DonnaMack Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) (51 reviews) February 5, 2015
Posted on July 8, 2012, updated February 5, 2015
Posted on February 1, 1999, updated July 8, 2012
I would like to praise this company, along with Select Seeds, as being really excellent. I have ordered from them successfully for three years. While lacking pictures, this wonderful catalogue has excellent script describing annuals, vines, heirlooms, perennials, and so on. The catalogue producers attempt to draw your attention to wonderful seeds that you might not have considered. You have to use your imagination to follow the descriptions, but I started using this catalogue when I had very little experience and the information helped me to become a better gardener. The writer also is excellent about pointing out the differences between plants that are commonly confused (scarlet starglory vs. cardinal climber vs. cypress vine) and sold interchangeably. The seeds have a germination rate in excess of 95% even if you don\'t know what you are doing, and they always throw in wonderful and imaginative free seeds with some thought to your order and location. Some of these freebies have become annual favorites of mine. Please give this wonderful catalogue a whirl!On July 8th, 2012, DonnaMack added the following:
I have just enjoyed another successful order from The Fragrant Path. Inexpensive seeds ($2.00), inexpensive shipping, and high germination rates make ordering from this company a pleasure. They also have a handful of seeds that are not available elsewhere, but everything continues at the same low prices. And once again, free seeds (2 packs). Great value and quality. On February 5th, 2015, DonnaMack added the following:
I saw that someone seemed to have difficulty with contact with The Fragrant Path. It's true that you cannot email them, and they do not acknowledge your order. But I sent in an order a couple of weeks ago and received the usual outstanding seeds, most of which were $2.00, and shipping was $3.00!
The reward for being low tech is low costs. I have been ordering from them with success since 1996. And every single time I receive two packets of free seed
Has anyone had any luck contacting this company via email in the last 2 months?
I emailed this company asking about payment information (I'm in Canada) on Nov. 25, 2014 and again on Dec. 9, 2014 and have not heard back from anyone.
I have never ordered from this company before, and having read the reviews here, I felt comfortable that this is a legitimate business. However, given the lack of response from this company, I'm not sure what to think.
lemurianne Ida Grove, IA (Zone 5a) (15 reviews) June 2, 2013
Lovely source for seeds!! Very unique selection, fast service (even considering that they only receive orders through the mail!) and fair prices. The germination rate has been excellent for me, and the alternatives sent for out-of-stock seeds have been very thoughtful and much appreciated. They've also included generous bonus packets of seeds! I'm so pleased with Fragrant Path, I will definitely continue to order from them :)
Posted on November 9, 2011, updated March 14, 2013
THIS IS A WARNING (not a review). I was using Google to find a source for a certain flower, and Fragrant Path came up, but Google added a warning, "This site may harm your computer." They explained that the site appears to contain malware (perhaps added to the site by a hacker).
It's possible that there is no actual malware, merely some subroutine that bears a superficial resemblance to malware. But I wouldn't know the difference until my computer had already been compromised (and perhaps not even then, considering how sneaky some malware can be).
I have also emailed Fragrant Path regarding this matter, and letting them know that I would post this message. Once the matter is cleared up so that Google no longer displays a warning, I will come back here and modify this report. In the meanwhile, I apologize to Fragrant Path for the Negative rating -- I hope I have made it clear that I did not mean it as a reflection on their products or service, but rather as a "red flag" to get readers' attention. On March 14th, 2013, CaroltheDabbler changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
After re-checking Google a few times, I admit forgetting about this matter. Today, I received this message:
Guess I don't get to Dave's Garden very often and don't know how many other people do but saw your message and so thought I would contact you. We did have a problem for a short time with that Google warning when our service provider changed. There was never anything actually wrong with our site, it was actually our service provider that had gotten flagged by Google for something suspicious at their level and don't think there has ever been any more problem for a long time. So if you wouldn't mind appending or deleting your comment I would certainly appreciate it...........
So I checked Google again, and sure enough, there's no longer any warning, so I have changed my rating to neutral (since I have never actually done business with this company). Sorry for not noticing sooner, Ed.
Tabacum Mantua, OH (Zone 5a) (16 reviews) February 2, 2011
2/2/11........Just received seeds ordered from this great
company....their online website has order form to print out
for ordering seeds.....no credit card use here, but they do
accept checks....very reasonable seed cost and shipping....received bonus seeds and some pretty postcards also....have ordered from them for years....seed
germination rate is good....
Amazingly fast service! My seed order arrived in less than a week. They carry a great variety of seeds, including some that are difficult to find. A pleasure to do business with.
KanapahaLEW Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) (15 reviews) March 2, 2010
I have been ordering from Fragrant Path for many years. He has lots of seeds that you can't get anywhere else and I have experienced good germination rates with them. My most recent catalog came in 2008 and I got a list of new items recently but everything is listed on the website, including contact info. I am finding a surprising number of nurseries that have a website but require a mailed-in order as Ed does, and I think it's a small price to pay in order to have something unique in your garden.
cannaqueen Mantua, OH (Zone 5a) (19 reviews) February 20, 2007
I have ordered from this little company for many years.
Seeds cost from $1.50 to 2.00 a packet, with $1.00 for
shipping..They offer some unique seeds not found anywhere
else...Germination rates on these seeds have been at least
80%, and I am satisfied with that...sometimes little bonuses
are sent...New seed choices are added each year...they have a great selection of rose seeds,something hard to find
in other companies... Shipment is done quickly...maybe if
they had an expensive website, their seeds would cost more... who knows....will continue to order from them...On February 26th, 2008, cannaqueen added the following:
2/24/08 Just received my order from this company, and again, I was not disappointed. Seeds came on time, well
packaged and packets marked with seed info. No year
is listed on the packets, had to write that in myself. A good
place to order unique seeds. They sent a nice bonus with
my order. That was appreciated!
quaintcharm NW/Central , IL (Zone 5a) (11 reviews) January 24, 2007
The Fragrant Path does have a website now. There is a seed list, and you can print an order form. I have ordered from them for 10 years, and it has been a pleasure. I like the catalogs with the quotes, and drawings, but don't know if they still print them. The last few years, I received pamphlets of just the new items. They also provide a sheet of growing instructions, that's comprehensive.
nevadagdn Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) (117 reviews) February 27, 2006
Reasonable to very generous amounts of seed at very reasonable prices, quick shipment of my order and a bonus packet of seed from my substitutes list. I can't ask for more.
Goodgame Anchorage, AK (Zone 4a) (1 review) February 19, 2006
I have been buying seeds from The Fragrant Path for about 10 years. My favorite is the singled colored stocks. I must say this is one of the best persons I have dealt with be it gardening related or otherwise!
cthomforde Morrisville, PA (1 review) January 31, 2006
I have been ordering from Fragrant Path for over 20 years. The catalogue is a pleasure to read, prices are reasonable, the seed grows well, and from when we order here in Pennsylvania to when the seed arrives is usually only a week. For anyone interested in open-pollenated and unusual ornamentals this is a catalogue to have.
babytears Indianola, WA (1 review) October 31, 2005
my WHOLE garden experience began because i found this catalog while looking for 'pinks' that smell good.........the catalogs always had water stains from the hrs. i spent in the bubble bath reading the evocative descriptions i then grew to discover the most fascinating plants..wonderful tips for germination and culture.........i love the fragrant path ........ Ed is down to earth and honest.............thanks..Dave....(just found mention of them here...after a long time without a catalog)
hillfarm Quesnel, BC (Zone 4a) (34 reviews) October 24, 2005
I've ordered from Fragrant Path several times & theirs is one catalogue that I always keep nearby to refer to & make wish lists from!
Nice selection of old-fashioned plants & their prices are more than fair. Shipping to Canada was extremely reasonable & they have always been very easy & reliable to deal with.
Sure, they're maybe a little behind-the-times with no website etc. but perhaps they feel that staying small & family-run is Ok, too?
Anyway - go to the effort - use a stamp & send for a catalogue. You'll be pleasantly surprised. Lots of good stuff growing in my garden from these folks.
(All of it is open-pollinated/seed-saver-friendly, too!)
skatayama Keyport, NJ (Zone 7a) (7 reviews) April 7, 2005
Count me as a Fragrant Path convert! The catalog descriptions of many less than commonly encountered garden plants are often opinionated but never overstated like so many marketing-driven hyperbole written by seed corporations. The catalog offerings appear to be grown by the proprietor. Unlike a previous poster, I would prefer to think of Mr. Rasmussen busy attending to the many loves of his life rather than slaving away answering telephones, tied to the fax machine or trying to update a website. My little suburban lot may have no chance of looking much like the postcards of paradise in FC, NE but thanks to The Fragrant Path it will definitely not look like a Home Depot inspired manicured lawn that too many yards around here are falling victim too.
May this be the start of a long and beautiful gardening relationship!
sjms Keene, NH (Zone 5a) (7 reviews) March 17, 2005
Every year I wait for this catalog, I love ordering from Ed Rasmussen's home-style, straightforward seed company. There is nothing modern about this company, you have to sit down and read the catalog, no pictures, no website etc. The list of plants is wonderful, the discriptions spark my imagination every winter, and convince me to try something new. Along with fragrant (and non-fragrant) annuals, he lists perennials, shrubs and trees, vines I've never heard of...a very unusual mix of things. The prices are very reasonable--way below the hotshot seed companies...many of the seeds are collected from his garden. All listings he has had personal experience with. Contact with this company is by mail only!!-send 2 dollars for a catalog. If you're the seed collector type, you will not regret it.
MollymDG Manteca, CA (Zone 9b) (9 reviews) February 28, 2005
I've been growing FP seeds for probably 15 years now, with complete and total satisfaction. Given that many items are unusual and some have unusual germination requirements, germination of FP seeds is probably the best of any ornamental seeds I ever buy. AND some selections and mixtures are so good I keep returning to them year after year --the Black morning glory, blacker than any I've tried, and the nasturtiums you can hardly find anywhere else now.
And the catalogue! If you never buy a seed you should have it. Complete and utter charm and literacy with a touch of dry humour, information and advice you'll find nowhere else; no hype or glitz unless you count lovely line drawings (which change with every edition) as glitz. Sensible if serious arrangement: within sections, alphabetical by generic names. You'll get an excellent germination guide with your order, coded to codes on packets. Oh yes --packets are almost all one price and it's always a very good price!
Elinor Virginia Beach, VA (1 review) January 5, 2005
The prices are excellent, and the selection very good. It doesn't pretend to be a general-purpose catalogue, and you won't find all the latest hybrids. You will, however, find a great many seeds of fragrant and heirloom garden plants. The proprietor knows his subject and is very helpful. I agree with other commenters that a telephone number or even an email address to request a catalogue would be a great convenience.
dmac085 Greensboro, NC (Zone 7a) (41 reviews) October 23, 2004
I found the address in the back of an old gardening book and
decided to get a catalog. Yeah, its not very flashy but had
a bunch of good descriptions and info. The seed count is
smaller than what you might be used to in retail packs, but
most seed doesn't have great shelf life. What I received was
more than enough for one season, and at their prices and
low S&H, I could afford to try some varieties that I couldn't
afford to from the more well known catalogs. I love this
company and who cares about online or phone access if
the product and current customer service is good.
onalee Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) (31 reviews) August 25, 2004
Although they have a wide array of seeds, I haven't had the best luck with them. Two types of four o'clocks had very low germination; two types of what were supposed to be un-mixed morning glories had two different types of morning glories mixed together and one morning glory they call 'black' appears to me to be Star of Yelta. On top of all this, they make it extremely difficult to contact them - no web page, no email, not even a phone number - the only way to contact them is to write them a letter.
I was very dissapointed.
ncpepper Pilot Mountain, NC (Zone 7a) (21 reviews) February 7, 2004
Great diverse selection of seeds. The catalog is entertaining, with great descriptions. Prices also great and shipping too, with good quantities per seed packet.
Have had excellent germination with seeds planted. But I do wish they had a website!
I have been ordering seeds from them for 6-7 years, and have had excellent results. The various plants are described completely with candid comments; largely from personal experience, I assume. The prices can't be beat. Excellent planting and care instructions. I use the Internet a lot, but agree with other comments about a website being unnecessary in this case. I'm sure it would increase the cost and we would lose the personal touch of this company. Shipping is FAST, and 100% accurate. Many hard-to-find seeds that I would not have tried otherwise.
I've bought from Fragrant Path for several years, and have been more than pleased each time. He provides a generous amount of seed for very inexpensive price, (I don't think anything is over $2 and most are $1 to $1.50.) germination rates are excellent, and he has so far always thrown in a bonus packet even though I've not seen it in the catalog that that's part of the deal. It isn't always something I would have thought to choose, but so far I've always been pleased with the results!
treelover3 Minneapolis, MN (Zone 5a) (16 reviews) January 22, 2003
I have ordered from Ed for the last 5 or 6 years and have had very, very good service. If I mail my order on a Monday I usually have it by the following Monday. Very fast service.
Most people don't realize how much work is involved with having a web site to maintain, not to mention the added business that would result. The Fragrant Path is a one man operation and Ed offers many seeds that are available no where else. And at a cost that just about no other company can match.
Order from The Fragrant Path with complete confidence.
Eric_OH Columbus, OH (Zone 6a) (55 reviews) January 21, 2003
Just to add to the most recent comment - I recently requested a catalog (cost - $2) and received it within about 10 days. Interesting offerings.
I can live without web accessibility.
I'm torn on this company. The seeds are great and they have lots of variety, but they make it very hard to get the catalogue. There is no phone listed and you have to send away to an address since there isn't even a web address. This company needs to get with the times and at least have a web site.
dianthusman Pecos, NM (Zone 5b) (29 reviews) December 3, 2002
Great company; one of my all time favorites. Fabulous treasure-stuffed catalogue written from the personal experience of the owner, Ed Rasmussen; my only cavil with it is the lack of an index. But the seed is cheap, plentiful, and of very high quality. No cottage gardener can afford to go without this catalogue.
talinum Kearney, NE (Zone 5a) (7 reviews) November 29, 2001
Nice selection of unusual seeds. I like this company very much. Everything ordered has been successful.
poppysue Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) (37 reviews) November 29, 2001
My all time favorite seed company and where I do most of my ordering. The initial $2 for the catalog is well worth it just for the entertaining reading. Although it specializes in fragrant flowers there are many unusual plants that canít be found elsewhere. Seeds packs are inexpensive & and germination has been great. The Fragrant Path gets my thumbs up!
I've planted seeds from Fragrant Path for ten years and more now, and enjoy the (accurate, literate, and amusing) catalogue more as the years wear on. The line drawings (by the owner's sister) that adorn it are totally charming. The seeds are very inexpensive and germinate as well and better than packets of the same varieties costing 5 times as much. The owner, Ed Rasmussen, has provided my favorite gardening aphorism of all time: "One cultural detail is certain, if not planted, they won't grow" (following a discussion of necessary procedures heading the shrub and tree section).
I just love The Fragrant Path! Every January, I convince myself that they have gone out of business since no catalog has arrived. It usually shows up in mid-to-late February. I love their sweet peas and poppies.
The Fragrant Path is a great catalog for those looking for scented plants, old fashioned plants, and some native plants (especially prairie wild flowers). I ordered seeds and they were very vigorous and had good germination rates. I'm a beginner so I figure it must be the seeds not my skill. I even added up things wrong and they were nice about it. They don't take phone orders. The catalog has no color pictures. There are a few line drawings and descriptions of the plants. Hardiness zones are given for many plants but not all. Also gives pretty good idea of growing conditions.