Calling all writers, especially those who wax poetic! If you have a way with words, here's your chance to put pen to paper and try your hand at writing an award-winning piece for us. Find all the details on our contest page.
peribeca Tuscaloosa, AL (2 reviews) October 8, 2011
sad to see how they have come down.....it is a name only now!...have a number of their older "Bulldog" tools; strapped spades, forks, billhooks; they used to be real gardener oriented now they appeal to the upscale yuppie crowd....very overpriced and not much that is usable to grow home crops
I got a number of smith and Hawken amaryllis kits at target this year. They came with a soil mix that has exploded with small flying bugs that live under the soil. The only plants in my whole house that have these pests are the amaryllis in different rooms. The soil is crawling with them. No other plants in the house have them.
DragonSeed (Zone 10a) (1 review) February 12, 2010
We bought several of the Smith Hawken amaryllis bulb kits for Christmas, because we LOVE the "apple blossom" variety, which is what the package said was inside. You guessed it: So far, we have not yet seen any of the lovely WHITE flowers; today the first bulb bloomed and is a bright ORANGEY-RED color. It is not unattractive, but we specifically chose the APPLE BLOSSOM and are disappointed. (We are, however, impressed with the size and health of the plant & the flowers are enormous!)
We are giving Smith & Hawken a NEUTRAL rating for now, because we will contact them and try to persuade them to send us replacement bulb(s) that WILL bloom the WHITE & PINK "APPLE BLOSSOM" variety. If this is not successful, we will come back and make a NEGATIVE rating. But first, we want to give them a chance to correct this.
By the way, this has happened before, and not necessarily always with Smith & Hawken. Think we once had similar experience with Home Depot Garden Center and once with Jackson Perkins, who promptly replaced the bulb. For some reason, these companies seem to get the bulbs mixed up; you'd think they would consider it a PRIORITY to keep the bulb varieties PROPERLY SORTED! It's frustrating to wait 4-6 weeks for something to bloom and then have it appear in the wrong color!
novakcf Broadview Heights, OH (1 review) August 17, 2009
Purchased a Smith & Hawken outdoor dining set and other items from the set, in June09 from Target. Used the dining set once.....and the weather proof wicker is unraveling on the chair and is not fixable in the area that it is coming undone.
There's a year's warranty however, per Agio-USA...the service center, they won't fix it or replace it...It's not even 90days old yet. They advised that it wasn't worth the purchase price to replace it from China....Now that is not my concern....I bought it at the market price and expected to have service if I needed it. (which I didn't think I'd need service from such a reputable company)
I thought I was purchasing quality with this name brand however it appears that they are not of their word!
I would definitely share my dissapointment with others that may be considering a purchase from this company and their 3rd party service dealer. ......
This was not not worth the extra monies paid and they did not live up to their 1yr warranty....
man1410 Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) (3 reviews) August 13, 2009
Smith and Hawken is liqudating and going out of business. I liked their stores in Atlanta and Birmingham.
The kaffir lime I ordered was so-so and their website should have made it clearer that it was packed in wood chips, not in soil. It wasn't that big and had some awful looking round bug that looked like white corduroy on the main trunk. Plus, I didn't like the extra shipping charge, which also could have been more obvious during the checkout process. Since the plant was fairly healthy, I'll give them a neutral.
What the heck happen to this company ? Selling high price garbage now , Products lucky if it makes it a season ... I call to complain to customer service to a Kathy Hawken who by the way , to find out its a made up person... "Such Lies " is this the kind of business you'd want to buy from!!!!!!!! I would not shop at any Smith and Hawken !!!!!! JK From CA
ponchomax Trabuco Canyon, CA (1 review) May 30, 2009
Purchased a "Parisian inspired" set of bistro chairs and table in green. Paint finish lasted approximately six months and paint split off of chairs and peeled off of table. Lousy quality.
Hyacinth bulbs I bought in 2008 grew in a stunted way. I've forced bulbs before, so I know I did everything correctly. These were "pre-cooled" or something, and didn't require (in fact you weren't supposed to) refrigeration. Bad product. Not one flower out of the whole $18 bag. Waste of time and hope.
I bought a s/s border fork from their Princeton store a few years back, have brought it here with me to Florida when we moved and just two weeks ago broke two of its tines. They carry a lifetime guarantee on their tools so I immediately emailed their customer service on how I can get a replacement. A week passed and no response, so I called their 800 number. As some of the other members have posted it's like pulling teeth getting a response using both options, but in their catalog Kelly Hawken gives her contact info, so I copy furnished her with the email I sent customer service with attached pictures, and the very same day gets a response from her and the manager of the Palm Beach store, Brad Mann. They replaced the fork, shipped it to me free of charge, did not even ask me to send them the broken fork in exchange. Today (just 2 days after the email exchange) I found the package waiting for me by the door. So for me this was customer service at its finest (quality of the border fork remains to be seen though).
I ordered some Hippeastrum bulbs from Smith & Hawken and they're blooming now. I'm not sure why they bother to label them and sell them by name. I think they just mix them up in a big container and send you whatever they pick out :-) The flowers are nothing like what they're supposed to be. Too funny... almost.
I loved this company in the beginning. So much so, that I would drive two hours to shop there.I read Paul's book and was inspired to open my own small shop, touting local growing, native plants, healthy products for the home, etc When I moved to the city, I applied, and got a job with them. Then Scott's bought it...oh boy. What a 180 from the original concept. Expansion and total removal from the regional "local" concept. Then the product became shoddy and China-imported more and more. With the ability to hear "background" information, I became so disheartened about money, money, money for the sake of quality, I resigned.
SOMEONE, must start a new, better company with slow, quality growth in mind. There will be followers. Who says bigger is better??!?!??!?
paulhawken Mill Valley, CA (1 review) March 20, 2009
As the founder of Smith & Hawken, I want to back up people's observations about the quality. When we started in 1979, we were very picky and careful about what we purchased and sold. I left the company in 1991 and it has been through a series of owners. The company is a ghost of itself and many of the items that we originally sold are not being offered by S&H or any other company for that matter. That is a shame since I believe gardening will become more important in the near future as our need to localize our food becomes more acute. I am not sure S&H will ever come back from its shallow grave. It is owned by Scott's, a company that sells pesticides, the opposite of our intention and value system. It is corporate America doing what it does best, which is not very good for the land or people.
laura10801 Fairfield County, CT (Zone 6b) (5 reviews) March 2, 2009
Smith & Hawkin used to be such a good company and it has gone way down hill.
Recently I bought a bunch of their indoor bulbs on holiday clearance, at very low prices. The prices should have warned me, but I was hopeful anyway. Most of the bulbs have produced nothing and when I emailed a complaint to them, they did not respond.
No matter how great the price, it is a waste to buy here because you get nothing for your heard earned dollar.
SMITH HAWKEN''s gardening spades and tools were the finest. They were made in England by Bulldog. If the handle broke you could send it in they would repair for a nominal cost. This has ended the new tools are made in Poland and elsewhere and not near the quality. This trend can be seen in the gardening gloves. They use to carry goatskin gloves made in New England which have not been replaced by poor quality gloves from China. This store will not last long in business if it insists on selling junk.
spesialmom Stormville, NY (1 review) March 7, 2008
Smith and Hawken should be embarrassed at the quality and quantity of their flower subscriptions. First of all you have to hope that they are still alive when they arrive to you. Most of the time the flowers are brown and wilting. I have called several times to complain about the way the flowers arrive and they will gladly deliver you another order of the same flowers and you have to hope that they arrive in better shape. Imagine paying almost $50 a month plus another $10-12 for delivery charges and you get three roses and a few green sprigs. Unacceptable. Most people probably do not see the quality and quantity of what they order but in my case the person that gave them to me is right by me and sees the flowers delivered every month. I can't even begin to thing of what he is thinking. Cancelling the order would do not but embarrass the people involved so you have to stick with it and watch your money wilt right before your eyes. Terrible, terribe, terrible. I would never recommend Smith and Hawken to anyone -- not even an enemy.
I purchased a fork from Smith and Hawken in Cherry Creek, Denver a few years ago. It was made in Poland of stainless steel and was a very attractive implement. Unfortunately the wooden handle was not very durable and rotted out at the base. The store was unable to help me with a replacement handle.
I contacted customer service and they replaced this fork free of charge with a tool made in England. It is not as magnificent as the original, but I feel the company treated me very fairly with this replacement.
kins02 Brooklyn, NY (9 reviews) September 23, 2007
I recently ordered 2 Maidenhair fern plants. The plants were shipped overnight by FedEx which was good. The plants themselves were in excellent condition and of good size. However, there was nothing to hold the soil in the pots and a good deal of it was either loose at the bottom of the carton or simply gone. I have ordered from many online nurseries and there are many methods for holding the soil in the pots, so I was surprised that a company of Smith & Hawken's reputation did not use any of them.
Coffeegeek North Fort Myers, FL (1 review) September 4, 2007
My two cents for what it's worth. As a major fan and follower of Smith & Hawken for many years, I've grown to be somewhat disappointed with the growth of the company. Starting out in Mill Valley, CA, selling goods that were purchased oversees, quality was by far on the top end. Now Smith & Hawken is sold in Target. The company was not the same after Dave Smith & Paul Hawken retired. Their customer service was top notch. If you can get your hands on some of the 'original' goods, you are lucky. The name use to shout "Quality", now it's a almost a disgrace.
My online ordering adventure was the first time I ever dealt with Smith & Hawken--and it will definitely be the last. I ordered a pricey $500 patio umbrella which, from the website description and photo, led one to believe would come with a stand. It arrived, after 2 1/2 months, without a stand and it appears to be an umbrella you insert in a table. Further, when I ordered this thing back in the spring, the site prompted me for 2-day FedEx delivery, charged me for that for a total $80 delivery charge--and then I waited for weeks on end. When I inquired they said I had to wait 4-6 weeks. When it finally arrived, after 10 weeks, part of the icing on the cake has been that I belatedly found on a jump page on their site that Smith & Hawken will pay for delivery for any online order over $250. Yet they charged me anyway.
The other kicker is their lousy customer service. When I called to find out how to return this very heavy, awkward useless thing, I was appalled to learn that they're going to charge me a 30% restocking fee. That's $150, plus the $80 delivery charge they won't refund, plus the amount to send it back. I end up with nothing but aggravation. The supervisor at Smith & Hawken said it was my problem for not noticing on the website that they charge this restocking fee, and insisted that this is a custom umbrella, made to order. This is a laughable statement, since it came in a beat-up box marked all over, "Made in China," the website only says it's assembled by hand--nothing about it being custom made, and I placed no special custom order. I feel totally aggravated and ripped off.
My order arrived in decent condition, but I was frankly unimpressed with the quality of the plants. They seemed undersized, especially considering how much I paid. The convallaria majalis "Rosea" I ordered was impossible to find anywhere else, so I suppose it was worth it. Many of my friends have had more positive experiences with the company, however, so I will consider ordering from them again.
debincincy Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6a) (5 reviews) March 26, 2007
In Cincinnati the store is wonderful, very nice sales folks, been the same people since they opened here. Have purchased lots of items from the store. My only complaint is that they are expensive, so I search their sales on-line for when things get discounted. Plus, I have a "membership" of their garden club card and this has given those with cards days of special 20% off items. This fall I purchased their paperwhites and I have been so pleased wtih the blooms, each bulb produced 3 flower blooms, these were even better than the bulbs I have previously ordered from Scheepers, and I love Scheepers bulbs. I am definitely going to keep buying their paperwhites each winter.
revclaus (Judith) Denver, CO (Zone 5b) (26 reviews) February 2, 2007
Smith & Hawken has a store in Denver, and I've found them extremely friendly and helpful. They've always gone out of their way to make sure I'm happy.
How this company has managed to maintain its good reputation is beyond me. Sure, they have great garden tools, but they also have the worst customer service on the planet, which matters a lot since they usually send you the wrong thing, especially if it's a plant. (Apparently, a random pink delphinium will do as well as the blue "pagan purple" one you ordered, a red orchid as well as a white one, etc., etc.) My worst experience was ordering a shed online, which I bought in the spring and designed my small garden around. It was supposed to arrive in April, but never did (they told me every time I asked that it would arrive "in two weeks" and then got huffy when I started doubting them the 5th or 6th time). Finally, in August, they canceled the order, without bothering to let me know until I asked. I am a slow learner, but have finally given up ordering anything from Smith and Hawken online.
75751 Fort Mill, SC (Zone 7b) (40 reviews) November 8, 2006
I ordered a fresh Christmas wreath for the holidays. It
arrived promtly and is extremely fresh! Would order
again for fresh greenery.
mrimomma Wausaukee, WI (Zone 4b) (2 reviews) July 28, 2006
I ordered two copper window boxes with iron framing to hang them in. They are beautifully styled, and very reasonably priced-$109.00 (on sale). I say this is a good price because I did lots of research online, and all others were more like $169.00, and not as large. I had called and asked the salesgirl how long the sale would last (trying to coordinate w/payday), and she was happy to tell me. So when I ordered, they came fast, were in great condition, and easy to put up. Best of all, they look GREAT with flowers in them! I would order from them ANYTIME!
datgirl365 Mountain View, CA (1 review) July 26, 2006
I recently purchased an outdoor patio set (Manor House Collection) from S&H.. and I have to say that the experience was FRUSTRATING! I intentionally purchased from a retail store (rather than ordering online) so that I could have an actual person to work with, in case of any issues. The original salesperson I worked with, told me that I would receive my table and chairs in about 2 weeks. Because the table was heavy and expensive, the cost of the product included premium delivery (free shipping and assembly). A couple of days after purchasing the product, the salesperson called and said that since it was a sale item, she should not have offered the premium delivery for free. Since this was her error, she would still provide free delivery, but could not offer assembly. After two weeks, I had not received my products. I called and found out that my original salesperson had left the store AND for outdoor dining sets, delivery was 4-6 weeks! Due to the communication error, S&H agreed to rush deliver. I was able to get my table and all chairs but one in 3 1/2 weeks. Upon delivery, I was informed that one of the chairs were damaged, so they would need to deliver another one. I received the last chair 1 1/2 weeks later. Basically, everything was delivered in 5 weeks. Throughout all this -- I was constantly on the phone to ensure that products were being shipped and that my order was not lost. At one point, one of the retail reps said they were going to give me a gift card for my troubles, but that never came... For those who are thinking about purchasing furniture pieces from Smith and Hawken, be forewarned that the delivery aspect can be quite tedious -- especially for a high end retail store, where you pay high end prices, expecting good customer service!
Two good things: 1-the patio pieces look great! 2- the 2nd retails sales rep I interacted with was VERY helpful, but even he got frustrated with the corporate operations side.
jshare Hsmilton, NJ (Zone 6b) (2 reviews) May 12, 2006
I've ordered via the website many times over the years (my local store is terribly unorganised, carries almost nothing, seems to take 3 weeks to unpack new items and the staff are lazy and rude). Christmastime is always going to bring delays and problems, no matter the merchant--My transactions throughout the "normal" part of the year have been positive, on the whole.
Now Scotts has acquired the company and what really bugs me is that the website was changed with NO notification to registered customers and all passwords were made invalid. It was necessary to re-register as a "new customer" and, worst of all, all previous orders were now untrackable!! No more order history-- and some of my orders were still in process!
I'm curious to see if this is just "conversion pains" and the website/online ordering system is really improved. I'm hoping that quality and unique offerings won't be sacrificed for mass merchandising, as lower-grade S&H items are now being sold in Target stores.
As a positive, All of the plants I've ordered from them lately have been very healthy and robust (Leucanthenum, helleborus & delphinium).
However, I ordered the delphiniums in early February, and instead of being shipped for planting time (late April in my zone) they were shipped immediately. I tried to pot them and keep them alive indoors past the last frost date, but they became pot-bound and leggy. Customer Service was very apologetic and helpful, and had new plants re-shipped at the proper time without requiring any return or extra shipping charges.
manuretea Medina, OH (Zone 5b) (10 reviews) June 16, 2005
Purchasing sale items from Smith and Hawken has left me very disenchanted with their products and service. The closest store is over an hour away---it made sense to order online. I ordered 3 bronze topiary forms. The forms arrived promptly but were not bronze and two out of the three were broken. Several calls to customer service got me nowhere. I am out over $60.00 In the future I will place my orders with more reputable companies like Lee Valley or Gardners Supply!
Nell495 Manassas, VA (Zone 6b) (6 reviews) February 18, 2005
My orchid came in nice condition except the flower was broken off. Customer service sent a replacement amd and suggested I keep the first one and try to get it to bloom again. Very friendly helpful service.
I did have trouble with the website at first. I was redirected to a shop.com site which would not take my gift certificate when I typed smithandhawken.com. When I searched with google I got the right website.
I feel like coming to the defense fo S&H! I have recently bought outdoor furniture from their web site. The items I bought on sale were last years models , but this year's models were actually delivered. They came quickly and in excellent condition. I have made three purchases of furniture and all went extremely well..quality, service and delivery. Phone calls were made to set up delivery and the drivers were even very nice. No complaints. I will continue to order from them.
I placed an order by telephone from the catalog for glass ornaments, and found the telephone staff a bit less knowledgeable than I'd like - it shouldn't be SO obvious that they're just a call center. My rating is positive, though, because one ornament arrived damaged and they replaced it immediately with no "call tagging" or making me send it back, which was very convenient. I'd order from them again.
I'd also suggest ordering by telephone, to make sure that items are in fact in-stock.
I am still trying to stay neutral. I still work for the call center Smith and Hawken has hired to do the phone orders and customer service. It is my thoughts that you still won't to stay away from the Web Site to purchase an item. In the last few month it has gotten worse not better. With christmas coming it will be evin worse. Last years orders placed on the website never downloaded to us. People never got orders and was a huge mess.
Customer Service is also worse. They have hired lots of temps for the holidays. The information you get from customer service can be good or bad depending on who you talk to.
In general Smith & Hawken does not really take the website serious. If you are going to order for christmas order early and keep track of your order.
You may also want to stay away from the flower plants subsciptions as they very seldom work.
My daughter, who lives in Manhattan, bought a Smith&Hawken "premier paperwhite kit." She had it mailed to me for Christmas 2002. I live in the Wisconsin. It arrived with just the dirt and container, no paperwhites. I phoned the customer service number on the enclosed guarantee of the flowers, and was told that I had to phone the store in SoHo, NYC as this was customer service for the catalog, and they were separate. I then talked to a higher level customer service manager, and he repeated the same, and I told him I should not have to pay for a long distance call to the store, and he asked what I would like him to do. I asked him to phone the store and request that the paperwhites be sent to me, and to call me back and tell me the results. He said he would, but never did. So, my daughter phoned the SoHo store on two separate ocassions, was told they would send out the paperwhites to me, and they never did. I have been meaning to bring the brass pot with dirt to the SoHo store to have my daughter's account credited, but usually I am bogged down with luggage when we fly in to visit her, and have not done that. Why so much writing about paperwhites when I can drive 5 minutes from my home and spend 50 cents to buy the paperwhites?...that is not the issue. It is an issue of very poor customer service. Now the Smith & Hawken catalog has come to me with the same $29.00 offering for Autumn 2003. I would never buy anything from this company and neither would my daughter! She is a busy excecutive in NYC and has no time for this. I have worked in customer service in retail for many years and am angered by this shoddy service.
I tried ordering on-line with a gift card. Their website doesn't support ordering with a gift card ( always says card is invalid ). I then called-in the order. They couldn't process the order until the gift card was validated ( which is not done by their company ). I called one month later, the order was not processed yet. One week later, they couldn't find my order ( the number was changed because the gift card was finally validated ). Numerous e-mails to customer service were never responded to.
I will try to explain why I stay neutral. I work for the call center Smith and Hawken has hired to do the phone orders and customer service. It is my thoughts that you may won't to stay away from the Web Site to purchase an item. It's great to look up plants or see the furniture, but the problems you may experience on purchasing is not worth the hassle. Get your order over the phone!
It has been 9 months and Smith and Hawken has not fixed the site. I do believe the Customer Service in general is OK, but they do hire alot of temp people around the holidays. These are my thoughts and what I have seen as problem areas. On June 12th, 2003, simba added the following:
The Smith and Hawken call center is now also taking calls for Martha Stewart. If we can't get it right with Smith and Hawken why would we add this extra burden. Do not place an order on the web it is a mess.
I placed an order for a Christmas gift and was told I would receive a call with my order number within 48 hours. I did not receive a call. I called back and there was no record of my order. I replaced the order and was told I could expect the item in 7-10 business days. I did nnot receive the item in that time. I called and was told the item was backordered for 3 weeks, after Christmas. Then at the time that I should have received my order, I received a call from Smith and Hawken saying that they would not be able to get the item I had ordered, even though it was still offered on their website. 3 weeks later, the item showed up, and they charged my credit card too much. I called to complain and they did reimburse me for the difference. Overall though, this seems like a very disorganized and chaotic company. I do love their products, although they are overpriced, but there service is so horrible I will not shop from them again.
Although I love the products, I too have had bad experiences with their shipping. On two different occasions recently, two products were ordered, and shipped separately - only one of which made it to its destination. I thought it was a fluke the first time (when I was on the receiving end of a gift that never showed up), until I placed an order for myself and once again, one of the items didn't turn up. Although the products were re-shipped after a few phone calls, it certainly makes me think twice about using this company for gift purchases.
hopflower Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9a) (27 reviews) December 27, 2002
I, too, had negative experiences with this company. They were not timely in their deliveries and did get several orders mixed up. They are also extremely overpriced compared to many mail order companies which offer the same goods at much more reasonable prices. Also, some of the garden advice they print is erroneous. My experience was several years ago, but I have never dealt with them again.
Their online catalog simply lost orders, showed merchandise as received by people to whom I was trying to give gifts when the merchandise was really on backorder, and otherwise was so inaccurate as to be almost fraudulent.
I called or emailed customer service six times to point out that items that the website showed as received hadn't been received by me or other folks. It took them two weeks and after Christmas to ask me to re-submit orders that they still showed online. No contrition. They ruined Christmas and several friends/clients went without presents.
I could never recommend that anyone rely on them or believe any promise that they might make.