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08/07/2013 at 07:49

I ordered some plants from Van Meuwen last year. The daimond jubilee rose they advertised was nothing like the colour ir was supposed to be. I complained and they sent me a replacement which has yet to flower. Before I realised my mistake I had also ordered some very expensive foxgloves whihc had won a prize at Chelsea - they have now flowered as plain old purple. I also had an order in for 2 blue moon roses - wanted for a particular colour scheme. I emailed them and asked for reassurance that I would actually get what I was paying for - they assured me I would. One has now flowered - PINK, the other is a sickly twig. I contacted the to complain on 25 June and have yet to receive a reply. I do advise against using this company.

30/11/2013 at 11:29

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Don’t go there ordered some bulbs in October which were offered as a sale item, well here we are last day of November and no bulbs. I phoned to enquire their whereabouts and was told they were awaiting delivery from their suppliers.  We if they are sale items one would assume they were in stock and surplus to requirements. December is too late to be planting bulbs I explained and I was told to read the small print it informed me that it would be a November delivery. Well they got that wrong as well. Just get the customers money in the till and job done. Still if they continue with this type of trading they will soon run out of customers.

30/11/2013 at 11:43

I know we are all sitting here complaining about various companies who supply below standard stuff.

Maybe we should join together and compile a list of good suppliers.

If we informed the bad companies at the time of complaint, that we were publicly naming and shaming on this site which has so many viewers and contributors, we would see a change in attitude, and a change in quality.

Only the power of group action will force these companies to change. 

30/11/2013 at 12:07

Cant beat Brookside Nursery been dealing with them for ages,never had a problem.


01/12/2013 at 08:52

Have had sickly plants followed by Poor service too from Brookside

02/12/2013 at 13:35

It's like an addiction. I know better but I just can't help myself.  I know Van Meuwen are T & M by another name. I know they have a bad rep. I know I will probably be moaning about them a month from now when I receive half-dead wizened stumps of plants but... I just placed an order with them for something irresistable. I swear I see a pretty plant picture and I'm all 'Shiny, Shiny, Gimmee Now..." like a crazed Magpie!

Maybe I need to put my debit card in a wallet with 'JUST SAY NO' written on it

10/12/2013 at 12:41

Wish I had seen this blog b4 placing my order with these idiots/con artists!! I placed my order in October for delivery in November (spring bulbs) and till today no sight of the plants!!! Have rung at least twice and got told today they have were dispatched on the 2nd. So where are they??????/

Plus I am now away for the best part of a month with little or no time to plant!!!Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh so all this for NOTHING!!! Will never buy from these conmen ever again and will be telling all my friends!!!!!1111


10/12/2013 at 12:49

Kim, if they were supposed to be November Delivery, they are quite clearly in breach of contract as they havn't been delivered.  Ask for your money back. no credit vouchers, no replacements, Refund of cash back to your card.

20/02/2014 at 18:34

i had used van meuwen for a few years but no longer.I was constantly sent plants that were not what i had ordered,i had a very poor sucess rate with almost all of their bare root plants.The price of plants has risen dramatically over the last couple of years and for me are no longer value for money i now buy my plants elsewhere at a fraction of van meuwens.they have also upped the free postage and packaging from 40 pounds to 50 my opinion van meuwen are overpriced poor quality plants.

20/02/2014 at 21:29

I only used Van Meuwen once, never again, poor quality & mislabeled plants

20/02/2014 at 22:17

I could write a book based on such experiences.  Please stop and think before buying.  Read the small print of all adverts.  Usually you will discover that the plant stock being offered is below the expected size and standard.  OK a guarantee is included.  Usually that should the plant fail etc. etc within three years.  You could get a replacement or have your money back.  For most gardeners including experts.  You buy a plant etc and you automatically look forward to seeing it mature, bloom etc within a very short time.  Not have to wait three or more years.  Ask yourself.  After a three year wait.  Honestly, would you bother to complain.  Tankfully our forum member did complain and appears to be satisfied with the firms responce.  Just think about all those thousands who don't complain.  Even if our friend had received a thousand pound refund.  To the firm, that is chicken feed.  Sad to say.  Several of the better trusted firms have jumped on the band wagon, and simply to make a fast buck.  Their quality and standards have dropped also.  Be wise and don't be in too much of a hurry to spend your hard earned money.

20/02/2014 at 22:30

Mike W.

In my experience.  Overwintering fuchsias isn't all that difficult. If being kept under cover during winter time.  Preferably they will require light.  Just keep them ticking over by a minimal amount of water.  Keep the dead or dying foliage cleared away.  Even under cover in an unheated greenhouse or shed.  You should be alright.   Once I had several standard types, all propagated by me.  Some were hardy and others required some winter protection.  Might I add.  The youngest was some eighteen years old.  It had ben my practice for many years.  To stand the tubs amongst other garden subjects.  Then come winter.  I'd store them in the greenhouse.  Then my worst enemy caught up with me.  I became too ill to venture into the garden.  The less hardy ones fell victim to the frost and snow, and never recovered.  The hardy ones suffered wind damage and were blown over.  Since then I haven't bothered with standards.


A wee tip.  For fuchsia growers.  You can take cuttings from plants in a semi dormant state.  Just bare sticks/cuttings.  Pot them up and continue to grow them on.  This method will provide you with early young plants.

Hope this helps

21/02/2014 at 00:52

I bought three climbing roses from VM last winter and they were the wrong colour, they have sent replacements which have yet to flower so I don't know yet if they're what they're supposed to be. I've put them in pots where they will stay until I know what colour they are, but the first lot have ruined the colour scheme and if I remove them can I plant the new ones in the same place? On a brighter note I ordered three bare root perennials and got five which are all growing nicely. I buy most plants and seeds from ebay and have been mostly delighted with the price and quality of my purchases  but avoid like the plague a seller called Gardening Russell and Climbing plants direct.

21/02/2014 at 00:55

Hi Mike.Do you do that now? In my case alot of mine die because of the condensation in my wooden greenhouse.They have only been watered once this winter Would I be better bringing them into a cool room inside.While I,m here can I ask you,do you use rooting powder on your cuttings?

21/02/2014 at 10:52

ordered some hosta plants from bowdens on the 14 of feb  i did ring then to seen if they had any probs.was told they had made the desission as a company to delay all orders up to two months because of the flooding here in the uk

21/02/2014 at 11:27
anthony mcglen wrote (see)

ordered some hosta plants from bowdens on the 14 of feb  i did ring then to seen if they had any probs.was told they had made the desission as a company to delay all orders up to two months because of the flooding here in the uk

They are based in Devon, so they may have been flooded. We should try and support them in that case...Hostas tend not to come up until April onwards, so no loss to yourself I hope?

21/02/2014 at 20:56


My greenhouse is wooden framed, boarded from base to stage height.  Glass ends and sides.  Roof, twinwall polycarbonate.  Two roof vents.  One I only open in really hot weather.  The other one is auto controlled.  The staging on bothe sides is covered with polythene, sand and compost.  This I find is useful should roots grow beyond the bottom of the pots.  The staging compost always remains moist.

Actually you have identified your biggest problem.  Condensation.  You really do need to have ventilaion, even in mid winter.  Plants will automatically give off moisture.  This is different to transpiration.  The latter takes place when a plant and especially trees, have absorbed excessive quantities of water.  Droplets of water will drip from the foliage.  However in your case.  I might be wrong, yet I am convinced otherwise.  I suggest that the build up of condensation, has cooled down, dripped upon your plants.....onto the foliage.  It has laid there until a slight rise in temperature when it has begun it's cycle again.  That is stage one of your plant dying.  The foliage rots.  However as you mention.  You haven't watered.  Had you even just watered a little, enough to prevent the compost becoming a dried up desert.   I am sure the plants would still be alive.  Perhaps a watering say once a month, will do.  Most of my fuchsias stored in the greenhouse are in large pots/containers, and are at least three feet tall.

Your next question.  Do I use hormone rooting powder on my cuttings.  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  A problem, or should I say with using rooting powder.  Bye the bye.  A jelly form of rooting aid is available.  A general mistake is to moisten the lower part of the cuttin and dip it into the powder.  Try and avoid this.  Only the actual base, should have powder on it.


I hope this helps.

All the best.

21/02/2014 at 20:59



Actually several nurseries/outlets will often take this precaution.  Especially in adverse weather conditions and civil disputes.  Nevertheless, they usually inform their customers in advance.

22/02/2014 at 00:32

Hi Mike.Thanks for your advice.I wll try and improve the ventilation I have two windows which I can open during the day.Mine' s all glass and I've bubblewrapped it for the first time this year,Not sure if that was a mistake.Mine are not as big as yours.Some are hanging baskets from last summer which I deleafed and they are fine.It's the smaller ones that are suffering.Cuttings from summer so I think I'll have to rethink for next year.Thanks again.

16/04/2014 at 09:28

Hi all gardeners.  First started buying from Van Meuwen this year tempted by the 24 hr free offers!  Trouble is we are now swamped with dozens of very healthy and rapidly growing plants. Can't get into the greenhouse for baskets and containers ready to go out. Full marks for excellent and speedy delivery all arrived in perfect condition and haven't lost one!  Happy gardening to all and let's hope the weather is kind to our flowers.  Pam Poulton. 

21 to 40 of 42 messages