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Ordered from their catalog for the first time this spring (non-plant item). On March 7th placed the order and when I hadn't received it by May 10th I called and was informed that it was still on back order and they didn't know when it would ship. I cancelled the order. Imagine my surprise when I got my credit card bill and found that they had charged the item to my account on June 16th (6 weeks after I had cancelled the order). Calling customer service about the charge I talked to a person who, while not rude, did not seem particularly concerned with what had happened. She said she'd issue a credit to my account. I didn't want another "mix-up" to occur with my credit card number wandering around in their hands so called my card company myself. They have lost my trust over this.
Absolutely BEAUTIFUL plants and absolutely meticulous packaging. We eat blueberries all summer off of the miniature bushes purchased from them about 5-6 years ago, my Lenten Rose plants from them are so big I'm going to have to annex part of my neighbor's yard, and the plumbago can't be killed (and I am trying - bad choice on MY part). One blueberry bush succumbed - they refunded without a hitch. Lots of things available that I can't get locally and they are NOT a bad price once you realize the quality and size you are getting!
I hesitated from ordering from Winterthur at first - plants? from them? and then I saw the magnificent specimens that my one neighbor had received from them. Wow! Such large and healthy plants! Her peonies and climbing hydrangea were wonderful; and then another neighbor ordered, and another. Each time the stock was consistently large, healthy and beautiful. Late last year I broke down and ordered several plants. All but one arrived - again with wonderful results. I was disappointed that one of my ordered items did not ship. It was repeatedly put on the delayed shipment status. I could not get any real status on why but was promised that a horticulturalist would phone me back. I never got the call that I am aware of and eventually cancelled it. However, this would not change my high opinion of their plants. I will definitely order from them again.
Last spring ('96) I bought a pair of dwarf winterberry hollies (Ilex verticilla) from Winterthur that made all my other mail-order plants look sick by comparison. These were the healthiest, fullest, most perfectly formed specimens that I have ever encountered (due in part to meticulous packing prior to shipment). These hearty shrubs are growing so well that I've ordered more of the same, in addition to a hard-to-find enkianthus and a variegated lacecap hydrangea. I was pleasantly surprised that an institution known for its arts and crafts museum was a source for high quality nursery stock.