On May 30, 2013, wmc Oak Park, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on May 20, 2012, updated May 30, 2013
Avant Gardens has become my new favorite nursery after 2 very successful orders. Great diversity of offerings. Very competitive pricing with no shipping cost shock. They included a bonus plant with the 2nd order which was a thoughtful expression and gave me a new planting idea!
On May 30th, 2013, wmc added the following:
For the past 20 years, I have been ordering plants online. Avant Gardens is second to none in every aspect. First off, their communication is above the call of duty. Secondly, when the shipment arrived today, I said aloud, "these plants are happy!" There was no spilt dirt. The soil was neither dry nor too wet. Lush green foliage popped out of what were established young plants. Some mail order nuseries gouge customers with astronomical "shipping and handling fees;" not Avant Gardens. Also, they included a not- common bonus plant that was tailored to my needs based on what I had ordered. Start at Avant Gardens!
Avant Gardens consistently ships excellent plants that are packaged very carefully and arrive in superb condition. They also have outstanding customer service. Kathy actually emailed me a couple of weeks ago and asked if she could hold my shipment an extra week so that some plants I ordered could grow on a bit more. That is so unusual! I'm so used to having plants shipped to freezing Chicago in early April by companies that don't care. Really an exceptional company!!
Have ordered a couple of times and would happily order from Avant Gardens again. Plants were healthy and packaged with great care. Communication about shipping/answers to questions about plant care were timely/accurate.
On May 14, 2013, bbrookrd nantucket, MA (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on May 12, 2010, updated May 14, 2013
Posted on May 16, 2007, updated May 12, 2010
I placed an order with Avant Gardens on April 13, 2007 for several viburnums, and other shrubs plus some unusual perennials. They sent a confirmation with a date for shipping, then followed that with an e-mail saying that due to frost warnings that they were holding the order for a couple of day. Today a BIG box of "as good as it gets" plants arrived plus a very generous bonus shrub. They must have picked out the bonus based on my order, as it couldn't have been more perfect. The plants are huge. I am totally thrilled with the service, the selection and the shipping. Patti
On May 12th, 2010, bbrookrd added the following:
I have continued to order each spring from Avant Gardens. Recently, I received, as always, my order that was a wonderful collection of healthy and unusual plants at the requested time. They sent some very nice bonus plants which where way above average for a bonus. I appreciate the email communication from them, as well as their use of recycled packing materials. Their tags are very good too, as is their web site. Nice people, selling special plants. I will be ordering again with pleasure and confidence from Avant Gardens. PattiOn May 14th, 2013, bbrookrd added the following:
My yearly order to this fine nursery did not disappoint. Plants arrived at the time I requested and were packed with care. All were as listed and have been thriving since planting them on April 19th. Choice selection, fine folks and great email communication. I always place an order from Avant Gardens as soon as they post their new offerings every January. Patti
Posted on March 21, 2012, updated April 9, 2013
I ordered four fancy geraniums on Sunday and received them on Tuesday - that's fast! The plants were securely packed and arrived in great condition. They were large and healthy with lots of branching. Communication was excellent. I am delighted and will order from Avant Gardens again!
On April 9th, 2013, CindyZ4_5 added the following:
Just received my 2013 geranium order from Avant Gardens. Plants and packaging were both excellent and communication was clear and concise. You can buy cheaper geraniums, but I'd argue that these may be the best value out there, when you take size and quality into consideration.
This is my third order from Avant Gardens. The plants are in good shape and well grown. The unusual varieties are always tempting. This year I had to change my delivery date on short notice and this was accommodated with a personal email. When rabbits ate one of the plants during the intervening week not only did they notify me and refund me for the plant, but also sent me a complimentary plant of the same genus. Excellent plants and service.
I placed an order 4/22 and received it 5/24. I was notified when the order would arrive. The order of 3 Cuphea x 'David Verity' and one Lonicera sempervirons 'Major Wheeler' arrived very well packed and are vigorous and healthy plants.
On May 16, 2012, jon4de Bay Shore, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
I've ordered from numerous companies over the past dozen years or so, and have generally found that smaller nurseries/growers like Annie's Annuals, Brent & Becky's, High Country Gardens and Rare Find are the best bet for well-packed plants. All of them actually pack their plants like they were shipping them to themselves and I've never had any problems with any of these folks. I can now add Avant Gardens to that list. Not only did I get updates throughout the spring on the proposed shipping dates of the plants I'd ordered in January, but Kathy Tracey also advised me when and why they were splitting an order. The plants (Chelone glabra, Crambe cordifolia, Acanthus x 'Morning Candle," Sanguisorba tenuifolia, Vernonia gigantea, Thalictrum 'Splendide' and Humulus lupulus 'Aureus') were so carefully packed that there were neither broken leaves nor loose soil in the bottom of the box! And every single plant was really beefy and in healthy condition...not one needed any sort of 'babying' before being planted out. What a pleasure to do business with them. However tempting the 'bargains' from larger growers, I can't imagine getting better quality than what was offered by Avant Gardens. They are now going to the top of my 'go-to' list.
On Mar 28, 2012, Ispahan Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:
I just received my first order from this company, for veronicastrum and allium. Communication was excellent from the very beginning and they responded very quickly when I e-mailed to request that one of the plants I ordered be switched to something else and then later when I requested to move up the ship date. The plants themselves could not be nicer. All of them are just breaking dormancy and have lusty top growth just beginning and full, vigorous roots that fill their pots. All in all, they at the ideal stage to transplant them into my garden. On top of it all, they even included a small creeping sedum as a bonus plant. What a pleasant surprise!
I also need to say that the packing was superbly done with newspaper. It was very easy to unpack with no messy spilled dirt everywhere and no annoying packing peanuts to deal with. Kudos to them for that!
I will not hesitate to order again from Avant Gardens in the future if they have something that catches my eye.
On May 17, 2011, HeidiNH Brentwood, NH (Zone 6a) wrote:
Can I give three positives? Love love LOVE this nursery. I ordered a Crambe and two purple elephant ears. I ordered probably at the busiest time and when they told me they weren't shipping till this week, I asked if they could go sooner, they said they'd try but they were swamped with orders placed earlier. Fair enough.
My plants arrived today, and despite the UPS guy just dumping the box on end in my holding box, the plants were flawless. NOT ONE SPECK of soil out of place. They were in pots, excelsior on top of the soil held by a rubber band and wrapped in newspaper, and then laid in the box with enough packing material to hold them still. The elephant ears had leaves that were hanging out of the newspaper and there is not a mark on them. They also sent a bonus plant which I almost missed because I unpacked the three I knew I bought, and didn't think to check the box till I was taking out the packing material for recycling. I've never heard of asarina procumbens, but I think it will be a nice addition to my new garden. Stellar company, stellar care of the plants, for all those who ship in loose plastic bags full of peat moss, you can learn a few things from this place. Thank you for such great plants and great service, Avant Gardens!
On May 16, 2011, brickyard23 North Wilkesboro, NC wrote:
Fast shipment, tree perfectly packaged and the tree is quite healthy. Would definitely buy plants from Avant again in the future. I also received a bonus groundcover that was unexpected, but appreciated!
Posted on July 22, 2009, updated May 11, 2011
I recently ordered begonia Mandalay Pearl and begonia Bonfire. I received notice of shipment on Monday and received the plants on Tuesday -- super fast shipping. The plants were large and healthy and beautifully packed so they arrived in great shape. There was also a surprise "extra" -- a Pseuderanthemum rubrum. I have ordered from Avant Gardens before and wouldn't hesitate to order from them again. They have great plants and great service.
On May 11th, 2011, kins02 added the following:
Another great order -- beautifully packaged and healthy plants. Once again ordered Begonia Bonfire and am trying Begonia "Million Kisses Romance" and Begonia "Million Kisses Devotion." Great quality and service!
On May 7, 2011, tepelus Fremont, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
The plants arrived to me in excellent condition and look very healthy. I'm excited to finally have Spigelia marilandica and can't wait for my two new specimens to grow into big plants full of flowers, and attract those little feathered gems (hummingbirds). Same goes for the honeysuckle, 'Major Wheeler', to see it covered in blooms. This company kept me well-informed about the status of when my plants would be shipped, and I'm very appreciative of that. Thank you for the nice plants, and I plan to do more business with you in the future.
The pruning workshop was informative and relaxed. It would have been useful to have specific pruning stations set up where we could practice sharpening our own tools and pruning nursery stock (topiary anyone?!). Lots of good questions asked/answered.
Posted on August 31, 2010, updated September 24, 2010
I ordered three Kirengeshoma palmata after admiring this unfamilar plant in a friend's shade garden. After visiting Davesgarden.com I found that Avant Gardens had them available and quickly placed my order. Three days later they were in my posession, beautifully packed and green and healthy. As an added surprise a Carix Blue Bunny was included.
I wish I could visit in person but see it's a 3 1/2 hour drive but will surely be a happy customer again and will pass along their name to garden club friends.
On September 24th, 2010, jweibel added the following:
I just ordered again and two days later received a perfectly packed box of plant material. They were all bushy, green, healthy plants and the bonus eupatorium was a nice surprise. My experience could not have been better!
One of the great benefits of the internet is that a world of plants that are usually not available locally becomes available to anyone with access to a computer. One of the bad things is that your first order requires a certain amount of trust on the part of the buyer in the integrity of the seller. Avant Gardens repays that trust many times over. They ship beautiful, well-packed plants quickly. They are an excellent source of quality plant materials. I ordered some asters and hardy begonias and they were in my hands within a week of the order. My thanks for a job well done.
I found out about this vendor thru the internet and telephoned Kathy to inquire about purchasing rudbeckia Herbstonne. She knew exactly what I was talking about and proceeded to tell me all the necessary information. I subsequently drove about 75 miles to her place of business and purchased the plants. Had I not been in a bit of a hurry, I would have liked to look around some more. I will definitely go back....It's worth the trip. Thanks Kathy
Posted on July 31, 2010, updated July 31, 2010
Posted on August 27, 2005, updated July 31, 2010
Since I am only 2 hours away from Avant Gardens, I decided to drive there instead of ordering through the mail. I figured they probably had many more items than just what was in the paper catalogue.
What a treasure trove! A tremendous selection of rock garden plants including the rare Lewisia tweedyi, endless coleus, a whole greenhouse of hostas and shade perennials, etc. Everything looked quite healthy despite the cruel drought. I found "Trish" to be extremely knowlegable and very helpful...a true gift from God. She was also willing to state when she didn't know the answer to a question, but when the owner, Kathy Tracy arrived I was able to get some identifications on rex begonias that weren't in the catalogue. Some plants that looked especially good this time of year in case you happen to be lucky enough to live nearby:
Caryopteris divaricata Snow Fairy- variegated white and green, lovely
Leonotis menthoides - beautiful Agastache like orange flower
Orostachys spinosus- weird succulent
Pedilanthus tithymaloides variegata- Zic Zac, attractive yellow, red and green mix
Begonia "Sinbad" - pretty white veined green leaves, reddish underneath
And many more, too numerous to list. I would feel confident ordering from them through the mail...there wasn't a "dog" plant in sight! Extremely, extremely strongly recommended!!
On July 31st, 2010, dave12122 added the following:
Yesterday I went back to visit Avant Gardens again. I am happy to report it is better than ever! Someone wrote that Kathy is "never particularly friendly". Frankly, I find the opposite to be true. She goes out of her way to provide a pleasant shopping experience for her customers. Some of the exciting plants (out of hundreds!) this time of year are:
Cynara cardunculus- The Cardoon. A thistle relative with beautiful gray foliage and a striking blue-purple flower. Kathy has it for a very reasonable price.
Boemeria nipponica- A new shade perennial grown for its shocking green foliage with pale yellow sections. Very hard to get and often twice the Avant Gardens price.
Salvia "Cambridge Blue"- A tender perennial Salvia (zone 8) with a magnificent flower that is pale sky blue. A must-have!
"Adopt--A-Plant" A LARGE selection of plants for $1.00. Annuals, perennials, and some woodies. I found a Ligularia Brett-Marie Crawford in this section, a plant which often sells for $13.95 or more!
Avant Gardens is absolutely worth a look if you are within driving distance, and if not, they do ship. The offerings are more extensive than ever, and Kathy generously gave me a gift variegated Agave. (their succulent selection, hardy and tender, is extensive!) Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!!!On July 31st, 2010, dave12122 added the following:
I just realized I misspelled one of the plants mentioned here. That plant is Boehmeria nipononivea, it is not Boemeria nipponica. Sorry if I caused anyone confusion in their search for this plant.
Received my order on Wednesday after placing an order on Sunday night around 10 pm. Plants were very good and even got a bonus!! Packaged well and very healthy looking. Good selection and price. Would do business with them again.
On May 14, 2010, mad4roses Georgetown, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
Two kolwitzia and three durantas were delivered yesterday. The kolwitzia were quite nice and full. One was a little stressed from shipping but has already perked up. The duranta were smaller specimens than the kolwitzia, but that was expected and they are very healthy and even showing some buds. Communication was excellent. They let me know immediately that there would be a delay in shipping out the duranta and asked if that would still be an acceptable timeframe for delivery in my area. Iím very pleased with the products and service I received from Avant Gardens and will likely order again, especially as I just moved into this home and have a huge yard to play with here.
I have ordered plants from Avant Gardens several times and have always been pleased with the items sent. Everything is very carefully packed. I appreciate the good service and large variety of plants they carry!
On Jun 20, 2009, PadreWayne Mount Pleasant, MI (Zone 4b) wrote:
Ordered one hellebore and five moonflowers (the morning-glory type vine, not the Datura) -- all arrived in the time specified; plants are healthy, good size, and were packed with precision! High marks for great service. And I think they sent me an extra moonflower -- a gift to a new customer?
On Jun 17, 2009, kristinmaria Pittsburgh, PA wrote:
This could have been a negative, but Avant Gardens couldn't have been nicer. I ordered a bunch of plants from them, and I'm 99% certain I specified a different shipping address than my billing address. You guessed it, the plants went to the wrong address, where they languished in a box for several days.
Worse, when I checked my emails, I realized that they had informed me of their intention to mail the plants to that address and asked for confirmation. I never responded, so they went ahead and sent to the wrong address. I thought for sure they were going to rub my nose in that and tell me it was my own tough luck for not answering their order confirmation and would refuse to replace any of the plants.
Instead, to my delight and amazement, they agreed to a total replacement of the order--with no arm twisting necessary. I had carefully told them which plants were probably going to make it, and which were not, but they went ahead and replaced the entire order, no questions asked. I really appreciated that. I do think it was their mistake in sending it to the wrong address, but it was definitely my mistake not to have responded to their confirmation email.
On top of all that, the plants look great. Nice size, very healthy, and all are thriving. Thanks so much!
I ordered several plants, including some tender vines. These arrived in excellent condition, moist and nicely wrapped so that the foliage was also protected. Since I planned to put these in my river garden, it was 2 days from arrival to planting, and they have acclimated beautifully to the garden. One of my picks was not available but they had notified me beforehand.
I first ordered from Avant Gardens when I was seeking Hellebores and trailing Coleus which were not available at my garden centers. Their plants are carefully packaged for shipment and mine always arrive when promised. Perennials in my garden from their nursery are thriving.
I ordered a Witchhazel "Diane" about two months ago and it arrived today. The plant was much larger than expected and well branched. This was a wonderful value for a hard-to-find shrub in my area. The packaging was well done and the shipping was prompt. Communication about the shipping date was excellent. I would order from this company again without hesitation.
On Aug 9, 2008, debi_k S of Lake Ontario, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I just placed an order on Wed, and received it today, very surprised with such quick delivery. There was a note on the outside of the box stating to place it out of direct sun, which my husband did - I was not at home when it was delivered. The plants are nice and large, healthy, and well packed. I'm very pleased.
On Jul 18, 2008, fluffysquirrel Sicklerville, NJ wrote:
What a nice company to deal with. I bought several Caramel Heuchera and not only was the customer service impeccable, the plants were packed with great care and arrived swiftly. They were in wonderful condition despite the heat wave we have been experiencing. I will definitely do business with Avant Garden again and I highly recommend them!
On May 23, 2008, Cynthiascat Catonsville, MD wrote:
I've known about Avant Gardens for years, but this was my first order by mail. I ordered two C.'Golden Spirit' and didn't expect them to be so good sized for the price. Needless to say, I'm very pleased. At such a busy time of the year for nurseries, I found the time from order to receipt to be quite fast, and quality of the plants and packing were excellent.
A catalogue was included with the order, and unlike the (perhaps new?) gardener below who commented on lack of pictures on the website, the catalogue is full of pictures. No, not glossy photos that may have nothing to do with quality of stock or the knowledge and integrity of the proprietors, (heck spring hill has pictures if that's what ya want ) but WORD pictures :-) . That's the best kind of catalogue and a sign of a nursery not catering to just the impulse buyers. Real depth of selection, as if they are selling their own favorite plants and know what they're selling and how each plant performs. I feel another order coming on....