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JenniferRuth San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) (28 reviews) September 29, 2010
I ordered 11 irises from Cooley's this year. They all arrived healthy, good-sized, and with increase on them, so I was very pleased. Along with what I ordered, they sent the bonus intro I earned by ordering more than $60's worth, and another bonus. The second bonus was taken straight from my "Acceptable subs and bonuses" list, and was the one I had marked "Most preferred." It was a $35 iris, so I was happy.
I've ordered from Cooley's many times through the years, and always been happy with what they sent. They have cut back on the size of their nursery, but clearly not on the quality of their irises. I phoned in my order, and as always, they were a pleasure to talk with.
Along with reducing the size of the nursery, they reduced the size of their catalog. It's still a color catalog, and easy to use. But I miss the way the old one was set up: with all the blue iris on one page, all the black iris on another, and so on, so that it was easy to pick your very favorite blue or black or whatever. But I must admit, it's convenient having the irises listed in alphabetical order the way they are now. A note if you're looking for rebloomers, though: in this year's catalog, at least, they are listed in their own section at the back.
There's one other change I would like to mention. If I recall correctly, the prices used to be fairly high unless you ordered a certain amount of money's worth, at which point they all changed to half price. It appears to me that in this year's catalog, you don't have to do that because they are already listed at that lower price.
Just received my iris order. Cooley's sent an apology note with the iris sayng the weather has hindered their rizome growth this year.
WOW! If this was a bad year, I can't wait to order in a good year. These were some of the best iris I've ever received and I've been gardening for over 40 years.
Thanks Mr. Ernst for the super product you send out to the gardens of america. My order was a small one but still received a Ben Hager beauty. VERY NICE Will return next season for a larger order. G. W.
MorsisX Lockport, IL (Zone 5b) (27 reviews) May 26, 2010
Love this company! Their iris are first rate! Much larger than those sent from other companies. They have good collections and deals worth looking at. Their customer service has been very helpful, and have replaced those that failed (the first year). Would strongly recommend them.
I've been ordering from Cooley's for years. Ordered another iris collection last year, and they sent nice, healthy plants at the right planting time. I like the simple care & planting instructions they include with every order. Looks like almost all I planted last year are getting ready to bloom this spring. Great company to deal with.
Barbsbackyard Santa Barbara, CA (Zone 10a) (6 reviews) April 21, 2009
I've ordered from Cooleys several times and have been
pleased with the quality or the rhizomes that I've ordered.
All have been true to name and the bonus iris that I've received with each order have been very nice.
I had an excellent buying experience with this company. They provided healthy, fresh rhizomes and many wonderful bonus plants with my order. Their order process is quite easy and stress-free and they shipped the plants on time. Their selection is outstanding. They even provided handy garden nametags with each cultivar to help keep track of them in my garden! Overall, a wonderful transaction. I will definitely be a repeat Cooley's customer!!! Ev =)
Received my iris today from Cooleys. They are large,healthy, beautiful rhiozomes. Packaging is wonderful.Their customer service over the phone was excellent. Their selection is huge.Not to mention their gorgeous catalogue. I will definitely be a repeat customer.
My first order with Cooley's was 30 years ago. Although it's been a couple of decades since I bought any iris, when I wanted some for my new home, I was happy to find Cooley's still in business with that same beautiful catalog!
Irises arrived yesterday, well-packaged, clearly labeled and looking very healthy. They included 3 bonus bulbs, which I didn't expect at all! I anticipate a beautiful display in the spring!
It's no surprise that Cooley's Gardens have been in business for 80 years. They have an excellent product and great customer service.
I ordered a small sampling of iris because I had never ordered from Cooley's. They arrived in beautiful
condition...fat, fresh and labeled nicely. Their packing is wonderful.
And they included a "how to take care of
me" brochure with the iris.
I love their brochure--beautiful colors,
arranged by color. Their prices are
good--after you buy a certain amount
every iris with a red star is half price!!
My interaction with their customer service was positive--I was dithering back and forth on which collection to buy
(I wanted them all)...the service person
did not lose her temper with me.
I will definitely order from Cooley's again.
In 2005 and 2006, I ordered from four companies and compared growth and bloom: Cooleys product came out on top both years. First bought from Cooleys in 1993. Was pleased with one of the large collections - a great way to learn about TB irises. Their catalogue has large close ups of the bloom, a great research guide.
Their customer service is good, much improved from years ago. They answer emails and return phone calls promptly, with courteous answers to any question. have changed my order without a hitch just by emailing. Chosing iris on the website is easier now with the photos visible, but the website itself is tempermental, hard to navigate. My orders were all received on time in fresh condition, except for last year when I asked for a last minute shipping delay - should have asked if mine had already been dug. But they accommodated me, and the plants took off growing same as always. Quantity discounts on older plants saves a lot, too.
One caveat - ordering their nightmare garden insurance is inexpensive and guarantees receiving blooming plants. But notice of a problem must be received in writing by the deadline. They are sticklers on that. I've needed it twice, but misplaced my catalog and couldn't find contact info fast enough the first time.
mypetalpatch Cloverdale, CA (Zone 9b) (1 review) October 2, 2007
Have ordered several times over the past 10 years. Always popping-fat healthy rhizomes, well packed, well-labeled, and prices are very decent. They are quick with service and I appreciate that they organize their beautiful catalogue by color! I keep all my prev. year catalogues for reference. Can't go wrong with these nice folks.
I placed an order for iris in 2006 and received all the iris that I ordered. Each was labeled and none were substituted. I planted the iris in 2006 and they just bloomed in the last weeks of May 2007. I was surprised to see that one of the iris I ordered (it was labeled as the one) was the wrong variety. It was clear that the label had been placed on the wrong plant. When I called Cooleys to have a replacement sent, they said that I would have to pay the shipping for a new plant. If I ordered a plant and the plant is labeled wrong, then I should get what I ordered without having to pay any shipping. I understand mistakes happen and they mislabeled a plant. For that I am not upset, it is the service that they refused to send me another and expect me to pay more to get the plant I ordered. That is bad service.On November 29th, 2007, tgjones changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Cooleys Gardens after this posting did contact me about the comment I made on this web site. They indicated that the worker had made a mistake and that they would do everything they could to resolve the problem. I was told they would replace the iris that was mislabeled and in fact they did send me a replacement. My previous comment was proper at the time, but the company did make things right and that should also be reflected. All the Iris I ordered bloomed beautifully in 2007 and I do recommend this company. I think they simply made a mistake and they did correct it. Thus I have changed my view to positive again
Tntigger Greeneville, TN (Zone 6b) (28 reviews) June 9, 2006
Goo company to buy iris from, lets you know when something is sold out quickly.Beautiful color catalogs.
I was pleased with the size of the plants, the free labels, the sturdy packaging, the nice bonus plant, and the fair prices.
Their website and catalogues are beautiful; and full of information regarding the hyridizer, awards, etc.
flowerfrenzy Vancouver, WA (Zone 7a) (42 reviews) May 19, 2005
On the positive side, the rhizomes are fresh and large. They come with nametags, which is nice. Their catalog is a work of art. On the negative side, the customer service I experienced left a lot to be desired. Two irises that I ordered from them were not true to name. I contacted them for replacements, but they were never replaced. However, I ordered a new intro from them this year, and they caught their mistake. They are sending me my replacement irises this year. Their selection will probably bore a seasoned iris grower, but for the beginner, it's just fine.On November 15th, 2005, flowerfrenzy changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I'm changing my rating of this company to positive because my experience with them this year has been very pleasant. I think that the customer service issues that I had were a one time thing...and I would recommend this company to anyone looking to purchase irises.
For my husband's birthday some years back we ordered a set of irises. They came packaged absolutely wonderfully;no broken or squashed leaves etc. They have bloomed and multiplied so gorgeous, that strangers stop, knock on our door to ask where we got them. Even our local nursery neighbor asked to see the catalog, and ordered some for her own yard. Thanks for giving us our money's worth for a change, and keep up the good work...Sincerely, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Waggy
DreamOfSpring Charleston, SC (Zone 9a) (24 reviews) February 18, 2005
Summer 04, I ordered some 50+ iris from Cooley's sales flier. I received a prompt and accurate shipment of very healthy rhizomes which arrived at the proper planting time. Each iris came with a large plastic label which really came in handy.
In late December 04, while doing a little garden maintenance, I began to notice repeatedly that the growth of Cooley plants was consistently larger and healthier than most of the others (planted at or near the same time). not sure why, but the difference was notable and I thought it was worth noting.
Margiempv Oro Valley, AZ (Zone 9a) (30 reviews) December 3, 2004
I have ordered from Cooley's Iris Gardens for over 15 years now. They have great customer service, large rhizomes/bare-rooted plants, replace any of the plants that die within the first year, and a color catalog that is amazing! I highly recommend this company.
patwood Lake Hopatcong, NJ (20 reviews) November 3, 2004
All I can say is "WOW!" Ordered two collections of reblooming iris. Nice, large rhizomes, much bigger than the crappy ones from some other mail order companies. Of the 18 rhizomes, 4 are now in bud (we're only talking about one or two flowers each, but still amazing, considering I only planted these guys in mid-August, and they're not supposed to rebloom until established). My only hope is that they bloom before we get a hard freeze.On May 20th, 2005, patwood added the following:
Well, only one of the buds last fall didn't get blasted by frost, but it was still nice to have blooms so soon after planting. Now all of the iris from the fall are coming up, several fans each, and about 1/2 have stalks. Will probably order more from them this year.
jinxtertoo Greeneville, TN (6 reviews) October 6, 2004
Fantastic color catalog,the best, big beautiful bulbs,new intro I bought has 4 babys already,fast service,couldn't have been better!
Have bought several iris from this company over the past couple of years. All roots were very healthy, and did extremely well, even with some neglect! I've even had some bloom in the fall the same year after I planted them (repeat bloomers), and all but a few (less than 5% of the plants) bloomed the following spring after planting. Very healthy, nice plants.
Have ordered from them for years......Never have I received an unhealthy rhizome....and I have ordered many, many, many. Can't go wrong with Cooley's. My only complaint...sometimes they don't have a specific cultivar that I am looking for...but with all of the cultivars out there, we can't expect them to carry each and every one. WHAT THEY SELL IS TOP NOTCH!!!!
I ORDERED A COLLECTION FROM COOLEY'S IN THE FALL AND ALL ARRIVED IN EXCELLENT CONDITION. NOW I AM WAITING FOR SPRING TO SEE IF THEY WILL BLOOM FOR ME. I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE MORE COLLECTIONS. IT HAS ALSO BEEN QUITE A WHILE SINCE I HAVE GOTTEN A NEW CATALOG. I AM INTERESTED IN FERTILIZER FOR MY PLANTS? WHAT KIND AND HOW MUCH AND HOW OFTEN?
vieja albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) (8 reviews) January 25, 2003
I have ordered iris from Cooley's in the past and have had very good luck with the order. However, I, too, have not received a catalog the past couple of years and I'd like to see the new arrivals! Guess I'll try their website and try and get a current catalog.
MORNINGGLORY Montrose, PA (Zone 5a) (8 reviews) January 13, 2002
They have excellent plants. Have ordered for about four years and they are just beautiful!
I have been to Cooleys Flower festival approximately 9 years ago and purchased one bulb due to being a poor college student. This one bulb moved with me thru several houses in a pot. In 1993 I finally had an apartment with a yard and the bulb received its first Bed. It loved it after its years of neglect. I still on a poor budget but now due to impending children bought 4 varieties and planted them. These grew taking over to my delight. When we purchased our first house I took some new off shoots with me and they took over at my new house. When we sold our house two years ago I left the bulbs for the new owner a first time homeowner in anticipation of ordering new colors for my new house with an acre. I can't wait to attend the festival this year with my daughter and choose colors for my now tamed wild yard. It needs the grace of an old fashioned iris. I highly recommend this company! Their fields are a delight to drive by in any season. Though expensive, every bulb has survived me, bad pots, poor spoil, and neglect, hardships no bulb should go thru. Now that is saying something!
IndaShade Kylertown, PA (Zone 5b) (24 reviews) December 6, 2001
I have ordered from Cooley's several times. Nice rhizomes, and packed well. Would not hesitate to order from them again.
mikepiper Circleville, OH (Zone 8b) (20 reviews) November 29, 2001
I have ordered from them since 1982 after seeing the nursery fields in bloom. I have had very good luck with their iris.
The iris I ordered in 98 bloomed exceptionally and the rhizomes reproduced on average of 5 to 1 planted. My order this year included some plants from their catalog which did not have descriptions or history. After contacting them on-line for details about these plants, they promptly provided the information I wanted for my records. My personal recommendations for any iris grower, amateur to professional, is to invest the $5 for their catalog, place an order, and follow the instructions for beautiful results.
Once you start ordering, save your old catalogs!!! This is because they have sales every year with minimal descriptions of some of the sale varieties. Usually these varieties are left from previous years so won't always be listed in the most recent catalog. If you have old catalogs you can find these descriptions. I've noticed this with both peonies and daylilies in the Wild's catalogs.
The company puts out a beautiful catalog with a huge selection of bearded iris. The prices are not cheap. However, the quality of the rhizomes that they send is excellent. You can purchase iris individually, or a pre-selected collection from them at a discount. They do give volume discounts as well.I purchased a collection from them, and my mother planted it. One of her dogs kept digging up some of the rhizomes. My mother had to re-plant some of them three or four times before she could get a barrier up to stop the dog. One of the rhizomes got chewed up so bad that my mother thought it was dead. She planted it in a 'throw away' section of the garden just to give it a chance. All of the iris, including the one chewed, lived and bloomed the next Spring. They have divided well and are beautiful. We have given them a little attention, but they seem not to mind. If I have one complaint with the company, it is that they never sent us a new catalog after that year. Supposedly, once you buy you are on the mailing list. Without a new catalog, we cannot place any new orders. I do not know if our experience is typical, but I would recommend this company to bearded-iris enthusiasts.