The calm after the storm

Hello everybody; we have enjoyed some interesting weather this week but thankfully no major damage, just a few unwelcome extra repair jobs to do. On the plus side, temperatures have been mild and there are now the first signs of new growth on some plants. Every year the orders seem to come earlier and earlier, despite recommending that plants are not planted out in January or February. It’s important at this stage not to jump the gun, since new shoots are often savagely cut back by sharp frosts in March and April, and plants are much better off being planted into warm soil than cold wet mud. Pond packs will become available shortly, and this year there are a few changes. We are no longer including frogbit in the pond packs, since its late start causes a huge logjam in pond pack orders. If you want this popular plant, please order separately later in the season. Similarly, we are not guaranteeing which species of oxygenator will be supplied in the packs, except to say that they will be native ones. Oxygenators are highly seasonal and cause us more grief than any other plant, so we will supply what is at its best at the time of the order. Again, if there is a particular one which you require, please order it separately when it is listed as available.

Similarly, we have just updated the website with bare root water lily availability, but we recommend that you wait until the water temperature is 16C before buying and planting bare root lilies. Potted ones can of course be put in at any time, but no growth will be observed until the water warms up.

If you are planning a project 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. Early indications are that this season will be at least as mad as the last two and I do foresee some availability issues later on. Currently we have very large stocks, but these disappear very quickly once the season gets under way.

On the subject of availability, please let us remind you that we don’t sell anything that we don’t physically have. Many suppliers will take your order and your money and then tell you that you will get the plants in several weeks’ or months’ time. Not us. The reason for this is that many of these suppliers don’t actually grow plants, often don’t have a nursery, and are quite likely a teenager in a back bedroom with a computer. They take your order and pass it on to a large wholesaler, who sends the plants direct to you. They are usually considerably more expensive, since you are paying one or more middlemen and you are also paying for the Google ads that keep them up in the rankings. We don’t pay for ads and are therefore often not at the top of the page. So, don’t be fooled – if we don’t have something, you can use our stock notification tool so that we can let you know when it’s next available.

Lastly, we regret that some prices have had to increase this year, though we have managed to keep these to a minimum. There is pressure on everything from boxes to bags and pots to potting compost, so we can’t absorb it all, we hope you understand. We will always strive to offer the best plants and service at an affordable price, that leaves a small amount for ourselves.

Roll on summer!

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