Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
We expect to have our 2009 plant offerings updated and available online the first part of February. Our nursery opens April 1st. This year our hours are 10-5 Wed-Sun through September. We are closed this season on Mondays and Tuesdays to allow for our mail order shipping. All the best & happy gardening! ~Marie
mrs_colla Marin, CA (Zone 9b) (29 reviews) April 23, 2013
Posted on May 11, 2010, updated April 23, 2013
Posted on February 9, 2010, updated May 11, 2010
Posted on March 15, 2007, updated February 8, 2010
I spoke with Marie on the phone; she is the sweetest lady!!
I ordered plants, they came fast, they look great, big roots filling up the pots. Great packing, fair price too, and unusual collection of plants! Highly recommend this nursery.
She sent a candle as a gift too, I love surprises!
I can't wait for April, when more plants will be available, I will be ordering again!!
ChristieOn March 14th, 2008, mrs_colla added the following:
Although the plants offered are amazing in quality and many of them cannot be found anywhere else, I would like to point out one thing.
I ordered my plants in February and they won't ship until April. But my credit card was charged right away, months before I will see my plants.
When I contacted Marie, she wrote back promptly saying they charge the money at the time of the order to ensure you will receive the plants, because they sell out quick, as kind of an assurance you will get the exact plants you ordered.
If you don't like this approach, be forewarned.On May 10th, 2008, mrs_colla added the following:
My plants came, packed better than any other company!
They are all beautiful, except for one that was on the mini side.
I do trust Marie's plants however, they always grow!
This little one got eaten by snails, so it's gone, but that was my mistake for not putting Sluggo around it.
Will buy more plants, they have a wonderful collection!On May 15th, 2009, mrs_colla changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
This lady has the most wonderful collection of plants, honestly.
BUT she charges plants when you order, and next you have to wait sometimes 6 months for the plants to be shipped! I can do better things with my money in 6 months.
Two weeks ago she emailed me to let me know she was going to ship the next day or so.
A week went by, no plants. I had made preparations for the plants to get here, it is already warm where I live.
No response from her to my email.
Again I wait. Another week went by without plants.
I waited longer than I normally will. When a vendor says they will ship I EXPECT a shipment. When a vendor becomes incommunicado I cut the cord.
I asked for a full refund.On May 16th, 2009, mrs_colla added the following:
Marie emailed me a very sweet email. She is a sweet lady. She explained how a re-run on a TV show and in a magazine made the orders too big to handle.
I can understand that. But if you grow you must hire more people to take care of all the orders.
She promised me a refund.
There are no hard feelings, and I know Marie is working really hard, but the result is the same for my anyhow; no plants!On February 9th, 2010, mrs_colla changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I got the refund, in a timely manner, thank you.On May 11th, 2010, mrs_colla changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Marie works her fingers off, she deserves a positive, even if I didn't get my plants when I wanted. Admitted, there are more people in the world than me :-)On April 23rd, 2013, mrs_colla changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
The wonderful selection makes me go back, and then the same thing happens: the credit card gets charged, the plants don't arrive in months, I inquire, get no reply, I wait some more, get mad, after all, they are sitting on my money and I have gotten nothing in return, and I cancel the order and wait for the refund. I believe Marie works very hard, but there is always an excuse as to why it didn't go as planned, and that's just not right. I cannot under perform in my job time after time because of a myriad of excuses. It is a business, deal with it or close.
stewardess Easton, PA (Zone 6a) (4 reviews) February 20, 2010
I truly adore this very unique company, and my experience with them was wonderful. The selection of coordinated plants - each the quintessential 'chocolate garden' flower or complementary plant - was extraordinary and incomparable. The variety of plants they offer really stimulated my imagination, and completely changed the plan I had for a number of my gardens. Many of their offerings seem to be unique to their website, and I was grateful to have the opportunity to order them. The plants I did order arrived well-packaged and healthy - a satisfying comfort, considering we reside across the continent from their Washington nursery. They all thrived in and enhanced my garden. In particular, I just love my single black columbines. So pretty! My order arrived with a surprise chocolate candle, which was beyond generous and smells delectable. Emails were answered super quickly, and Marie's communications were so, so friendly.
lettucelaw Woodinville, WA (5 reviews) July 31, 2009
I had the recent opportunity to visit the gardens in Langley, examine the beautifully grown plants and to speak at length with Marie (who owns the business with her husband, Bill) about the formation, development and future plans of Chocolate Flower Farm. Marie is an astute business woman and talented gardener, as well as incredibly generous with her time, taking pains to ensure all of my questions were answered and to share her love of plants "from the dark side." The plants were gorgeous and healthy, despite the recent succession of 90 degree + weather (almost unheard of in western WA's mild maritime climate) and Marie was hard at work before the crack of dawn watering and caring for her plants. This is a business run with passion, intelligence and skill. Order plants, seed collections or perhaps a dozen of Bill's hand-crafted, chocolate-scented candles. You will be delighted with the quality of all their products!
dlstafford Simi Valley, CA (5 reviews) September 11, 2008
This was my first order from this company and I will definitely order from them again. I needed to cancel an item and my email was handled promptly and personably. The plants arrived on time and in beautiful condition. They are the largest plants that I have ever recieved from an online source. A great value for the price.
I absolutely love this company. The plants were packaged wonderfully, were large and healthy and transitioned into my garden without any problems! The chocolate theme is wonderful and their candles smell yummy, too!
I am a fan of dark flowers & shrubs, and couldn't resist the price from Chocolate flower farm and, at the time very few carried the somewhat rare and new variety I wanted particularly for the much lower price they had. When they arrived I was VERY surprised at the nice size and quality of plants I got, all in excellent condition. I too, got a chocolate candle with my purchase!
I purchased my plants in '07 (I like to wait a year before reviewing). I highly recommend this company, and the plants were all alive, healthy, and for being rare very reasonably priced. They grew wonderful last year, and are coming back with a vengence this year. Great service too!
sunimrette Zebulon, NC (Zone 7b) (4 reviews) January 20, 2008
Last spring I ordered two chocolate daisies and chocolate mint from them. The chocolate mint was fine and has grown well, but the two chocolate daisies were in poor shape. For $8 plants, they were scrawny, with small root systems, and one was on the verge of death. I planted them anyways, in a raised bed with lots or organic matter and tried to nurse them through the season. One died promptly, the only barely survived. My hope of having chocolate scented flowers last summer were dashed. I moved the surviving plant, which had died down to the size of a seedling, to a more sheltered place for the winter, but I doubt it will survive.
I've had the run-around too many times from too many mail order catalogs, so I did not bother this time. Now I see that everyone else seems to have had a great experience, and I really wish that I had emailed them about the problem when they could have done something about it. That is why I am putting "positive" down, because I honestly did not give them the chance to rectify the situation, and I don't want to hurt their rating. Plus the free chocolate-scented votive was nice :)On April 11th, 2008, sunimrette added the following:
As predicted, the Berlandiera did not survive- but Marie saw this review and contacted me, explaining the unexpected situation with that particular crop last year. She sent replacements, and they are very healthy, robust looking plants that I expect will do very well in my garden. I look forward to ordering from them in the future!
I was also in search of a plant I couldn't live without. It is one of the new dark foliage elderberries called 'Black Lace'. I talked to Marie via email and by phone and was finally able to talk her in to mailing me one. I was so excited. It is a wonderful addition to my borders. The shrub was in a 2 gallon pot and the shipping was a little extra but well worth it and it was well discussed before she relented. I just couldn't see driving from Central Oregon to Langley Washington for a shrub. I also ordered 4 perennials. Two are oriental poppies that are not available anywhere else on the West Coast this year - Royal Chocolate Distinction and one of the New York Series, Brooklyn. And then to top off the box was Dan Hinkley's ornamental rhubarb, Rheum 'Ace of Hearts'. I opened the boxes 2 days later and it was like I had walked into Chocolate Flower Farm and chosen the best plants they had. Large - Lush - Wonderful. I rate this business with 5 huge Gold Stars.
After following a lead on chocolate scented flowers I ended up at Chocolate Flower Farm's website. When I found that they had chocolate- or dark-foliaged plants as well, I tracked down a black Cimicifuga that I've been lusting after for some time now. I emailed them a handful of times in the course of the same day, asking continuous questions about the health and size of the plants, shipping, prices, etc. Marie -- one of the owners -- responded quickly and patiently every time.
I was looking for a large Bugbane and Marie informed me that they were getting ready (literally, within a day) to move all their gallon sized plants up to 2 gallons (which would make them pricier ... and unshippable, but that wasn't as much of a concern since the farm is within a ferry ride and another 2 hours drive of here) but that they would be willing to send one to me instead. Marie let me know that the plants had all but outgrown their pots, but then told me that they had smaller (cheaper, of course) 4" pot plants if I was concerned about planting a large, near-rootbound plant in summer.
At the end of the same day I made the decision and opted for one of the larger plants, ordering online. I received the shipping notification the next morning (early), and had the plant delivered into my hands 1 day earlier then was promised.
The plant was packaged beautifully; I simply could not be happier about that. With the exception of two small broken leaves (already crisp, so broken well before they were shipped) this was the healthiest looking nursery plant I have ever seen -- mail order or otherwise. The nearly 4' plant glowed with vigor. The roots were indeed bound, but I pulled them away from each other without much problem.
All in all, I'm impressed with the customer service, the plant, and Marie's willingness to lower their profit by offering me a cheaper plant when she thought it might suit my needs better. And if all that weren't enough, she threw in a chocolate-scented candle as a gift. My experience was very positive.