What would we do without the internet? In so many ways it has made life easier and more interesting. But I fear that this happy state of affairs is destined not to last much longer. It is like taking a swim in the sea near a sewerage outlet. I already treat any unexpected communication with suspicion and am getting to the stage where I phone for insurance/banking etc for fear of being scammed.
I can’t remember quite how it happened but following links to find out about a plant took me to plants on Amazon last week as the temperature hit 31c and found some astonishing things for sale. I have taken their pics off their adverts as a warning to not buy plants that look too good to be true. The Chinese and Russian suppliers should be strung up by their bulbils let alone have their ‘photos’ exposed. What astounds me is that there were reviews saying that the seeds had not germinated while others showed photos of the plants – none were like the plants featured – no great surprise there. Some are so obviously fake it would be hilarious if it were not for the fact that people were falling for them.
This is supposed to be a venus fly trap and the ad actually says they are 100% venus fly trap seeds. LOL
These are supposed to be butterfly orchids. Someone has used an image of a sarracenia and Dr Doolittle’s Lunar moth to mock up these ‘flowers’ (though I accept that these moth wings may exist – just not on a plant).
And I don’t know why I paid more than 10 euro for hosta ‘First Blush’, the first really red-tinted hosta when for half the price I could have fifty seeds of this beauty. They even call it ‘garden funky’ which suggests the old hosta name of Funkia. I guess with those colours it could be called funky if you had forgotten the word ‘unbelievable’.
If you want something really special you can buy a blue dicentra (actually lamprocapnos but let’s not be too picky). According to the description it is good for privacy – presumably if you want to be screened from frogs.
And lastly, just sow some clematis seeds and you will get a display like this. What fertiliser do you need to apply? A healthy dose of
There is, I have discovered, a more serious side to all this, if selling products that are not as described is not serious. I have read about mystery seed packs being shipped to the UK and USA last year that were not ordered. Sent from China they were ‘declared’ as jewelry to get past plant import rules. It seems that, despite allegations that they were not ordered, most were ordered through Amazon but took months to arrive, possibly because of Covid. It was also believed they were sent as some sort of scam or an attempt to subvert American agriculture, for some time. Whatever the reason it is a lesson that it is best to order seeds and plants from reliable nurseries. Don’t buy this rubbish.
What started as a light-hearted post has suddenly become a story of Chinese plots to spread biological weapons and artificially increase internet sales (called brushing I believe). I fear I have stepped into some murky place and I am shutting the door and walking away.