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We went to Frida's Hosta Festival a couple of months ago and loaded up the car with a great selection of hostas. All of them are a nice size and doing very well. This was my first visit to the nursery and I found it very easy to go through and well laid out. They don't seem to have a display garden but I wasn't there to look at gardens, I was there to shop for hostas. I got all that were on my wish list plus a bunch more. I have ordered from Frida's online in the past and those hostas have all done fine as well. Their website is a lot easier to navigate than it was a couple of years ago and that's probably the way I'll do most of my shopping with them from now on. And I will be shopping with them again.
Rose1656 Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a) (2 reviews) June 28, 2005
I purchased a Lakeside Black Satin last year, and it too did not come up this year. I sent an email asking about their policy on their plants, and although it took a while, I got a response from them. They explained that the Lakeside Black Satin is a very unstable plant, and they didn't even sell it this year. I received a gift certificate for the lost plant. I will definitely use it on my next trip to Gardentown! I agree that Hornbakers is worth the drive if you want to see beautiful gardens and a nice selection for plants. But, I always go to Gardentown USA because they have a very nice selection of hostas. They may not have the surroundings that Hornbakers has, but I go for the hostas, not the atmosphere! And I always come home with several that are on my list. I don't think that this company will be going out of business for a long time! I'll continue to shop there for my hostas.
I talked to ritagaw on June 12th. This was the first time the problem was addressed either by email or phone, I have doubled checked all email and deleted email to make sure we didn't miss it. Our policy is to replace hostas or perennials for up to one year with proof of purchase or receipt. We will replace the hostas in question, no problem. We are a great company that loves hostas and perennials. We will take care of our customers. We are here for the long haul. We are sorry for any inconvenience this caused rita. And we are sorry this misunderstanding was made public before we became aware of the problem.
I ordered three hostas recently as of today (6-12-05) another one rotted away and died. I have tried via e=mail and the telephone and cannot get a response. a reputable company would either replace the plants or refund the money. they must be taking orders so someone is ignoring my e-mail. rita gawrecki
I live in Davenport, Iowa and have always found the plants and the people of Gardentown a delight. My family and I consider it a gem and an annual stop on our spring gardening shopping trips.
With the new owners the place is well maintained and the selection and variety of hostas is incredible. Clearly they love and care for their hostas. On May 1st, 2005, gardenruth added the following:
Here in Davenport, we just have to make it through a couple more cold nights and we will be home free. Have spent time the last two weekends here at Gardentown and have my improvements for this year's garden all planned and ready to go. The quality of the hostas remains impeccable and the selection in daylillies is truly impressive. Now that I have a plan, and new plants, can't wait to start digging!
I live across the river from Frida's, now GardenTownUSA, and purchased two hostas in the late spring of 2002 - Lakeside Black Satin and Split Milk. Both plants did very poorly over the '02 winter with the Lakeside doing the worst, by far.
In July of '03 I wrote them an e-mail explaining the situation in detail, how I planned to give these plants special attention in an effort to save them, and asked them to please get back to me if they had any additional suggestions. I also told them I'd get back to them in the spring of '04 to update them on how they did thru the '03 winter --- because, if the plants didn't make it, I fully expected them to stand behind these plants. They never replied back to me.
By the end of the '03 growing season the Spilt Milk was nearly back to its purchased size but the Black Satin was only about 1/3 its original purchased size, very small, with only a few leaves.
This spring the Spilt Milk came up beautifully but the Black Satin died over the winter. A few weeks ago I wrote a second e-mail, the '04 up-date, explaining the situation and asked them to please call me. I heard nothing from them.
About 10 days ago I called the business and spoke to a gal who said their policy was to replace at half the purchased price. She also told me she was unaware of my e-mails, that she would check into them and promised to call me back after reading the "one-sided" string. She said, "just let me get thru this weekend." Of course, I said, "sure." She never called me back.
I wrote a 3rd e-mail several days ago and told them that if I didn't hear from somebody by Saturday morning, that they'd be getting some free advertising on Garden Watchdog and some other sites. I have heard nothing.
A couple things... I have about 50 different hosta cultivars in my garden (including a 12 year old Great Expectations) and I have never lost a plant. My neighbors think I'm nuts because I've got them all over the place. Second, when you purchase small plants at BIG prices you expect the seller to stand behind their stuff. They have not. In fact, they have gone out of their way not to do this. Third, when you ask a business to please contact you (I have asked them 4 times), and they refuse, then it is pretty obvious you're being blown off. Fine.
Yes, they have a lot of unusual varieties. Nobody else in the Quad Cities with a retail facility comes close. But was it a coincidence that both plants purchased from them in '02 nearly went south over the winter while other plants purchased that year, from other sources, didn't? You decide.
I will never do business with this shoddy outfit again. Once this two-bit operation has your cash, they have ZERO interest in communicating with their customers after the purchase - even when the customer is asking to be contacted. If I ran my business like that, I'd be OUT OF BUSINESS in 6 months!!!
I'm sorry to burst everyone's bubble on this place but all of the above is documented in e-mails. If they approach me as a result of this posting I'm not sure I even want to talk to them now. In business you generally get one chance. I have given them 3 chances and they have chosen to blow me off each and every time. Like I said, fine. It's their reputation.
In addition, it's common knowledge in the Quad Cities that when the previous owner, Peggy the Plant Lady, owned the business, the place was an absolute gas to go to. Really fun with lots of very cool "stuff" all over the place. It was impossible to visit without "going off" on something. Since the current management took over, the quality of the place has dropped like a brick. Now its pretty much a bare bones dump with a lot of small hostas for sale at BIG prices. Sorry... but dems the facts and the locals know it.
Go to Hornbaker's in Princeton IL instead. Believe me, it is WELL WORTH the drive.
Regards to all and enjoy your hosta gardening this year...
ct - rock island, ILOn May 19th, 2004, ctausz added the following:
The company has obviously been contacted by Garden Watch Dog by now and these people, as I knew would happen, have made ZERO attempt to make things right. Of course, I knew this would happen because I'm a student of personalities. I'm just following up to let the "unaware" know that this place cares more about getting into your pocket than they do about their own reputation.
So everyone knows, losing a Lakeside Black Satin was never the issue. Being BLOWN OFF was the issue. Asking to have a plant replaced was never the issue, asking to please be contacted by e-mail or phone on 4 occasions, and being blown off each and every time was THE issue. Finally, BEING LIED TO OVER THE PHONE by the gal I spoke to was the last straw.
Sorry folks, being lied to sets very poorly with me. It speaks volumes of the liar and their business and none of it's pretty.
PREDICTION: Owning "hosta.com" is hardly enough to save this place. Frida's will fold within 1-2 years.
This is a tremendous, sleeping goldmine for any hostaholic. I have visited their operation and was truly impressed. Honest, hard-working, down to earth people. They offer about 700 different hostas. It is an old, established operation that German immigrants began on this site over 100 years ago. New ownership about 3 years ago has made tremendous improvements and modernization.
Their hosta plants are some of the best and largest I have ever received for the money. Highly recommended!!! This place is the standard all other retailers of hosta should strive for.