Product and Packaging Info
Because true alpines are generally of a small size and low in nutrient requirement, it follows that we grow them in quite small pots. The majority of the plants we sell are in a 7cm pot; some tiny ones are in a 6cm pot, and some slightly larger ones are in an 8 or 9cm. They are grown in our own well drained, loamy compost mix, and usually top dressed with fine horticultural gravel. Please note that for mail orders, we usually remove the gravel to prevent it scattering everywhere!
We receive lots of very positive feedback about our packaging (see Testimonials) so please have no worries at all about your plants arriving in perfect condition. We check for watering, then wrap each plant individually and then all are boxed carefully to avoid any movement in transit. Occasionally some plants are trimmed back before packing. Although it can take quite some time to prepare and pack each mail order, we do not charge for packing.
How to Order
Simply select the plants you’d like by adding them to a list, which will then be sent to us for confirmation of availability. You will receive an automatic email confirmation of your order. We will then telephone or email you to confirm your order and either give you our bank details so you can pay by BACS (direct bank transfer) or you can post us a cheque.
I can't see the plant I'd like? Our website only shows what we currently have in stock (until we’ve grown some more!) You can email us for an estimate of when the item will next be available and then check the website again at the appropriate time. Sorry for any inconvenience but we are a small business and need to keep things simple.
Minimum order Our minimum order is £20 plus postage.
Large quantities If you wish to order a larger quantity than is available of a particular plant then please contact us. We deliberately keep relatively low stock levels of each plant on our order system so every plant ordered is available (as we have to juggle stock across various sales channels – nursery, shows, internet etc).
Ways to pay
Currently we can only accept payment by direct bank transfer (BACS), or by cheque.
Paying by Bank Transfer (BACS) You need to bank online to be able to use this method. Follow the ‘Pay by BACS’ process at checkout and then we will telephone you to give you our bank details. Please provide a landline number when ordering as mobile signal here in the hills can be patchy.
Paying by cheque Alternatively if you prefer, you can place the order online and then post us a cheque by selecting the ‘pay by cheque’ option at the online checkout. You can also order conventionally by posting your order form along with a cheque if you prefer.
Delivery charges are the bane of our lives too so we try to keep them as low as possible for our customers. We do not make a penny on delivery charges. To help keep your costs down it might be worth sharing an order with a friend or neighbour to save on delivery costs.
Generally a 48 hour delivery service applies for most orders, which requires a signature on delivery to your address. PLEASE NOTE: We can put a note to the driver on the parcel label (such as ‘if out please leave in shed’) but it is entirely down to the driver. Often they simply leave a card and return the parcel to your local depot for collection, or sometimes they attempt redelivery the following day.
Current delivery costs* are as follows:
Mainland UK, excluding Scottish Highlands & Islands (max. 30 plants per box) £9.75
Scottish Highlands & Islands (postcodes IV, HS, KA27-28, KW, PA20-49, PA60-78, PH17-26, PH30-44, PH49-50, ZE) £20.50
Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly (postcodes BT, IM, TR21-25) £20.00
Northern Europe – please email us before ordering.
* We reserve the right to amend our delivery charges as and when Parcelforce change our rates.
When should I expect delivery? We aim to dispatch all orders within a maximum of 14 days of ordering (usually much sooner). Sometimes being away at a show or adverse weather (plants being frozen/very wet or deep snow on the coldframes) can hinder things so please bear with us. We will send you an email if we foresee any unusual delay.
We normally dispatch on Monday or Tuesday to avoid plants sitting boxed up in a depot for longer than necessary, so your plants should arrive between Wednesday and Thursday. For a great many years now we have used the Parcelforce service for our deliveries and to date we have had no problems with it.
Exceptions: The last posting date for Parcelforce deliveries before Christmas is around the 16th December each year and we would need to receive your order a week prior to this date. Bank Holidays and other national events (such as the Olympics), plus our own attendance of large flower shows, can sometimes also cause a short delay.
Email delivery alert
Include your email address on your online shopping list and Parcelforce will send you an automatic confirmation of despatch.
Should I plant immediately?
Unpack your plants immediately and place them somewhere out of direct sunshine for a couple of days ideally before planting, to give them time to recover from being in a dark box. In the winter months, place your plants either in a cold greenhouse or under a coldframe and wait to plant them out when the soil warms up in spring.
Help... my plants haven’t arrived
This is extremely rare, and usually involves an unforeseen circumstance such as snow or van breakdown. If your plants do not arrive on the day you are expecting them, please contact us IMMEDIATELY by email or phone. You can also check the current location of your parcel by entering your Parcelforce Tracking Number on their website at http://www.parcelforce.com (Track my Parcel).
Damage in transit
In the very unlikely event of your plants being damaged in transit, you will need to discuss it directly with Parcelforce. For details please visit http://www.parcelforce.com. You will need your Tracking Reference Number (shown on your parcel label) and remember to take a photo of the damaged parcel and/or contents as you will need it in the event of a claim.
Dwarf conifers / large plants
Please note that the foliage of dwarf conifers can sometimes be temporarily distorted slightly by secure packaging (given their fairly stiff growth). The plant soon regains its natural shape. In ordering these plants by mail order you understand and accept that this may happen. Larger plants may also be trimmed back (at no detriment to future growth), and may have their pot and some of the compost removed.
Printed Plant List
We can supply a printed plant list but please be aware that the most current availability is here on the website (and a printed list is usually out of date within a few weeks of being printed). However, if you would like a printed plant list then please send an SAE (A5 size) to Plant List, Slack Top Alpine Nursery, 22A Slack Top, Hebden Bridge HX7 7HA.
Here are a selection of the many comments we receive from mail order customers:
‘Thanks so much for the parcel which arrived this morning – the plants look wonderful and the care you’d taken in wrapping them was a work of art!’ Mr Denny, Guildford
‘I’ve bought alpines from lots of places over the years and yours are by far the best – I’ll be placing another order very soon’ Mr Fryer, Congleton
‘Just to say your lovely alpines arrived today and are already planted in my raised bed – thanks again’ Mrs Smith, Leominster
‘Great plants, great service!’ Mr Eaves, Manchester
‘It’s like being in a sweetshop on your website – I was spoilt for choice’ Mrs Lancaster, Lewes