Doomed, but not for long!

I had the wonderful idea of ordering some lovely plants the other day, for my new area. In the past there hasn’t been any problem, you click the button, pay by debit or credit card, sit back , wait 48 hrs, and there they are, being delivered by a friendly van driver.

Not this time though, oh no. First of all, somehow I was debited twice, I e.mailed the nursery and they credited me with the overpayment, so far, so good.. I received an e.mail telling me that my plants would arrive in 48 hrs, ok, so I stayed in all day on the prescribed day, no parcel arrived. We rang the delivery firm and found that for some reason it had been taken off the van in the morning and spent the day in the depot! At 9.30am next morning, the van arrived and a box was handed to the undergardener, but as soon as I saw it and felt the weight,  I knew it wasn’t mine, even before I opened it.

3 Primula

3 Primula.

On opening it I found three Primula vulgaris Belarina Cobalt Blue and an invoice which said that it was for a lady in Braknell, Berkshire! My order was for 9 beautiful Meconopsis plants.  We quickly rang the nursery, who were most apologetic and so embarrassed to have got the orders mixed up, they say it has never happened before. They asked me to repack the order and send it back to them, they would contact the carrier to come and collect the box. Before I repacked the plants, I gave them a bit of fresh air and a drink of water. We were told that my new order will be sent Express mail 24hrs, to arrive Tuesday, but when we explained that on Tuesday, we had to be at our 101 yr old neighbours funeral,  we were told that they would send them for Wednesday. I wonder if the lady in Braknell, Berkshire has received my order and if so, has she sent it back? The Primulas were picked up this morning ( Monday, 7th December) so now I just had to wait until Wednesday to see if my package arrives safely.

It is now Tuesday, and we have just got back from our neighbours funeral. We opened the door and there, waiting for us was the form telling us that my parcel had been brought, but on receiving no answer, the driver will deliver it to our local post office which is in the next village!

10 lovely Meconopsis.

10 lovely Meconopsis.

We waited until we thought the van driver would have finished his round so the Undergardener has just got back with my lovely big box- Hooray! Included in with the invoice was a lovely letter of apology and an extra Meconopsis, this time a white one, so all is forgiven. These Meconopsis are all infertile, so can only be increased with splitting, but they are all truly perennial and should last for years as long as they have plenty of water at the right time of year and plenty of fertiliser. I will have to get a move on now and get their bed ready for them, I can see that tomorrow, weather permitting,  I will be out there pulling up yards of ivy and brambles and seeing just how hard it will be to remove the cut back  cotoneaster that is in the middle of the bed.

I have just joined the Meconopsis Society, they have 150 members all round the world, mostly in Scotland and the Lake District, but now they have 151 members! I will receive newsletters and lots of other information so I hope to increase my knowledge of these beautiful plants which take my breath away, whenever I see them.

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22 Responses to Doomed, but not for long!

  1. Rosemarie says:

    What a story ! It would make you think twice about using them again if the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing !

    • Pauline says:

      Mmmm , yes I think I agree Rosemarie, but at least they have apologised and sent an extra plant. If the plants turn out as well as they should, I think they ought to be forgiven.

  2. Alison says:

    Good luck with your blue poppies! I have planted several over the years, they are spectacular when they bloom, but mine have always declined and disappeared the next year. I’ve ordered plants via mail order before too, but have never had a mixup as bad as yours.

    • Pauline says:

      I’ve grown M. Lingholm and M. Betonicifolia from seed for quite a number of years now Alison, but they seem to dwindle after a couple of years, so I thought I would try the non fertile ones for a change and hopefully they will be more permanent. It is difficult getting the conditions that they like, right for them, but when you do the rewards are so wonderful!

  3. Jason says:

    I have received the wrong delivery of plants a couple of times – both times the nursery told me to just keep the plants, then sent the correct order. So glad you got your Meconopsis! They are beauties.

    • Pauline says:

      This is the first time this has happened to me Jason, but I don’t think I would have wanted 3 double blue primroses anyway! Meconopsis are wonderful flowers, such a beautiful shade of blue.

  4. Cathy says:

    It is rather frustrating when that happens, and I have had the same bother, but was fortunately told I could keep the plants free of charge! One of them was a Hydrangea which I had admired in another garden only that same day as the delivery, so I wasn’t too upset! 😉 I look forward to seeing the Meconopsis in flower next year Pauline.

    • Pauline says:

      It is frustrating Cathy, when things don’t go according to plan, but we got there in the end. How wonderful that you got to keep your Hydrangea, which arrived by mistake, but I didn’t really want double blue primroses so was quite happy to send them back free of charge. The big question now is – do I let my meconopsis flower next year or not, all the information says they won’t last if they flower in their first year, to cut or not to cut, that is the question?

  5. snowbird says:

    Gosh, it certainly was hard work getting those plants but well worth the hastle as you got one free! Good luck sorting the

    • Pauline says:

      They got here in the end Dina, that’s the main thing! I’m looking forward to working on the bed, after Christmas, then I can work off a few calories!

  6. I’m sorry to hear about your neighbor. My grandmother would have been 101 this year, but she passed away in 1986, which seems like a long time ago since my children, who were nearly babies, have grown up and established their own independent lives.

    I saw the most beautiful Meconopsis in June this year at Gresgarth, home of Arabella Lenox-Boyd. There is no hope of growing them here, though. I will keep my fingers crossed that all turns out well for you. It has certainly been an adventure so far, hasn’t it?

    • Pauline says:

      My neighbours son, Paul, lived with her and was absolutely marvellous with her, doing everything for her until about a year ago, when nurses were brought in to help. Last year, when she was 100 years old, she was so delighted to have received a Birthday Card from the Queen!
      I would love to visit Gresgarth, I have read about it and it sounds wonderful. It is also in one of the best spots to grow Meconopsis, with the cool and wet weather! We are a little too warm in the summer, that’s why I always grow them in the shade where they seem quite happy. So far I have only grown Lingholm and Betonicifolia from seed, it will be interesting to grow the ones that don’t make seed, and see how quickly they bulk up ready for splitting.

  7. Carolyn says:

    It always seems like once something has gone wrong with an order, then everything goes wrong. As the person doing the shipping, the postal service can be quite frustrating.

    • Pauline says:

      I’m just so glad Carolyn, that my plants arrived safely, even though they were a bit late. I have no idea of the size of the nursery, is it just one person or with a large staff? I know the RHS has used them to provide the plants for their Meconopsis trial, so they must have a good reputation I would have thought, that’s why I haven’t given the name of the nursery.

  8. debsgarden says:

    Congratulations on becoming #151; it sounds like you are on your way to becoming a Meconopsis expert! And I am glad you received an extra plant for all your trouble! I wonder if the other lady received your original meconopsis order and what she must have thought.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Deb, but I don’t think I have enough gardening years left to become an expert! I’m wondering if the lady who received my plants sent them back, her order came to £13.50, mine was a lot more than that, but I’m sure the nursery will have contacted her.

  9. Chloris says:

    What a saga, it seems an awful lot of effort was involved. I think they should have let you keep the primulas to make up for the inconvenience. Anyway I wish you every success with your glorious Meconopsis. I wish I could grow them. I tried once and they were lovely for one year and then bit the dust. I shall have to content myself with admiring yours.

    • Pauline says:

      It was a bit of a saga wasn’t it Chloris, but all is well now, thank goodness. I think the success with Meconopsis is trying to replocate the conditions that they like in the wild. They want wet in the summer, but not waterlogged in the winter, soil the acid side of neutral and in a sheltered spot! I’ve always sown seed before when growing them and they have usually lasted 3 or 4 years, but the hybrids are infertile so need splitting when they clump up, I just hope I can get them through their first winter.

  10. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Oh my, the things we go through for the love of plants! Glad to hear that the firm made everything right and rewarded you with an extra meconopsis! I’ve not heard of the infertile ones that are truly perennial but will now seek them out. Looking forward to seeing your bed of beautiful blue blooms!

    • Pauline says:

      I think it’s just the hybrids that are infertile Peter, when you get 2 Meconopsis together , that wouldn’t normally meet in the wild, the results are beautiful plants which don’t set seed and have to be split to increase them. I think you may be too hot in the summer for their liking, after all, they do come from the Himalayas, where it is cool and wet in the summer. I can recommend a little book ” Blue Heaven” by Bill Terry who lives in Vancouver, he manages to grow them very successfully.

  11. Anna says:

    Glad to hear that it was all finally resolved Pauline. I received somebody else’s snowdrop order once but we had a surname in common 🙂 I didn’t know that there was a Meconopsis Society. I hope that you enjoy your membership.

    • Pauline says:

      I’m hoping to find out lots of information from the Meconopsis Society Anna, even though I can’t see me making any of the meetings in Edinburgh, who knows though, we might organise a holiday around one of them!

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