I have a love hate relationship with mail order plants.
I love the catalogues with the glossy pictures, I love the fact i can find a bargain because I know how much they would be at local nurseries. I love the fact that I can get a wider range of plants than any of my local nurseries carry at one time
I hate the fact that you have to do something with the plants the minute they turn up, and I hate the fact I always over order and have excess plants that I hadn't planned for sitting in a corner shrivelling.
This week however, I was pleasantly surprised by a mail order company I haven't used before - Hedges Direct.
I needed to form a neat hedge to cover a brick wall. I gave the client several suggestions, but Lonicera Nitida (hedging honeysuckle) was the final choice.
The trouble is that the Yellow form Lonicera Nitida Baggesens Gold is the variety that is commonly available in Nurseries, and so as I needed 35 plants at the same size, My phone calls were in vain, and that's where an internet search found hedges direct.
I ordered the plants, - they gave me a choice of sizes and prices, I selected the spec I wanted and I was then asked when i'd like delivery. - I told them when I was next at my clients, expecting to have to negoitiate as to where the plants were put and if someone would be there to receive them, but I was told, - no problem they will be delivered that morning.
I rocked up expecting to have to make "where are they" phone calls at some point in the day, to find 4 large boxes of plants in the porch.
On unpacking them, I found really bushy plants with great root growth, - filling the pot, but no-where near root bound, one slightly damaged plant that had fallen on its side in the box, but a little bit of pruning on the couple of broken stems will give lots more growth next year. By lunchtime, they were all planted with rootgrow and a leafmulch and hopefully by the end of next season you won't be able to see the wall.
Now i've got no affiliation to Hedges Direct (didn't even ask the name of who I spoke to - whoops) but I like to give credit where it's due, and i'll go back to them again, when I need more hedging, - the best praise of all I think.
Who do you use for plants by post? - and who should I avoid?