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Good Value for Money?

peteSpeteS Posts: 495
I received my first order from Ballyrobert Gardens this morning. A bit disappointed if I'm honest, two 9cm pots of Ann Folkard. Nice website, exceptionally quick service and delivery, and OK looking plants...but oh so tiny. I was hoping to pot them on into a bigger pot when they arrived to allow them to put on decent growth before Winter, but they look barely bigger than plug plants, so will have to stay in their pots for the next month at least I reckon to grow some roots. £4.99 each...good value, I doubt it.
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  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 7,329
    Ballyrobert are usually pretty good (free toffee anyone?), and l suppose when you factor in the growing, potting and cost of compost, etc. £4.99 is fairly reasonable. It's always a risk with mail order plants
    A lot of nurseries seem to be supplying smaller plants than usual,  probably due to the pressures they have been under for the last few months. 
    If you're not happy,  it may well be worth contacting them with your comments. After all they have a reputation to consider and would be happy to be given the chance to respond l'm sure  :)
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 1,282
    edited July 2020
    @peteS A friend ordered some geraniums to come directly to me for my birthday. They came from Hayloft. Not being a gardener I feel she would think I would receive a big plant covered in flowers and not the specimens I received. They are exactly like yours and I am not sure what to do with them for fear of losing them and not being able to tell of their progress in the garden. Mine are Rozanne, Ingwersen's variety and Anne Folkard in 9cm pots and very leggy. Will be interested to see how yours progress and what you decide to do with them.
  • peteSpeteS Posts: 495
    @Fran IOM...well I feared there wouldn't have been enough root to keep the compost in place had I decided to re-pot them, so I've decided just to keep them in a sheltered spot for 5-6 weeks in their original pots and see how they develop. Hopefully by then I'll be able to move them to a bigger pot.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,240
    This geranium at this time of year will grow fast in the warmth. You can re-pot but it really will not be swamped by soil and disappear because there has been enough rain over the last few weeks, and the weather is not that hot for this time of year.

    Very often, sellers will cut the tops of the perennials, especially hardy geraniums. So long as the roots are there, they will leaf up pretty quickly. 
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 3,109
    edited July 2020
    It will have been cut back. Anne Folkard grows from a comparatively small crown. The real question is whether the pot has been rooted out. If it is well rooted out, £4.99 is reasonable value. Not great, but online nurseries rarely are, I've found.

    If it's just a mass of loose compost, I would complain.
  • Andy19Andy19 Posts: 666
    I've bought over 100 young  plants from Rosybee Nursery over the last 4 weeks great plants and value for money. Only sell in packs of 6 young plants that could be the downside for many buyers.
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 1,282
    @peteS I have had mine for two weeks now and they are just very spindly. One has actually flowered on the end of an 8" thin stem which looks totally out of place. I still feel the the original pots are sufficient but may try one in a larger pot and possibly one in the ground but would worry about slugs. As they are I feel they will just grow taller rather than bush out as there is no sign of growth below. Will let you know the outcome. 
  • peteSpeteS Posts: 495
    Well I know Ann Folkard is a scrambler, that's the reason I bought it, so I would suspect that would be "spindly" in nature in it's early days, not sure about the other two...anyway I wouldn't bother to much about their habit at this stage; if they arrived like mine, just concentrate on growing them on in their original pots so they develop a good root system then re-pot.
  • WibbleWibble Posts: 40
    Been a lurker here for a while, finally registered an account, so first of all hello! 
    I’ve been working on a complete garden overhaul this year (will have to start a thread on that!) and a lot of the plants (about 30-ish maybe) came from Ballyrobert. 

    They did look very tiny when they arrived, and I was a bit sceptical, but I planted them out anyway, around May time and have to say I am impressed by how they look already. Have never grown anything except a few bedding plants, so wasn’t sure how much they would do in the first season tbh. Nothing has been a dud, which I’m happy about - the only one that didn’t do great was a miscanthus which I’ve lifted and potted in a bigger pot for now and seems to be growing better there.
  • WibbleWibble Posts: 40
    Not a brilliant pic, but this is my thalictrum from Ballyrobert, currently about 3 feet high (looked dead for about a month, then roared away). Eupatarium in the background also from there, and an Astrantia. Have an achillea that's about 2 feet tall and a foot across - it was like a couple of bits of limp string when it went in the ground. 
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