Frequently Asked Questions

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A good place to start is by joining one or more of rock garden societies. Always full of people who are friendly and more than willignto share their knowledge with you. Excellent printed journals, forums for all your questions that need to be answered, seed exchanges, field trips, shows and speakers. Within these large groups you will also find branches of local groups, and hopefully one that is near to where you live. 

North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) - (Local Groups in North America)

Alpine Garden Society (AGS)  - (Local Groups in UK)

Scottish Rock Garden Society (SRGS)

You will find we do not list hardiness zones as we feel they are too rigid. A full article can be found here on that explains Hardiness for our plants in detail. Having said this, most of the plants we offer are hardy into very cold winter climates (lows of -30°C). 

Most of our plants are grown and shipped in 7cm x 9cm pots.

Alpines are small, plain and simple. But once they are planted in the garden they truly come into a life of their own. Some will spread into a fine mat (not weedy, we try not to sell anything that can become a headache). Others will always stay compact and minute in a hummock, which is perfect for trough planting. We do carry a variety of plants that verge on being the size of smaller perennial as well, but the majority of what we sell will stay well under 15cm in height.

Yes! You get more bang for your buck if you order full boxes. 

We use four different sized boxes to ship:

  • Extra-Small Box:  holds 8 pots    (New in 2019)
  • Small Box:            holds 16 pots
  • Medium Box:       holds 20 pots
  • Large Box:            holds 32 pots

Order in these quantities (give or take a plant) and you will probably see savings.

1 box:





2 Boxes:






3 Boxes:













In general the shipping season goes something like this (weather and circumstance permitting):

- Late March to Early April - First shipment to areas that will already be experiencing spring (ex. West Coast orders and Southern States)

- Mid to Late April - Majority of orders to both Canada and the USA will be shipped.

- Early May - Orders to cold climates shipped

- May to early July - We can still ship orders as long as it isn't too hot. 

- July and August - No shipping, it's just too hot and the plants will suffer in transit.

- September and October - Fall shipping resumes

- November to March - No Shipping

We usually ship on Mondays, sometimes Tuesdays, so that your order arrives during the week (from 1 to 3 days in transit).

If you prefer your order to arrive during a specific month, let us know in the "Comments" section when completing the order. We will do our best to have it shipped when needed. Or if you will be away during a period of time and unable to pick the order up, let us know and we will avoid shipping your order during this time.


Generally no, as boxed plants and heat do not mix. We ship in the spring (March-June) and fall (September-October). Transplanting in the summer months is also risky for plant health and survival - it's much better if you stick to planting your garden in the cooler months.

We ship all across Canada and the United States. Canadian orders are sent from St. Andrews, New Brunswick, and US orders from Calais, Maine. 

As well, we sometimes will ship to other countries, although this depends on the restrictions for importing plants in each country. 

We live 20 minutes from Calais, Maine so we transport the plants across the US/Canada border ourselves -  this saves time and money for everyone. These shipments happen on either a Monday or Tuesday to ensure delivery by Friday.


All orders shipped to the United States are inspected by the federal Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to make sure they are free of noxious pests and diseases. This involves submitting lists of the plants and their destinations to the CFIA about a week ahead of shipping, sometimes treating them (depending on the receiving State's regulations), as well as a physical inspection by the CFIA. It's a bit of a chore so we usually ship the USA orders in batches.

"A Phytosanitary Certificate is an official document issued by the plant protection organization of the exporting country to the plant protection organization of the importing country. It certifies that the plants or plant products covered by the certificate have been inspected according to appropriate procedures and are considered to be free from quarantine pests and that they are considered to conform with the current phytosanitary regulations of the importing country. The Phytosanitary Certificate facilitates trade but it is not a trade document." ~ CFIA


We file paperwork with the border a day ahead of crossing so they know what is coming (lots of varieties for them to crosscheck on endangered and invasive lists… it's not like it's a load of 100 apple trees - there are 650 varieties they have to sift through!). At the border the boxes may be inspected, and then we carry on to the USPS office. 


We now use USPS shipping software to pay for and print shipping labels in advance of delivering your boxes to the USPS. Our software then automatically sends you an email with the tracking number, even before it is shipped.

Yes, but please contact us ahead of time to arrange a visit. 

We are only open by appointment, and would hate to have you drive all the way here, and find the gates closed!

Contact Info & Directions to the Nursery

In most cases yes, if there is room in the truck. 

Please let us know two weeks in advance, especially if it is a sale in the USA, as we have to get a Phytosanitary Certificate for the plants arranged.

A minimal charge of $10 is requested to cover the costs of phyto/handling/transportation.

Open the box carefully and remove the packing material delicately so you don't injure the crowns.

Give them a gentle and thorough watering.

Place the pots in a cool, shaded, protected area.

Transplant to the garden as soon as possible or as weather permits, with minimal root disturbance. Water in well and provide some shading if the weather is warm.

Yes, this can usually be arranged. Depending on what your group is looking for we can do one, or a combination of the following:

PowerPoint presentation (a variety of themes to chose from)

Plant Sale (if the season is right)

Workshop (ex. How to plant a trough; How to build a crevice garden)

Not really. Under certain contortions we will allow a wholesale order.


  • Proof that you represent a registered retail business or landscaping company.
  • Minimum order of $1,000.
  • A quantity of at least 4 of each plant ordered.
  • Order must be picked up or shipped. We do not deliver.
  • Wholesale orders will not be delivered to retail plant sales.
  • Wholesale discounts are not given at retail plant sales.
  • Wholesale discount rate is determined by us on a case-by-case basis.


Email us if you are fully eligible and interested.


First, take a couple photos and email us. Claims of damage to your plants must be submitted within 7 days of receipt for replacement or refund to be issued - limited to the value of the plants claimed. We do not offer warranty on plants when subsequent planting and care produces unsatisfactory results.

Sometimes a pot you receive looks like, well, just a pot of soil... but don't throw it out yet! It may be that the plant is still dormant. We try to ship plants when they are showing some green, but that can be difficult for some later growing species, especially if you live in a warmer climate and need the plants shipped before our colder climate has wakened them into new growth. If this is the case you will find the roots firm and the crown intact beneath the soil.

Claims of damage to your plants must be submitted within 7 days of receipt for replacement or refund to be issued - limited to the value of the plants claimed.
We do not offer warranty on plants when subsequent planting and care produces unsatisfactory results.