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Another fake plant picture

GeraniumDoubleJewelVM OK folks, another catalog picture horror for you. My wife judy tells me that bashing on about faked up plant pictures in catalogs is getting tiresome. I don’t agree, but in the spirit of marital harmony I’ll just feature the sillier of the two I had planned for today (here’s the other). This is from the latest UK catalogue from van Meuwen.

But first let me say that just because the pictures are misleading, it doesn’t mean the plants are rubbish, it doesn’t mean that perfectly natural images couldn’t show what good plants they are. This is a good plant - just don’t expect it to grow like this.

Geranium ‘Double Jewel’ (click the image to enlarge) is a lovely double flowered form of the meadow cranesbill, Geranium pratense. It’s a little shorter than most forms of this species, which can reach 4ft/1.2m in height, but here the crown of the plant should probably be below the bottom of this pot – if they weren’t cut stems. It will look great in the garden – but it will never ever look like this.

This is a lovely plant, but can’t we just have a picture of it looking great in a border?

You can order plants of Geranium ‘Double Jewel’ from van Meuwen.


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I enjoy reading your posts so much. I think these photos are very misleading.

If you want more faked photos, go to Terra Nova Nurseries' website. All of their photos of Echinacea are cropped at the bottom because they are just flower stalks arranged in mass. LOL.

Have you heard anything about Echinacea 'Pink Poodle' not reproducing true to the photos? I know several people (myself included) who got Echinacea "Double Decker" instead. Only 1 out of my 4 plants had the correct bloom form. The plant isn't stable but they are still selling it with those misleading photos.

Valerie Hannah

I wonder if the Trades Descriptions Act would apply to these cases? There must be endless disappointment for people who buy these plants, expecting them to look like the picture, only to find that they are completely different in habit!

Graham Rice

Thank you, Clint. Yes, many (not all, I have to say) of the Terra Nova echinacea images are of cut stems - but they're not really pretending that they're anything else but flower heads presented for a picture. These ( are OK, I think. And here (, with hellebore foliage in the background, they're not presenting cut material intending us to think it represents a real plant.

'Pink Poodle' reverting? I think this sometimes happens with doubles if plants are not thriving, especially dry or in too much shade; or, yes, they may have reverted genetically.

Valerie... I seem to remember there was big fuss many years ago about "blue" tulips and I'm sure (in Britain) local trading standards departments could make their feelings about this known...


The "Pink Poodle" plant is good when it's the correct plant. I know someone who sells them. He had over 100 plants and it was shocking how few of them were the correct bloom form. He had to stop selling them due to this problem.

Graham Rice

So perhaps it's like Orange Meadowbrite, it's just not sufficiently stable.

BTW... the 'Pink Poodle' patent says: "This new cultivar was found as a seedling out of a sowing of Echinacea purpurea ‘Doubledecker’"

Graham Rice

Clint: Check out the right hand picture on the Terra Nova 'Pink Poodle' page - ! Look familiar?


Well, I for one disapprove of fake photos.

We order bulbs, plants, etc. in full faith that the providers are sending the items in the catalog.

Since it takes a person full of hope to be a gardener, they prey on our optimism.

Of course, we learn which vendors to trust and do more research as we mature as customers but .....

Graham Rice

Yes, Martha. And it's the newcomers to gardening who are most likely to be misled - and so the most likely to be disappointed and disheartened.

Green Industry Web Site Design

oh to its was another fake plant Picture. very good


I can't believe they just added that photo of Pink Poodle to the right. It wasn't there last year when I bought mine. They only had the perfect blooms showing. LOL.

Apparently tissue culture isn't a perfect method of propagating these new plants. Interesting.

Graham Rice

No, tissue culture is not perfect. In fact one of the problems with Orange Meadowbrite and Mango Meadowbrite coneflowers is that in tissue culture they revert back to each other!


Here's one for the fake plant ad files... very pretty though!

Graham Rice

That is quite something, Mary, thanks for sharing that. I'll post it as a new blog post soon.

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