The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Mail Order Plant delivery.


I wonder whether GoY can improve this situation, either by contacting the suppliers or the deliverers.
I am profoundly deaf, cannot wear hearing aids all the time. Cannot hear my doorbell. We never know when Plants will be delivered, even if an Advice Note is sent.
When I order Mail Order items I always write on the instructions ’ If no answer at the door, please put in the greenhouse at the back.’ Its clearly visible, only a few yards up the path.
If the item is despatched (over which I have no control) via Post Office, they ignore this instruction, put a card through my door to collect from the Sorting Office. Dont mind this. But if the item is despatched private delivery service, they usually ignore my plea, deliver it to a neighbour and put a card through my door stating where it is. Result, weeks of worry wondering where my plants are ?
Rooted cuttings ordered at a Holbeach address come from Jersey. Are packed weeks before despatch and are sent out weeks after that, after the boxes of Daffodils. On arrival in this country they go to warehouses, then to sub-warehouses for delivery in my area. They arrive with the soil like concrete, often dead. Hardy Chrysanths took 12 weeks to arrive at the Sorting Office. I rushed home, put them straight into a jug of water, and they survived. It just proves its best to shop at, or order, from your local GC.

More blog posts by dianebulley

Previous post: Guess what ?

Next post: Bargain Gardening Books.



I couldn't agree more, Diane. How frustrating for you. Our postie is wonderful and knows exactly where to find us, even if we are out shopping, or round at a neighbours', but couriers (I am Amazon's biggest customer) are infuriating. I once was sent a dvd I'd ordered (which was for someone's birthday) and after 3 weeks' waiting, went online to try and trace it's progress. SIX times the Bologna branch of the courier had written "This address does not exist": Someone had been here at home every day for months, and the house has been standing for 160 years, so we aren't sure what they were talking about. We do know that when they see our address, they know it's miles up a mountain and they simply can't be bothered. They refuse even to send e-mails or 'phone us. The package had been sent back to the UK. We complained vociferously, and try to get everything sent by post. We got the package 3 weeks later, and an apology, but even then we had to drive 120km round trip to collect it from the city centre depot. So we NEVER send off for plants. They just wouldn't make it.

6 Dec, 2011


A lot of companies use Jersey to maximise profit - the plants are grown in the UK, then shipped to Guernsey or Jeresy then resent back to the UK after being packaged. It avoids VAT. You end up with a slightly cheaper plant that has been removed from, say Norfolk, shipped to Jersey/Guernsey then sent back to you in the UK/EU. It is tax avoidance and HMRC have investigated them.

6 Dec, 2011


Diane you need to visit your Royal Mail Delivery office, where you pick up your packages from and set up a "Safe Place." It is a written instruction to the Postman that he can put the package where you state. Without that instruction the Postman could be sacked if the package was left there and then went missing. It's not fool proof as your regular postie will have a day off and Holidays...the Postie that covers his duty does not always read the walk log and see your instruction.

I never take plants back to the office, i would have to resist the temptation to pot them up for you as well ...!

6 Dec, 2011


Wow! I hadn't realised that Kildermorie. As well as cheating us and the taxman (I doubt any VAT savings get passed onto the customers), the plants spend a lot longer than necessary in transit, so not good on all fronts. Where I can, I use local nurserymen (or rather, I used to) rather than the bigger GC chains, and having really only experienced Thompson & Morgan as far as buying on line goes, am not in a hurry to repeat the mistake.

6 Dec, 2011


We don't actually have a problem like that. Everyone knows that our front porch is unlocked and they all leave parcels in there, whether they should be signed for or not. I suppose that we are lucky.

6 Dec, 2011


I request packages to be left in the greenhouse if there is no answer and they usually (99%) are. Sometimes a courier won't even bother to ring the bell - just takes the package straight to the greenhouse

6 Dec, 2011


On a slightly different note - but still showing that Postie doesn't always have common sense - my passport needed renewal and I found I could have this done in Madrid, so downloaded the necessary forms, one of which was a description of exactly where the village and my house was, and sent the whole lot off to Madrid. Two weeks later we had a phone call - in Spanish - saying something about a parcel 'in the bar in Ojedo' which we couldn't make much sense of. Later that evening we went out, called in at the stated bar and found the courier had left my new passport there for me to collect despite written instructions AND a descriptive little map! I dread to think what could have happened if that had fallen into the wrong hands!

7 Dec, 2011

Add a comment

Recent posts by dianebulley

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2011