Ordering Online FAQ's

Customer Updates - update on our activities

The most commonly asked questions at the moment are below.

  • Are you still open and accepting orders?

    Yes we are. The website is currently being closed for daily maintenance between 10pm and 8.30am but is open at all other times.

    For the time being we regret that we are not able to take orders by phone.

    We will accept posted orders paid for by debit or credit card, but with demand being so high, unfortunately it is likely that a number of the items you order will no longer be available.

  • Will you be able to despatch my pre-order of live plants at the time stated on the website?

    We have been growing your plants over recent months and will prioritise their despatch. This will usually be at the time designated on the website but living plants don’t always behave as expected so we may sometimes despatch a little earlier or later depending on when they reach prime condition.

  • How quickly will all other orders be despatched?

    Orders are currently taking longer than usual and we are very sorry about that. We are working hard to try and return to normal service levels as soon as we possibly can. In the meantime, orders for seeds only are being despatched within 7-10 days (today we are packing orders received on March 31st). Other goods may take 14-21 days unless a specific date is shown on the website (today we are packing gardening equipment orders received on March 24th).

  • I ordered more than one item, will they all arrive together?

    Plants will be sent when they reach prime condition for despatch, usually in line with the despatch date as published on the website. Different varieties will therefore often arrive separately. If you order seeds and equipment on the one order, they will normally be despatched together. Those orders are currently taking 14-21 days. If you would prefer your seeds to be despatched separately, in advance, then please place as a separate order – our current despatch time is 7-10 days on seed orders. This will incur an additional £1.99 postage charge, but with demand so high at the moment we regret that we are not able to manually split orders apart.

  • Can I change or add to my orders?

    We’re sorry but due to the huge volume of orders that are currently in the system we are unable to make any changes. If you require additional items then please place a new order. If you have ordered items that you no longer need, please return them to us once received.

  • Can I cancel my order?

    Unfortunately, it’s not currently possible to cancel orders before they leave our warehouse. Instead, if not wanted, please return the order to us, subject to our normal terms and conditions, for a full refund.

  • Will I receive all the items I have ordered?

    Although your stock is reserved when you place an online order, for various reasons there are times when we come to pick it that we no longer have the specific item(s) available. We have found that most customers (particularly at this time) prefer to receive something similar rather than for us to cancel the order so we will try to supply a suitable alternative item. If you receive a substitute item that you are not happy with then please return it to us and we will immediately refund your money.

  • I have sent you an order in the post – will this order be despatched?

    We are still processing posted orders paid for by credit or debit card although they may take a little longer than the published despatch times and are more prone to items being no longer available. Unfortunately, we are not at this time able to process orders paid for by cheque, cash, or postal order and we will return these to you.

  • On placing my order there was a “glitch” at checkout and I am not sure that my order has been received by you. I haven’t received an order confirmation from you. I have checked my payment and that has gone through – have you received my order?

    The peak in orders did create a glitch in the system. This meant that for some customers their order was still showing as an “open basket”. We have now resolved this but if you did place your order earlier and experienced this – please be assured that if payment has been made, we will have received your order and your order will currently be in progress.

  • Why have my plants arrived earlier/later than expected?

    Seasonal conditions vary and plants sometimes throw up surprises even for professional growers. Although we try to stick as closely as possible to published despatch dates, we believe that the most important thing is to send plants out as soon as they are in prime condition for despatch and this may not be quite as originally planned.

  • Why don’t I see any change in order status when I sign in to ‘My Account’

    Please bear with us during these busy times. The order status is not currently updating as frequently as beforehand. Please keep checking back but be aware of the increased despatch times as detailed above. It would not be unusual for your order to be in the “in progress” Status.

  • Why can’t I get on the website?

    The website was starting to run slowly during very busy times, so we introduced a queueing system to limit the number of people on the site at any one time. This has made the site more stable and enabled more people to place their orders than before. You can see your place in the queue, and we won’t let anyone jump in front of you! We are currently closing the site overnight to ensure that all orders are fully processed, and stock updated. It will usually be up and running again early the following morning.

  • Will you answer my email enquiry?

    We are working systematically through all emails received, but the large volumes received, in conjunction with several experienced staff being unavailable means that it is currently taking us 7-10 working days to respond. Please do try not send more than one email about the same topic as it won’t get you a faster response and indeed, just slows things down for everybody. We will get to yours as quickly as we can!

  • I’ve requested a catalogue, why hasn’t it arrived?

    Unfortunately, at this time we are not able to send out catalogues in the post as all of our warehouse team are busy packing customer orders. You can, however, view the latest catalogues online by clicking here. Our catalogues are “page turning catalogues so it’s a bit like still having your catalogue in front of you – you get to see all the new varieties and our best offers all in one place, with handy planning sections for flowers and vegetables… the added advantage is that you can just click on the product code as you are viewing, and the item will automatically be added to your basket!

  • I still have a question. How do I contact you?

    Please complete the online enquiry form via this link. We are not currently contactable by phone but will continue to review this on a weekly basis and will open the phone lines again as soon as we are able to handle the calls effectively.

  •  Click here to read all of our Covid-19 updates

    Email to our customers sent out on 7th April 2020

    Dear Customer

    I must start by saying a huge thank-you to all our customers who have been so understanding and tolerant over recent days.

    If you’ve ordered from us or tried to contact us over the last week or so you will have noticed that we haven’t managed to provide our usual levels of service, but almost without exception, our customers have appreciated the reasons why.

    None the less we are really sorry that despite 7 day working and extra shifts, we are not currently able to provide our usual levels of service. Today we are packing seed orders that we have received on March 31st and garden equipment orders that we have received on March 24th.

    We will continue to do all that we can to improve things over the coming days and like you, we very much look forward to the situation returning to something closer to normality as soon as possible.

    How can you help us?

    With fewer experienced staff than usual it would be most helpful for now if you only get in touch if the notes above do not provide the answers and reassurance you are looking for. We have compiled this ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ list from the most recent customer contacts however if you have a different question that still needs answering, please do contact us (provide the link to the contact us email page) and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we possibly can

    David Robinson

    Managing Director

    Email to our customers sent out on 23rd March 2020

    Important Customer Update

    With so many people having to stay at home there has been a significant uplift in orders, particularly for fruit and vegetable plants and seeds. We are working extra shifts to ensure that these are sent out as quickly as possible but please do try to be patient if it takes a little longer than usual.

    We will continually update the ‘current questions’ section on this page to let you know how long orders are taking and you can of course also check online whether your own goods have been despatched. For tracking information on your order please go to 'My Account' on the website. Once the order has been sent out to you it will be uodated to say "Order Despatched".

    Telephone Information

    We have also had a big uplift in the number of customers phoning to place orders as well as asking about the progress of their orders and unfortunately, we are just not able to answer them all. We are keen to move more staff into the pick, pack and despatch area in order to get orders delivered to you as quickly as possible so we have decided to make the unusual and difficult decision to stop taking telephone calls with immediate effect, for a period whilst we concentrate on despatching orders. More orders than ever are being sent out and if you’ve ordered online then stock has been reserved for you.

    Email Information

    Our customer care team are working hard to respond to emails and can still be contacted. However, please be aware that we are receiving many more emails than normal for this time of year and we have fewer staff to handle them as we have moved some of our team onto packing out orders . It would be very much appreciated if you would only email us if absolutely necessary using the Online Form. Responses are likely to take longer than usual because of the exceptional levels of demand so we would ask for your patience while our staff do their very best to get back to you.

    We enjoy speaking with our customers, by phone and will switch the phone lines back on as soon as possible. In the meantime we apologise but hope that you will understand.

    These are exceptional times.

    David Robinson,

    Managing Director

    Email to our customers sent out on 19th March 2020

    In uncertain times, our gardens remain an oasis of calm, unaffected by the latest news headlines. I’m sure that many of us take time out in our gardens as the most effective way of relaxing and switching off from the everyday troubles of the world, and there’s plenty of evidence to show gardening is good for our wellbeing.

    It’s likely that over the next couple of months, many of us will be spending more time at home and in our gardens than we might have expected and we’ve received a few emails from customers seeking reassurance that we will still be able to despatch their orders to them. There are a few aspects to this so for the sake of clarity I’ll list them one by one:

    Do we have stock of the products you have ordered?

    Seeds, equipment and gift items:

    Seeds, equipment and gift items: our stock system will take the product off sale on the website once we run out of stock so if you have ordered online or by phone there should be no problem sending those items out to you. Of course there is always the odd occasion when stock cannot be sent out (for example if a box of products was damaged and couldn’t be sold) but on the rare occasions when that has happened we try to find a suitable substitute product if at all possible or contact you and immediately refund the payment.


    We grow a lot of the larger format plants in our own nursery and have no reason to anticipate that we won’t be able to supply these in the normal way. We bring in a lot of the smaller plug plants from other nurseries and whilst we have less control over these items we are in daily contact with them and at the moment the plants seem to be growing well and we don’t anticipate any problems with supplying them. Of course, plants are living things and occasionally don’t grow as expected but in that respect this year is no different from any other and if a crop should fail then we will try to find a suitable alternative or contact you and arrange a refund.

    Will we continue to have stocks?

    We are seeing higher than usual levels of orders at the moment, particularly of vegetable seeds and plants but we do have large stocks of both and we have bulk stocks of most varieties which we can pack or sow to grow more plants if necessary. There are a few species with longer growing times such as chillies for which we may not be able to grow more in time for this season but we currently anticipate being able to offer a wide selection of seeds and plants throughout the season.

    Will we have the staff to despatch the plants?

    Although the virus has not yet seriously affected our corner of Devon it seems likely that it will do at some point. One of the key reasons for the business relocating to Devon several decades ago was the availability of seasonal labour outside of the normal holiday season and this still holds true today. With order volumes being somewhat higher than usual it may take slightly longer for us to despatch your order whilst we train additional staff so it would be really appreciated if you are able to be just a little patient in the meantime. We have just started recruiting additional staff to train up for the upcoming key weeks of plant despatches and the number of applicants was even higher than usual so we do not anticipate staff shortages being a problem. We are also training additional supervisors in the event that some of our experienced staff fall ill.

    Will we be able to answer your queries?

    It takes a little time to train contact centre staff to answer the wide range of questions that customers may need answering, so if a number of our experienced staff should be unfortunate enough to be affected by the virus at the same time it is possible that our usual response times may lengthen. Our order lines are already quite busy but we are recruiting extra staff right now to help out. If you do find yourself waiting longer than usual for someone to answer then we apologise in advance and would ask that you please send in an email or hold on a little longer and try to be understanding. We will answer your question as quickly as we can. In the meantime we will try to keep you as up to date as possible with any changes to your order. I should stress that at this time we anticipate that we will still be able to answer your calls ourselves in the normal way but we are none the less making contingency plans for calls to be routed to an overflow contact centre and for staff to work from home.

    Will the couriers be able to deliver my order?

    The Government has designated home deliveries as a key service, and it is anticipated that they will be able to carry on operating through the current difficulties. The delivery companies all have contingency plans but may at some point need to recruit additional, or replacement staff. One of the unfortunate aspects of the current situation is that a number of people, particularly in the hospitality industry are now seeking alternative work until the situation resolves itself so it seems likely that the delivery companies will be able to find and train additional staff as required. In the meantime we are in regular contact with our couriers and they are laying on additional vans as required.

    Is it safe for me to receive my order?

    The Royal Mail have published some really useful information which gives reassurance about the risks from goods received through the post: https://www.royalmail.com/coronavirus The other couriers are following similar practices. If despite these reassurances of the very low level of risk you are still concerned, then please just wash your hands thoroughly after handling the outer parcel which has recently been handled by the courier. All current advice is that there is minimal or no risk from goods within the parcel such as plants.

    Yesterday in conversation with an enthusiastic gardening journalist we were discussing how gardeners are generally an optimistic bunch of people. We take tiny seeds, put them into the ground, hoping they will germinate and flourish. Many of us have planted trees that we don’t even expect to see fully mature in our lifetimes. Our plants are blissfully unaware of the troubles of the world and caring for our gardens, patios and windowboxes also gives us the chance to escape for a while.

    Gardening is a wonderful hobby where in a large garden or even a balcony a few plants can provide months or even years of pleasure. We recognise how important this hobby is to our customers so I can assure you that we will continue to do all that we can to help you to enjoy your outdoor (or indoor) spaces.

    Happy gardening!

    David Robinson,

    Managing Director

Live Plant Delivery


  • I received an email to say my order was despatched but I haven’t yet received it, when will it arrive?

    If your order was despatched via Royal Mail then it would have been sent as a 2nd Class package. This is a service which usually only take 2-3 days, but can, on occasion, take longer. We are sure that your order will arrive with you any day. Thank you for your patience.

  • What are your delivery charges?

    Orders of Packet Seeds, Garlic, Onion Sets, Shallots and Mushrooms (except windowsill kits) only incur a charge of £1.99 per order.

    Orders for all other products incur a carriage charge of £4.99. Where an order includes both packet seed and other items, only the charge of £4.99 will apply. Some very large items may not be available to all areas.

    • Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight and Isles of Scilly & areas of Scotland with postcodes starting AB30 plus, BT, GY, HS, IM, IV1 plus, JE KA27, KA28, KW1 to KW16, PA20 to PA38, PA41 to PA80, PH10 to PH40, PH42 to PH50, TR21 to TR25 and ZE: For orders weighing less than 2kg standard carriage charge applies. Where the weight of the order is 2kg to 10kg the carriage charge is £9.99. Where the weight of the order is over 10kg the carriage charge is £14.99
    • Republic of Ireland: For orders weighing less than 2kg the normal UK mainland carriage charge applies. Where the combined weight of the order is 2kg and above, the carriage contribution is £14.99.
    • Other EU countries: We can only deliver packet flower and vegetable seed to other EU countries. The carriage charge is £4.99 per order.
    • Very large items (marked XL): require a surcharge of £5 per item. Some very large items are only available for delivery to UK Mainland. We may need to contact you regarding delivery, so please provide a contact telephone number with all orders.

    We are happy to quote for carriage of specific products to outlying areas. Some items may not be available to all areas. We reserve the right to revise any carriage charges in the event of carrier price increases or other unforeseen circumstances. We will advise you of any increased carriage charges before payment is taken.

  • When will I receive my order?

    To track your order online please visit your Order Enquiry page within 'my account' and log into your account to check the latest status of your order.

    When you are adding an item to your basket you will see an estimated delivery time, this could show a few days or an estimated despatch period.

    With live plants they are often grown for a specific despatch period and you can order well in advance to secure your plants. We quality control daily our products to ensure they are growing to form and are on schedule for the despatch period given. This despatch period can change and your order will update within your Order Enquiry page within 'my account'. Plus you will also be sent an email notifying you of the change.

  • Why have you sent me a substitute?

    We take every effort to supply the items as ordered but under exceptional circumstances we may send substitutions so that our customers are not disappointed by receiving no product at all. The substitutions are carefully chosen to be as similar as possible to the original item.

    If you are not happy with a substitute that you have received then please return it to us for a full refund.

  • I'm going on holiday, can you delay the delivery of my plants please?

    Our plants and other live products are all grown with the utmost care and to the highest quality standards. They will be sent to you at the best stage of development for travelling and for you to grown on successfully. The items have to be despatched when they are ready, often at the rate of several thousand per day, and so we regret that we are unable to accept requests for them to be held for despatch on or after certain dates.

    If you are not likely to be at home when your items are due to be delivered then please let us have an alternative delivery address (perhaps a friends or neighbour). To ensure that we are able to comply with your request please let us know at least 3 weeks before the delivery period given.

  • My plants have arrived - what do I do with them?

    As soon as your plants arrive please carefully unpack them and check that the compost is moist. Should the compost be slightly dry then water carefully using a small watering can and allow to drain.

    Stand the plants in a light, warm place. Provided they are kept moist they will happy like this for up to 3 days whilst you decide where to plant them.

    For planting directly into the garden, ensure that the soil has been dug over and lumps broken down, then plant straight into their flowering position. In areas where the existing soil is poor, incorporate a good handful of compost into each area you are planting. Once planted don't forget to give your plants a drink and protect them from any slugs and snails that may appear.

    To achieve that stunning display, please make sure that you regularly check your plants to ensure that they have adequate water, and feed regularly.

    When planting containers, mix a slow release plant food into the compost. They will then need less attention throughout the winter.

    Watering below the foliage canopy of the plants will reduce marking and damage to the flowers. Removing the dead and damaged flower heads will not only improve the appearance of the plants, but will also prevent the plant putting energy into seed production and ensure that more flowers are produced.

    We hope that the plants will give you much pleasure and be a delightful addition to your garden.

  • What is your returns policy?

    All Dobies products should reach you in perfect condition, just as they left us. If you are dissatisfied in any way with their condition on arrival, please let us know within 14 days.

  • Do you deliver to Europe?

    We can deliver packet seed to all countries within the EU. The carriage charge is £4.99. Items other than seed can only be delivered to addresses within the UK.

    Our full range of seed is available on the website.

    We are unable to send any items, including seed, to addresses outside of the EU.

  • Can you deliver to non EU addresses?

    I confirm that we are able to send packet seed to all addresses within the EU however we are not able to send any items to addresses outside of the EU.

  • Can I register with a UK address and have goods delivered overseas?

    You can register an account with a UK address and have packet seed (only) sent to another EU address. The carriage charge will be £4.99, irrespective of the number of packets ordered. Your order will normally be sent by Royal Mail Airmail.

    Please follows these steps:

    • Register or sign into your account
    • Choose your items and place them in your basket (packet seed only)
    • Proceed to your basket and check you have everything
    • Enter your offer code if you have one
    • Proceed to checkout
    • Select your delivery country from the drop down menu and click on "create"
    • Complete your delivery address details in the pop up box
    • Add any special delivery instructions and complete your payment details
    • Once payment is completed you will receive a confirmation email
    • Thank you for your order.
  • Can I have some items delivered to me and some items delivered to a different address?

    If you wish to have items delivered to different addresses, then a separate order will need to be placed for each address. A delivery charge will be made for each order.

    To send all items ordered to one delivery address please follow these steps:

    • Register or sign into your account
    • Choose your items and place them in your basket
    • Proceed to your basket and check that you have everything
    • Enter your offer code if you have one
    • Proceed to checkout
    • Select your existing delivery address or click on "create" to make a new one
    • Complete your delivery address details in the pop up box
    • Add any special delivery instructions and complete your payment details
    • Once payment is completed you will receive a confirmation emails
    • Thank you for your order.

My Account

  • Where can I find my account number?

    Please visit the Account Management page.

    You will need to sign in and then you will see your Account number at the top of the page, please quote this on any correspondence.

  • How do I change my password?

    Visit the Password Reset page. This is within the 'My Account Section'

    Enter the details requested and click the 'Continue' button.

    You will be sent an email, which will contain a link to reset your password.

  • I've moved house, how do I change address details on my account?

    Please note: This will not amend any orders in progress. If you have an order in progress please contact Customer Services Team either by using the Contact Us page or you can give them a call on 0333 240 5933 - 8:30am -5pm, Mon-Fri (Charges to 03 numbers are the same as standard UK landline numbers starting in 01 or 02 and mobile providers may vary) and they'll amend your order.

  • When will I receive my plants?

    When you are adding an item to your basket you will see an estimated delivery time, this could show a few days or an estimated despatch period.

    With live plants they are often grown for a specific despatch period and you can order well in advance to secure your plants. We quality control daily our products to ensure they are growing to form and are on schedule for the despatch period given. This despatch period can change and your order will update within your Order Enquiry page within “my account”. Plus you will also be sent an email notifying you of the change.

  • How do I make a complaint?

    We are sorry that we have given cause for complaint. To send your complaint please get in touch by visiting the Contact Us page. You will then be taken to a screen where you can detail the issue. To enable us to give a full response please provide as much detail as possible.

    We aim to reply to all emails with 3 working days.

Ordering Online

  • How do I order online?

    To use our website simply browse through the products until you find what you would like to buy and then add the item to your basket. You can then either continue shopping or go to the checkout to complete your order.

  • Why do I need to log in?

    This is to help make your online shopping safe and secure and is necessary when giving personal data or making a payment. It also enables you to track any orders and to change your personal details online, update your contact preferences, add product reviews and receive despatch notifications.

  • How can I pay for my order?

    Payment for online orders can be made by credit/debit card or Paypal.

    Currently we accept all major cards except American Express.

    We only accept payment in sterling.

  • Can I pay by Paypal?

    We are pleased to confirm that we have introduced Paypal as an additional payment option for our customers, making shopping with us even easier than before.

    If you wish to pay for the items in your shopping basket using Paypal, simply choose this method of payment when you checkout, click the button and you'll be briefly redirected to Paypal where you enter your details. Upon successful completion you'll be brought back to our website where you'll then see your 'Order Acknowledge' page confirming your transaction was successful.

  • Do you accept National Garden Gift Vouchers?

    Sorry but we do not accept these vouchers. Instead, payment can be made by cheque, credit or debit card.

    We do sell Electronic Gift Vouchers and they make the ideal present for friends and family with an interest in gardening all year round. The evoucher will be sent to you which you can forward to a friend. Vouchers available from £10

  • When do you take payment?

    Payment is taken at the time the order is placed, irrespective of whether it is made by cheque or credit/debit card.

  • What is your address/telephone numbers?
    • Dobies
    • Long Road
    • Paignton
    • Devon
    • TQ4 7SX

    Order Online or call 0344 967 0303 - Temporarily Unavailable. Charges to 0344 numbers cost 5p per minute plus your telephone company's access charge.

    Customer Services call 0333 240 5933 - Temporarily Unavailable. Charges to 03 numbers are the same as standard UK landline numbers starting in 01 or 02 and mobile providers may vary.

    Product or other query Email Customer Services.

  • How do I send you an email?

    The extensive collection of articles within our KnowledgeBase will answer most questions however, if you cannot find what you are looking for then please contact us.

    Please provide as much detail as possible including your account number, order number or postcode. This will enable us to find your account and to then answer your question.

    We aim to answer emails within 3 working days although this may be slightly longer during the peak gardening season.

  • What special offers are available?

    You will find offers throughout our website but have created a offers page for you to browse. Do also make sure to register to our newsletter for the most up-to-date and exclusive offers.

  • Why have items removed from my basket page?

    We apologise for the fact that items have been removed from your basket. The reason for this will be either due to the item that you have selected no longer being available or because we are not able to send that particular item to your address. If you have a non UK address but are within the EU then we are able to accept orders for packet seed but for no other items. If your address is outside of the UK then we regret that we are not able to supply any items.

    Also, this could be due to cookies having been removed/deleted from within your browser.

Last updated 30/03/2020