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The scoop on 'Jurassic Garden - A&A Cycads'

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  Company Profile  
Jurassic Garden - A&A Cycads

Mailing Address:
111225 Canoga Avenue
Chatsworth, California 91311 (United States)

Phone: 818-655-0230
Fax: 818-301-0309

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  Editor's Comment:  
Question Mark Growing Grounds--Visits By Appointment Only

  Company Comment, posted on August 26, 2013:  
Welcome to the Jurassic Garden, a family-owned rare plant nursery in Los Angeles, California, founded in 1998 by Maurice Levin. We specialize in rare living-fossil plants called Cycads, and other drought-resistant rare succulent plants like Aloes, Agaves , Dyckias, Echeverias and Strelitzias. The plant you get from us is likely seed-grown by us.

Maurice Levin, our founder, and Juan Martinez, our Nursery Manager, combine 60+ years of growing experience.

Maurice Levin began growing plants in the 1960s, gardening with his dad. Maurice has been a cycad enthusiast and grower since 1989, having been introduced to these living fossils on a trip to St. John in the US Virgin Islands. Maurice began to propagate and grow cycad plants as soon as he returned home to Southern California.

Juan Martinez grew up on a family farm near Lake Chapala in Mexico, learned farming from his father and grandfather, and has been growing things ever since he could walk. We like to say that when Juan gets cut, he bleeds green!

Our 1 1/2 acre patch of green in Los Angeles is home to cats, rabbits, chickens, possums and 5 humans who try to grow your plants with love and care. While we are a Licensed and Certified State of California Nursery, just like the big operations, we like to think that every plant you get from us comes with a small bit of the love we put into it. While Southern California temperatures are generally mild, your plant will be tougher than you may think. Here in the San Fernando Valley, winter temperatures regularly drop below freezing, and summer temps reach over 100, so your outdoor-raised hardy plant has been grown to withstand tough times.

We guarantee our plants, so you can buy with confidence. All plants have been inspected and certified by a State of California Agriculture Official to be healthy and free of any infestation or disease. We hope you will consider this important distinction if you are looking at different options for purchasing a cycad or succulent.

Thank you for considering us, and we appreciate the opportunity to be of service to you. We operate by appointment, so please call us at 818-655-0230.


  Feedback History and Summary  
10 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Comments:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive LauraMungia13
Arroyo Alto, TX
(1 review)
August 26, 2013
My husband and I ordered a few different types of cycad seedlings on July 26, 2013 and received them on August 23, 2013. They were in great shape when we opened the box and were all beautiful picks. We ordered them as a birthday gift for my husband and he was ecstatic as he pulled each bundle out. We were also very pleased to find that we were sent two free seedlings that are really nice looking with the others we had ordered. He had a wonderful time putting each one in its own pot and taking care to do it the right way. We just got some rain today and he's hopeful they will flourish even more from that. Once again, we are so happy with our seedlings we ordered and the timing was what we expected for shipment. We will definitely be ordering from you again!!! Thank you so much for making my husband the happiest guy out there right now! :) PS: had NO issues with communication at all. Quick responses and always got direct answers!
Negative kzozkum
Emmitsburg, MD (Zone 7a)
(7 reviews)
August 5, 2013
Posted on August 1, 2013, updated August 5, 2013
Posted on July 28, 2013, updated August 1, 2013
Posted on June 25, 2013, updated July 28, 2013
Placed an online order in March 2013 and shortly thereafter, received a broadcast e-mail that there had been a delay in processing orders due to a move, windstorm and power outage.

I decided to be patient but by May, still no order received.

Here it is June and still no plant. I've called several times and left messages (unable to reach a live person) and have sent multiple e-mails via their web page, but again, no response.

They are still taking online orders, but I wondering if anything is going out.

By the way, they go via multiple names including Jurassic Gardens, A & A cycads, cycads.com, cycadpalm.com, and maurice levin.

Buyer beware!
On July 28th, 2013, kzozkum added the following:

Despite his posting above and another month gone by, I still HAVE NOT received any plants from Mr. Levin.

I have emailed him twice about this and have not heard back from either e-mail.

Not sure what the problem is here - either simply refund my money or send me my plant. Its that simple.

I am very annoyed and do not want anyone to think that my negative experience has been resolved!
On August 1st, 2013, kzozkum added the following:

August 1st and nothing. Several emails and no response weeks later. I filed a complaint with the State Attorney's Office and got an email back from Mr. Levin the same day.

I asked for and received a refund.

Original order March 12th, 2013.

Refund received August 1st, 2013.

Good luck if you order from this company.
On August 5th, 2013, kzozkum added the following:

Unbelieveable!

I have order hundreds of plants online and have never had to complain and certainly not file a complaint with the attorney general's office.

The only response I have ever gotten from Mr. Levin was after my initial posting on this web page (the same day after months of ignored emails via their website)...

....then ignored again for over a month until...

...filed a complaint with the state and again, an immediate response the same day.

Let's not paint this in some sort of rosy picture, Mr. Levin - you dropped the ball big time with my order and your service was atrocious. Posting nicey-nice emails on garden watchdog doesn't change that.
Company representative comment on August 1, 2013:
On Jun 25, 2013 10:39 AM, A&A Cycads responded with:

I apologize for our delay in filling your order, which should go out this week. You're right about shipping delays due to our move, which we've tried to notify people about, but if you didn't get our email response, I'm sorry.

I have contacted you via private email to address this, and will do my best to make sure you're treated fairly, one way or another, with plants and service.

Sincerely,

Maurice Levin, Owner
Jurassic Garden -- A&A Cycads
http://cycads.com
http://cycadpalm.com


On Aug 1, 2013 2:24 PM, Jurassic Garden (formerly A&A Cycads) added:

With due respect, I have sent emails, left voicemail messages, and offered a full refund PLUS offering to sending Kent Ozkum free plants. Mr. Ozkum refused our offer of free plants, and just wanted a refund, which he informed me just today. I had no idea he was going to contact law enforcement, but we've never had a customer do this before, and I hope we won't again. We have thousands of happy customers, and I'm sorry this is not one of them.

Sincerely,

Maurice Levin, Owner
Jurassic Garden -- A&A Cycads
http://cycads.com
http://cycadpalm.com

Neutral Tremayne
Melbourne
Australia
(1 review)
July 13, 2013
Posted on December 3, 2011, updated July 13, 2013
I ordered a book 13 months ago from A&A cycads. The last response I received regarding this was in June, despite sending emails regarding this issue. $140 down the drain..
On July 13th, 2013, Tremayne changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Just wanted to add that since making the above comment Maurice did get in contact with me, and eventually I did receive the book.
Company representative comment on December 3, 2011:
On Dec 3, 2011 8:41 AM, A&A Cycads responded with:

I apologize for missing your email, Tremayne. Please contact me directly at maurice@cycads.com or info@cycads.com and we will be happy to refund or ship your book. Since this was a pre-order we had advised customers upon purchase there would be a delay. Nevertheless, if we made a mistake, I'll do what I can to correct this. Maurice

Positive duncanju
Newburyport, MA
(14 reviews)
June 25, 2013
This is a stand-up guy - Got my order today and am very pleased with the plants - Shipping may take longer than others, but you always get quality products, at fantastic prices.
Thank you!
(And this isn't my first order with him, either.)
Positive ahc050
Walnut Creek, CA
(1 review)
May 28, 2013
Posted on April 25, 2013, updated May 28, 2013
Ordered succulents online from A&A Cycads. Website stated most orders in California filled by the following week. My credit card was immediately charged. No response from company despite multiple emails and telephone calls. Now nearly a month later, no plants and no responses from company.
On May 28th, 2013, ahc050 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

An update. Maurice Levin, the owner of A&A Cycads personally contacted me after learning of the delay. He was gracious and courteous. He apologized for the delay and explained about the backlog from the recent move. I have since received the plants (over 160 of them!), and after receiving them, I understood the longer turn around time. Each plant was individually perfectly wrapped and carefully placed in Fed Ex boxes (11 total, weighing almost 500 lbs) full of peanuts. Every plant, from the little echeverias to the giant tree aloe, made it unscathed. Maurice also emailed me with individual care instructions. He is an encyclopedia of knowledge!

I am extremely happy with my plants and the personal customer service AND the care taken in shipping. It was worth the wait. So pleased in fact, that I have shopped at A&A Cycad again. This time for a pair of unusual Aloe dichotoma x Aloe ramosissima.

Company representative comment on April 26, 2013:
On Apr 26, 2013 7:53 AM, A&A Cycads responded with:

Since this is an anonymous posting, I can't address the specifics. However, we have held a "moving sale" with all products discounted by 75%. This resulted in a large influx of orders, which combined with our move of over 20,000 plants, caused a delay in shipping.

Every customer was notified by email that there would be a 2-3 week delay in shipping over 250 orders we received (in time frame we usually receive 40-50), and we have done our best to answer all calls and emails.

An anonymous posting like this is unfortunate, because I can't address this specific situuation but we are doing our best to fill all orders, despite having moved to a site that has no electricity (which we had been promised).

Please bear with us and "ahc" if you would please contact me directly, I will personally address your problem.

Sincerely,

Maurice Levin, Owner
Jurassic Garden--A&A Cycads

Positive jpolk34
Hattiesburg, MS (Zone 8a)
(10 reviews)
December 20, 2007
I have had nothing but wonderful experiences when dealing with A&A Cycads. They have to be the most helpful of any mailorder nursery I have ever purchased from and no matter how relentless I am with the questions about a particular cycad they always answer all my emails and/or phone questions I may ask and send me pics of the plant to boot! I live in south Mississippi (8b) where it occassionally gets below freezing, therefore, I have to make sure a particular cycad is cold hardy before I make a purchase. Maurice has been more than helpful when it comes to suggesting many wonderful cycads for my zone 8 climate. I've ordered a Encephalartos Lehmanii and a large Macrozamia Moorei from them and was more than pleased with the size, health and packaging they arrived in (helps that I was shown a pic of the plant before I bought it). Both plants are doing great and putting out new leaves on a steady basis. I would not hesitate for a minute to order from them again, in fact I'm going to their website after I finish this review. Thank you Maurice, Ameni, Karista and everyone at A&A cycads for you untiring help and service!
Positive Cretaceous
El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b)
(32 reviews)
March 20, 2007
I recently purchased four wonderful cycad specimens (Cycas taitungensis, Dioon edule, Encephalartos altensteinii, and Macrozamia communis) from A&A Cycads. The plants were great value for these rare cold-hardy cycads, and Maurice is very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful !
On May 11th, 2007, Cretaceous added the following:

I recently ordered two cycad seedlings (Bowenia serrulata and Ceratozamia hildae) from AA Cycads. The plants arrived in great shape, and with detailed instructions on how to pot them. Excellent value for these hard to find species. I will definitely order again.
On July 14th, 2007, Cretaceous added the following:

Today I received my third order of cycads from A&A Cycads (Stangeria eriopus and Encephalartos horridus).

Again, I am pleased with the order. The plants arrived promptly and in great shape !
On August 3rd, 2008, Cretaceous added the following:

My wife just purchased a Cycas thouarsii for my birthday from A&A Cycads. The plant arrived today in excellent condition. A very nice specimen for the price. Thanks Maurice !
Positive palmbob
Acton, CA (Zone 8b)
(17 reviews)
August 2, 2006
This is an excellent place for buying cycads- not only does Maurice have an excellent selection of plants, but his prices are reasonable, and he really seems to care about both the plants and the people. I have never ordered a plant to be mailed as i live pretty close to this nursery (lucky me) and it is a terrible tempation. If you like cycads and are ever in the Los Angeles area, you really have to make this a stop before you buy cycads anywhere else (though there are other good places for these plants... but not with this selection AND these prices... at least not in Los Angeles County).
Positive Bugz06
Tulare, CA
(3 reviews)
January 27, 2006
I've purchased both seeds and plants, and the quality is undeniable. Maurice and his staff also provide excellent customer service and I'm sure I'll be buying from them again!
Positive JustinIngram
Fairfield, CA
(1 review)
July 27, 2005
I ordered 3 seedlings of rare Encephalartos this Winter (Dec. 04) from A&A Cycads. They arrived at my door surprisingly within days, and in beautiful condition. As of now (July 05), they have all put up 2-3 new leaves. Excellent service and quality. These are very rare plants we're talking about here, but ordering was almost as simple and automatic as ordering pizza!
Positive balvenie
Marysville, WA (Zone 7a)
(8 reviews)
February 2, 2005
Last year I ordered several seeds from them and had a terrible time with the postal money order being late,lost or something.All conversations with the staff were great,they were very helpful and in spite of the payment snafu,which probably wasn't their fault,I'd buy from them again.The selection and quality was exceptional.
Positive SDCA
San Diego, CA
(20 reviews)
July 12, 2004
I found about A & A Cycads from gardenwatchdog.com, but there were no reviews so I was a bit concerned. I wrote Maurice an email telling him I wanted to "feel out" his company before I went ahead and made an order. Not 10 minutes later, I get a phone call at work from Maurice answering my questions. This is a first class operation folks. Customer service is amazing. Trust me, I've tried to annoy Maurice with all my questions (and there have been a lot), and it just hasn't happened. His cycad selection is the best I have found yet on the internet and his prices are competitive. Maurice is the treasurer of the international cycad society and he has a lot at stake in his business so he can't afford but to have satisfied customers. I am certainly one of them. Don't be fooled by the lone review (apparently there's a lot more on yahoo's rating page but I didn't look them up) This is a top notch business that's been around for a long time. If you like cycads, especially rare ones, you should at least give A & A a chance before you spend money somewhere else.

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