We are conscious that in these days of internet shopping and guaranteed next day delivery, our dispatch periods can seem rather vague. However we would like to take this opportunity to explain how we organize our deliveries, and why sometimes there is an unavoidable delay between time of ordering and actual delivery of your plants.
We use traditional growing methods, so the vast majority of our plants are only available at certain times. Bare-root roses, shrubs and trees are field-grown, and can only be lifted during the dormant season (between November and March). But we take orders throughout the year, sometimes as much as 12 months or more in advance. This means that on the first day of the lifting season, we have a huge number of orders already in place, which we do our utmost to work through on a first-come, first served basis. So if you place an order in November, there will already be a lot of people ahead of you in the queue.
We also have certain physical restrictions on the amount of work we can get through. We have over 250 acres, and whilst not all of it is under cultivation at any one time, it does mean that trees and plants on the same order can be miles apart. The weather plays a large part as well - most of our land is on heavy clay, so after periods of prolonged rainfall it can be like digging in treacle! And in the winter months, we only have between 7 and 8 hours of daylight in which to lift - much as we would like to, we can’t dig trees by torchlight. Why don’t we simply employ more workers during our busy periods? Well, we pride ourselves on the fact that all our workers are permanently employed, highly skilled nurserymen. Rather than use casual workers, we much prefer the fact that the man who digs your tree may well have been the person who planted the rootstock, did the graft, and who has pruned or trained it for up to five years before it is lifted and sent out.
All of which means that we will never be able to offer an 'order by 5pm, guaranteed next day delivery' service. But rest assured that we will do our very best to ensure that your order arrives at a time that is right for the plant, and convenient for you.