Frequently Asked Questions...
1) What does the process of ordering from FTCN entail?
Orders can be made online (click on the “Shop” button). Use the filters on the left side of the screen to narrow down your list of plants to those which might work for your particular site. You will need to set up an account to make an order.
Once you have checked out, you will see a screen that prompts you to pick a location to pickup your order – either 12405 Norwood Rd or 6304 King Lawrence Rd. For Norwood Rd, you need to pick a date and time slot. The time slots are in 2-hour windows, and you can show up any time within that window. For King Lawrence, you just pick a date, and you can show up any time on that day.
You will get an email confirmation of your order, and another of your pick-up location and date. It is possible that the pick-up confirmation email may go to your spam folder. It is important to keep this email, as it is the only record of your pick-up date/location, and it has important instructions for what to expect at each location. There will not always be someone around to help you, so you need to know what to do upon arrival!
You pay for your order when you come to get your plants. We prefer cash or checks. If paying with cash, please put it in an envelope with your name and/or order number on it.
2) How can I make an appointment to come to the nursery and pick out some plants, ask some questions, maybe browse a bit?
The nursery on Norwood Rd. is set up as a working agricultural space to grow plants, and is staffed by one person. It is different from a garden center, where plants are brought in from elsewhere, put on display, and sold by a staff of salespeople.
With these differences in mind, please understand that I cannot accommodate large numbers of customers who need extensive customer service in order to make a purchase. Though I can answer a limited number of questions via email, for now please think of this as more of a “self-serve” nursery.
Browsing is welcome, however, at the roadside stand on King Lawrence Road during open hours (usually 10-7, 7 days a week, from mid-March to May and mid-September through October).
3) Why is there a waiting period to pick up my order?
We are a very small operation of just 2 people, one full time and one part time. As such, we can only pull a certain amount of orders per day. We have set limits to how many orders can be picked up per day based on what we are physically able to do. Please expect when you make an order that you may not be able to pick your plants up for a little while.
4) What if the weather is terrible during my particular time slot? Or what if I can't make it because something else comes up?
If the weather is bad, you can just come to get your order either later that day or the next day, at your convenience. Please drop us a line at email@example.com to let us know. We highly encourage people to stay off the roads during storms!
If something else comes up, please email us as soon as you are able.
As a general rule, orders that are not picked up within 48 hours of their scheduled time will be canceled unless we hear from you. If you miss your pick-up day and want to reschedule a pick-up time that is more than 2 days from your original date, a 10% restocking fee (or a minimum of $5) will be applied to your order. We have to unpack your order to water the plants, then repack your order. The fee is to compensate us for the extra time we have to spend on your particular order.
5) Do you do bulk discounts for large orders? Or wholesale?
Because the nursery has limited space and limited staffing, we cannot do discounts for large orders or wholesale sales. However, if you have a big project and want to use plugs in order to save money, email us and we can talk about ordering plugs for you.
6) Why are you closed down for ordering sometimes? Can you make an exception just for me please?
The nursery does not sell plants in June, July, August, and February. Plants transplanted in summer have a very high chance of dying, and even if they survive, they may be stressed to the point where it may take them several seasons to recover. So no, we will not make exceptions to sell plants to anyone in summer.
In February, we are busy gearing up for spring. We need to get inventory finished and entered into the system for the spring rush. So we cannot sell plants until inventory is done.
7) I want to order some plants, but it’s December! What should I do?
In the piedmont of NC, the best months to plant perennials, trees, and shrubs are actually November through January. We only tend to have brief periods where the ground might freeze a little bit. During fall and winter, the plants are mostly dormant and are putting their energies into root growth. Soils in winter tend to stay damp, so you do not have to water them very often (if at all), and they will be well-established in the ground by the time the heat, drought, and stress of summer arrives.
I tend to recommend that people try and do their perennial plantings in fall and winter, and save spring for sowing/planting their annuals and vegetables.