Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Becoming a control freak

I have always regarded myself as a laid back kind of person but this week I have found myself developing into a horrible control freak.

The first thing that happened was that the dahlias began to bloom and instead of this - Rip City

There was this - Arabian Knight

As one customer said when I contacted her "Well at least it isn't yellow"

Then the lilies began to bloom and instead of this - Netty's Pride -

There was this - Sorayo.

I contacted my supplier - he contacted his and we have agreed that the bulbs and tubers be replaced with the correct varieties in the spring.

I have also contacted the customers that I know bought these but I can't remember everyone - if you bought either from me and it has bloomed as the wrong variety please let me know so that I can refund your money or replace in the Spring. Fortunately it isn't affecting all the lilies - because if there was ever a beauty this is it. I think that it is a case of rogue handfuls being added to make up weight on a popular line.

My supplier, who has to write to me in English as my Dutch is non-existent, sounds very menacing in a second language - he has "forced" his supplier to admit he sold Arabian Knight rather than Rip City; he has "confronted the lily supplier with photographic evidence" and will be "dealing with him severely". I have visions of the lily man being suspended mafia style above a tulip grading machine.

Actually it is not funny - we all depend for our reputation on others and if a supplier is not reliable it condemns us all along the chain. There is nothing I can do this year - and my mantra for the week is Caroline's "well at least they aren't yellow"


yours truly said...

I loved your blog ... the flowers look just fine too me .... since I've never grown dahlias! I think nature defies being controlled by pulling these color changing tricks whenever we least suspect! Best to just laugh! Good luck!

alice c said...

I really love the colour of that Netty's Pride lily - if you have any left could you let me know so that I can buy some off you? Thanks! Perhaps that would be the (small) silver lining to your cloud.

Ashleigh said...

I had to laugh at the Dutch translations to English :) They don't sound nearly as menacing when they're said in Dutch. That said... I wouldn't like to be the guy's supplier.

I wonder if the flower shop will be able to get me some nice bulbs from the wholesalers when it's the right season ...

Alison said...

I can see it would be a big problem to your business...very frustrating. But they do look very pretty.
Alison x

weirdbunny said...

Oh dear !

Jane said...

Yours truly - its funny - if I hadn't known what I was meant to be growing then these would probably be fine. In my own garden they are both OK but I hate the idea that I will have sold them to customers who may be disappointed.

Alice - They are all about to flower so are untransportable at the moment. I do have some in small pots - if they turn out to be Netty's Pride then I could send them to you after flowering which is, to be honest, the best time to plant them out. Otherwise I will have more bulbs in March. Perhaps you could e-mail me direct.

Ashleigh - you are very lucky living in Holland, the range of flowers and bulbs is so much better than here.

Alison & Julia - I'm now becoming much more sanguine about this - sometimes I wonder whether I blog just to get things out in the open so that I stop worrying about them. I can only do what I can do after all.


dottycookie said...

I work in a very different field but I can understand your frustration with the suppliers - at the end of the day you're the one who has to deal with your customers and it is annoying to have to take the flak as you know that giving the source of the error could be construed as "passing the buck". Hummm, I must be a control freak too ;-)