I personally hate the term, “Terms and Conditions” as it creates a sense of suspicion, the small print that companies use to get away with murder at times! However, I do believe that it is always best to be upfront and honest with customers about the service they can expect from my company. So this is not a case of hiding anything, it is a chance for me to explain to you exactly how I handle your orders and what happens in the very rare occasion (and I can say this hand on heart), that something does go wrong.
My business is small and concentrates on on quality above anything else. This has served me well for the last 6 years. I appreciate there is a lot of information here, but as I said, I prefer to be honest as it is beneficial for us as seller and buyer to know exactly where we stand.
QUALITY/JO-ANNA COTTAGE PLANTS GUARANTEE:
I am passionate about providing the highest quality & best customer service. I would never supply a customer with any plant I would myself be unhappy to receive.
Jo-Anna Cottage Plants guarantees you will receive, healthy, happy plants, ready to plant straight out into your garden.
Every plant is physically checked by me personally, wrapped and packed under CCTV with your order paperwork displayed.
AUTUMN/WINTER/EARLY SPRING PURCHASES
Autumn/Winter: Some customers do not realise that plants will look different during the seasons. Herbaceous perennials and deciduous shrubs, fruit etc will start to drop leaves in the autumn and therefore not look so pretty. Semi Deciduous will drop most of their leaves and you will see new ones growing back unless the frosts are very heavy. Evergreen should retain most if not all of their leaves but remember you are purchasing a natural product and nature will determine how the plant grows.
Even though your plants may be dropping leaves or starting to look a bit sad leading up to the frosts which will kill off all upper growth (to protect the plant), this is a very good sign. It means you have purchased a hardy plant that is grown outdoors (all of ours do as we supply the Scottish Islands as well!).
If you see a herbaceous perennial (plant that drops leaves) in either autumn/winter/very early spring that looks absolutely perfect then it has been either grown under glass, outside the uk or both. This means they are not hardy, will be burnt badly by frost and are highly likely to die. If you want healthy plants then purchase them in the condition they should be in for the time of year. They will then flourish in the Spring and be all the more stronger for it.
Plants that need to be trimmed back at relevant times of year will be done so before despatch, as per RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) guidelines. I do however, leave lavenders untrimmed so that you can decide whether you would prefer to trim in Autumn or Spring. I always trim my back in Spring as the upper growth will protect the plant during the winter months. This decision is always a cause of massive debate so it is best to make your own mind up and the area of the country you are in will place a bearing on this.
YOUR PLANTS FUTURE HEALTH
Once your plant is in your care, I am no longer liable for its health. I have had to adopt this stance due to fraudulent cases sadly which are very costly to a small cottage industry. So if you have any concerns when your plants arrive, these must be reported to us via email within 48 hours. Please remember that your item is perishable and if it is not cared for correctly, this will determine it health and it is therefore not fair to then blame the seller.
I always however am on hand for any advice you ever need. My contact does not stop after sale so if you are concerned at all or want to check that you have planted correctly used the correct soil or potting medium etc etc please, please, please get in touch and even send in pictures. I usually reply to all messages within 48 hours maximum. You can even use the contact form at the base of this document
I try my very very best to despatch all orders within 2 – 3 working days but please bear in mind that at some times this can take longer. There are all sorts of reasons for this which I will explain below but because of this I cannot express enough that if you need your plants by a set date,please. please, contact me before you buy so that I can confirm this is possible as I would hate to cause any inconvenience and upset so just check first so that I can avoid any disappointment to you.
So lets start with Autumn/Winter/Spring. If there has been snow/frost/ice I will not despatch a plant in a frozen condition. I will wait for it to defrost (sometimes taking it under temporary cover (this will not cause any issues with hardiness), wait for it to defrost and ensure that there is no damage to the plant. If it has leaves I will check for cellular damage (this can take 3 days) and if it has lost all its leaves I will check the crown of the plant to ensure that it is still alive and healthy. Please also bear in mind that if I wrap a frozen plant and post it to you it will defrost in transit and arrive a soggy mess. This sort of delay also includes bare root items that may still be in the soil and cannot be lifted when the ground is frozen. Please do not think I am trying to be difficult or delay purposely; remember from the start that I stated that quality comes first and I will not compromise on this for speed.
Moving on to Late Spring/Summer/Early Autumn. In extreme temperatures I will delay despatch of your goods if they are likely to be in transit over a weekend, especially bank holidays. Additionally, if there are periods of extreme heat, I will hold the plants back as they will not travel well and in any of the scenarios mentioned here there is little point in sending you nice healthy plants that would arrive in a baked poor condition or even dead. Again, I cannot emphasise enough how important quality is to us and would rather suffer a late delivery than a customer receiving a parcel of plants they are disappointed with.
So again, If you need your plants by a set date, I really must encourage you to contact me before you buy so that I can confirm this is possible as I would hate to cause any inconvenience and upset.
I will always try my very best to communicate to you any delays but you are always welcome to email me or fill in the form at the base of this document.
PACKING & PACKAGING COSTS:
I am extremely proud of the way I pack I have not copied any other company and have designed my own unique way which has become something that our customers continually comment on. Many say that the packing is the best they have ever seen. Damages are therefore very scarce.
If in the unfortunate event there are any issues with your order you can contact me for prompt resolution. We do put right issues however I need photographic evidence of any plant(s) damaged and the outer box within 48 hours so that I can address any problems with our couriers and ensure that this does not happen again. This is also to prevent fraudulent claims. Sadly I have experienced some fraud where buyers have said items were damaged and requested a refund so that they receive their plants free! I have seen this first hand visiting the customer seeing them happily planting their healthy plants in the garden. So I hope you understand that I most unfortunately have had adopt this policy to protect myself. I am after-all a small cottage industry.
Once photographic evidence is received I will always replace a damaged order, stock providing. If there is any item no longer in stock, I would offer an alternative or refund. Just to reiterate damage is so rare (once in the last 18 months at the time of writing this).
Postage is sent via economy or overnight courier depending the service you have chosen. An economy courier can take 3 – 5 working days but 90% of the time they arrive with customers within 2 – 3 working days. Economy couriers also deliver on Saturdays.
We offer a postage discount so you only pay full price postage on the first item you buy and any additional items you buy are at a much reduced postage costs, please click here to see our postage rates.
Overnight carriage is offered but we use who we consider to be the best courier and that does not come cheap. So you will pay the rate quoted for anything you wish to order on an overnight service, however, if you order any items and your postage cost is equivalent to the overnight postage rate, you will automatically apply for this service.
Capped Rates. We have a capped rate on postage as advertised here and you will not pay any more than this regardless the quantity you order which is a really great deal as packing and boxing is incredibly time consuming due to the care I take and the associated packaging costs plus the additional postage. Many of our customers take benefit of this offer time and time again,
Please bear in mind that the postage method you have selected is the delivery time and does not include my handling time.
PROBLEMS WITH STOCK
If when I come to despatch your item there is a concern with its health or it has been damaged by frost or other weather conditions, I will not send the plant. I will contact you to establish if you would like a substitute or a refund or to ask if you would like to wait for the plants to recover or for me to obtain some stock from another local nursery.
I kindly ask for your patience in these rare instances as I am after all, doing what I believe is best for you. Being a natural product growing in the elements I simply cannot guarantee that from time to time a variety may not be suitable for sale. I hope that you will respect that I do not wish to send anything to a customer when it is clearly not in the customers best interest. I will NEVER just send a substitute unless it is an identical item and will always contact you first.
Please note that some of our listings are only despatched at certain times of the year. This is common practice within the industry. Bare root items are normally only despatched between October – April depending on weather conditions which may either extend or shorten the season. Please also remember that weather conditions will vary depending on where you are located in the country.
Some items cannot be sent until the first frosts (generally, soft fruit, fruit bushes, canes and roses) have pushed the plants into dormancy so I do have to wait for this to happen and it may mean that if frosts do not occur in October, despatches could be significatly delayed. If you have any reservations or concerns about this, please do contact me before purchase. We always state on the listing if the item is a bare root plant and the normal despatch season. Please also note that if you purchase a bare root item outside of the normal October – April bare root season; your order will be held on file until the forthcoming autumn season.
POTTED ITEMS ARE DESPATCHED YEAR ROUND!
I thank you for showing an interest in purchasing from me. Althought these are terms and conditions of sale I prefer to refer to them as expectations for both parties (seller and buyer). Ibelieve it is better to be honest and upfront with our customers. This way you are fully aware of how we operate and the service that we provide.
Thank you again.