Unbelievably I find that it is six months since my last blog; my apologies, we have had another storming year and have had little time to do anything other than prepare and pack plants for mail order. The last three years have been exceptionally trying in this respect, and as a result we will be making a few changes next year. David will be stepping back a little and Ruth will be taking on the day-to-day management, so we are streamlining the operation a little to make sure that our standards don’t deteriorate by trying to do too much. It is clear to us that the vast majority of plants that we sell are the marginal and deeper water plants, so we will be reducing the range of moisture loving plants that we offer.
We just can’t keep looking after a large stock of plants that very few people are interested in. So, if you look under our new Bargain Clearance category in the Plant Shop, you will find some fantastic bargains for multiple purchases on a one-off basis. Now is an excellent time to get these plants in the ground for a great display next year. They are all big full pots and unbeatable value at less than trade price. These are priced for collection only; it costs us about the same to send potted plants as their price in the Clearance, so if you want us to mail them to you, we can do this at cost, please enquire. The normal capped postage rates will not apply for purchases from this section.
If you have a large space to fill you will get great deals for the next few weeks, please check the listings, or ask for more details without obligation. Our lilies have been absolutely super this year, helped by the hot sunny summer, and we can offer discounts on multiple purchases of these too, please enquire. We can always discount potted lilies for collection as so much of the price relates to packing and carriage.
If you are planning a project next year which is likely to require many hundreds or possibly thousands of plants, please don’t wait to ask us until the day before you want them. We can always offer the best deals for forward orders, and these can amount to nearly 50% discount for potted plants. This is a picture of part of a large order we are growing on for a November delivery date.
We have sold a lot of plants for Natural Swimming Pools this year, this is a growth area for us, but often we are only asked for advice or plants at the eleventh hour – please give as much notice as possible and do ask for advice. We have plenty of experience in this area and can help you avoid costly mistakes – but not after they have already been made!
Bare root plants have always been our speciality, and these continue to be the best value option. The best selection and availability will be in Spring, but based on the last few years’ sales, many will be sold out by early summer. It doesn’t make sense for us to wash out pots to send them to you as bare root plants for half the price, as we have often done in the past, so going forward there will be a definite early season emphasis to bare root availability.
There will be a few new products next year, such as premium ready-potted pond packs, and we are pleased to say that we will be sending Aquatic compost for the first time. We have always felt that the enormous cost of carriage for heavy bags of compost could not be justified, but as the costs of getting in the car to collect it from the nearest supplier increase, we guess it now makes sense. It still makes it rather expensive, but a lot of people have asked for it and so from now on you can get it from us too.
We regret that some prices will increase next year, especially for potted plants. For some time, we have been absorbing a considerable part of the true cost of delivery on potted plants, and this cannot continue. We have now reached the point where packing and carriage costs, especially on small orders, exceed the value of the plants themselves, and a lot of our turnover goes to pay the couriers without a penny for us. If you have a larger order of potted plants, by which we mean over £500.00, please contact us before ordering, as we can usually reduce the pain somewhat. Remember that our capped delivery charge already represents a substantial discount on larger orders.
A VAT invoice will be provided on request, so that if you are a trade customer our plants will cost 20% less than many of our competitors.
A big THANK YOU to all our customers, large and small, without you we would be nothing, we look forward to supplying top quality plants and service for years to come.
Ruth, David, and the team at Devon Pond Plants