Fresh Spruce – Latest

Status as at close of play 30th October

We have now sold out of 5kg spruce bundles.

We have very limited capacity remaining for plain spruce wreaths. Please don’t delay if you have not yet ordered.

We still have capacity for Holly wreaths.

Apologies for any disappointments – the early birds have got the worms this year.

Red ‘Silk’ Poinsettia back in stock

We have managed to get a new batch of the red polyester poinsettia flower picks. They have gone up (again) in price and they are not the same premium quality even though they share the same HF001 code.

As artificial wreath flowers go, they are undoubtedly still a decent wreath pick but, I would conclude them to be not quite the bargain they previously were.

Box of red poinsettia
Box of 144 red poinsettia wreath picks

Parcelforce price rises 2nd Oct 2023

Unfortunately we have had to increase the cost of postage calculated by the website to reflect the latest price increases from Parcelforce.

If it is practical for you to do so, make an appointment and come and visit us in person on the farm, save the postage and stock up on all the heavy stuff like wreath frames, stub wire and binding wire which all now costs a small fortune to pack and post.

Parcelforce prices 2nd October 2023
Parcelforce prices 2nd October 2023

2023 Price Rises

We are seeing more significant price increases coming through in this season’s new stock. Items that stand out are the artificial flowers, pine cones and stub wire. If you are selling your wreaths and grave pots then set your prices accordingly or adjust your designs as each decoration is becoming an expensive consideration. The only good thing to come out of it is that it does make our home grown natural decorations even more attractive.

I have had to increase the website prices of new stock as received but where we have plenty of existing stock I have put this on ‘sale’. For example, 9″ 19g stub wire is at the new price but there are big savings to be had if you can use thicker 18g or the thinner 20g or 22g.

Evri Problems

My little micro business has used Hermes/Evri for many years to send out wreath making supplies to my loyal customers. It has always been of great value and exceptionally convenient.

Not just for the peace of mind but also to comply with the policies of Paypal (our primary payment method), I have always paid for a signature and insurance to the value of the total order. On the odd occasion a parcel was not delivered, the old Hermes website eventually allowed me to make a claim which, whilst an administrative burden, was always paid out eventually.

However, the new Evri service has a big issue of which ALL senders should be aware.

  1. When there is a problem, Evri advises the parcel recipient to contact the sender for more information. There is no more information that the sender can offer. Both the sender and the recipient can only access the very same tracking information. I accept that the problem ultimately remains the responsibility of the sender but as Evri knows there is nothing we can add then their suggestions are little more than deflection.
  2. There is no option on the website, robot phone line or chat function for the sender to raise a claim for a lost parcel. No matter where you start from on the website, you end up with the tracking information that correctly reports non delivery but with no option to submit a claim.
  3. There is no access to a human being, there is no escalation (automated or otherwise) and there is no complaint procedure.

The closest you can get to interacting with a human is on the Evri facebook page. To be fair, they do respond to non abusive comments in a timely manner but their advice (by design or by ignorance) is fundamentally flawed; frustratingly always referring the complainer back to the robot chat/telephone about which they are complaining in the first place. When things do go wrong it is quite apparent from the comments that the performance of Evri is very very poor and, worse, no one is listening to the fundamental flaws in the service that customers have taken the time to point out..

It isn’t good. I always pay the insurance on my parcels but it turns out that there is no longer a way to submit a claim and no one to raise the problem with. It could be an oversight, it could be a tech problem or it could be outright fraud.

In a fit of pique I did open an account with DPD but then found out that the local DPD pickup shop might well be a somewhat irrelevant 3.67 miles as the crow flies but is actually 17.4 miles away by road.

I continue to use Evri but will not be letting this drop. Raising these matters on social media is my next-to-last resort; It will be a very sad state of affairs if going through the small claims court is the only way to get to speak to a human about this but I can see that being the only way to get attention.

2022 Fresh Christmas Wreath Prices

We are pleased to announce our 2022 season prices for fresh Christmas Wreaths. We will be supplying 10″ plain holly wreaths and a variety of sizes in plain spruce.

Order early if you need specific collection dates as we do have limited materials and capacity to make them.

Please see Holly Wreaths and Spruce Wreaths for prices and more details

Making Straw Wreath Bases

It might be the last day of August but, as the kids go back to school, thoughts turn to Christmas and orders for our straw bases are starting to arrive.

We do hold some stock of made up wreath bases over the rest of the year which get used for a variety of other crafts but once the seasonal wreath orders start, we try and replenish stock as and when we can.

The wreath binding machine wraps a filament around the straw and binds it to the frame. To save space it gets put away every year so today it has been dragged out of storage, dusted, serviced and set up next to the bales of straw to minimise the mess when opening and moving bales in the shed.

A few 10″ rings and 14″ rings were made today so production is officially underway!

Wreath binding machine
Straw wreath bases ready for sale