Communications

I haven't received any emails since placing my order?
Have you checked your Junk mailbox? For some reason some mail servers decide our emails are not worth reading -how rude! If not, did you enter your email address correctly when you placed the order? If you didn't there's not much we can do as we can only use what gets typed in. If you are not sure please call, and we can check for you, and we can update your order so you receive subsequent emails. You should get an email on placing your order giving you a copy invoice, and a further email on day of dispatch confirming your plants are on their way. A link is included in the latter email to a PDF of our planting instructions for reading and printing if required. If you would prefer a hard copy of these instructions sent with your plants please make a note in the comments box on the check-out page.

Collections

We have a pond which needs its plants increased. We are trying to attract Great crested Newts. Do you have any suggestions for plants that will attract newts where they can bread and lay their eggs?
The 2 best plants for egg laying are Water forget-me-not and Water mint as they like to lay them on the leaves and then fold them over to protect them. You also want plenty of submerged plants to provide cover in the pond, so best here are the oxygenators: Willow moss, Hornwort and Starwort. Great crested newts don't roam far from the pond unlike some of the other newts so it's particularly important to provide habitat near to the pond for them to shelter and hibernate in. Piles of stones and logs are perfect for this. Plants surrounding the pond are also good if you have a boggy area as this will provide cover for them going to and from the pond. We do a small collection for newts in our Wildlife pond collections section, although this is supplemental planting unless you have a very small pond (1sq m or less).
I have dug and filled a very large pond and would like to plant it out. I was wondering what plants you include in your ‘plants for a small lake’. Also, there will be ducks eventually, are there plants you can recommend which might be duck proof?
For the 'Small Lake' collection you would receive a large selection of the native plants we have on our website, these would include plants like Marsh marigold, purple loosestrife, water mint, Spearwort, Carex, Juncus to name a few of the marginal plants. The oxygenators would be whatever is available at the time of purchase, for example Water crowfoot or Hornwort. For the deep water plants we would include the native Alba water lily and fringe lily. Ducks and pond plants don't mix very well, the only way you can stop them eating the plants is to protect the plants with wire cages; chicken wire works well for this. There aren't many plants the ducks don't eat as they like the new growth. Carex pendula, Purple loosestrife and sweet galingale stand up to ducks better than some plants but not until they are well established.
I'd like to buy the frog collection and the newt collection. Obviously, a lot of the plants are duplicated, would I be able to get 20 different plants, or is it pot luck?
We try not to duplicate the plants if you order more than one collection but this isn't always possible. It does also depend on which plants are available at the time you order. We usually include at least 5 different types of plants in each collection so you would probably get at least 10 different types of plants (2 of each type) with the 2 collections you mention.

Payments

I do not wish to put my card details online, how else can I pay for my order?
You can complete you order on line and select either the ‘card by phone’ option, and we will ring you to take the details or the ‘cheque’ option and pop a cheque in the post to us. You can also make a BACS transfer to us, details are on the checkout page.

Delivery

I have visited your website to order 1 water soldier and was surprised to note that postage was £8.50 which seems a large amount for 1 plant. I tried to purchase this item last week with my first order but there were none available, I would have delayed my first order had I know it was only a week until you had more stock. I will not be proceeding with the order at present as I am unable to justify that amount of postage for a plant which costs £4.50. I spoke with Richard prior to my initial order and he advised to add a comment when ordering that I also wanted a water soldier but was unable to find a suitable place to add this comment.
I agree its a lot for one plant and we always wince when people do order only 1 or 2 plants. The reality is that on small orders under £30 unless the plant is small (which depends both on the plant and the time of year) £8.50 doesn't quite cover our courier cost, let alone the packaging. For small plants, oxygenators or certain pond products where we can fit into a predefined small box size it does cost a little less, but our system isn't sophisticated enough to let us differentiate. The cheapest we could do a single Water soldier by overnight courier would be £6.50 (whilst they are still relatively small!) just to cover costs, but I guess that's still quite a lot! The only other alternative is by Royal Mail 1st class unsigned at £3.75, but we can't guarantee how well it will be handled and in the past packages have gone missing so we try not to use. It's also a 10 mile round trip to the nearest Post Office, but if you are flexible on timing I could send next time we're in town. It's a shame you didn't check with us before the earlier order. We did put a notice up on the web site at weekend to say they were close along with Frogbit and Water violets. For future reference there is a customer comments box on the checkout page where you can add notes relating to the order.
Why can't I have my plants delivered the day after I order them?
While we use a next day courier service (Some areas of Scotland and Islands are only available as a 2 day service) we are a small family business and it takes time for us to prepare and pack the plants for dispatch. During quieter periods most orders will be dispatched within 2 working days. When we are busy (usually from March to May or June) it can take up to 10 days for orders to be sent, especially around bank holidays as we have only 3 posting days in bank holiday weeks and a lot of backed up orders. Where delivery is likely to be over a week we will give an estimated delivery time for orders being placed on the home page of the website. We only dispatch Monday to Thursday.
Why do you not do free delivery, especially on larger orders?
To do 'free delivery' we would have to add a little extra money to each plant, so the more plants you buy, the more you pay for delivery. This would disporportionately effect larger orders. We believe that charging delivery as an extra to the order enables us to keep the plant prices lower and more fairly reflects the cost to our customers. We use a quality courier company and all plants are dispatched using an express 24 hour service, so plants spend the least possible time in transit and arrive in the best possible condition.
How are your plants packaged?
More of our plants are supplied in planting pots or aquatic baskets, with the exception of oxygenators, which makes them heavier than plug plants or bare root. The plants are packed in plastic bags within strong double-walled boxes with plenty of 'stuffing' so they can't move around, which ensures the plants reach you in the best condition possible. We have a range of taller boxes up to 70cm (28") high which allows us to send many of the taller plants in season without cutting back, which we always try not to do. However we may have to cut back some of the larger or taller plants in peak growing season as they won't fit into even the tallest box.
Why do you not send orders on a Friday for Monday delivery?
Because plants are living things, we want them to be in transit for the minimum amount of time. If we sent on a Friday the order would sit in a warehouse over the weekend. Whilst we could do a Saturday morning delivery our courier company levies a £20 surcharge so is prohibitively expensive.

Planting

Do you send a planting leaflet guide out with the plants and are all the plants labelled so we know what they all are?
A link to planting instructions is sent with the email sent confirming the initial order and also with the email sent on day of dispatch confirming orders are on their way. They are also available on our web site here. They used to be included in the documents enclosed wallet attached to the parcel but we found many customers were missing them. If you would like a hard copy sent with your order please add a note in the customer comments box on check-out. We include plant labels for each type plant in the order.
The planting advice leaflet says that deep water plants such as water hawthorn and lilies, should be planted in baskets first in shallow water then dropped lower as the leaves reach the surface. Is this necessary at this time of the year when the plants are dormant and (mostly) leafless? Can they go straight to their proper depth? My pond is only 80cm at the deepest point anyway.
This really depends on how well established the plant is. If it is sold as a well established 2 litre or larger then it should be ok to go straight to its final depth. Please be aware however that the maximum depth is not a target, so the plant does not have to be at this depth to thrive -pretty much all deep water plants will be happy if at a depth of 30cm (above the crown), though this will be a little deep for the dwarf lilies. 1 litre plants by definition are younger and less well established, so even though they are dormant they still need to go down in stages. Once they start to grow in the spring if they start too deep then they will struggle to reach the surface of the water, and as a result may not flower and their growth will be very weak as they have used up all their energy! Start them off between 20-30cm (8-12") and once the leaves reach the surface drop down them down in stages to their ultimate depth. Depending on the age of your pond they may also benefit from feeding early in the spring as they are heavy feeders and this will benefit growth and flowering. We feed all deep water plants with slow release fertiliser on dispatch, so they should be fine for the coming growing season. In subsequent seasons potting up if necessary should be considered and slow release fertiliser, such as Osmocote Exact 5-6 tablets or Osmocote Exact 8-9 tablets should be added.
I have just received my order thanks, can I use soil from the garden or do I need pond soil?
It would depend on your particular garden soil if it would be appropriate. It must be free of pesticides or fertiliser and ideally you should use subsoil not topsoil (the top 5 -20cm or so) as topsoil is very nutrient rich and will exacerbate any algae problems in the pond. A good alternative is aquatic soil which is especially designed for planting in ponds as it is lower nutrient. This can be supplemented with slow release fertiliser for heavy feeders such as irises, water lilies and other deep water plants.
What is planting depth?
Planting depth is measured from the point where the plant emerges from the soil to the surface of the water. For a plant in a basket or planting bag this will be the top of the basket or bag to the surface of the water. There are planting depth guides on each product page on the website and individual plant labels. Note max planting depth is not a target and most marginals will be happy as long as their feet are wet.
I planted up a new pond with plants from you in October. I have a lot of what I think is blanket weed growing. What can I do to restrict its spread?
It is quite common this early in the season until the plants begin to grow. The only thing you can do if to keep removing it. You can also try adding Barley straw which is an organic treatment but takes around 4 weeks to start working so needs adding to the pond as soon as possible. Alternatively we sell Ecopond Extract of Barley Straw -this is a natural product derived from organic barley straw and is safe for wildlife, pets and humans. This is easier to use than barley straw and will work more quickly.
Dear Sonia, I got a Lifepond last September and your plant collection (first flowers in bloom!). I have newts, frogs and toads in it and unfortunately also blanketweed. I've been pulling it out but I can see this isn't very effective and I keep disturbing the other plants and the pond residents. What would you recommend to deal with it without hurting the wildlife? If it's the liquid barley, what would the dosage be in such a small pond? I'll buy whatever you recommend plus some new hornwort as that's all covered in blanketweed now. Many thanks Julie
I would recommend Ecopond barley straw extract as it is very effective. Pro-rata based on the Lifepond the initial dose would only be 1ml, and then on-going 1/6th of this. This is not very practical to administer, and as this is a very eco-friendly product which is harmless to wildlife it cannot be over-dosed. So for practical purposes I would use 5ml (1 teaspoon) initially and say 1/4 teaspoon as a maintenance dosage. The instructions say weekly, but you may have to do it more regularly for the first few weeks, say every couple of days, to break the back of it as once established blanket weed is quite tenacious. At this dosage level a 250ml bottle will last a long time!
When is the best time to plant up my pond or bog garden?
You can pretty much plant your pond or bog garden at any time of the year, it's really down to when it suits you to do it. All our plants are fully hardy and grown either outdoors or in an open-sided polytunnel so are used to the cold! The only restriction is if it's really cold in winter the pond or bog garden may be frozen solid so practically speaking planting will be difficult. We are also unable to dispatch when we have hard frosts as our plants tend to get frozen in their crates and our hoses freeze solid! Many publications and websites will say Spring is the best time to do it as the water is warming and the plants will establish well, however whilst this is true these are the same plants that will have overwintered in our nursery and they would be just as happy in your pond in the winter. There are also advantages to planting out of season in that it gives plants time to acclimatise to their new pond conditions before the growing season starts, and in particular if you have a new pond or one with sparse planting you will be providing habitat for wildlife -for example frogs can spawn in January in some areas. You will also get the benefit of early starting plants such as Marsh marigolds which can flower in February if conditions are right. It's really a question of aesthetics and availability: out of season the plants may have little or no top growth, will be largely dormant and will not do much until Spring arrives, but they will be good healthy well-rooted plants; also some varieties will not be available or ready.

Wildlife

Hello Sonia, I received my plants this morning and duly planted them in our pond. During the day, our pond was visited by a pair of Mallard ducks. This evening I can't see any of the Willow Moss, the Hornwort has disappeared, there are bits of Starwort about but it isn't in weighted bunches anymore and the Water Crowfoot seems to be just stems. I wasn't expecting that, Have I lost my plants?
So sorry to hear about your ducks! It sounds like they have used your pond as a salad bar! They are notorious for causing mayhem in ponds and will eat any pond plants and even frogs spawn, newts and tadpoles. They are persistent are difficult to put off, and whilst some plants are supposed to be duck resistant they need time to become established before they are exposed. I fear your new oxygenators may have been ‘recycled’ by the ducks. The only way to protect plants is using 25mm wire netting at least 50cm around the plants, but this obviously is no good for floating or submerged oxygenators. You could try netting off the whole pond, almost like a fruit cage, a bit drastic but should work. We have also seen kites shaped as birds of prey suspended from fishing rod like devices used to scare off any unwanted birds, but can’t vouch for whether these work or not.
Please note that orders received today will be dispatched w/c 5 July 2021Non-plant only orders will usually be dispatched within 5 days

Our standard courier service is next day (apart from the Scottish Highlands and Islands) and most deliveries are now arriving on time. The above dispatch date is for new orders: for existing orders dispatch dates are in line with the guidance given on our home page at time of order.  If you did not notice this please email us at accounts@puddleplants.co.uk and we'll give you an estimated dispatch date.  Thanks for your patience.

If you just want to order items from our "Pond Products" page (i.e no plants) these can be dispatched within 48 hours as these do not need the same level of prep as our pampered plants!

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