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Just had Parkers catalogue delivered, it is their 80 anniversary one, so they must be doing something right, but I would never order anything from them, after being caught out more than once!
Ordered a selection of Echinacea's from Crocus through the Daily Telegraph, some of which cost £9.99 each!
When they arrived talk about a dissapointment,I thought I would receive well established plants, instead they were small rooted shoots, with no top growth (which was to be expected) one of which was completly dead.
I reported it and was immediately sent a replacement, which was worse than the first,no plant only some dead gunge when I tipped it out off the pot!
I reported it again, this was the reply I got.
Thank you for your email.I have spoken to one of our plant experts,Who has advised these plant are currently still dormant,They should be looking like there is nothing there at the moment
They should start seeing some new growth at the end of April.If you still do not see any growth in April,Please do come back to us for a refund.
I emailed them again and explained that there was no plant in either pot, and as they appeared to be a bad batch to send any other variety instead, so far I have not had a reply.
With the plants came planting instructions, which included in bold type
"THE BIG PRINT!
We guarantee only to send you top-notch plants,and will inspect everything carefully before it leaves to make sure it is in tip top condition!
What a joke, and up to ordering mine I had only heard and read only good reports about Crocus especially in The Telegraph gardening section!
In the garden centres, it is not possible to obtain the latest varieties which I am willing to pay extra to get,so I have to use mail order and they just send out the rubbish which no one would pick up at the garden centre!
Thet cannot all be useless!
I have not found them to be good, I ordered renuculus (how to spell that) they were meant to be pink and white, they hardly flowered and came out orange !!!!!!!
Crocus - I once purchased a Hebe from Crocus, when it arrived it was covered in black spots and was incredibly root bound. I promptly took photos and emailed them to Crocus and was immediately offered another plant or my money back.
I took the money (but must admit planted the Hebe which totally recovered! ).
I have always had quality plants from Crocus, same with Thompson & Morgan (except they never deliver by the time they say they will). As for Parkers I am not impressed with the packaging of their plants but have to say the ones that survive are good plants. I think you get what you pay for.
I've read this thread with interest, feeling too ignorant to make a useful comment, but learning. Now I'm going to comment anyway!!! Parkers and T and M et al will have custom because they are so cheap and all trade is price-driven. I'm cautious with them because they show pictures of large plants and then send small rooted cuttings of shrubs when I could have got a stronger plant at a garden centre for the same money. Inexperienced gardeners are quite likely to get very discouraged when they fail with immature plants. What really bugs me is that their catalogues do not give basic information like soil type required and the hardiness or otherwise of the plants. Many people need a bit of guidance about whether to put them straight in the ground or to grow them on in pots first. it seems to me that responsible sellers would give a brief summary of this with every plant description.
I don't really understand why some people on here say that T&M and Parkers offer plants cheaply, they do not, they are expensive for the quality they supply!
BUT! they do supply plants that I am unable to get elsewhere and I am a sucker for novelties.
They T&M have just paid £200 for one pumpkin seed from America, look out for "World Exclusive! pumpkins seeds offered by them in the next few seasons, you have been warned!
When I ordered Echinacea's from Crocus because of the cost I expected fist sized plants at least, all I got was single stems in large pots, if a garden centre had been offering them at that price I would not have touched them, but I had to take what they sent!
Considering the terrible publicity that some companies get on here, do any of them ever respond?
Lyn wrote (see)
Everytime I buy something from parkers, they enclose a booklet giving all the info even whether they need slug protection, I do pot up their perennials for the winter and plant out in spring thougth. I bought the funniest thing from them, as I thought, just 5 pieces of root,, I laid it in a tray and covered it with gravel,(just like carol does) and it's now starting to shoot. My alamanchia and acer, bought last year for 1.99 and planted in the Spring are now 3feet tall and covered in leafbuds, my daughter, K, paid a fortune for her acer and they are both the same size now. I like to buy small plants and watch them grow on, some people like the instant garden look.
I'm happy to grow on small plants, too, because I'm a cheapskate and don't want to spend too much. However, when I started gardening about fifteen years ago, I failed a number of times with small plants because I did not know what I was doing. I do agree with Jimmmy that the plants are not that cheap for their size, but they seem cheap when you look at the photographs of mature plants.
A leaflet sent with plants is very helpful - but I think basic info should be in the catalogue because if you order the wrong plant for your soil type or zone, it is too late to find out after you've received it. It is fine for people who know what they are doing, but for inexperienced gardeners, it is complicated and confusing to try to order the right plants without adequate guidance. I'm only asking for the basics - annual or perennial, size and flowering period (which they usually give), soil type, hardiness and requirements for growing on (pot or in the ground, greenhouse or outside). It could even be done by symbols when page space is at a premium.
Don't know how I managed to duplicate Lyn's post twice.
Was it a bit like 'New York New York' GG
I am new to gardening and on my second order from Parkers. I'm finding so far that things need a bit of babying, but to be honest I need the practice so I don't really mind! Some Dicentra roots have just arrived looking pretty sickly so that will be a real test.
We live in Z2 London and while there are a couple of garden centres a bus ride away they are very expensive.
I now avoid these lare scale mail order companies, they produce plants on mass and do not take care to ensure the plants they send out are up to standard. I have used Jparkers alot and only had cause to complain twice, once they refunded immediately, the other occasion I was completely ignored so I have lost faith in them. Suttons are terrible, crocus are terrible and dont get me started on Van Meuwen.
Thompson and Morgan are probably the best in my experience, only complained once when an apple tree got lost in post, they replaced it no questions asked. The original one turned up a couple of weeks later looking pretty dead but came good with a bit of care. I called TM and they just said keep it.
NCFCcrazy wrote (see)
.. and dont get me started on Van Meuwen. Thompson and Morgan are probably the best in my experience
.. and dont get me started on Van Meuwen.
Thompson and Morgan are probably the best in my experience
T&M and Van Meuwen are the same company, only the website and some prices are different...
Oh, I feel silly, only placed 1 order with Van Meuwen and the plants were terrible, I didnt realise they were the same company as TM. Just goes to show that 1 bad experience can do alot to damage a brand.