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van Meuwen

image  I gave them a substantial order for plants and 'bulbs'.

It came in bits and pieces randomly, without timetable.

The seedlings were delivered almost too small to survive transplanting but just right for the slugs - with no plant-specific advice. Most died. I bought a lot of ill-looking replacements later from a B&Q clearance sale at about 5p each and they are doing fine.

Similar story with begonia tubers. The tubers I got without warning were hopelessly labelled so I did not know, in most cases, the colour or style (hanging or upright), and came in a tiny, desiccated, state, well past the normal planting time for this area. God knows how they will fare. Meanwhile I bought a lot of sprouting ones in B&Q clearance for next-to-nothing which are doing well - and I know what they are.

I will not be bothering vM again!


  • LynLyn Posts: 21,937

    What did you do with the seedlings, they should be potted up and kept in a GH conservatory or window sill until they fill big pots, then planted out. 

    The Begonia corms always come like that, dried out, you start them off in a seed tray indoors,  with the tops out of the compost. Have they only just arrived, pot them up, they grow on until first frosts, plenty of time.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    Did you try sending an email to the company expressing your dissatisfaction?  Photos of the substandard plants along with your complaint would help show the problem.  Given a chance they may have offered a refund or replacement.


    That`s the trouble with ordering online, you have to take quality on trust.Some companies are better than others. Nurseries and garden centres tend to be dearer but at least you see what you buy, even then they are not totally infallible.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,149

    The plants should have come with care instructions but it is also common sense to pot on teeny plants till big enough to cope both with weather and competition and also to know or research enough about what you've ordered to know what to do with things like corms and bulbs and bare-rooted plants.  

    I reckon the problem is 50/50 but worth a polite complaint to the supplier to ask for replacements and also care instructions plus a delivery schedule if they won't offer a refund.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks for your replies so far.

    (A few of vM apologists here?)

    My response is:

    philippa: That's my point - B&Q do nothing to look after the plants, just the opposite and they were  half-dead cheapies, but they are doing better now and were more on-season than the pricier, dicier, Dutchmen's.

    Lynn: OK, but I've never seen begoniae like shrivelled half-walnuts anywhere before.

    Obelix & Lynn: Ah, Common Sense! I don't do common sense. I follow scientific, evidence-based, instructions - of which there were none.

    Others: I've complained about the delivery schedule & non-deliveries to vM twice, but Quality? I thought that they would know how to ensure that already.

    I was hoping vM might read this and comment, but no.


    No begoniae sprouted yet: all petunia seedlings devoured: fuchsia seedlings alive but struggling way behind B&Q's.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,134

    I don't think anyone is apologising for VM. I think they're being practical and speaking from experience. As has been said, you also have to have some experience to carry these plants on once you receive them. 

    Lots of people are dissatisfied with this  sort of company - T&M is another. I never use them unless it's for seeds. We have several threads here about this kind of issue. You'll have to take it up with the company itself. Shame them on Faceache, or whatever it's called.

    On the whole, if you're not happy with the outcome, you go to a reputable nursery instead, and pay more to get a good quality large plant. You also have some comeback if the plants fail. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,937

    I don't think you can blame any company if your plants get devoured.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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