Thursday, September 27, 2012

Promises Broken

Sold to me by The Lily Garden as Crocosmia 'Brilliant Sunset', a flower with a "distinctive cream to soft yellow eye". Clearly this picture is not of 'Brilliant Sunset' 

It is always disappointing to discover that a plant you bought was misidentified or misrepresented by the nursery selling it. Your loss is so much more than the cost of the plant. This year I discovered what was represented by J. E. Miller Nurseries as Himrod Seedless, a "white seedless" grape that I bought in 2009, was neither white nor seedless. It took four seasons to make that discovery. Now as I start over I can expect another three or four years to get to this point again with a correctly identified seedless grape. There isn't much point in asking for a replacement plant. How can you believe them? And the $9.00 plus shipping I paid for the plant seems insignificant at this point.

I had another similar disappointment this year that remains a bit of a mystery. The nursery called The Lily Garden included in their catalog the last couple of years or so a section on Crocosmias that really sound exciting. Where I live the only hardy Crocosmia is Lucifer. A plant breeder named Niels van Noort, the catalog says, has a new assortment of hardy Crocosmia said to be "generally hardy to zone 5". I bought some and one of the plants bloomed the first year. The problem was it didn't match any of the pictures in the catalog, especially the picture of the variety it is supposed to be (Brilliant Sunset). So I e-mailed them. No reply. I called and left a voice mail. No reply. I have called and e-mailed (with image) repeatedly over the last six weeks or more. No reply. What am I to think? It is very disappointing. I guess I will learn something when I see if the plant survives the winter. It is attractive even if I have no idea what variety it is. Unlike the grape, however, it didn't take four years to discover the problem, and if it proves hardy I will still have something of worth.