Woottens of Wenhaston Nursery Opening Times
Important Updates for Mail Order and Other Services during Covid 19.
At Woottens we continue to work hard producing and growing plants, but our priority is the safety of our staff and customers so below are just a few important notes for our customers
* Mail Order Delays – Important please read
Please note our usual 5-7 working day dispatch time is not possible. The current delay time is an average of 20-28 working days from the point of order (working days do not include weekends and bank holidays)
This time frame may increase depending on Government Guidelines and our staffing levels but also may decrease as each week we pack faster.
Orders placed are on this understanding, updated as of 8th April 2020
We are packing orders as quickly and safely as we can to get them to you and you may still place an order on our website.
If possible please refrain from ringing or emailing about the status of an order unless it is urgent, this way we can pack more orders daily. We are dispatching all orders on a strict first come first served basis, as this is the fairest method.
If there is a problem with your order we will contact you either by phone or email to discuss this before dispatch. If you have received a dispatch notification from us or DPD and have not received your order after 48 hours, please email us or contact DPD via their tracking system on the notification you received
If you are a registered trade customer we are recommending you place orders on the website to reserve stocks and then emails us to inform us you have done this.
If you are struggling to order on the website you can as a last resort email us the list of plants you’d like and we’ll try and compile an order for you so that the stock is reserved
For more details on why orders are delayed cplease read on
* Plant Availability
You may notice that on our website many plants are ‘out of stock’ – this is due to an increase in plant sales of over 400% in the past 8 weeks
However more stocks will become available soon.
Do keep checking the website or use our ‘join the wait list’ button on each plant you’re interested in. You will then be notified automatically when that plant is back in stock and you can order.
(adding your email address to the wait list does not sign you up to any marketing emails)
* Nursery Opening Times and other services
Although the Government has recently advised that Garden Centres and Nurseries may now open to the public our nursery remains closed for the time being for the following reasons:
We feel it is currently still unsafe for our staff and our customers to open for public viewing.
- Our managing director and her partner are vital members of our small team but she currently has a comprised immune system so opening the nursery would be extremely high risk for her.
- We need time to plan an efficient and secure way to open the nursery to insure a safe space for our customers
- We are a small team and we still have hundreds of existing orders to dispatch via mail order – therefore it would be unfair to distract our focus from this task as our customers have been patiently waiting for their orders
- As our focus has been solely on mail order and watering plants the nursery site has not been maintained or prepared for opening and currently looks like the aftermath of a large party!
- As a small team it is vital that we all stay healthy so we can continue to keep the business running
- Some new customers may not be aware but the nursery is usually only open on Saturday, not during the week.
We understand that this may be frustrating for our loyal and local customers but we hope to open for you as soon as we safely can do so and we’d like to thank you for your continued support.
When the nursery does reopen we may have to follow strict measures including booking appointments, limiting the number of households on the site at open time and staff protection methods.
Many nurseries across the country are adopting these measures to make sure they can open safely, so please try to support them in their decisions as it is for all our safety.
Our collection service is suspended until further notice – pending a review in early June
All open days, events and courses are cancelled until the end of June and we will assess the situation at the time as to whether summer/autumn events go ahead
* Our Couriers Service
Our couriers DPD continue to deliver parcels nationwide and are doing a wonderful job, they too are short staffed and in high demand, so we thank them for their continued good service
Presently you DO NOT have to sign for your parcel and we are recommending all customers leave delivery instructions for their orders. For example – ‘leave on doorstep’
You can also put this note on your front door for delivery drivers
Should you not wish to open your parcel immediately, in most cases plants will survive in the package for 48 hours before showing signs of deterioration and even longer before they perish completely
We have a very small conscientious team at Woottens nursery, (just 4 of us presently) and we have a rigorous hygiene regime in line with the Government guidelines
DPD update for all customers can be seen here – DPD Bulletins
* Why are there delays on dispatching orders?
We have had a few enquiries as to why there are such lengthy delays to dispatching orders at the present time. Below are just a few reasons as to why this is
- As a general rule, spring is the busiest season for any nursery so delays can occur even in a ‘normal’ year
- This year since lock down (24th March) the nursery has seen an incredible increase in plant orders on our website – an increase of over 400% on a normal spring
- With such an increase it can take time for a business to accommodate this volume of orders, including picking and packing of products and the delay in supply chains for packaging such as boxes and packing chips. (Our suppliers too are experiencing high demand and staff shortages)
- The volume of plants required, we can only propagate and grow so many plants – they grow at their own rate – not ours!
- The nursery is only set up to pack so many orders a week, for example we only have one hopper for filling boxes, one tractor for collecting plants, two computers for processing orders – these systems can’t be increased overnight.
- Staffing – we are a small team, currently with 6 staff – 3 full time and 3 part time including 2 directors. One of the directors (and her partner) are currently in the ‘highly vulnerable persons group’ therefore hiring new staff to work on site is not possible or safe at this time.
- In order to keep the staff we have safe – processes take longer. We have one lady working from home. A strict 2 metre distancing policy, a strict no sharing of tools or computers policy and many other protocols that must be adhered to in order to keep staff and customers safe.
However, despite all this we are managing to dispatch an average of 225 orders a week, we pack from Monday – Thursday 12 hours a day (not including watering and plant care time) Friday and Saturday are reserved for picking up plants for packing the following week and Sunday’s are set aside to sleep!
* Our thanks
We are VERY lucky to be in this position, we are thankful our nursery keeps going in this vulnerable economic climate.
We would like to thank all our wonderful customers, old and new for their support and understanding, they have been amazing. Every email of thanks we receive, is read to staff to brighten their day and keep us going – so thank you!
We would also like to thank our couriers and suppliers as without them we would not be able to deliver plants across the UK.
There are many more thanks to be said before this is all over…………..
Stay Safe – from Luci and Gill
Our Spring Open Days, Events, Courses and Talks are postponed
Under government guidelines for social distancing we have decided to postpone our upcoming events this spring and summer, this will include onsite event days, courses and talks
Customers and individuals involved will be informed directly – if you have yet to hear from us please assume any event dated before the end of June is cancelled and you’ll be contacted as soon as we’re able.
Collections and Local deliveries.
As of the 23rd March our collection service is suspended – customers with existing orders to collect will be contacted direct and arrangements made for delivery of these orders.
Supporting local and small businesses
As well as our own health and well being we all know how much of an impact the virus and its fallout will have on small business owners and the self employed
Therefore we will be dedicating a page on our website for links and information about local and mail order businesses we know to help keep business thriving in the safest way possible. Please, please take a look over the coming weeks at our ‘Local Business Links’ page to see if anyone can be of service to you.
Although we have been quiet of late on social media, we hope to increase our presence on both Facebook and Twitter to offer news and advice to customers, especially those in isolation
Border Design Service
If you are keen to get gardening this spring but have some areas you’re just not sure where to start, why not consider our ‘Border Design Service’
This can be a remote service offered countrywide. Neill Ludmon runs the service; Neill is a local freelance garden designer and horticultural tutor.
The nursery is (normally- see update above) open for browsing and buying:
Every Saturday from the beginning of March until the end of October 10am-4pm
The first weekend of every month from the beginning of March until the end of October, Saturday and Sunday inclusive. 10am-4pm
These weekends fall as follows in 2020
7th and 8th March (currently cancelled)
4th and 5th April (currently cancelled)
3rd of May (postponed)
1st and 2nd June (currently cancelled)
6th and 7th July
3rd and 4th August
7th and 8th September
5th and 6th October
Specialist Event Open Days – see below for full details
Auricula Open Day POSTPONED
Our annual Auricula Day is a very popular event, our collection of over 400 different varieties is on view and many are available to buy. Our expert grower Sandra Sutton is on hand for advice on growing, propagation and breeding of these immaculate little perennials. Sandra has grown the Auriculas at Woottens for over 15 years and each year breeds our own ‘Woottens Hybrids’
Woottens Plant and Garden Fair
Plant specialists flock from all over Norfolk and Suffolk to attend our annual Plant and Garden Fair. Stall holders also include artists, local produce and craftsmen. Entry is free and any donations go to the NGS
Bearded Iris Open Fields. (TBC)
Woottens Nursery have been specialising in Bearded Iris from over 20 years. They were the nursery founders, Michael Loftus, passion and we have over 2 acres of them on view throughout May & June. Opening times are heavily dependent on the season but they are normally open from the third weekend in May to the second weekend in June. Everyday from 10am-4pm.
To find out more about our Irises visit our ‘Irises’ page of the website. Plants can be selected on the open days to be lifted and dispatched to you in August.
Pelargonium Open Day (TBC)
Michael Loftus’s ultimate passion was for Pelargoniums, specifically the scented leaf and species forms. Woottens Nursery now holds one of the most unique collections of Pelargoniums in the UK including some very rare specimens. Our expert grower Julie Nicholas will be available on the day to demonstrate how to propagate and grow these South African delights. Our collection of over 200 different forms will be on show and many plants are available to buy.
Hemerocalllis Open Fields.
Woottens Nursery grows over 600 different forms of Hemerocallis or ‘Daylily’ from the exuberant and flamboyant to the elegant and unusual. Our Hemerocallis fields are open for viewing annually usually the first two weekends in July. Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm. Plants can be selected on the day to be lifted and dispatched to you within 2-3 weeks.
The Nursery Office
The nursery office is open Monday – Friday from 9am-5pm and Saturday from 9am-12noon on either 01502 478258 or 07802507693
If you are unable to reach us by phone please be patient and leave a message or email us. We do not have office based staff, and we spend our days growing and propagating plants as well as dispatching orders so every impatient phone call causes us a delay in carrying out these tasks.
Pre-ordered plants can be collected from the nursery any day except Sunday by appointment. We require four working days to prepare orders for collection
Woottens Nursery Retail Site Changes in 2016
For many years Woottens Nursery was open 7 days a week at its site on Blackheath Road in Wenhaston. However in 2016 after experiencing challenging times in the trade the decision was made to close the retail site and relocate to the nurseries ‘Iris Field’ site which is located on Hall Road in Wenhaston. The nursery is now predominantly a mail order business but holds as many open days as time will allow. Whilst the location and layout may be a little different the plant range remains as diverse as before and the same high quality.We still have over 600 different varieties of herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses available plus our unique collections of Pelargoniums, Auriculas and Irises. The passionate and knowledgeable staff are often on hand to give advice on plant selection, care and propagation.
You will find us located just behind the old site. When travelling from the A12 we are situated just before the turning to Blackheath Road on the left. When travelling from Halesworth – turn off the Southwold Road and travel through Wenhaston past the Star Public House and out towards the A12 and you’ll find us on the right. Our new postcode is IP19 9HF.
We do ask customers to understand that the new location is still a Work in Progress and we are a long way from completion.
There is currently no public toilet at the site and disabled access is limited.