Have you ever participated in a co op? I hadn't until last spring. Wow, what fun! I started out ordering irises. Then the hosta co op started and i joined in on that one too. Before long i had about 20 orders placed in various co ops including shade plants, garden pens, daylilies, tulips, daffs, crocus, alliums and more. Soon i was running my own co ops. I first hosted a Hellebore co op with Pine Knot Farms. It was a lot of fun but time consuming. I enjoyed the organization of the process and the people that i meet. It went well and in all i had around 40 participants order and 17 flats of 1 year old hellebore in my kitchen! Once it was all over i decided that i wanted to do a peony co op and a fall bulb co op. That was a mistake. I had over 100 participants between the two of them plus i moved and was working 50 hours a week. It was exhausting. It took awhile but everything went on as planned and everyone received their plants at the end of the summer. Lesson learned! I will never take on as much responsibility as a co op when i am that busy.
What is a co op? It's a group purchase that is organized by a person or small group. In a co op the host is responsible for all the details. They take the orders, totals and keep great contact with the vendor and participants. Ordering plants this way is a great way to get them for much cheaper than usual. It's buying in bulk but the host typically does the shipping. If you love plants its a great way to get em.