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This is an honest observation as others above are no doubt are about two companies I have bought plants from!
Last year I ordered from Parker's,Hosta plants and perennial geraniums, total, total, total crap and some of the hostas were wrongly named!
As for T&M I would be jailed if I were to post on here about the quality of their plants and customer service.
Never again from either company, trading standards should be after then!
It is only by experience and listening to others that you discover how bad some suppliers are!
I have bought plants from Parkers for a number of years and my show of Dahlias and Begonias were superb the plug plants didnt do so well but I put that down to the terrible weather we had last year.You have got to decide yourself whether you want quality or quantity and of course pricing.Everybody has a view on plant companys and the forum comments help in picking your own favourite and all comments I take as being constructive and helps for future purchases
Until I read this I thought it was just me. I saved up and spent over £80 on various collections etc in 2011 and when they arrived they were nearly all dead. Seriously, they were brown and withered. I complained and curtly got told to plant them and see what happened - as they were dead it seemed a pointless exercise. Half the bulbs were husk and in fact the only thing that survived was a (very expensive as it turned out) dwarf azalea. I complained again last year in Spring when nothing appeared as I had been told to contact them again then and was fobbed off. It took me months to save up that money to get a good show for my garden in lieu of a holiday and I was very very disappointed. I will not buy from them again.
I'm lucky (?) in that I can actually visit a Parkers' GC & can prod/poke the items. That way I can be sure things are ok. Sizes of bulbs/tubers are small, as is their price, so you do get what you pay for.
I have ordered plants from them in the past & yes, not brilliant, but others via another company mail-order were also not good. Nowadays my plant purchases come via visits to nurseries/GCs. Like Figrat I prefer to see what am buying.
I use Avon bulbs for the majority of my bulb purchases mail order. I have used Sarah Raven for seeds in the past, but decided to stop, because of all the 'junk' e-mails that I was getting from them, plus the cost. J.
I have nothing but praise for this company. SOME OF THEIR PLANTS ARE VERY CHEAP. I'm mean when it come to plants I won't spend alot as I have found £10 plants from very good nurseries have died. I have loads of their plants growing in my garden all came really small but I planted every one quickly as per their instructions or using internet instructions and all are still alive and now in their second year and are becoming what I call 4X the price size! Their bulbs are great too. I had one rose which turned out not to be a baccara. I emailed them with a photo ( It's still a very pretty red rose) and they immediately sent another bareroot rose plant. A great company recommended by my keen gardener Mum. REMEMBER YOU CAN GET 4 OF THEIR PLANTS TO ONE FROM A NURSERY WHICH MAY STILL DIE - SO GREAT FOR FILLING A ONCE BARREN GARDEN WITH CHEAP COLOUR. As a footnote - I'm an amateur gardener so I'm just happy if it survives.
I am planting up quite a large space. Last year I ordered a lot of shrubs from them. Including the chanomeles collection and rose The Fairy collection. OK the shrubs were very small BUT none have died and all have good healthy looking buds for this year.
A down note - I have not found their perennials as good
Have warned against this company to many people many times, I really don't know how they get awa with what they do, One of their most annoying things is that they photograph plants together which cannot flower together, and unknowing people who are just starting gardening get disappointed and think they are no good at gardening. They send out plants that are often not the ones they say they are, and indeed their plugs are dissgraceful in size and quality. Their catalogue appears everywhere, and for newbie gardeners looks good - indeed, beware them, they are con artists in my humble opinion.
Verdun, you are absolutely right. I am trying to stop my cheapskate ways, though it is hard to break the miserly habits of a lifetime. I don't buy plug plants by mail order any more, however, since a collection of geranium plugs virtually all failed. I'd prefer to buy something larger and stronger.
Hi all ,Why oh Why do you buy from mail order company's do you all live extraordinary long distances from cities and towns where they have shops and garden centers where you can see what you are buying and above the quality ,
I always buy plug plants of bedding begonias and impatiens, not from Parker though, and have only been disappointed on one occassion, Then I complained and got the offer of replacement or a refund. I buy them because they are far cheaper than garden centres for the amount I need for my garden and usually give any surpluss to my daughter.
I have visited Parkers Garden Centre, we have one fairly locally and chosen bulbs and have been very happy with the results. If you chose your own you do know what you are getting.
Morrisons supermarket are very good for bedding pelargoniums and cheap.
I have had some real bargains from Parkers in the past. On the whole I have been pleased with their bulbs, shrubs and plug plants and they have been good value for money. For me the one exception though has been their perennials. They tend to be just a small piece of bare root and I have had poor results with them, with a large proportion not growing at all.
I received an order from Parkers and am happy with the quality. The ferns have sprouted brilliantly as have the perennials. The bulbs are all a good size and firm
Bought from Brookside Nursery last year , must say their plants were very good quality and cheaper than most of the rest.