Frequently Asked Questions
"What are your hours?"
We don't have a conventional store front as we operate out of our home, and therefore don't keep regular shop hours. At this time we are unable to receive customers inside, but we do offer self-serve pick-up of online orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That being said, we try to take Saturdays off.
"When will my pick-up order be ready?"
We try to have pick-up orders ready within 4 hours. If it comes in after 5pm, then it will be processed the next day. It would be great if you could let us know when you plan to collect your order. That being said, we try to take Saturdays off.
"What is the difference between Sponge Rock and Perlite?"
Technically, it is the same stuff. Sponge Rock is just larger chunks. It is an amorphous volcanic glass that has a relatively high water content, typically formed by the hydration of obsidian. It occurs naturally and has the unusual property of greatly expanding when heated sufficiently. Once expanded, it has a very low density making it a great addition to orchid growing media as it promotes air flow and keeps the mix light.
"What is better Fir Bark (like in the mixes) or Orchiata?"
Douglas Fir Bark has long been a staple of orchid growers everywhere. Our bark is grown in Oregon. Its durable, smells nice and orchids like it. Orchiata is a newer product from New Zealand. It is made from the bark of Pinus radiatus - a tree native to New Zealand. When processed, it yields uniformly sized pieces that can be used straight from the bag. You do not need to mix it with anything (although some people do put a bit of sphagnum moss with it). Prior to leaving New Zealand, Ag. Canada insists that the bark be treated with a pesticide to make use it is safe for importation. Therefore you may notice a chemical smell when you first use it. The big advantage that Orchiata has over Fir Bark is that it lasts longer. Fir Bark is usually good for 10 to 14 months, while Orchiata can last for up to 2 years. (This depends on your watering patterns.) The downside of Orchiata is that when it starts to rot, it can become quite acidic which can be harmful to your plants. So it is really a matter of personal choice. Many growers swear by Orchiata, but if your plants are happy in what they are in now - maybe you want to stay with that.
"When will you have XX back in stock?"
The pandemic has made a mess of global supply chains. Production of Spahgnum Moss in New Zealand stopped for 6 weeks. Some of the harvest was lost. Things are getting back on track, but some products may take a little while to return. If you are interested in something in particular, please let us know. email@example.com
"How can I get free shipping?"
We do our best to keep our prices as low as possible. Therefore, are margins are very thin. At this time, we cannot offer free shipping on any orders. That being said, if you want to order $1000 in stuff, we can probably work something out.
"I received a small refund. What was that for?"
It was probably a refund for shipping. Our website estimates shipping based the the weight of the order and the assumption that it is going into a standard box. Sometimes, if your order can go in a smaller box, the final shipping charge turns out to be less than what you paid. We feel it's only fair that we refund that. Of course, there are larger orders where we loose money, but that's business. We won't be so uncouth as to come after you for more shipping $$.