be sent to me via e-mail.


Print this note, as it contains instructions for ordering.


This process is very late this year, so I need you to get your order to me ASAP. 



Attached is a Word document with the Van Veen plants available this year.  There are MANY plants that have never before been available from Van Veen, so I urge you to take a close look at this list.  I've added the Hardiness Rating for nearly all of them.  You will also see some "notes' next to some of the plants, which point out special features for some with which I'm familiar.  To obtain additional information for any of these plants, I recommend the following:

  1. Greer's Guidebook to Available Rhododendrons – a must have book that includes entries on the majority of the plants listed.
  2. Google search for the name, and you are likely to find one or more references to that plant.



·        Each year, the Massachusetts Chapter submits a group order to Van Veen Nurseries of Portland Oregon, a wholesale grower, to take advantage of a volume discount.

·        These plants are mostly yearlings from rooted cuttings. These are high quality plants at an excellent price.  They arrive un-potted and need to be simply potted up or planted into a "nursery" area for ease of watering the first 1-2 years.

·        Many plants will have a limited supply and will be distributed on a first-ordered first-served basis, so there is an advantage to mailing your order early (the postmark date governs).



·        Submit your order to me via E-mail to  List the plants you want and the quantity of each.

·        Include the following information:

o       Your Name

o       Full Mailing Address

o       Phone Number

o       Whether you would like to help with the sorting & distribution.

·        Prices:

o       Hybrids:  $4

o       Species:   $5

o       Azaleas:  $3.50

o       Shipping & packing materials:  $1.50 per plant in addition to plant cost. 

·        Return the Order to me by 12/25.  Send no money until you receive the order confirmation & invoice from me.  The invoices will be sent sometime after the first of the year based on confirmation of plant availability from Van Veen. The plants will be available for pickup in April.  Notification of the pickup date will be provided with the invoices and in the Newsletter.  Distribution will once again be at the Hunnewell barn in Wellesley.

·        There will be a 2 plant minimum order per plant type for the group order as a whole.   You don't necessarily have to order 2 per type yourself in order to receive the plant, since if others order the same type, the minimum will be met.  However, to increase your chances of getting a particular type you really desire, especially if it isn't one of the more "popular" varieties, you may want to order 2 yourself.


New This Year

Each year I order extra plants from Van Veen and other sources, so that members who did not get an order to me on time can still purchase some plants, and so that those picking up orders have an opportunity to browse and buy additional plants.  This year will be no exception.  However, in addition to these smaller plants, I'll have on hand about 100 larger, 1 gallon sized plants from RareFind Nursery.  These are special plants with outstanding foliage or other special features.  Most are from RareFind's "Collectors List", in small quantities, and are not available to the public.  I will have on hand from 1 to several of each type.  More information on these plants will be provided later.


Notes to newer members: 

·        For lists of plants that will do exceptionally well in our area, I suggest you refer to our chapter's "Proven Performers" list and also the list of the late Dick Brooks' favorite plants published in the Spring/Summer 2003 issue of The Rosebay.

·        Best reference:  Greer's Guidebook to Available Rhododendrons, available from our book table at chapter meetings.

·        A primer on how to successfully raise small plants to landscape size will be available during the distribution.


As in previous years, volunteers will be needed to assist in distributing the plants. This involves spending a few hours on Saturday morning of the distribution weekend.  If you are able to help, please let me know when you send your order. 


If you have any questions please call me at 508-435-8217 (evenings and weekends) or E-Mail me at


Joe Bruso

61 South Mill St.

Hopkinton, MA 01748

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