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They certainly made up for it!


Late last year, I had to remove a poorly Eleagnus…some of you may remember my mentioning it before. Well, it left a large space, so I actually drew up a planting plan!

I used the coldest months to list the plants I wanted within my chosen colour scheme, and to track them down either locally, or in some cases, by mail order.

In the early spring, after I’d prepared the ground, I waited eagerly for the exciting boxes to arrive. It wasn’t long before they did.

Then I placed them and planted the bed up. I wanted it to look good for the paying public who would be coming in June for the first time, as well as giving colour right through the growing season.

That’s why I ordered a Lavatera called ‘Lisanne’, which is white flowered, and three deep purple Phlox called ‘The King’.

Imagine my horror when the first flower on my Lavatera opened!

Does that look white to you? I already have a pink Lavatera right next to this one – it’s pretty similar! I was not happy!

Then things got worse! I had also planted those purple Phlox – and they flowered in July – but certainly not purple, as planned!

So I rang the Nursery and complained. They were very sorry! I sent them photos of the plants in flower, and was promised a call back from the owner….so I waited patiently…and then rang again. I was told that they had all my details and I was ‘on top of the pile’ to be dealt with.

I was not particularly concerned, as I knew them to be a reputable Nursery – but two months went by with no communication, and no response to a follow-up email I sent.

I then decided to add up the cost of the ‘wrong’ plants, and to put in another order to that value – four plants, all off my ‘wish-list’. I did this by email, and then by ‘snail-mail’.

It took yet another phone call to them last week for action to be taken!

But HOW they have made up for all that delay and their mistakes!

A large, exciting box arrived this morning!

It was heavy – and packed beautifully. I delved inside, and kept the straw – that might come in handy for protecting vulnerable plants in the cold weather.

Hey! That’s more than four plants! There was a note in the box, too. It says that they’ve sent me a ‘box of goodies’ as an apology, and they’ve put in some unusual plants for me – some of their favourite ones!

So what did they send me?

I had asked for Patrinia scabiosifolia, Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Loraine Sunshine’, Dicentra ‘Red Fountain’ and guess what – another Geranium! G. wallichianum ‘Crystal Fountain’. They sent all but the Dicentra – that was out of stock, but they made up for that by sending three other Dicentras – D. macrantha, and two little pots of D.formosa ’Cox’s Dark Red’.

A Heucherella – ‘Tapestry’ – I have this already, but I love it, so I certainly don’t mind a second one in the garden!

A Galega, called ‘Duchess of Bedford’ which has bi-coloured flowers,

Well – you can see what this is, from the label! I have a different Melittis, which thrives in my shady border – so I shall love this different coloured one!

I was jumping up and down to find this next pot included! It’s a Hepatica nobilis – called ‘White Forest’.. I grow Hepaticas, but mine are blue! They flower in late winter in the shade – and I just love them.

Hepatica nobilis

But the last one is even more special – I had to look it up on the net, as it’s not in any of my books. It must be unusual!

It’s called ‘Marshallia mohrii’ syn. grandiflora. I couldn’t believe its common name – it’s called ’Barbara’s Buttons’!!!

Now isn’t that appropriate…….

They certainly made up for those ‘wrong’ plants – and the long wait, didn’t they!

More blog posts by spritzhenry

Previous post: Winter CAN be interesting! part 4.

Next post: Winter Interest in my garden - part 1 - Coloured leaves.



It certainly pays to complain and stick at it ! Well done I look forward to seeing your photo's of these in flower :)

30 Nov, 2009


they sure did barbara, well done, hope it didnt spoil the border to much with wrong plants,, did you leave them in or move them when you realised the wrong colour,
love your new plants though :o))

30 Nov, 2009


Well done :-))))))

I am 'so' pleased this is now sorted out and ...... that you've got some extra goodies too, Barbaras Buttons is something special eh?? :-)))))
I'll look this up because it's new to me too.

30 Nov, 2009


barbara`s buttons is lovely, just looked it up, attracts butterflies to, even better :o)

30 Nov, 2009


Go Spritz :) Im so plezd u was sent some super plants roll on Summer 2010 so we can all enjoy them :)X

30 Nov, 2009


Another lovely blog and a great result. Well done Spritz.

30 Nov, 2009


Thanks - it wasn't easy, and I had to keep at it, but what a lovely gesture from the Nursery! I was thrilled to bits to get all these beauties today....:-))))

30 Nov, 2009


I bet!

30 Nov, 2009


Well after all that, a result. Well done you ! You've restored my faith in this nursery, so I will go ahead and place my Geranium order. Finger's crossed eh ? 'Barbara's Buttons' is a new one on me too and the flower on that Hepatica nobilis is really something isn't it. Have fun placing them.

30 Nov, 2009


Thanks, Muddy - I am really pleased at how they responded ....eventually! I hope your order is right first time. :-)))

30 Nov, 2009


How nice to have so many plants that you hadn't already got , Barbara's buttons , how appropriate ..
The Melittis is beautiful , like a little orchid , well done it shows that it pays to complain ... also they need to know that they can't get away with fobbing us off !

30 Nov, 2009


Oh lovely....everyone will hope their order is wrong so they can get some extra or two there I don't know....yet!....How lovely Barbara;s Buttons....look forward to seeing pics of that. I just LOVE hepatica....but they can be so expensive...I have one!...and I treasure is such a gorgeous blue....:))

30 Nov, 2009


HA!!!! I've got a white one!!!!!!!! You understand why I was jumping up and down, don't you, Alice! :-))))))))))

30 Nov, 2009


Yes I do!!!!!! lucky girl!......I want a pic as soon as its :))))))

30 Nov, 2009


Of course!

Do you think that green bump in the middle could be the beginnings of a bud, Alice?

30 Nov, 2009


Could well be are teasing me have a look at mine tomorrow to see if its waking up....

30 Nov, 2009


Sorry - I didn't mean to. I shall be out there looking at mine tomorrow, too!

30 Nov, 2009


glad it came out well in the end, bet you are smiling from ear to ear now :o)

the white hepatica is a sure fire winner. I have H translavatica [sp] and i love the colour of it.

30 Nov, 2009


My one of those is blue, as well! (I can't spell it, either!) I can't honestly remember which is which out of the two Hepaticas I have.

Having a different colour's an excellent reason to smile, Sbg!

30 Nov, 2009


Wow Spritz, what a lovely gift. They certianly know how to press all the right 'buttons' for you eh?

1 Dec, 2009


Lovely blog Spritz, that's the sort of box I would like for xmas ( never happens though ) :-))

1 Dec, 2009


Well, they certainly needed to make some sort of gesture after all the 'hassle', but I wasn't expecting all those 'gems'! No, I wouldn't get a box like that for Christmas, either, Annella! ;-(((

Ian - I wonder if it was a co-incidence sending that last one? They just said on the note that the plants were some of their 'favourites'.

1 Dec, 2009


Well done.

1 Dec, 2009


Thanks, Carol. I've just sent them a 'thank you' letter. :-))))

1 Dec, 2009


I bet they's Buttons...perfect...

2 Dec, 2009


It was perfect, wasn't it - but lovely, too, as I am not familiar with this plant. It was described as 'unusual', and it looks very pretty on the websites I 'googled'.

I just KNOW it'll be a favourite plant next summer, Cat!

2 Dec, 2009


Hi Barbara, I have just Googled it myself and It looks VERY promising doesn't it ? I imagine it will be popular with insects. You must promise to show us photos next year (pretty please !).

2 Dec, 2009


PS You will definitely catch us out with its seedheads !!!!!!! LOL

2 Dec, 2009


Yes, of course I will - I'm wondering whether to add all the plants to my 'garden' list now, before I even plant them, so I don't lose the labels and forget all the names! LOL.

Seedheads? I'd like to see the flowers first, Mw! ;-)))))

2 Dec, 2009


They certainly DID make up for their mistake, Spritz! Lol!

10 Dec, 2009


I did add them all to my plants list, because I KNOW I'd lose the list if I hadn't done it now! LOL. (I can always delete them if I lose any....)

10 Dec, 2009


Wow, that was a surprise! What a great thing to receive and it would restore your faith in that particular nursery.

16 Dec, 2009


Yes, it has - they are a reputable concern and have a really good and unusual list, too.

17 Dec, 2009


Well done you
what a lovely box of goodies
It makes such a difference when they care
Mistakes are so easy in this job
once tom helped me when he was about 4 he was surposed to be putting the labels in but when i turned around he had pulled out loads of labels from other plants blue and white looked the same had to wait until they flowered lol
The mail order is really hard work as most nurseries have plants all over so its a real workout when you get a mixed order 1 of this and 1 of that lol
So easy to get it wrong
I am pleased you got all those lovely plants what a joy:)

10 Jan, 2010


They blamed

1) their suppliers
2) mixed up labels

But it was a great treat when that box arrived! I did write a 'thank-you' letter!

10 Jan, 2010


I know who it is
they are a very big nursery have a lot of interesting plants but they dont always have what they say they have (as indeed can happen to anyone)
I order things for my collection and it took a while but they get a bit stressed. I can do sometimes because you want to get orders out really quickly but you cant get the plants ready sometimes that fast they grow as they grow
Some nurseries just send anything even if its not run a root but good nurseries will usually wait even if everyon is shouting at the lol
When the season starts its difficult to keep up with the website availability and it becomes a juggling act.
Once I rang somewhere (good nursery) to see what had happened to my order and the man at the end answered the phone and said' If this is about an order I cant b***dy send it yet, (no breath taken yet, and I havent even spoken yet lol)I am on the b****dy edge and if you get on at me I am going over !!!!
I hadnt said a word lol
But I know where he was coming from espeicially in May lol
It cracks me up everytime I think of it
i know the man I wont say who its not fair... but when he knew it was me we just laughed and laughed probably saved him from going over the edge...:)
thank goodness:)

10 Jan, 2010


Oooops! Not always the lovely job it looks like from our end, then! Loved your story....LOL

Yes, their list is unusual but as you say, plants are not always available.

I normally prefer to see a plant before I buy it, but I have to use mail order for the 'different' ones.

10 Jan, 2010


Thats one reason why we do the shows to show people what we send out
But even with that you have to be careful always ask what size plants they send as they show one size and send a plug or small plant sometimes
really they should be in 1 litres to ensure a good root system
9cm pots are ok if it alpines or small things but something like a heuchera should be 1 litre.
I find it better to try a small order and if thats ok most of the time they usually carry on the same.

10 Jan, 2010


You are so right - there is a well-known mail-order nursery with huge adverts everywhere. I happen to know that they send out tiny plants, some of which are hardly rooted. The prices, though, are the same as for 1 or 2 litre pots! I wouldn't touch them with a barge-pole. I need to get to know the reputable ones before I put an order in. Even then, some have a minimum order price and also a large carriage charge, so you can't always give them a try-out! That's where reputation helps amongst GOY-ers.

10 Jan, 2010

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