The Ashridge Nurseries Blog

The Ashridge Nurseries customer promise


Quality plants with expert advice

Buying plants online can seem a little strange. You don't get to see the plants before they arrive, you can't get advice face-to-face, and what happens if your plants aren't up to scratch?

Ashridge Nurseries has sold quality plants online since 2003. During that time, we hope that we have learnt a few things about how to reassure and delight our customers when they buy from us.

This is because we always strive to provide you with excellent plants and excellent customer service – and at excellent prices.

Here are a few questions that you might want to ask when you're shopping around for plants, not just online, but also at your local garden centre or nursery.

We make a promise that if we ever fail to meet any of the expectations below, we will do our very best to put it right, and to stop it happening again. This is our promise to all customers.

  • Does the supplier take an interest in what you want to plant and where you want to plant it? Do they offer suggestions on how best to achieve what you want?
    • Is your money taken when you order, or when the plants are despatched to you?
    • How long are the plants guaranteed for?
    • How good is the advice on the site, such as product information, blogs, and instructional videos?
    • Does the supplier collect any plants you are unhappy with?
    • How are complaints dealt with?
    • Does the supplier give you advice whether you are a customer or not? Or are they sales only?
    • Can the supplier explain clearly how their plants are looked after to ensure high standards of quality?
    • Are plants (which are perishable) delivered by Next Day Courier or on a 2-3 day service
    • Does the supplier confirm with the Which? Better Plants by Post Guide for Retailers
    • Is the supplier eco aware? Peat free compost? Neonicotinoids? etc.
    • And finally, are you convinced that the supplier is listening to you, the customer?

2 thoughts on “The Ashridge Nurseries customer promise”

  • Kate Towers

    Please could you help me with these questions:
    Do you use peat free compost?
    Are any pesticides or herbicides used in the production of your plants and if so what are they?
    Are your trees and hedging plants grown in the UK?
    Many thanks

    • Ashridge Support
      Ashridge Support 21st August 2019 at 10:54 pm

      Thanks for your questions.

      If only it was that easy.

      Do we use peat free compost? Yes. However, we buy plants as rooted cuttings, plugs and liners. We ask our suppliers to confirm their compost is peat-free but barring testing every delivery we receive - which would be prohibitively expensive - there is no way we can be sure.

      Are any pesticides or herbicides used in the production of our plants? Yes. We are neo-nicotinoid free, not chemical-free. Disclosing which we use would serve no purpose as it depends on the condition/pest we are treating or preventing. To my knowledge, there is no truly organic commercial ornamental grower in the UK and I know of none in Europe either. But please do not buy from us if you want plants that have been grown without the use of chemicals - we cannot guarantee that is the case.

      Are our trees and hedging plants grown in the UK? The ones we grow are grown in the UK. The ones we buy mainly come from UK growers (97%). However, as with peat, establishing if they were grown in the UK is not possible. There is no system in place that allows us - or any other nursery to do that. All we can do is establish that the UK suppliers of the plants we buy are able to disclose the origin of those plants for which traceability is required by law. They do this when required, to the UK government department responsible for plant health in the UK (DEFRA). This is really important. No one in the UK who sells plants which they have bought from another nursery or grower can establish where they were grown if that grower bought them, in turn, from someone else. So to be absolutely clear if you buy English Hawthorn where the seed has a provenance of UK405 all you know is that the seed was collected in area 405 (which is broadly the South East of England). That "provenance" says nothing about the country in which it was grown. Because labour rates are lower in Eastern Europe a significant proportion of English Hawthorn may be grown from English seed, but it was not grown in England.

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