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Posted on August 28, 2012, updated August 30, 2012
This is a hard one to review..
First I'd like to say I think the owner is a pretty nice guy..
Secondly.. his website and nursery.. being a one man show.. I feel he's overworked..
When you can't spend enough time taking care of your plants they tend to get weak.. this is exactly what I experienced with a few of the plants i ordered from garden of delights.
I ordered two plants... they came in an old flower box that looked like it had been run over.... one of the plants stems was broken below the graft line... Taped it up and hoped it would heal as the owner had advised me when i e-mailed.
the other plant i got in that order came looking so sickly.. there was NO WAY that it was a healthy thriving plant before it shipped.. plants experience stress BUT you can see indicators of long term stress.. this plant definitely had it.. lack of fine roots is usually an indicator of little water.. small leaves is another indicator,, and stunted growth are all visible signs... i.
I was very disappointed.
the good news is the owner, did send me replacement plants "with my next order" the down side is the replacements and new plant i ordered were seedling plants... (one of which died, the other is hanging on by a thread) What the hell kind of customer service is that? If I had wanted seedling plants I could have got them MUCH cheaper anywhere else which MUCH cheaper shipping.. and He saved money by sending me seedling plants as opposed to the grafted I had ordered.
I was later told that I should have reported the damage to fed ex as soon as the package arrived.. I was never told that when I first e mailed about the damage..I was simply told to tape up the damage and see if the plant pulled through.. it didn't!
I've shipped plants... for what they charge for shipping they shouldn't bareroot plants!
all in all i coughed up over $170 for 3 seedling plants...
I will never order from this vendor again.. especially since I've had such great experiences with other online vendors..
I think this guy is pretty good.. I really hate to give a negative experience.. but it is what it is...
he could have a really great operation if he hired a few people to help him.. he is a very knowledgeable guy and he always responded to my e mailsOn August 30th, 2012, DanV25 added the following:
After getting a response from the owner of "garden of delights" I've considered maybe my comments were too harsh.. I really don't want to cost anyone business.. especially when they were willing to at least try.. a little.. to work things out. . we're all just trying to get by in this world.
regarding the comments made I would also like to add:
That there was never any mention that I could get a cash refund.. I would have gladly sent the sick and damaged plants back in that case.
The trees I ordered were not that rare and they were definitely NOT one of a kind.. a Hasya sapodilla isn't that rare... and neither are green sapote..
I really didn't like the idea of taking so called "free" plants.. but given the condition of the plants i received I did. If fact, I should check my e-mail archive because I am almost certain that I made the proposition to pay half price for another hasya sapodilla.
The order was not replaced for free.... I had to order an additional plant in order to get my replacements.
I had a friend who offered to give me a sapodilla seedling before I placed this order.. that was really a free plant.. however, I wanted a grafted variety, so I ordered. Had I known I'd wind up with a seedling plant anyway I would have not wasted my money.
that being cleared up. I do feel that it was actually a nice thing that they owner even offered to send me any replacement at all. I am considering changing my rating to neutral.
Company representative comment on August 28, 2012: On Aug 28, 2012 12:44 PM, Garden of Delights responded with:
The "one man operation" is 30 years old with satisfied customers worldwide. The trees DanV25 ordered were very rare if not one of a kind. In an effort to satisfy Dan, We replaced his order for free with the strongest trees we could find. If Dan had asked for a refund, that would have been reasonable. However to take free plants and then complain to Garden Watch Dog is unreasonable.
I had order a Curry Leaf plant from this company. I received an email confirmation the next day. After 3 weeks,I called and emailed the company, and got not reponse.after many times trying to get in touch with the company and no response I then proceded to file a complaint since I paid for this order through my paypal account. Once paypal got involved I got a email, the same day, stating that they had an emergency and was not able to contact customers for 4 weeks.
I final received my plant. The plant was shipped very good, nice size and well worth the money paid. But, now I will hesitate to order from this company again. Company representative comment on August 28, 2012: On Aug 28, 2012 12:49 PM, Garden of Delights responded with:
Emergency surgery can not be planned for. We did the best we could to communicate with customers to explain what was going on. Glad to hear the purchase ended with a happy customer. No future emergencies are planned.
I was very tempted by the great selection of fruit trees despite some negative reviews here. I ordered three plants which were supposed to be shipped 2nd day air, and shipping handling was extremely expensive so I expected this to be done as stated on their site.
The plants were shipped unsecured in a box with saran wrap loosely "draped" over the root balls. On top of this they were shipped "3-day select" and were delayed an extra day. When the plants arrived, two of the three were smaller than stated on the site (not a huge problem for me), and were nearly dead (big problem). The roots were nearly dry, leaves were dry, drooping, and just generally stressed, near-death looking. I have mail-ordered plants many time, and this was the worst packing/shipping job I've seen and was actually the most expensive shipping charges I've paid by far.
Within a few weeks one of the plants was clearly dead, a second is still holding a few leaves, but has not grown in the 8 months I've had it (praying on this one still). The third plant (macadamia "arkin") was actually a nice large plant and is doing fine.
I emailed my dissatisfaction to Murray and he said he would replace the plant that died. Was to the point that he was shipping "next week"...but then the plant never arrived and I have not been able to get a response for the last several months.
I like to give people a chance, and some time to make things right (this order was placed ~9 months ago), but I feel like I have to get this out there at this point.
I see that there is some sort of emergency now and they are officially not shipping, so if they make good on their promise and replace the plant that died, I will update here.
I do want to make it clear that this review only applies to mail order. It seems that Murray is very knowledgable, and has an unbeatable selection of rare fruit trees. It is very possible that going to the nursery is a completely different experience.
Ikniqpalik Anchorage, AK (1 review) April 23, 2011
Posted on April 16, 2011, updated April 23, 2011
I ordered a Eugenia Reinwardtiana, Australian Beach Cherry, from Garden Of Delights on 4-12-11, receiving a receipt on the next day, w/o any tracking # (none ever since, either), &, despite repeated phone calls about every day since, at various hours day & night, I've never got anyone to answer.
If I would have known about the 'less-than-ideal' ratings of this outfit beforehand, I would have avoided it, but, the main reason I tried it was because they offer on their website, a version of this tree that is a 'very nicely sized' 30" tall, long-since able to bear flowers & fruit, and, this is an ideal size, that I want.
Sure, if I wanted to try & raise 'seedlings', I'd go over to Logees.com & buy one of their dinky little 2.5" pots, but, since I hear that they grow slow, it'd likely take 2 if not, 3 years, before I'd ever get it to fruit, &, I just really don't want to wait that long!
I'd like to have fruit THIS SUMMER!
On this outfit, I called the UPS on the evening of the 15th, &, the operator there said I should request a refund already, since it was supposed to have been sent by '2nd-day-air' (Reference # 79), but, I'm going to basically give them till this evening, but, since it's a Saturday, I'll end up actually giving them until Monday afternoon, the 18th of April; if I don't have it here by then, I will be getting my money back via my Bank, &, account there, labeling the experience as a Fraudulent transaction.
When an outfit is 'too cheap' to send their customer a receipt by email, etc, without a Tracking Number, that is just a really bad way to treat any customer, anywhere!
Then, with this 'Murrays' refusal to answer either of his phone numbers, that really "seals" my feelings about this place!
Even if I finally get my order in before the deadline I've set, this will be my only order!
After all, how hard could it be, to have a friend to sit in the office for a few hours every-so-often, giving them some money, plants, etc?
It really sounds about like my landlord, who wants to keep all of the profits for himself, &, is too cheap to do things like any customer should be able to have them done, because it'd cost them a few pennies. On April 23rd, 2011, Ikniqpalik added the following:
While I'll 'hold' on changing the rating for this outfit, I 'may' have to give them another chance to prove themselves, starting around July this year, 2011; this is what Sylvia, who I guess works there, said in a reply I just got today, plus, an earlier reply, before it;
"I am sorry that you have heard nothing back. I assure you that the problem has been an emergency and your refund will be cheerfully given.
Sorry for the difficulties."
"Thanks for the information. I will let Murray know. I'm glad you were able to get the refund.
We hope to resume shipments in July 2011. We are very sorry for the inconvenience that has been incurred. Garden of Delights has been in operation for many years with much good feedback. We hope his loyal customers will be patient with the current situation.
I can't help but wonder what kind of an 'Emergency' it was; she declined to say in either email...
I haven't heard of any environmental disasters going on down there lately..
Good guy. Very knowledgeable. I stopped in and chatted with him a few months back when I took a drive across to the east coast. He knows his stuff and is more than willing to help. I would recommend.
Campfiredan Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) (8 reviews) June 9, 2010
I ordered two grafted loquats and they came in great condition and good size just as described on the website. It is very difficult to find named grafted varieties of loquats in nurseries so I'm very happy to get these.
I ordered a kampong mauve sugar apple on April 27, 2008. The money was debited the next day. It is now August 16 and still no plants. I've emailed several times but no replies. Finally, I asked for a refund but no reply.
palmnutcase Fort Lauderdale, FL (1 review) December 2, 2007
Never sent tree that was ordered. Will not return calls or refund money. This is not a good place to buy plants. He will delay you till your credit card refuses to reverse charges. (60 days)On December 3rd, 2007, palmnutcase changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Murray at Garden of Delights called and made available the right tree. He is busy and a one-man show but is honest. If you can, go to his nursery and learn a lot about the plants. He has a large selection and is patient anda good teacher
omniexist Bealeton, VA (8 reviews) August 13, 2007
Well...this is my first non positive review..
The situation: I ordered a wooley-leafed sapote to be sent to my apartment address. It's been over two weeks so I finally emailed them. The response is in so many words, "You should have it by now". I emailed them back because I realize it could be a problem with the shipping company and not them. I requested a tracking number but so far haven't got a response.
As I am unsure if it is the nurseries' fault or the shipper (who may have failed to provide me notice), I will give them the benefit of the doubt but only just.
Needless to say, I am disappointed with this entire situation :(On August 17th, 2007, omniexist changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Ok, I stand corrected. I just got a card from UPS saying they tried to deliver 3 times. Haven't yet picked it up, but Garden of Delights did deliver as promised.
From the postings, It looks like the fruit trees aren't arriving in good shape. I Ordered 4 Amorphophallis from them. I recieved like 10, all were in perfect shape. The guy was friendly & the shipping was swift. The plant cost & shipping charges were reasonable. I'm a plant nut, if there was ANYTHING done wrong I would have picked up on it, but my order was perfect! The extra plants were an added surprise, and a huge bonus because I re-sell them. I would (and probally will) deal with them again.
(I ship plants too, If i was this guy I would get some longboxes from uline.com , wrap the rootball (or pot) with a bag, and fill the box with packing peanuts. the weight will make the box stand upright and it will be easy to handle. I swear by the peanuts.They make a huge difference!)
(P.S Never use the free "triangle boxes" provided by UPS or USPS , they are made of 100# test non-congruated cardboard. Normal boxes are made of 200# congruated cardboard. I learned this lesson the hard way (complaining customer) Those triangle boxes almost always get snapped in half about 80% of the time.)
Sorry about bad luck the rest of you had with GOD.(gardens of delight) but currently im in favor of G.o.d.
adam7twiddle Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) (5 reviews) September 23, 2003
thought i would give this place a try and order one plant. the order was charged on my credit card the day i placed the order and i waited 4 weeks till I began to attempt to contact the company. i tried contacting by email and telephone for about 2 additional weeks and received no replies whatsoever. it was not until i filed a claim with the credit card company that they finally geared into action. i finally received received the plant on a 110 degree weekend that i was out of town (not particularly their fault, but i email forewarning would have been ideal). At any rate, it was in horrible condition and i never received an apology or explanation (although it did miraculously suvive). this company has the most dispicable customer service i have ever experienced in my years of mail ordering plants.
I bought 2 expensive fruit plants with a $30.00 shipment on a three day delivery day, too expensive. One tree is broken in half, the roots were brown, no soil around the roots, nothing. The trees were too small for their prices. I contact the dealer and was told to contact Fed Express to ask for a refund, the told me that the plants were not insured because they are life plants. I e-mailed them a couple of times but so far nothing but silence, I will never buy anything from them again until the company give me another plant. It is such a shame to think that all the dealers are honest, only a couple of rotten apples in between. It is very scary to do buiness now on the internet. From now on I will read your watchdog and start ordering other plants from people that is honest. AdikOn November 12th, 2003, brandal added the following:
What place to buy plants. bought two plants, one was broken in half.I was promised so many times that they will send me another plant. every week they promised that they will send me the plant and nothing happen. Stay way from this company.
In early 2002, I ordered a grafted carambola variety and a grafted mango. The owner was very knowlegable and helpful in selection when I spoke on the phone with him. The plants arrived in wonderful shape. The mango was blooming a month later.. The carambola grew strongly through the summer, and this winter began to bloom like mad. I have 2 nearly full-sized starfruits ripening on the tree, and it is exploding with blossoms again. Both trees are in pots, grown indoors under lights in the winter. I am extremely happy with my experience with the nursery and as soon I can construct more space for plants in my house, I plan to order more. He has an amazing list of tropical plants, many are grafted, known varieties, not seedlings. On March 31st, 2004, glop added the following:
My carambola had 16 starfruits the summer of 2003, one was almost 7 inches long. It is still growing in a 3 gallon pot, spending winter indoors under lights as I'm growing in Kentucky. The mango hasn't yet set fruit, but has bloomed spectacularly and grown vigorously even under the less than wonderful conditions I grow in.
The plant arrived in mangled condition. The top branches of the plant were cut off, so the plant would fit in the shipping container, and the cut off branches were stuffed into the container with the plant. The leaves were all dead and there were no roots on the plant, despite it supposed to be a "bare root" plant.On November 8th, 2002, isuhort added the following:
After these comments were posted to Garden Watchdog, the owner contacted me to ask me to reconsider my comments posted here. He never offered to replace the dead plant or refund my money. He was more concerned about the negative rating that his company had received!