Welcome to our winter blog. After the very mild autumn a lot of our plants have started to think it is Spring and have put on a new spurt of growth, but don’t be fooled. Any new growth made at this time of year is likely to be lost the moment we have a half decent frost!
We strongly recommend not buying any plants in December, January, or February, since they don’t start to establish until active growth begins. While they are dormant, they have very little ability to fight off pathogens, particularly fungi, and transplanting them too early is therefore inadvisable. It’s much better to wait until they are growing strongly in April or May; then they will get off to a good start.
Once again gift vouchers are available for those Christmas gifts, but please don’t leave it until the last moment to order. Vouchers can be found in the Plant Shop under Baskets and Sundries, on page 2. Just click on Options there to see how it works. Vouchers have an unlimited lifespan and can be used for any purchase, so they are the perfect gift for any aspiring water gardener.
There will be a few changes next year and below we have set out the main ones, together with a reminder why Devon Pond Plants should be at the top of your list when buying plants for your pond and garden.
WHAT WE DO
We at Devon Pond plants have built a well-deserved reputation for healthy, good-sized plants, competitive prices, and brilliant service. Unlike many of our competitors, we explain exactly what you should expect to get to avoid disappointment. We know what we are doing because we have been doing it for a long time and we are always happy to offer advice. We aim to answer emails the same working day; long and detailed requests for advice will be dealt with as soon as possible.
We offer a huge range of plants in both bare rooted and potted formats and plants are promptly delivered all over the UK. Many professional customers such as the RHS, National Trust and garden design companies trust us with their business, and we do not compromise on our standards to offer cheaper or inferior products or service. We keep large stocks at our Devon nursery ready for immediate dispatch and in busy periods we also source plants from nurseries that we trust to match our standards. We keep a particularly strong range of native plants for use where wildlife promotion is important and have large stocks of these available for immediate dispatch.
Retail customers can order direct through our website for prompt delivery or can collect from our nursery to benefit from discount prices and zero carriage cost. For novices, our ever-popular range of Pond Packs offer an easy introduction to water gardening; we have done all the work for you so that you get a trouble-free start. If you have a large project please contact us in plenty of time to get free advice and discount prices.
Trade customers can also make smaller orders direct, but we are always happy to offer a specific quote for larger orders and to source extra large numbers of plants from our extensive contacts if necessary. We are also happy to contract grow plants for forward orders. All our list prices include VAT and this can be reclaimed by those who are VAT registered.
An enormous amount of information is available on our website, and we encourage customers to read this thoroughly before ordering to avoid common mistakes. All plants are described fully and honestly to avoid the accidental purchase of tough and invasive plants where they are not wanted; such plants are necessary in large wildlife schemes but to be avoided in smaller garden ponds. Pictures are nearly all our own unedited ones.
We aim to have most plants available in multiple formats on a year-round basis, but some, such as oxygenators, are strongly seasonal and may only be available in season. Some plants, especially rare and unusual ones, are only available in a restricted range of formats.
2023 AND BEYOND
There will be a number of changes to the way we operate from 2023 season onwards, largely driven by the massive increase in costs of packaging and delivery. We have now reached the point where for small orders, the cost of packing and sending plants exceeds the value of the plants themselves.
We will not compromise on size, quality or service, so unfortunately some price rises have been inevitable, and these will be most noticeable on small quantities of potted plants. On larger orders the problem is not so dramatic but has still necessitated some modest price rises.
DISCOUNTS FOR CLICK AND COLLECT
As a result of the increasing cost of delivery, significant discounts are available for potted plants if ordered in advance and collected from our nursery rather than sent by carrier. This discount will be 50% for heavy goods such as soil and gravel and 20% for potted plants. We are very happy to quote specifically for larger orders (over £150 of plants, not including compost and other sundries). If you are planning to collect, it is very helpful if you email us first to let us know, as it is often easier for us if these orders aren’t processed through the website. If you have already created a basket of plants on the website and wish to collect, please select the “Click and Collect” zero carriage option at the checkout, and in the “Notes” box please enter the day and approximate time of collection. THIS MUST BE BETWEEN TWO AND SEVEN WORKING DAYS AFTER PLACING THE ORDER. We are open for collections on weekdays 10am to 4pm only. If you are not ready to come and collect within this time frame, please do not order until you are. We are unable to reserve plants over longer periods, sorry. Discounts for plants that have been pre-ordered through the website will be processed as a refund via the original payment method. Please check our Dispatch and Delivery page for a detailed explanation of how it works.
We have always offered a very popular range of pond packs, and up to now these have all been comprised of bare root plants in fixed quantities. This year we are extending the range to include ready potted plants and pick and mix bare root ones too, so if you are unsure what to buy, we have made a great selection available for you. All packs contain a range of easy to grow, non-invasive plants which will offer you a long season of interest. Packs are available with or without baskets and aquatic compost and gravel can be purchased as an add-on. Please note that even though we make no profit at all on compost, it is very expensive to send mail order and may be cheaper for you to purchase at our nursery, or locally to you if we are out of reach.
BARE ROOT PLANTS
We have a tremendous range of plants, and it has previously been possible to buy any number of varieties singly in any combination by mail order. While this may still be possible out of the main season, from now on during the busy period we will only be offering bare root plants in larger quantities or fixed selections, along with a “Pick and Mix” option for our most popular plants. This will enable us to offer an even better service during the mad Spring rush, when all the bank holiday breaks make dispatch next to impossible. We still aim to offer all plants in one format or another throughout the year, subject to seasonality. Some specialist plants will be available in a single potted format only, and others in bare root only. If you have a particular plant you wish to buy but it seems unavailable, please ask – we can almost always help if the customer is happy to pay the actual cost of delivery. Bare root plants are not available “off the shelf” at the nursery but must be pre-ordered, as they take some time to prepare.
Potted plants and accessories may be purchased at the nursery on the Open days advertised on the Contact page, or by prior appointment, or when collecting pre-ordered plants. These purchases will be cash only for the time being. If you have not booked or pre-ordered, please do not just turn up on days when we are not advertised as open for retail sales; we are very busy with mail order and can’t generally drop everything at a moment’s notice.
We aim to open for visits without appointment on Thursdays and Fridays, 10 am to 4 pm during the main 2023 season. However, if we have large orders to process it is sometimes necessary to suspend retail sales, so before setting off, please check the Contact page to make sure that we are open on the day you wish to come. Visits by appointment at other times can usually be accommodated too (weekdays only).
Seasonal greetings to you all and we look forward to hearing from you when the warmth returns.
David, Ruth and Sharne