It has been sort of a rough mail-order season for me this year, and I am tickled to report I had a wonderful experience with Goodwin Creek. Even though the plants had to travel from OR to NC, they all arrived in excellent condition. One of the plants I had ordered was out of stock, so they sent me a substitution free of charge, and refunded the cost of the originally ordered plant plus a fraction of the shipping. Good plants, reasonable shipping charges, and great customer service.
I recently rec'd a large order from Goodwin Creek and must say it was all that I could ask for and more. I am new to gardening and their website and phone advice was extremely helpful with my decisions. I talked to both Jim and Dottie and they are very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. They advised me on selections for my area. I wanted them asap but was told it was too early for my area to plant & ship and they advised me to wait a few weeks, which I did. The plants arrived in beautiful condition with easy instructions on when & how to plant. I ordered a multitude of different varieties from lavenders to sage to salvia and lots more. I would highly recommend Goodwin Creek plants.
kwajcats Point Roberts, WA (4 reviews) November 18, 2011
I've ordered from Goodwin creek a number of times and have always had a good experience. They can't be held accountable for bad weather nor for running out of stock - with all nurseries you have to order "quickly" if you want a particularly desirable plant.
My lavenders are beautiful, the hardy fuchsia's are thriving and the monarda's are literal show stoppers. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend ordering from this nursery.
FR in Pt Bob
Posted on May 20, 2011, updated June 6, 2011
Wanting to plant a lavender garden, on April 8 I ordered 18 lavender plants. I received a confirmation of the order by email, but all it stated was an order number-no specifics like other companies do. In early May I emailed asking where are my plants. A few days later, on May 9, I received a reply stating that some plants were "ready" late and that they would send it that week, It is now Friday May 20 and still no plants and no further message from them. I am leaving on Tuesday for a ten-day trip, so I emailed them VERY early today telling them that unless they overnight the plants to me the plants will die on the doorstep while I am away-that is if they finally do arrive. The email was there hours before they opened (there is a 3 hour time-zone difference ). They had all day to email or call-but they didn't. I will call my credit card company for a refund. And to boot I have lost one year for this garden-everyone is out of various varieties now. Plus you cannot plant lavender successfully in the fall in zone 5. I guess they simply don't care.On June 6th, 2011, PlantinPatti added the following:
Update- I finally was able to reach them. However, despite having emails from them stating they would ship on May 9, they claimed they were confused about that ship date. How could they be confused? THEY said that was when they were shipping. I arranged to have plants shipped when I returned on June 4. HOWEVER, I stated that after waiting for two months for my order not to send me tiny plants that were "not quite ready".
The plants arrived in perfect condition. BUT 6 plants were a variety that I did not order. Their catalog states no substitution without permission, but no one asked. Although they did not charge me for those 6 plants, I waited for 2 months to get something I did not want.Company representative comment on June 6, 2011: On Jun 6, 2011 8:43 AM, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:
the customer is correct in that we missed her desired shipping date. we had some confusion on which day she left for vacation, so we thought it safest to wait until she returned home. I wish all plants could be ready at the same time, but there are always exceptions. in this case a new lavender variety was way behind the others. as she clearly states above, she did not want smalll plants. I guess we were getting a little gun-shy at this point, and at the last minute I pulled out the small lavenders and replaced them with a similar, but more mature lavender variety (6 plants) and sent them free of charge as an apology that the other variety was not yet ready. she is correct in stating that we made some errors. I can only say that we tried to correct our mistakes and did not charge for anything not ordered. we do guarantee satisfaction and try to find a solution that the customer appreciates.
The order that I received this week was again very well packaged, the plants (all kinds of stoechas lavender) looked freshly picked and the soil was moist, and they arrived the exact week I had requested them to be shipped. Communication is good and I enjoy doing business with Goodwin Creek Gardens. I have been a repeat customer of theirs for the past few years and always come back when I need something they grow.
Posted on February 28, 2011, updated March 1, 2011
I placed two separate orders with this company within a two day window and contacted them to combine the order. I received a voice mail message from the company indicating they received my email and that there was a problem shipping to Florida, that it had to go air but that they could do it for the same price. When I got the package, the invoice inside the box had a revised shipping charge on it that was several dollars higher than what the order form indicated it would be. If that had been clear at the time of the order, I would have cancelled the order because the shipping was as much as the tiny plants I received. I was surprised at how small the plants were, but I went back to the website and it did say 3 inch pot and they came in a pot 3 inches high... I just expected more of a plant, not a twig with a couple of leaves on it. I sent an email asking for a refund on the additional money charged for shipping. The invoice in the box contradicts what was left on the voice mail message about the shipping charge being the same cost. Also-- this is not the fault of the company, but UPS screwed up and there was a delay getting my plants. The plants were packed okay for shipment and one was bent up to fit in the box but sprung back okay. I am happy with the turn around time and was pleasantly surprised to get a phone message from them, but now I haven't heard back about the over-charge for the shipping. I did not agree to any additional fee for shipping and I don't think it is right to just charge the customer more when the order form already quoted a rate. If they cannot honor the price on their order form the customer should have the opportunity to cancel the order. I did not agree to pay anything extra and I was informed it would not cost extra. I would have found another source if I knew the cost for shipping was going to be several dollars over the quoted amount. On March 1st, 2011, flagulfcoast changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Obviously the comments on this website matter to garden companies because I received an email this morning from this company this morning regarding my post here. They are going to refund the difference in the shipping charges. I do take issue with their explanation, however. I was never informed in writing of any changes to the charges except for the invoice in the box. The phone message indicated a shipping method that was the same price as what was on their order form. Their order form automatically calculated the charge. I as the end consumer don't understand all the in's and out's of the various shipping options and it was automatic on their page. The phone message wasn't clear. Nor at any time was there any explanation about the nature of shipping plants at this time of year from Oregon (relating to the small size of what I received). I was disappointed but when I went back to the website the pot was the size advertised so my disappointment was the difference between the picture of the plant on the website and the reality of what got shipped, but they said it was a 3 inch pot and that is what they sent (3 inch tall, not wide).
I feel this website did nudge them into responding regarding the shipping charge and I am happy with the refund. I think they are a relatively small mom 'n pop operation trying to do the right thing and I would take a chance and order from them again. I do think their website ordering process could be clearer, however. I would have canceled the order outright if it was clear about the shipping issues. I have no desire to "stick it" to them for the difference with a high charge for shipping any more than I want to be stuck with a higher than anticipated shipping charge. Their quick response to this post and refund of the difference in the shipping charges has changed the rating to positive. Company representative comment on February 28, 2011: On Feb 28, 2011 9:43 PM, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:
Unfortunately, there were 2 points that we thought were explained clearly during the ordering process, both verbally and in a written note, but were evidently misunderstood by the customer. We take full responsibility for not making this clearer to her (see last sentence of rebuttal).
1. Plants shipped in midwinter from our nursery in Oregon are usually dormant and often pruned well back before new growth appears in spring. In her case (2 kinds of Asclepias/milkweed), 1 Asclepias had above ground woody growth that was dormant and nearly leafless and the other type was dormant with no above ground growth at all. This is normal and healthy for both types to apear this way. Both were guaranteed to begin growing in warmer weather.
2. She chose UPS Ground as a shipping method. We cannot ship plants safely, even when dormant, to Florida by UPS Ground. This is stated on our shopping cart. We recommend UPS 3 Day or Priority Mail. We said on the phone that we could ship her order Priority Mail for the same price as UPS Ground. She said she still wanted UPS as it was more convenient, so we shiped UPS 3 Day and added on the difference. Apparently she thought we meant we would not charge extra (we actually charged her less than the real difference). However, due to the misunderstanding, we have refunded her the additional shipping charges.
I was very happy with my purchase of two of their collection specials - a Lavender collection of 6 plants and a rosemary collection of 6, selected for my area. The conformation e-mail, and notification of shipment, with tracking info, was was timely. The plants were well packed and arrived in good shape, except for one lavender -( Peter Pan cult.) that has dry, brittle leaves. There is some new growth evident so, time will tell if it survives well. Over all, I am very pleased and will definitely order again.
I placed an online order with GCG the second week of March, yet after the order was placed I heard nothing from the company until I was fed up and forced to cancel my order 3 weeks later.
No where on their website or during checkout does it provide ship dates for their plants. I understand that the weather may not permit shipping just yet ( I live in zone 8) and I would have been glad to wait, had the company simply advised of an ETA.
Moreover, do not charge let me repeat DO NOT CHARGE a customers credit card in full when you know that the plants will not ship for weeks. It is unfair to the customer, now top that off with ZERO communication, and you have an angry customer.
11 days after my card was charged and I had not received an email with an ETA I sent an email to GCG politely stating that I had not received an order number and would like to know when to expect my plants. I even included a back up email address just in case.
I received no reply at either address.
The first week of April I realized that GCG was not going to send me an email letting me know when to expect the plants and as such I would likely not know when the plants are delivered and they would die on my front porch. I refuse to pay for dead plants and poor customer service.
I phoned but had to leave a voice mail on April 3rd and asked that my order be canceled.
I received an email response from GCG THE SAME DAY acknowledging my voice mail request to cancel my order.
Unfortunately, the response was curt and defensively worded email that began with “ we sent an email but you clearly did not receive it.”
Let me be very clear, I check my email including junk mail numerous times a day. I can most assuredly state that I did not receive an email after the order was placed nor did I receive a response to the email that I sent a few weeks later.
Moreover, instead sending a curt defensive email this would have been an opportunity to save the sale, by simply saying " sorry that we did not get back to you, we value your business and would like to try again."
I am serious, I love lavender and would have probably said, OK.
Instead they let a customer walk away, clearly my business was not needed or wanted. Odd, in this economy.
All in all, this was an unpleasant experience and I have taken my business elsewhere.
GCG, communication is vital, especially for an online retailer. It is unfair for customers to wait and wonder what in the hell is going on with their order all the while having to pay interest on product they may not receive for weeks.
If GCG does reply to this complaint, I expect that they will state that this was the customers fault.
Company representative comment on April 9, 2009: On Apr 8, 2009 11:03 PM, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:
1.We did send an email soon after the order was received, on March 19, stating that the order would be shipped in about 3 weeks. We did not receive a reply requesting another date. The customer cancelled the order before the shipping date arrived.
2. We do have a place on our website order form for customers to request a shipping date. Otherwise, it says clearly, that we will choose a date depending on destination zone, type of plants, and when plants would be ready.
3. We do value our orders and customers and in no way tried to be curt or rude. The words quoted above are not the words we used in our email. The customer wanted to cancel and we did so as quickly as possible for her convenience. We did not "let her walk away". We are sorry that there was a misunderstanding about shipping.
4. Our policy is to put through debit/credit cards at least a couple of weeks before shipping. A surprising number of cards are lost, stolen, or declined and it sometimes takes several days of phone calls or emails to finally get the problem resolved so we can ship on time. Sometimes cards expire between the time orders are received (winter) and shipped (spring), so these must be processed as well. If a customer requests, however, that we delay processing until shipping, we honor that request.
5. Above all else, we do guarantee customer satisfaction.
gryphon1 Morning Sun, IA (1 review) March 17, 2009
I have had several experiences with GCG and whenever plants were not ready or sold out or whatever, they have always made it right. But that has been the exception rather than the rule. I have always been pleases with their customer service and with the plants I purchased from them. I keep coming back to them year after year because they offer what I am looking for when nothing around here does. other places I worked with have done good work usually but GCG has always been great to work with.
Dissappointing: I ordered 4 Pelargonium varieties and 6 Rosemary varieties. I recieved no Pelargoniums; they said on the delivery slip that they were sold out. I recieved just 4 of the Rosemary varieties. I told them if one was not available to double up, which they did not do. One variety was clearly not the right variety. I did not bother to advise Goodwin Creek Nursery, and will not. I dont have enough confidence in them at this point to correct the order. I will not purchase from them again.Company representative comment on July 21, 2008: On Jul 21, 2008 8:57 AM, Goodwin Creek Gardens added:
Firstly, we guarantee complete customer satisfaction, but can't help if the customer doesn't bother to contact us with the problem. Secondly, looking back at the records of this particular order, it still appears we did everything the customer requested. Apparently we did not fully understand his instructions for substitutions, something that could have easily been corrected had he contacted us.
I ordered three Kniphofia 'Primrose Beauty' on July 28, 2007 for Fall 2007 shipping. The plants never arrived. I sent several emails and finally called to inquire about the missing plants that were charged to my credit card. It was explained that they were back ordered until Spring. This was not a problem. It is now May 2008, that is a problem. The last time two times I called I was told that they would ship in a couple of weeks. Still have no plants and no money has been refunded.
I guess I will never get either. On May 28th, 2008, cynthsmthrmn changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
The folks at Goodwin Creek contacted me this afternoon and have shipped out my plants and refunded the cost of shipping. I appreciate their effot to correct the issue. On June 2nd, 2008, cynthsmthrmn added the following:
Plants arrived on Friday in excellant condition.
elliefair Fairfield, VA (1 review) February 18, 2008
I ordered lavendars, scented geraniums and many other plants from GCG. I also ordered salvias and mints. This is the first time I ordered from them and I must say all the plants arrived in time and in perfect health. And I was amazed at how quickly they grew. Definitely a sign of a healthy plant. I can't wait to order from they again for the new growing season. I also spoke to the staff as I had a few questions and they were extremely helpful , friendly and gave me excellent advice.
I ordered 3 Phygelius and an Epilobium on Saturday 8/5. On Sunday, Jim called from the nursery to let me know they were out of the Epilobium and to see if I wanted a substitute or not. (I did not, but it was very nice of him to call, especially on a Sunday evening) The plants arrived on 8/10 from Oregon to Georgia in the heat of August like they had never even been in the box. Nice sized plants, no wilt whatsoever. I'll be doing more business with them in the future.
I have been a customer of Goodwin Creek Gardens for more than 10 years and I have never had anything but positive experiences with them. In fact they are one of my favorite sources for hummingbirtd and butterfly plants. My GCG plants always arrive in excellent condition, well-labeled and at the best planting time. The staff has been helpful whenever I've had questions, and now that they know my plant preferences, particularly for salvias, they have often made suggestions for plants I might like to grow.
Ordered a dozen fancy geraniums (all shown in lovely colors in the catalog) and received barely rooted twiglets. Despite having two decades of experience with Geraniums, I've lost 9 of the 12 so far. Frankly, they never had a chance. The little things had no business being subjected to the rigors of mailorder with so little shoot and root tissue to sustain them. By comparison, 42 of 43 Geraniums ordered from Hobbs Farm and Papa Genos (at the same time) are alive and thriving. Both sent generous plants for the same price.
One Goodwin "plantlet" had 3 leaves on a 1.5 inch long stem with roots barely filling ONE THIRD OF A TWO INCH POT. Every other Pelargonium dealer that uses two inch pots has sent me stock with 8-25 leaves and stems of 2-5 inches long, occasionally with flowers beginning.
$4.50 a plant ($5.50 with delivery) is not what you charge for Premature PTO (Propagate-To-Order) junk that's a least a month from being saleable and mailable.
Company representative comment on July 21, 2008: On Jul 21, 2008 9:05 AM, Goodwin Creek Gardens added:
Firstly, the customer was told the plants were not ready, but were several weeks away from our usual shipping size. He insisted that it was OK and that he had a greenhouse to nurse them along. Apparently they did not do well in transit. We guarantee complete satisfaction and gave the customer a complete refund.
lisamr Roseville, CA (Zone 8a) (8 reviews) March 20, 2005
Recently purchased several plants from Goodwin Creek Gardens. They arrived as scheduled and look excellent! Excellent communications and I'm very pleased with my purchase! Thank You Goodwin Creek Gardens!
msanjelpie Meridian, ID (53 reviews) July 16, 2004
I placed an internet order for 4 plants. All 4 plants arrived healthy and happy 1 week later. Doesn't get better than that...
Catalog is very good, but they ignored my order completely! I placed it on May 1, 2004. Got an acknowledgement but no plants. I emailed them on June 1 asking what was happening. No response. Finally on June 10 I called and they said that end May was their "busy season." (Remember I ordered on May 1, weeks before the busy season.) The nice lady promised that someone would call me in "a day or two" to advise me of shipping date. This offer was unacceptable, as it's already too hot now to succeed with the little plants they send out (service was ok last year when I ordered in January), so all I could do was to cancel the order.
I've lost an entire growing season because of their incredible indifference to my order. I certainly don't intend to give them another chance, and I recommend that everybody be extremely careful when placing orders. Call on the phone and get a commitment for shipping date. Even then, be skeptical!
mholmgren Myrtle Point, OR (7 reviews) May 23, 2004
I am very pleased. They called to suggest substitutions for the out of stock items and then shipped immediately. The plants arrived in perfect condition (I am within 100 miles). The plants are small but then so is the price. Very healthy plants with good root systems.
silkieweaver Salem, OR (Zone 8a) (10 reviews) April 28, 2004
Based on my initial order, I'm giving Goodwin Creek Gardens a positive rating, but with a caveat regarding communication issues. On the positive side, they're within 200 miles of me and have a wonderful selection of plants in their informative catalog. They did notify me of an approximate ship date when I placed my order (actual ship date was probably a week later). When I was able to catch them on the phone, they were pleasant and helpful. When two of the plants I ordered arrived in bad shape, they did eventually replace them. On the other hand, a little timely communication from them at various points in the transaction would have gone a long way. I wish they would have notified me before shipping my order that they were only able to ship one of two sweet woodruff plants and given me a chance to substitute another plant at that time to fill out the order. When there was a problem with my order, it took nearly two weeks to resolve. The owners did not reply to emails or return phone messages; and I had to keep calling until I got a live person on the other end of the line. I hate feeling like I'm having to nag in order to get a problem resolved! All it would take is a phone call or email letting me know what's going on.
To give them the benefit of the doubt--maybe I just caught them at a bad time--I'll probably place another order and see how it goes the second time around . . . hopefully more smoothly, as based on their inventory and proximity, I would like to be a repeat customer.
ShugahPop Garner, NC (Zone 7a) (6 reviews) April 22, 2004
Extremely good customer service ... 2 plants I got didnt live and they replaced them and sent them today.. excellent condition ..
I'd order from these folks anytime...
NickiK Portland, OR (Zone 8b) (6 reviews) April 21, 2004
Well, the plants I received were nice, good size, and mostly in great condition (the Gingko was a little wilty, but it perked back up after a few days). The only problem is that it took 2 months! I ordered from them in February, and didn't receive anything but an invoice in my e-mail, and they didn't get here until a few days ago. And they didn't have a couple of the things I wanted in stock. I thought it odd that they didn't e-mail me mentioning this, but oh well. What I did get was good quality, and I'd use them again for some things if I ordered a little earlier in the year.
toad_ca Los Angeles, CA (4 reviews) December 5, 2003
This was my first experience with this company as well as my first experience ordering a live plant rather than just seeds. Very few other places had the particular salvia I was looking for on hand, and no one had such great prices. The plants arrived quickly and in excellent condition. I am looking forward to working with this company again.
janea South Orange, NJ (14 reviews) August 7, 2003
I placed an order at the worst time (mid-July) for a couple of things I'd been unable to find elsewhere. The owner called to let me know that they were in the middle of a heatwave, and would ship when the temperatures cooled a bit - what great service! When the plants arrived, the soil was still damp and the plants were in perfect condition.
nevadagdn Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) (117 reviews) May 8, 2003
You could say that Goodwin Creek Gardens is a good'un (pun intended).
I am very pleased with my recent order. The owner called me to inform me that one of my choices was out of stock, but they did have a substitute. Even better, that substitute was entirely acceptable. When the order arrived, the plants were in excellent condition, and adequately packed to prevent damage. My plants were of the size I expected for the price, and far healthier and stockier than I would have expected for that price. A $5 gift certificate was attached to the packing slip, virtually ensuring I'll be a repeat customer. I'm hopeless....
On May 14th, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:
This year, I had many of the same issues as silkieweaver (see above), but the plants came today, and they are all nice and healthy. It's very evident this is a family-run, very small operation, and when one thing gets out of whack, the whole system ends up out of whack.
Given the price and quality of the plants, the efforts made to provide good customer service, and the selection, I'll take the good and overlook the not-so-good and still keep ordering here.
I'm sure things will be back to "normal" next year, and customer service will have improved again.
kipoley Battle Creek, MI (Zone 5b) (2 reviews) February 27, 2003
I was very pleased last summer with my buddleia. The little shrubs were perky and took off quickly in my garden. They had many cultivars to choose from rather than one or two. I plan on ordering other things this year.
I have ordered several butterfly and hummingbird plants from this nursery. They arrived in good shape and most grew well. This is a good place to find unusual plants. I just tried the web site and it is very slow. The catalog is better.
Just ordered from them for the first time this year. Four plants, including two roses. The order arrived promptly and the plants (potted) were in good condition. All have done well, the two non-roses were divided into three plants each and took off like rockets. The roses were eaten by something after planting, but grew back. I got a surprise when I opened the package- three roses instead of two! A note explained that since one rose variety was a bit small (they were) they had sent an extra one free. The prices and variety are good, plant size is very good for the price. I'm already planning a big order for next year.
A huge selection of herb plants and verlastings. The owners, Jim and Dotti Becker, have written a book on everlastings. What interests me is their enormous selection of lavenders--one cultivar of which they discovered themselves-- rosemaries, and scented geraniums (Jim Becker has also written a book about this with co-author Faye Brawner). As you might expect, this catalogue is really informative about sorting out the varieties and giving cultivation info for them. They also have a lot of unusual things-- native American milkweeds as well as more cultivated types, Chinese medicinal herbs (many of which are grown in this country as ornamentals), species roses, prunellas, and other great stuff. The prices are pretty much on a par with other herb places.The orders I've received from them have been healthy, and a real plus for me here in California is that they ship all year, so I can put the plants in in the right season. Last I heard a web site was in progress, but I haven't visited it yet.