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Why do they do that?


Why do they do what? I hear you cry. Well its my own fault really, I ordered some Iris siberica from Parkers last year. The photos looked amazing, one in particular called Teal Velvet was a rich royal purple. Its flowering now and its more of a blue :o( it is still a lovely plant but not what I was hoping for. Another one is meant to be a pinky lilac but its pale blue. Now I know I am blue -purple colour blind and I have trouble distinguishing the colours, but my OH agrees they are not as in the pictures.

I have regularly bought bulbs from them with good results and some plug plants that have been of dubious quality but Parkers have always treated my complaints seriously.

So really what I’m saying is colours in catalogues can be ‘tweaked’ and my camera doesn’t always pick up the true colour of a flowers either. I’m just a little disappointed that’s all.

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Hi Sbg, I agree with you, and also whenever they show pictures of a plant, there's usually a great big swathe of them for dramatic effect, they never show just the 1 tiny specimen that you're buying, Derek.

9 Jun, 2015


I agree with you that catalogues can be a bit 'rosy'. I sometimes look thro other web sites to get a different view of the supposed colouring!

9 Jun, 2015


Yes that's good idea. I put in the plant name and Images - and its astonishing how many different colours and even flower forms appear with the same name. Fuchsias are particularly bad for this.
Parkers once sent me bog standard pink Japanese anemones instead of the summer flowering yellow ones in the catalogue. I complained and they promised replacements the next year - which turned out to be the bog standard pink ones again.

9 Jun, 2015


There are some catalogues, and Parkers are one of them, that feature pictures of blue roses or blue tulips. Well there is no such thing, so I treat anything else they sell with a pinch of salt. I would buy bulbs from Parkers, but not plants.

9 Jun, 2015


I tend to avoid Parkers, for the same reason that Andrew has given. I'm sorry you've not received what you expected. I think we've all been there. I'm trying to buy more from local nurseries, and buy when flowering so I can see what I'm getting. But when you want something special the internet or a catalogue is sometimes the only way.

9 Jun, 2015


I agree with Karen about buying to see what you are getting. Even this doesn't seem to have worked this year. Because my Mother (sentimental fool) grew the blue Centaurea Montana and it was growing here already when we moved, it has a place. However this year at an un-remembered nursery I bought the purple variety of this. It was in flower and a dark purple, great! These flowers finished and the next buds opened up blue. Just what I don't need - yet more blue ones that I spend half my time digging up and throwing away! Why would it be purple when bought and blue now?

9 Jun, 2015


Goodness! i hope my dark purple ones dont turn blue! i pull up bits of the blue one from my patio border every year. Its rampant!

9 Jun, 2015


Do these plants need Ericaceous Plant Food ?
Is your soil different from where they were grown ?

10 Jun, 2015


no Diane the don't. Its just poor pictures in the catalogue.

10 Jun, 2015


I've given up buying anything from catalogues or other online, I've been disappointed too many times. I've now narrowed my garden plant buying from just 4 garden centres, where I can ask questions and buy strong healthy plants, bulbs and seeds.

10 Jun, 2015


I agree Waddy it's good to buy plants from a nursery and be able to see them as they are and get advice.
I suppose if a person can't get out easily then they would have to think of getting plants from a catalogue or off the web.

16 Jun, 2015


I suppose you're right Lindak, however these companies who promise so much and don't deliver should be brought to book. They are taking money under false pretences.

16 Jun, 2015


Parkers can be particularly ' Rosie'. I am not excusing them they have access to professional photography but blue / purple can be difficult to get the colour balance correct.
Support your local nursery, I say. So many little nurseries just can't compete with the big boys, and they do sell some treasures. The cost of mail order doesn't help their business.

16 Jun, 2015


Believe me I usually do buy from my local nurseries and I have some very good ones locally but they don't always have the plants I see and am tempted by.

Like Oscar Wilde I can resist anything except temptation!

I know about the issues of colour photography. the same is true of reds too.
The problem is the same with pictures on seed packets.

I did google the irises after they opened and there is such a range of colour ways. look up teal velvet and you will see what I mean.

17 Jun, 2015


Have just googled Teal Velvet, every shade between blue and purple!

17 Jun, 2015


exactly :o)) so understandable why I bought it as the photo said purple [coz I checked with OH]

18 Jun, 2015


Some times colours are miles off.......All my Siberian ones vanished after I gave 1/2 away!!

19 Jul, 2015


oh dear Bramhallbill, that is such a shame.

21 Jul, 2015

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