The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

The Saga of Betty's Beauty


By eirlys


I posted a question here asking if anyone knew where I could obtain the camellia “Betty’s Beauty” and was advised to contact Burncoose Nurseries, part of the Caerhays Estate. They in turn told me they had received the Camellia from STERVINOU a French nursery.

I got in touch with the French nursery and they could not have been more helpful, even arranging for an English speaker to telephone me on an allocated day.

The plant was sent on Tuesday, 11th of April and arrived in Poole on the 13th.

Stervinou sent me a tracking number and directed me to the Parcelforce website. This informed me that the camellia was sent out for delivery on the 18th, (expected Easter holiday complication), then returned to the depot. (no reason given). The same thing happened on the 19th (couldn’t find us, so returned to depot); the 20th, returned again to depot for no reason. I telephoned twice and was assured driver would be given my telephone number and finally on the 21st today the camellia arrived.

It was wonderfully wrapped and I had to have my husband’s help in unstapling the packaging but I was very apprehensive . It was an early birthday gift and I was convinced that the plant would be dead even though the Stervinou people had assured me a week would be fine when I contacted them about what was happening.

To our amazement the camellia was in remarkably good shape as the photograph shows, I believe.

A case of all’s well that ends well but I am very wary of using Parcelforce now!!

More blog posts by eirlys

Previous post: A Walk around our Garden

Next post: Before the Frost



Eirlys, I am so glad it got there safely in the end. I had ordered some plants from Crocus and when they arrived, in a very over the size box, someone had thrown their catalogue on top of the plants. I phoned them straight away and they did replace the plants, but it is a worry when ordering plants.

21 Apr, 2017


A happy ending and a very lovely camelia. Really pleased for you.

21 Apr, 2017


That's a relief - and a recommendation for Burncoose's packing. I've only ordered from them once but the packaging was brilliant. Happy Birthday to you.

21 Apr, 2017


I am glad you can hear on the telephone even if it meant all this frustration. I havent much hearing left. Cannot order anything by this method. Just have to go to Garden Centres. Beautiful Camellia, excellent grower.

21 Apr, 2017


Jen: People can be so careless. Haven't heard of Crocus: must check it out.

Wildrose. Yes it is a beautiful plant and I could not find it anywhere in this country and we live near a camellia nursery!

Steragram: Stervinou Nursery (France) was responsible for the packaging. . Burncoose obtained their "Betty's Beauty" for Caerhays Castle from the French nursery. Burncoose didn't sell the plant unfortunately.

Diane: No problem with telephone conversations. I don't speak French so they got an English speaker to contact me. Their e-mail (in English) always informative, pleasant and helpful.
Frustration caused by Parcelforce and drivers who couldn't find us!!

22 Apr, 2017


Parcelforce - don't get me started . said we were out when they tried to deliver. I asked how the driver hadn't spotted us as we were laying concrete all day in the front drive. I also pointed out that no van had been down the street. They said he had but drove the full length and stopped and rang the bell. well we don't have a bell and we are a cul de sac. 2 lies.
we insisted the same driver delivered the next day. when challenged about the 'no one in statement' he said he doesn't like our street as its too narrow and he is worried he'll dint the van.

we told the vendor about them and they were furious too.

22 Apr, 2017


lovely camellia by the way. so pleased you got one :o)

22 Apr, 2017


I was quite shocked when I read the Parcelforce reviews on our local depot website. I would also think twice about using this firm. Our retired postmaster called them "Parcelfarce"!.

The Customer Service people (2) I spoke to were very polite but they depend on the drivers carrying out their "instructions".

Foreign drivers for other carriers,and who often spoke little English, managed to find us, oddly!

Sad for a British organisation.

24 Apr, 2017


I've been using MyHermes for anything I wanted to send - they seem very reliable. But that doesn't help if we are ordering something rather than sending it...

24 Apr, 2017


I use them also, Steragram. They pick up for around 20p which is great!

25 Apr, 2017

Add a comment

Recent posts by eirlys

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Mar, 2012

  • Gardening with friends since
    28 Apr, 2016

  • bjs

    Gardening with friends since
    13 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    25 May, 2016

  • Gardening with friends since
    17 Nov, 2014

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Feb, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008