Garden centres Online and mail order retailers
This article, Garden centres, was last updated on 24 March 2011 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Home & garden articles.
Want to buy the best plants online? Which? has done a survey* of major online and mail-order retailers to find the best. Plus find out about the Which? Better Plants by Post campaign.
The best and worst online and mail-order plant retailers
(Sample size in brackets)
|David Austin Roses (62)||84%|
|Bloms Bulbs (59)||81%|
|Sarah Raven (34)||78%|
|Ken Muir (40)||77%|
|Pomona Fruits (32)||76%|
|Mr Fothergill's (42)||72%|
|Vernons Geranium Nursery (48)||72%|
|Suttons Seeds (138)||70%|
|The Daily Telegraph Garden Shop (39)||67%|
|Marshalls Seeds (85)||65%|
|Jersey Plants Direct (199)||64%|
|Hayloft Plants (66)||61%|
|Gardening Direct (202)||60%|
|Thompson & Morgan (509)||57%|
|J Parker's (220)||55%|
|Van Meuwen (147)||54%|
|Spalding Bulbs (154)||47%|
|Garden Bargains (78)||46%|
*In April 2012 we conducted a Which? Connect survey among 4544 members (2726 of whom were eligible and completed the survey) to explore members’ experiences and opinions of buying plants/bulbs online/by mail order.
The Which? Gardening Better Plants by Post campaign
Although 8 in 10 people say they are satisfied overall with their experience of buying plants online or by mail order, 36% admitted that they had experienced problems.
Common issues include:
- Problems with the quality of plants/bulbs provided (41%)
- Package left on the doorstep while I was out/away (20%)
- Package damaged/broken/thrown around by the courier/postal service (17%)
Which? thinks too many people experience problems when buying plants online or by mail order, and has come up with 10 best-practice criteria that it would like to see all retailers adopt. You can read the criteria here.
Nine companies have already pledged their support for the campaign, including David Austin Roses, Crocus, Sarah Raven, Pomona Fruits and Mr Fothergill's. Several companies not included in the survey have also pledged their support, including Ashridge Trees, Plantify and Urban Allotments.
Garden Bargains met with Which? to discuss the survey findings. They were very disappointed to have come bottom in the survey, and told us that they are working on a host of improvements based on our best-practice criteria. We're really pleased that Garden Bargains have responded so positively.