Merrifield Garden Center has been well known to gardeners in the Washington, DC area for 33 years. Our intention with our new web site is to bring our commitment to quality and customer service to shoppers on the internet. Additional products will be added to our site in the future, including holiday items. Please check back with us. We welcome your comments and suggestions.
I am a landscape designer and have been shopping at MFGC since 1995.
Their prices are higher because of the quality of the plants. They buy their plants from reputable growers for a discerning clientele. I do not use another retail nursery in the Metro-DC area.
Their delivery service is great.
The staff is knowledgable. Plant death is negligible. I am a professional, and if a plant dies I can tell you that I am usually at fault. Management tends to be extremely knowledgable. If I am not at fault and a plant is not up to par, I tell them why, send it back, send a picture and the problem resolves.
I do not believe in blind trust. Of course you should be there to accept a delivery or be available during an installation.
I do not use their landscape services so I cannot comment on that.
Plant variety is terrific. If I need quantities then they can be special ordered. There are some rare plants.
You are not only paying for the plant, you are paying for the service, which is usually terrific. Not only that, the plants are very well cared for, watered, fertilized and groomed for sale.
There is no perfect nursery, but I really rely on these people. If we have problems, they get resolved.
After 20 years in the landscape business I have developed a trusted relationship with this company. There are cheaper plants out there. I don't want them. I have not found better service.
Went to Merrified to landscape my small front yard because of their supposed "expertise."
The first thing that went wrong was the crew showed up to start work on the wrong day (early). We happened to be out of town. Our neighbor caught it by luck and also happened to be a native Spanish speaker so she was able to communicate with the crew -- there was no one there who spoke English.
When the workers returned, the supervisor was there and we discussed what happened. After that I went inside because I did not feel that I had to stand over everyone as if they were a bunch of children. Sometime after I went inside the supervisor left.
Once the crew got to work, they planted 1" flowers instead of the 3" we contracted for. Additionally, the crew ripped out several lilies that were about to bloom. Furthermore, they dug up and removed the bulbs too.
They also were hired to remove a bush. Although they ripped out a fully grown lily and dug up the bulb, they did not remove 2 major roots of the bush. I discovered them years later (each a year apart). One root is approximately 8' long or more (I keep it as a reminder not to go to Merrified even for an answer to a simple question). The other was approximately 7' long or more.
The worst part is that in removing that bush my front yard started to die. 3 of my original 5 shrubs installed by the builder approximately 15 years ago never had a problem until Merrifield after worked on my front yard
for the approximately 10 years. The 3 shrubs slowly died off. In removing the bush, they failed to remove its root system, but they shoked and damaged the root systems of these 3 shrubs (I know because I have seen what is beneath the surface in removing the dead shrubs and planting annuals and bulbs).
I have at best 20 sq ft of grass. The bush was in between patches of grass. After removing the bush, Merrifield put grass in to fill in where the bush was. Suddenly (well, relatively quickly) the grass was dead. I had to start over and get new sod.
I find in fascinating that long before I hired a landscaper the annuals I bought at Home Depot outshined and outlasted the ones I purchased at Merrifield.
I am sure you can have a better experience than I did. But you need to (1) watch them like a hawk and stand over them at all times, (2) make sure that you are getting what you paid for, and (3) demand that someone who is 100% fluent in English be onsite at all times. What is sad is that: (1) if I had been out there I could I have stopped and (2) I remember a sufficient amount of Spanish to communicate well enough with someone who is not proficient in English.
Before anyone gets riled up, where I live the non-English Spanish speaking population is not a citizenship (illegal alien) issue. They are citizens, and their heritage is from all over Central America.
Also, there are common gathering points, like at Home Depots, 7-11's, etc. where people stand around waiting to be picked up for this kind of (and all other kinds) of work. No one feels any shame about it or anything of it. By a certain time they are all gone. Not because someone broke it up, but because someone picked them up for work that day. It is freelancing.
carolrees Arlington, VA (Zone 7a) (28 reviews) May 21, 2010
Posted on May 18, 2007, updated May 21, 2010
I have purchased many perennials and vines from the MGC at their Merrifield location last summer and also this summer. Everything from tiarella, plumeria, many clematis, jacob's ladder, callirhoe, salvia, nepeta, etc. I purchased 2 huge pyrancantha last year which are thriving and a huge wisteria (5' tall) this season. Overall they have great quality and the customer service is amazing. Their annuals are expensive so I typically get them some place else unless it's something unusual that only they sell.On May 21st, 2010, carolrees changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Their plants are very good and they provide good assistance for them but I had a bad experience with their landscaping services. I hired them to prune 2 trees, and weed and mulch my backyard. They did a good job on the trees and were reasonably priced but they were way overpriced for the weeding and mulching and killed a number of my plants. They seemed to have hired people off the street for that who had no experience and were incompetent at laying down mulch. They spread too much and covered up about 30 of my plants. I spent a lot of time in the next fews days uncovering plants that they had totally covered and trying to save a number of them. I would hire them again for pruning services but I would NEVER HIRE them to do anything else in the yard.
I'm a Landscape Architect in N Virginia. I personally purchase the majority of my (non bulk/wholesale) products at Merrifield, and also recommend the nursery to my design clients - both DIY plant people, and those soliciting installation bids. The owners really care about customer happiness and DO honor written guarantees. The plant clinic can be a great resource for those who are pro-active in garden health/maintenance. Most sales staff very plant savvy, always pleasant. Yes, the prices are higher - but service quality and purchase guarantees are nirvana for me. If you can't 'get satisfaction', an owner WILL speak with you. This is the way to resolve any issues *if* it comes to that. It's a family-run, customer-caring nursery. The fact that it's a pretty place to wander about is a bonus.
About six or seven years ago I needed specimen tree to replace a rotted stump in my front yard. I bought a giant crepe myrtle at MGC and had it delivered and planted. The tree gets full sunlight all day but has never bloomed. In dry summers (not this year!) I've had to water the tree every few days or the leaves begin to curl and desiccate. Several trips back to the MGC have not been fruitful (pun intended). Staff insist tree is behaving "normally" and is becoming adjusted to its new home (e.g. "these trees usually take one year to get established, two to grow, and three or more to thrive and bloom, etc."). The tree has grown, so much so it's over 20 feet high and perhaps 15 feet wide. Despite its otherwise healthy appearance, the tree does not bloom. My own diagnosis is that the MGC did not properly plant the tree and ensure that the hole was large enough or deep enough to allow for root growth and my having to water it every few days, even after several years of being in the ground, is evidence of this. I am more than willing to accept that "only God can make a tree" but the MGC could do a better job at helping God now and then. Lord knows, they are not much at helping customers. If, like me, you spend a couple of thousand bucks on a specimen tree, be sure to research the planting needs and be there to observe when the planting crew comes along -- just to make sure they do their job and do not take any shortcuts that might endanger the project over the long term. I still shop at Merrifield now and then but prefer other garden centers in the area that are cheaper and just as good. I never mind spending some extra money if I think I'm getting a quality product or service, which is why I went to MGC in the first place. Their product and service, however, let me down and their almost programmed insoucience to being told of my problem did little to inspire confidence in them or their services.
lilyan Carleton, MI (Zone 5a) (4 reviews) June 21, 2009
I purchased online a quart of weed killer. They shipped a container that was unsealed, with one third of the contents missing. There was no leakage in the box it came in.
i emailed them back with the problem and never received any response.
I have shopped at Merrifield for about 10 years now and have been happy with their products and service every time. Yes, they are a bit pricier than their competitors but the difference is more than worth it if you consider the trove of information they provide, the helpfulness of the staff and the honesty of the business. I have had two issues with dead/unhealthy plants and they replaced them free of charge each time- even after pointing out what I did wrong with pne of the original plants. In other words, it was my fault it died but they said if the plant was healthy to begin with then it would have been okay. I will continue to go to them first when I need a plant, tree, bush whatever. The extra cost is worth it.
Best plants in town, wish they weren't as expensive but I can find what I want. Good quality, helpful staff, popcorn to munch on when hungry. Good seminiars. Purchased a groupings of hen's and chicks, diffeent names and very happy with the. Etc Etc,
Thanks, Linda hall
I have purchased several items from Merrifield over the past 10 years (Row House in DC and now house in Vienna).
The prices are a bit higher...definitely ... which is why I buy only what I can't find elsewhere (or for convenience). Most of all, I love to go because of the helpful staff. I went yesterday after having to buy to replace items from an order that did not arrive and it was great to talk with someone about the different options of heuchera that I had not considered as well as some other ideas. I had called earlier in the day to request some things to be put aside and it was nice to arrive ... see everything I wanted to the side and I appreciated the fact that what was picked out was the healthiest and most mature of the bunch. Also...I don't recall anything that I have bought from Merrifield not growing or thriving. Everything has been very healthy.
I may not go here all the time...but when I need ideas and friendly staff and to browse...I would pick Merrifield each time.
Well, first of all let me say that Merrifield is extremely overpriced for the quality of merchandise they offer. We had 5 azaleas, 1 dogwood and 1 Japanese maple planted in our yard. All 5 azaleas died along with the dogwood and Japanese maple. They replaced the azaleas with heather, replaced the dogwood with another dogwood, and the Japanese maple with a redbud. The heather have all died but look like they may be coming back. The dogwood is very much dead and the redbud made it through the winter.
We asked for a quote to replace the dogwood and the heather and figured we would get a discount since they provided the plants that have died twice! However, they offered no discount. Also, we have bought mulch from them for 2 years now and have paid 3 times the amount per bag that you would pay anywhere else. In addition, add the cost of labor and you are talking about very expensive mulch.
I had heard that Merrifield was a great nursery and we spend around $3000 the first year we used them, and $800 last year, but no more. I will put the mulch down myself and go to some of the smaller nurseries where the plants are better and cheaper!
sdagutis Oakton, VA (Zone 7a) (1 review) April 28, 2007
After we completed renovated our house in Fairfax City, we called Merrifield Garden Center for landscaping advice, which as I recall cost nothing. We went ahead with the project which included a new driveway, entry, and an accent fence. We were completely delighted with the result. After we moved to Oakton, we continued to work with the same designer. We're busy reclaiming the woods from non-native invasives and turning it into a woodland wonderland. It's been a great experience all around.
I’ve purchased pesticides and herbicides from merrifieldgardencenter.com and I can say that their customer service has been nothing but superb. The few times I’ve had weed and insect crisis and ask their customer services representatives for help, they quickly transferred me to a so call “plant clinic” where a highly knowledgeable representative helped me, and recommended some great products. Best of all they offer great products like Bonide!!!!!!!! Five Stars for Customer Service.
Brent_In_NoVa Sterling, VA (Zone 6b) (1 review) November 20, 2006
This is a primo garden center and generally regarded as one of the best in the area. They are hard to beat when it comes to selection, knowledge and plant quality. You could easily spend two hours browsing their selection. They even have some wonderful display gardens at the Fair Oaks location (the only one of the two that I have visited). The biggest drawback for MGC is the price. Many of their items are priced significantly higher than other area garden centers.
IndoorGardner Falls Church, VA (Zone 7a) (9 reviews) October 27, 2006
I go there for the dirt only. I really love their brand of potting mix. The staff is a little too arrogant for me. I was there recently shopping for ingredients for “compost tea”. The sales guy keep trying to tell me how to make sure my compost pile dissolves and sell me enzymes to help me. Ok first of all I like everything organic. What he was giving me was not even close. Second, I don’t need to break it down because it cooks in bubbling water for 5 days. So why would I break it down. None of the good stuff would be left. He told me I watch too much TV and did not know what I was doing. I was shocked!!!!!! I research everything I do. I don't just see something on HGTV and say that’s it. This is not the first bad experience I have had there, but it will be the last. I am looking for somewhere else who has nice dirt and better prices. I spend a lot on plants and plant care. It’s averaging a minimum of $600.00 a month. Please keep in mind that this is only for an apartment. Wait to you see what I spend on a house. They lost a good customer with me.
I enjoy browsing this place. I am impressed by the selection. The annuals are in awful shape so I prefer to go to Cox farms in vienna, va instead for annuals because although they have less selection, always have quality plants. Merrifield has a nice selection of shrubs, and perennials also. Their prices are a little high though. Overall I like browsing this place, but am discouraged by the terrible condition most of their annuals are in, as well as many of their perennials. The only plants that seem to be in GOOD condition for the most part in the whole place are the shrubs. I still go from time to time to comb the entire place in hopes of finding goodies in good condition:)
ddenic Ashburn, VA (Zone 7a) (1 review) March 28, 2006
They have a great selection of plants and, when not busy, have some of the most helpful and knowlegeable sales staff I've seen at a nursery. I love browsing their plants.
At times they deserve a negative rating for their prices. I was charged $52 for a flat of impatients a few years ago. When I returned them before getting them to my car, even the check-out person was floored by the price. I still support Merrifield as I hope those higher prices are used to retain their above average employees.
Having recently completed a home renovation, I requested the MGC to do a landscaping consultation, for which they charge a $50 fee. A very personable and clearly highly qualified landscape architect came to my home, but rather than give me any ideas or plans for the work to be done, I was surprised that all of the time was spent giving me a sales pitch to hire the landscape architect, for a significantly higher fee.
I'm sure that this person is a great architect, but what I thought I was paying for was ideas, even initial off-the-cuff-ideas, but not a sales pitch to engage this person. So what I basically ended up paying for was for someone to come to my home and give me a pitch. That doesnt really seem like a landscaping consultation to me. How about you?
Caveat emptor, again.
Farmerdill Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) (22 reviews) March 10, 2005
I stumbled across Merrifield Garden Center while searching for seed for Stone Mountain watermelon and discovered that they are a dealer for one of my old time favorite seed companies, Wetzels,. Thanks to the them I now have seeds for the Stone Mountain and the Blood Turnip beet. Great service, generous packets, good prices and a good selection of childhood favorites.
earlax Falls Church, VA (1 review) December 15, 2004
I have bought many things from MGC in the last four years, shopped at both locations, bought both plants and accessories, and even returned stuff. They have been nothing but friendly and helpful every time. The staff is very knowledgeable and the stock is consistently interesting and healthy. They do a good job of stocking primarily things that will do well locally. I have not made use of their landscape services (my neighbors might think I need to), but I have seen their work and it is very good. I haven't seen them plant things that will likely die so they can make money off replacing the plants. I am very lucky to live around the corner!