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I'm SO disappointed. I recently went down to RHS Wisley to buy plants. I bought quite a few but there were others I decided to have a think about and do more research on first. Having done so, rather than make the journey back there, I decided to order from the Telegraph Garden shop online and have them delivered. What a mistake! The plants I bought from Wisley are lovely but I am HUGELY disappointed in what turned up from the Telegraph garden shop. Some of the plants are very poor quality, and the rose I ordered is a really sorry lopsided wonky thing which turned up in a bashed collapsed box. I'm suspicious that it is even what it it supposed to be and I think it may have been mislabelled. The rose I ordered is practically thornless, but what turned up has huge fat thorns all over. They were completely unhelpful when I called them up and suggested I post it back to them at my expense to get a refund. It would have cost me more than that to post it to them! Anyway, I have learnt my lesson the hard way so I wanted to give other people the chance not to make the same mistake as me.
ps I told them that I was surprised they didn't care more about their reputation and that I was going to post my view of them online. I just got a call back from them (surprise surprise...), now offering to collect it from me instead of me having to pay. Which is better, but frankly it's still a complete pain as I still need a rose for that spot. The courier would probably cost them as much as the plant, so I think decent customer service would just refund the cost without quibbling and tell you to keep it anyway. That way, I could plant it, and if it is disappointing I wouldn't mind because I wouldn't have wasted money on it. Otherwise if I send it back it's going to cost me a lot more to order another one elsewhere and have to pay a fixed delivery cost just for one rose. Grrrr.
I have ordered from Crocus and Knoll gardens and the plants that arrived were in good condition and well packaged. Have a look and see if they do what you want.
Hi Amanda, there is a similar thread going on under 'hot discussions' entitled name and shame' where people are writing about the same problems you have experienced with other companies. In the past I have bemoamed about the response, or total lack of it, from plant companies. It's the latter which really made me angry when I have phoned, written and emailed and still been ignored. Makes me wonder if they have so many complaints they just can't afford enough staff to deal with them.
The plant company that delivers when it says it will, with good quality stock at a competitive price will soon gain accolades on this site.
I buy a lot online. I know the good, the very good and the bad ones.
I buy from some fantastic companies...woottens, ashwoods, cotswold garden flowers, dove cottage, to name just 4 . I receive top quality plants perfectly packed and varieties impossible to buy at GC.
I would never buy plants from T & M or any seed company.....they supply tiny bare root or plugs that are usually poor quality. For seed amd bulbs they are fine. For good quality plants go to renowned growers
Don't forget the RHS give a 2 year guarantee on plants. I bought a Holly from them. Planted it as recommended, and it just died. I took it back and bought a totally different shrub, no hassle.Mind you as per norm with me, bought more than the original price. Can't resist plants, have too many for my garden already, but still buying, and giving away or selling for charities.
I always like to go the garden centre to see what I'm buying. I do not trust any online company for live plants whatsoever. :P
Then, Matt, you are missing out on some gems. Many of my best plants were bought online as 1, 3 or 5 litre plants
Janet the guarantee is good.....our local GC gives a 5 year guarantee.....but we want our plants great from the start. Whenever a plant has been faulty or misnamed I have always had quality rectification without delay.
If a plant I want is available locally I will buy locally....nothing better if well grown. Limited choice though is an issue.
Verdun - Unwins are great for plugs - I have some really lovely primrose
and cowslip plugs planted up which they sent a few weeks ago in really
great packaging. Hopefully they'll survive the winter!
I would use David Austin Roses, there are others but above all use a specialist. I won't ever use a big company that does everything ever again. The bigger the company the smaller you are in relation and that's not a good place. I won't name and shame my one just yet because they are still sorting it. If they don't sort it by COP tomorrow though I will anyway. I wouldn't mind I'd had a few other orders from them so I was getting lax. The RHS site is good but they are very expensive.
I would never EVER shop from J Parkers EVER AGAIN!!!!
..both RHS Wisley online and Telegraph Garden Shop use Crocus to supply their plants...it says on their terms and conditions...
... it might be better in future to order direct from them...
Have to agree with Jim. Going to a specialist means getting exactly what you want. I've got some heleniums on order from helenium specialists .....a wide range to choose from and will receive top notch plants.
For hellebores it has to be ashwood or Woottens.
Better to get a couple of quality plants from reputable suppliers than a "bargain" pack of tiny plugs. A good variety too rather than a couple of ordinary ones....quality Not quantity Just as cheap in the long run
Exactly Verdun, we can always propagate them ourselves. Thtat's the best bit.