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Buying plants online

I imagine a lot of you have utilised online delivery services for your plants over the past year. For me, it was the first time doing so.

Which company have you been happy with? 

I have tried two businesses, Crocus and Roots Plants. Was deeply unimpressed with Crocus due to cost (vs value), that six plants arrived dead, and they use a load of plastic. Roots Plants were totally the opposite and I was impressed. 
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Posts

  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 2,757
    Used DT Brown for some seeds, blackcurrant and blueberry plants. Can't fault them. Excellent!
  • Bright starBright star Wrea GreenPosts: 1,121
    I buy most of my plants and seeds online and have been very impressed with recommendations from members on this site. The ones I use most often are:
    Hardys cottage plants
    Beth Chatto
    Dorset perennials 
    Wootens, 
    The plantmans preference 
    david Austin roses
    Brookside nurseries 
    sarah Raven 
    Macplants 

    for seeds

    Chilterns 
    seedaholic
    sarah raven
    Higgledy garden.

    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 814
    I guess it depends what you're after. Crocus are expensive. I have bought from the following in the past year and am happy to recommend:

    Burncoose - woody plants and trees
    Bluebell Arboretum and Nursery - shrubs and trees
    Otter Farm (Mark Diacono) - my second year running buying their herbs. 
    Trehane Nursey - blueberries

    Grasses: Knoll Gardens

    Bulbs: Peter Nyssen

    Seeds:
    Chiltern Seeds
    Franchi, Seeds of Italy

    I tend to buy perennials in person rather than by post as there's a great nursery (The Plant Specialist) in Great Missenden and other local garden centres. Hoping to make some of the flower shows and plant fairs later in the year.



  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 834
    edited April 2021
    Crocus are expensive, but I have used them for plants that were out of stock or unavailable elsewhere and I've been happy with what's arrived. 

    I've used Taylor's for clematis, always lovely healthy plants.  David Austin for roses (one bad experience but actually the delivery guy's fault and DA immediately replaced the rose) and Ornamental Trees for, you guessed it, trees, and again been very happy.  Oh and Peter Nyssen for bulbs, the species tulips and daffs are great but so far this year the annual tulips haven't done very much, so that's a disappointment

    Only used Dobie's for seeds, and I would never buy plug plants online because they are so fragile and I'm out every day so wouldn't want to risk them not being delivered or being left somewhere unsuitable.
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    I like Ballyroberts as their website is very informative and they give a guarantee unlike Beth Chatto.
    For trees I use Mail Order trees again with a guarantee.
    Taylor's or Thorncroft for clematis.

  • Burncoose and Bluebell for shrubs; Mailorder trees for trees (rarely), Peter Nyssen for bulbs or Pottertons for rare things; Edrom, Plants for Shade, Claire Austin, sometimes Beth Chatto and Cotswold Garden Flowers for perennials. More recently I've had good results with Elmlea Nurseries and Cowells Garden Centre. I love the range of plants at Barnes Nurseries but they never pack with care, although I've not had a plant die yet. By contrast I have had a death with Ballyrobert and the plants were tiny compared to others. Farmyard Nurseries sends good healthy plants too. You can tell I have to buy almost everything mail order!
  • Janie BJanie B LincolnshirePosts: 865
    Two I have been impressed with recently... Crocus who refunded me for three sad peonies, and Farmer Gracy who refunded a 15% discount (which they sent me just after I'd ordered from them, but before I'd received my plants). Fibrex is great for pellies, and use no plastic in their packaging, and I've had some lovely plants from Macplants and Claire Austin recently too. And Burncoose always have great plants, but are expensive. 
  • TimmyMagicTimmyMagic Greater LondonPosts: 132
    I'm amazed at the prices of most plants online. Most I've stumbled upon are far more expensive than your average garden centre, even before you factor in the shipping costs. 

    I visit the Crocus website quite often when researching plants, but would not buy from them as they are ridiculously expensive. For example, I purchased a Perovskia Blue Spire plant last week at my local garden centre for £6.99. It's £16.99 on Crocus, for the same size pot. At least Dick Turpin wore a mask!

    In the past year I've only ordered online twice;

    Craigiehall Nursery - alpines. I was very happy with them and will order again.

    Cants Roses - I ordered bare root roses and they are now thriving. Highly recommended.

    I'll be ordering bare root hedging online later in the year, but I'll buy almost all other plants from local garden centres.
  • ElferElfer Posts: 329
    I am not enjoying my experience with Crocus either, they delivered the plants in pots with no packaging, too expensive for the size which is usually over potted anyway. After sales service is crap too as I sent them a request to refund or replace a dying hydrangea a couple of days after delivery and still haven't heard back after 4 days, according to their web site it takes up to 14 days for them to reply.

    Better experience with gardening Express as prices (well the discounted ones anyway) are much better and the after sales service is very good, almost immediate even if quality is so so.

    Roots are very good. Problem with a lot of smaller ones recommended above is the order lead times (over 4 weeks in most cases) and customer service.

    Prefer local nurseries even if most in my area are rather expensive.
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