Ordering and Carriage
We specialize in perennials and bulbs, the choice, the interesting and the offbeat. Our bold intention is to list a modest range of immodestly interesting plants from our large and hard won collection. We sell plants by mail order to the UK and at a select group of plant fairs and smaller shows, as well as at the lectures which Julian is always keen to give. Don’t expect to find us at the likes of Chelsea, Malvern or Hampton Court, though. Almost everything offered here is propagated on site, by the two of us.
Place your orders by post or email using the order form. Prices reflect size as well as scarcity and ease of propagation. Most pot-grown plants are in 1 litre, 2 litre or 10cm pots. We used to show a price range, but this confused lots of people. We now list only one price, but will sometimes charge you less according to plant size, at our discretion. Note that if something looks surprisingly cheaper than something comparable, its probably because we expect to sell smaller plants. Minimum order £15 plus carriage. We can only accept orders accompanied by a cheque! Please write a limit cheque, that is leave the amount blank, work out the cost of your plants plus carriage, then cross the cheque ‘Not to exceed £36.50’, or whatever. We can’t make it out for more than that, but can make it out for less if something’s out of stock, cheaper prices apply, or if carriage is less than expected. We will not cash the cheque until we send the plants. We cannot accept cards. Please specify substitutes if they’d be acceptable - otherwise we never substitute. We can deliver prepaid orders to any of the plant fairs we attend, carriage free, but you must give us plenty of notice. The days before a plant fair are even more manic here than usual.
Plants are normally sent in closed boxes, by carrier, but in some areas we may deliver in open boxes with our own van. We charge £11.50 for 1-15 plants, plus an extra 50p for each plant after the first 15, to mainland England, Wales and the lowlands of Scotland. As fuel prices rise, the carriers charge more and more – this just about covers what we pay them to deliver your plants. Sometimes if a parcel is light we will send it by Royal Mail and charge you less. To the rest of the UK, including all offshore islands, we use Royal Mail: allow as much as the cost of your plants in your ‘not to exceed’ cheque, but we’ll try to keep the cost down. Let us know if you expect to be on holiday so we can avoid these dates. If you include an e-mail address we will advise you on dispatch. Please also note any special instructions to the carrier (e.g. if out please leave in back porch - no signature needed).
We send out from October to April, avoiding cold periods in winter and unseasonable spring heat. We can’t accept spring orders after the end of April. Order as early as you can. Some items sell out really soon. First come first served, but we reserve the right to ration scarce items to one per customer if necessary. If you don’t want your plants until spring, it pays to get your order in soon and tell us not to send until spring. That way we can keep plants back for you.
Unpack immediately. Plant or pot up divisions straight away (but see notes in catalogue on Arisaema, etc). Consider whether to plant pot-grown specimens or to leave them potted until spring. Only you have the experience to judge under your conditions. Please tell us promptly if a plant is in bad condition; we can only consider a replacement or refund if plants arrive dead or ungrowable. Bear dormancy in mind before panicking!
Names and Hardiness
We are serious plantspeople who try very hard to name our plants correctly. However, we can make no guarantee of their accuracy, especially at this esoteric end of horticulture where there is sometimes genuine uncertainty and disagreement about naming. We use the Plant Finder as a guide to up-to-date nomenclature, unless we disagree with their view. Similarly, we can only give pointers about hardiness and suitable conditions, based on experience and the literature. But if you have tracked us down, you’re likely to be a serious gardener / plantsperson who understands this.
Sorry, no visitors except to collect orders
We are unable to sell plants to calling customers; however, we can usually arrange for you to collect an order from our house. Our nursery is not at this, our home address. So, down to business...
Sign-up for our new twice yearly e-Catalogue
As we move from an annual catalogue to ''twice yearly lists by email from summer 2014'', we need to put
together a complete, legal and secure contact list, using a respected online service. There will soon be a page on the
website to allow you to sign up for it. Any problem, just email us. Don’t panic, we’ll not swamp you with junk or
vapid updates – it’ll be all we can do to get the availability lists ready! And we’d never pass your details on to third
parties. If you need a paper copy, phone or write. If you email asking for a paper copy we’ll give you an oldfashioned
e-look. But if you’d like to follow us on Twitter, or see us on Facebook – don’t bother. Which century
d’you think we live in?
Autumn 2013 - Spring 2014 Online Catalogue
Plant Sales and Fairs
Talks for Gardening Clubs, Societies and Organisations
For all those interested in South African plants we've also put all our listings of South African
bulbs and plants onto one website we've called South African Bulbs at Desirable Plants.