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From time to time I succumb to the free offers in the magazine, and have mixed results, which makes me wonder how other people get along with them.

Late last year I ordered 4 Papaver plants, paying only the postage, as usual with these offers. They arrived quickly, ie in winter, when it did not seem a good idea to put them in the ground, so I potted them up, but nothing has happened as yet (mid-March) and the plants look completely dead. I also ordered a collection of herbaceous plants, and while most of these are growing, 9 out of 21 show no signs of life. Maybe I have not dealt with them in the right way, or maybe I am unlucky, but I do have a reasonably successful garden. I would say that the instructions that come with the plants are not all that helpful or detailed.

I wonder if other subscribers have similar experiences?

flowering rose

I don't do that any more,as applied for many free pkts and I only had one weedy pkt and no reply from the others.

All my orders with the just pay postage has been rubbish. They all seem to have died and when they state you will be getting plug plants, they are literally 2cms from top of plant to bottom of roots and they normally all die for me. However, I got some free strawberry plants and had a nice harvest from them last year


The thing to remember if the offer is too good to be true-it is buyer aware- this is just a way of getting rid of unwanted stock-cannot see that it does the supplier's reputation much good-they are not doing the customer a favour

Results are mixed.  the plug plants are miniscule, so I normally avoid these now, I can get similar things a lot bigger from either the supermarket, B&Q or if I'm really desperate for something and  I have the cash, it's the garden centre.  I am a bit of a sucker for free stuff that will produce a harvest (fruit plants and seeds etc), so I normally succumb to those.  Although I have ordered some strawberry runners that were 'free' with my clubcard vouchers, mainly because my little boy has a voracious appetite where strawberries are concerned, so putting those in a hanging basket, where it can go out out of his reach



I ordered quite a bit of stuff from T&M, I think it was about 200 plants and it cost me roughly £10 in postage. At the end of Feb I recieved a bush which was basically bare twigs but now its trippled in size and looks great. 72 plug plants arived which were about 2cm like Ryan mentioned but they are all growing quite well. Delays on some of the others stuff. All in all I can't really complain yet as they didn't cost me a penny (used tescos vouchers). 

Very little is free.
Better to spend more and get more
Unfortunatly I too have been tempted by these offers and they have always been rubbish and have died.even when I ordered snowdrop bulbs from the Sunday telegraph newspaper, when they came they all were soft to the touch with a furry green and grey covering on them , I complained,they said ( obviously not a gardener ) they would be fine ,after I advised them to look in any garden book bulbs should not be soft, so they sent me some more , it was a waste of time because they were just the same. So now I only buy from mail order nursuries .ie:Sarah raven her stuff is great.
Gardening Grandma

I ordered the climbing rose in GW a couple of months ago. I had a letter to say it was out of stock. I'm still waiting - and they've got my postage money. If it is bare root, which it must be, and does not come soon I presume I'll have to wait til next year.


I haven't done any of these offers as I'm not sure how great the quality would ever be, no such thing as a free lunch etc. As Verdun says better to pay a bit more  and you can often buy something bigger which will split into 2 or 3 plants. I've often bought small plants from supermarkets which have been really good value but I guess it also depends on what facilities you have for protecting and bringing them on.


I've never been eligible for the GW plant offers because of living in France, but I've always wondered what they were like. So I've read these replies with interest and relief.


But they are not free, by a long chalk, I saw 2 clematis plugs free +  -P&P £5.60. thats 2.80 each.

I bought 3 for 1.99 from Parkers last spring, only plugs last year, but good plants this year and will go out when weather is better.


It is a sort of scam-you cannot ask for a refund is free and faulty-now if they said £4.90+ free p&p then that is in the customers favour-the hope seems to be if they don't come up to scratch- you shrug shoulders and move on


I have ahd them in the past but as everyone says with mixed results. Last yaer there was alavender offer - 36 plants - for some reason they have survived, now what do I do with all those plants?????

The perennial offer I lloked at, but realised I only need some of the varieteis.

I did get a Margaret merril rose on an offer and it is beautiful

It is though very much buyer beware and check just how mch you are getting.

Oh dear, I ordered the sweetpeas in March GW - hope they turn out ok


Lyn i got 6 Paula Jane fuchsia plugs for £2 at Morrison's on Sat night and they are very strong plugs potted them up on Sunday morning i just love a bargain. 

I have never had any success with these "free" offers.    I have been a gardener for over 40 years so I am not a novice.   I am used to potting up plug plants and also bare root plants.     As others have said, nothing in life is free.    I am sure they get rid of inferior plants this way.    If you can afford to gamble with them, then go ahead, otherwise spend a bit more!


You made me smile Discodev, tesco vouchers are NOT free, you have to spend ALOT of money to get them

This scam(esp. T&M) was highlighted last spring too. They get rid of their inferior plants, thousands of them this way. Supermarkets and GC sell them cheaper than the P&P !!

A friend tried ordering the Begonia pack for baskets and was told they were out of stock! In March? When are they going to be in stock-June.The mind boggles, as long as we keep ordering them ,they will keep on coning us.

Busy-Lizzie wrote (see)

I've never been eligible for the GW plant offers because of living in France, but I've always wondered what they were like. So I've read these replies with interest and relief.

I am in the same boat , Relieved thank the postal gods for not allowing any type of plants throughthe post had once I wrote to The Grow it Mag and they said that although the plants were available to every one who applied they were not for the ROI




Gardening Grandma

Got a big tray of lovely violas this morning from The Range for 3.99. They were outside and in lovely condition.