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“Garden-ready” pelargoniums - when?

BerkleyBerkley Posts: 428
Am I worrying unnecessarily? When I ordered 45 garden ready pelargoniums from a well-known online supplier in January I was quite happy with the information given about delivery “before the end of April”. But now we have the chance of a week’s holiday from 15 March! My common sense tells me that these plants won’t be ready for dispatch before 01 April - but when I contacted the supplier they cannot confirm this - and I cannot stipulate a week when it will not be possible to receive the plants ...

I have nobody I can ask to take them in. So I have two choices - worry or not worry!

What do others think? Is my common sense right? Should I stop worrying?


  • B3B3 Posts: 26,427
    Enjoy your holiday
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,911
    If there's nothing you can do about it, then so be it. They will just sit in the sorting office until you can collect them (assuming the supplier uses Royal Mail).  If they use a courier service it's possible you may find a very soggy box that has been chucked over the side gate, unless you're very lucky with the courier of course .
    Would the supplier be willing to send them to a different address if you email them so they have it in writing? It does mean you having to collect them from a friend or relative if they arrive after your return from holiday of course. 

  • An obvious answer is not to buy mail order, but to support your local Garden Centre and purchase the plants when you are ready for them. A good centre will have staff who are able to help and advise you if you have any queries.
    Plants will be fresh and well cared for without you having to worry about any postal damage.
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,491
    I think it is extremely unlikely that the plants will be despatched before March 22nd. And if the worst case scenario occurs and the despatch date is Monday March 16th they will be boxed up for a week. I would be fairly confident that even a week of darkness and no water will leave them reasonably unscathed. Therefore I would say forget about it and enjoy your holiday.

    I actually find myself in the same predicament. I ordered with Sutton’s and they specify the despatch week, a time when I am on holiday. Sutton’s readily agreed to send the plants to an alternative address and I chose my gardener who’ll pot them up and water them ready for my return.
    Rutland, England
  • Thank you @philippa smith2
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • BerkleyBerkley Posts: 428
    Thank you everyone for your comments. I found them all helpful. I am going to enjoy the holiday and hope for the best. I still think it is misleading to describe pelargoniums as “garden-ready” in April .....I have years of experience with young plants and would know if I needed to pot up before planting in the garden. But would all new gardeners? Off to pull hundreds(?) of dead bits from my lovely pampas. OK. I’m an anorak - but it’s a job I love. So worthwhile.🤣😡
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    I agree with buying from garden centres, but I wouldn't worry if you are away. You obviously know when and not to plant out, but we all learn by mistakes. I am sure all will be well. Just to add, cuttings are so easy to do in Spring, but I know that was not your question. Enjoy your holiday.
    SW Scotland
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I wish we all had these local nurseries that you mention. It would cost me more than £100 just to get to them. It puts the price of plants up a bit. And not everyone drives. You can't take much home on the bus.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,924
    I know what you mean @Posy. My local garden centre isn't brilliant unless you want nothing specific, and don't mind having what everyone else in the area has. The really good nursery is about 40 mins drive away, but worth it for me. Even so, they can't stock everything, so online specialists are really valuable.

    I'm not keen on pelargoniums, but if you want something specific, I can highly recommend Cramden Nursery, who specialise. I loved the colour of Lord Bute, and treated myself a few years ago. They weren't overly expensive, and the plugs were large and healthy, as you would expect.
    They would never send stuff at an unsuitable time or with poor advice. I think that's the most important thing.  Garden ready should mean that, and end of April isn't 'garden ready' for plugs IMO:)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Our local garden centres do the best job they can but the Island has a relatively small population,  many of whom are too elderly or too economically challenged to spend much on plants. Most of their profits come from light lunches, coffee and cake and oddments like greetings cards and scented candles. They are friendly and helpful but limited by the market in which they operate. 
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