Why I never buy online

I never buy plants online and rarely mail order. These are the 10 reasons why:-

i. I like to have a day out every now and again.

2. I like to see the actual plant i am buying. i get to chose the best.

3. i can see the actual colour of the flowers/leaves.

4. i get to make friends.

5. I get expert advice from people I trust.

6. I find bargains.

7. Sometimes I treat myself to a very nice lunch or a cream tea.

8. I don't have to pay postage and packing for heavy items.

9. I have been badly let down by mail order.

10. I am an old fashioned so and so who wants to retain the old ways as long as possible. What will you do if the internet closes down all the Nurseries/garden centres?

Do you agree and how many other reasons can you contribute?



  • Agree agree agree. I'm 31 and only been gardening my own garden for a year. I'm addicted to garden centres , and the cafe's image. Had a week

    Off work and been to a garden centre nearly everyday.

    I look in my garden and think... That's from there, that was a bargain from there and that was bought on a ruddy rainy day from there. I research on the net but always worry that I'm not getting what I'm seeing!!

    I do order seeds in the Internet (mainly ebay) I have saved 2/3 of the cost for my dad by ordering from the Internet. I hope that doesn't make me a hipacrit but sorry purse winds on seeds and plants quality from garden centres!
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,087

    Seeds on line, Chiltern, Plant world and specialists like Touchwood for the aquilegias. Not enough choice from GC seeds

    Plants from nurseries and plant fairs. Not GCs very often as they all have the same, (whatever's in this year), I like to look a bit further.


  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    I got my Sisyrinchium from ebay last year, eight actual plants when only five had been promised.

    Not only were they lovingly wrapped and posted, but grew into a sizable clump waiting for division just one year later.

    I was thrilled with this experience, BUT, on the whole, I don't use the Internet for plants for all the reasons above. I like to see it with my own eyes, smell it, touch it, judge its form and habit, note the exact -exact- shade of flower and foliage, none of which can be done to my standards in the virtual world.

    The internet has its uses but I will always prefer the hands on shopping experience image

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,240

    I agree with many of the points, but also with Verdun regarding choice - the average GC cannot hope to match the multitude of varieties available online from specialist nurseries.  For bedding plants and gardening sundries etc (many of which are available much cheaper online), I always go to the local GC to try and help them stay in business.

    I've found the condition and packaging of plants sent by post to be very good on the whole and on the rare occasion when there has been a problem it has always been quickly put right usually with profuse apologies (and often freebie/voucher etc) from the supplier.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489
    The majority of garden centres around where I live are owned by major chains, Dobbies, Wyvale and Notcutts, then there's also B&Q, Homebase and a whole load of supermarket and cut price stores. I know of one independent nursery within about a 30 minute drive (which I regularly visit).

    The 'support your local GC' line doesn't really work when it turns out that, in the case of Dobbies, it's owned by Tesco.
  • blackestblackest Posts: 623

    It's the independent Garden Centres, which are worth while supporting as they are more prepared to order in more unusual plants, there is a pretty good chance that the man or woman you are talking to will be putting in the orders with the nurserys or will be talking directly with the one who does. 

    mostly orders go in at the beginning of the week for delivery thursday or friday.  

    Seed ranges are standardised a company like suttons will send a range of around a 100 or 200 seeds depending on the footage to a GC once or maybe twice a year. (unsold go back for credit). If you want anything outside of these ranges online is the way to go. Garden furniture tends to be sourced from china either direct by chains like b&q  or via wholesalers who pretty much charge the GC at around the price a chain sells at retail.

    Things like sheds, fencing, dog boxes and unusual handcrafted items can be locally produced and custom made which supports the local economy. Most independent gardencentres will produce individual planters and hanging baskets to order, you can often get last years refilled. Of course if you are a regular customer at an independent you are more likely to be able to get things sourced for you,(if it is the right time of year). 

    Last year in my area at least 4 independents went bust. It's pretty tight for the rest of them too. Have a day out , enjoy a cream tea, find plants you like and if you don't see what you are looking for ask.

    You might find your local independent  agreeable to a little bit of haggling on the price of plants. This is where it helps to be a regular customer but please don't do this when you just want a couple of bedding plants, if your spending cash (not cards as visa are already taking a chunk out of the profit margin) and buying a good number of plants thats when your more likely to get a deal particularly on the quieter wetter colder days.



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,429

    And with small independent nurseries, online is the only way they can compete with the huge chains of Garden Centres.  

    It does seem that in many fields of business, online sales are the saviour of the small independent retailers.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • sterelitzasterelitza Posts: 109

    Verdun, I agree that Woodgreen wonderboy has started an interesting thread here.  There are so many reasons why people use all these methods of purchasing their plants, seeds etc.  Personally I use the lot!  Main reason is that I like to research and hopefully purchase the best for my garden at the best price, unfortunately this does not always work.  I have used my local independent nursery for larger plants and shrubs as they have probably been growing outside for sometime and will have endured a few seasons and will survive in my garden... this is opposed to buying from other sources where they may have been grown under perfect conditions to ensure success.  It is down to trust and confidence and... not wasting money.  I really look forward to reading more on this subject so keep them coming.

  • discodavediscodave Posts: 510

    I agree with several of the comments made above. I am all for supporting the smaller business & there is a certain thrill in going to a garden centre or nursery, there is a buzz and an atmosphere that you don't get online. It can also be slightly lethal for the wallet.

    But Brumball has hit the nail on the head, I struggle to get to a garden centre, my nearest is a 45min walk away (I don't have a car) and busses would be an impossible journey, I think its 4 connecting busses each way. If I get to go to one of them its usually in a friends car but thats rare (2-3 times a year). I also have severe joint pains & illness meaning that some days I sleep for upto 15 even 20 hours, my ankles and knees give out or sieze up & I have broken several bones with no explination. If it wasnt for buying some items on the internet I wouldnt have a garden. 

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