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Crocus, ordered 9 Echiacea  plants from them this spring, they were not cheap, total rubbish, in sodden wet compost, all failed to grow, they didn't want to know, got most of my money back, less carriage, gave up in the end, but never again from them!

Up to a couple of years ago I used to get wonderful plants no matter who I ordered from, now I dread opening the packaging when I have plants delivered as they are usually rubbish, with one exception, Jersey Plants Direct, they are usually excellent! should have for ALL your money back.

I find crocus okish...don't buy much from them though, prob just a couple of plants over fhe years. Online suppliers like Woottens, Cotswold flowers, dove cottage, etc among a few others are excellent but so many new plants are being introduced too quickly.  Those new echinaceas are an example... They are hyped up for their brilliant flowers, etc., but most of them are weak plants.  Or, they need nurturing for a year to build up their root systems and then they will perform.  We aren't told either that "pathogens" often affect new plants making them unable to survive the dormant season.  We should be told of the downside too of these plants but, because we want thess things to grow and flower immediately we are denied this info.  I now research many new plants before purchase and grow accordingly

Stacey Docherty

From the conversation I had with the chap yesterday they are no longer doing wild swan ... He said " well it is 2 years old now!" He was quite frank and said that they did loose a lot of them they are now doing "dreaming swan" and another swan variety it hats a double but both are late flowerers not long flowerers..... The only other stall that looked like nice (not rip off show prices) was hopleys of much hadham( I'm gutted my ex lived in the village drank in the pub all the time and the nursery is just round the corner I never knew!!!)

Stacey, I have heard of these newer wild swan varieties.  I have considered buying them.  They prob will have same issues though.  We need to learn how to grow these plants before we actually buy them

Woodgreen wonderboy

I agree Verd... wouldn'y it be good if the growers, GCs etc had the courage to put a "health warning" on plants, alongside all the effusive plaudits and pretty pictures e.g. this one seeds around a lot, this one is invasive, this one is prone to mildew etc. At least then we could take the necessary measures, or not be too expectant of great results.

p.s. "chrysanthemums direct" supply good plantlets, in good condition, with good instructions.


Wise words woody.  That's why we missed your input recently!   ( can you send me the money now please?)

I do go for many of the new plants but have learned over past couple of years that many of them need to develop strong root systems first.  To enable this I pot on and remove flower stems.  Seems to work on most

on the subject of hard-to-find plants, does anyone know where I can get hold of Hydrangea 'Fireworks',  ? I saw it at Hampton Court a couple of years ago, should have bought it then, but couldn't carry anything else.  Any ideas ? Also ,does it come with  any 'health warnings' ? ( I bought 3 wild swan from hayloft, delivered very late, utterly feeble,2 died within weeks, the third died a few months later- J As are normally so rampant ! )

Stacey Docherty

Verdun I was thinking just that yesterday... They give generic advice on plants that is t more often than not generic not specific. Yesterday when I bought the ecinechia befor I would have gone for flower flower flower but after bein on this site( and your specific advice verd) I went for a plant that had a very healthy bottom growth and the flowers were a bonus. I spoke to the woman for about 5 mins about not planting out this autumn she was very good and told me more about the plant, and advised me to plant it out as it idea have a food bottom growth and is a v hardy strain .... So we shall see. Verdun the other wild swan was a late flowerer with purple on the back instead of blue! V pretty but mmmmm still didn't get it

Woodgreen wonderboy

It is very tempting when buying a plant to choose the one in full flower. However the chances are that within a few days it will be going downhill, in looks at least. Much better to choose the one which is weeks away from flowering... your enjoyment will then be maximised, over a longer period. Or follow Verd.'s advice and sacrifice the first flowers.

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