Guess what time it is? It's time for the DG County Fair! Now in it's sixth year, enter your blue-ribbon photos or mouth-watering recipes for a chance to win a gift subscription! Click here here to get all the details, dates and entry rules.
Posted on November 14, 2011, updated December 28, 2011
Tom is a liar. I ordered and waited 6 weeks for my order after requesting updates on the status several times. I ordered in July and received my order in September - their "reasoning" was temperature (even though they are in Ohio and I am in Illinois).
My order was comprised of mostly multiple cuttings of epis. What I received was unbelievable - so much so that minutes after opening the package I called them and spoke to Tom. We went over each item and I explained what I had received (2 cuttings I deemed "ok"). Basically - I was sent short, torn, spotted, infested, worthless items which I would not keep for fear I would infect my beautiful plants with whatever diseases the cuttings had. The top 2 cuttings were wrapped, then a layer of paper, then everything else was in a loose pile on the bottom of the box. It was impossible to determine which cutting went with which nametag. He also charges a ridiculous amount for shipping - all bare root but he puts each cutting in a 5 cent pot so the volume size is exaggerated. I told him I was contacting VISA and he begged me to wait - that he would replace them all and would send them out the following Monday. Multiple contacts again - it is now November and NO CUTTINGS. VISA is looking in to it - but warns that he immediately charges and when it takes 6 weeks to receive them it puts in to question complaints. Glasshouse Works is NOT a member of the BBB.
Bottom line - beware of Glasshouse Works - sickly products, sky high shipping, 6 week or more waiting for arrival - and Tom is a flat out liar.
On December 28th, 2011, jmgrammer changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I have an update which has caused me to upgrade my rating. I was contacted by Tom quickly after my original posting. He remembered our phone conversation when I had received the original order and said there had been a death in the family and he had left the replacement order in the hands of an employee who had not followed through. He said he would issue a refund to my credit card and apologized. He asked me to change my rating here and I said I would as soon as I received the refund. A few days later he contacted me again and said he was going to send a replacement order at no cost as an apology - a very thoughtful gesture. Unfortunately, he omitted my unit number and UPS could not deliver as there are over 100 condos in this complex - he contacted me again and asked me to contact UPS (he had used the info from my original order which did include the unit number) which I did. They told me he (as the sender) had to do it - so emails later he made the contact and eventually the package was delivered - a week later. I don't know how UPS stores packages - but 8 days in 30 degree weather took its toll and only 2 are left to try and make it - but I do appreciate the thought.
I have upgraded to neutral instead of positive because of the drama in the original post. My repeated contacts did not rectify the situation until I posted here at Dave's Garden (which, incidently, I found after going on a google search for Glasshouse Works complaints). Kudos to Dave because it did bring about resolution.
It took from July 27th until December 28th - 5 phone calls, 18 emails, contact with the credit card company, a google search and a post here. Tom did refund my credit card - based on past experience I waited until I had it in writing via my monthly bill which I just received. He did indeed follow through with a replacement which was very thoughtful - it just didn't work out well. Although I will not ever order from GHW again, Tom clearly rectified the situation.
Thank you Tom - I wish you well.On Dec 28, 2011, Glasshouse Works responded with:
"On Nov 19, 2011 10:42 AM, Glasshouse Works responded with:
As soon as I found out that this lady was not pleased (from this Gardenwatchdog.com entry), I called her and apologized for the mess up. I gave her an immediate total refund on the order. I thought her order had been reshipped after her initial correspondance with us, but it had not. We are a small company which deals with a lot of plants and a lot of plant enthusiasts. Most of our feedback is good, so when something like this happens, we take care of it. I will update these notes in a few days. Tom Winn, Glasshouse Works."
Posted on November 5, 2011, updated November 5, 2011
Posted on November 1, 2011, updated November 5, 2011
Posted on October 26, 2011, updated November 1, 2011
Plants are not what they are described as. I bout a "Variegated Ponderosa lemon" from them. Turned out to be a regular variegated Eureka lemon. Beware of what you purchase from them.
Now I see they also stole my photo of my Sungold lemon. I do have the original with a date stamp.
On November 1st, 2011, Laaz changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
They made good on my purchase. I would however recommend that they let their plants fruit before listing them, so they know they are selling the correct plant.On November 5th, 2011, Laaz changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I give up with this place, the guy sends a refund check unsigned & then doesn't respond to email. Total fail !On November 5th, 2011, Laaz changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Cleared things up.On Nov 5, 2011, Glasshouse Works responded with:
"On Nov 1, 2011 3:17 PM, Glasshouse Works responded with:
This plant was purchased in 2005 and we had never heard back from this person about any problem. As soon as I found out that he was displeased and that we had mailed him the wrong plant (it can happen but not very much with our greenhouse business--because we are plant fanatics) we refunded his money for this plant, even six years after he bought it. That is the kind of business we are! As you can see from all our reviews we have many very satisfied customers and good public relations. If something is wrong, we fix it. Tom Winn, Glasshouse Works."
On Jul 11, 2011, Pinguicula Yelm, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I placed my order March 7th and was told the plants would ship in April when the weather was warmer. I anxiously waited all of April and never relieved notice of shipping. In May I moved and sent several messages asking that they change my shipping address before anyone replied to confirm the change. I was told at that time the plants would ship in June. Now it's July and work has me moving yet again. This time I am canceling my order rather than updating the address. I just can't wait any longer.
On Jun 24, 2011, FlaFlower Miami Dade, FL (Zone 11) wrote:
Posted on June 7, 2011, updated June 24, 2011
Posted on April 17, 2011, updated June 7, 2011
I waited 14 months, yes, 1 year and 2 months for 2 vines I had paid in advance for. I got an abundance of excuses as to why the plants did not arrive in a timely manner over and over again, he did throw in a bonus plant for my patience?...Low and behold they arrived last week. I have waited till now, till I was calmed down enough to write this without going on an uncontrolable RANT!! The box when it arrived was warm to the touch, when I opened it I found a large warmer wrapped around the plants (multi-purpose jumbo shipping warmer) for three 4 inch pots. The plants I have waited 14 months for are cooked...literally cooked, dry, brown and black, hard, crispy leaves, nothing green COOKED...never again!!! These plants were $75.00 EACH in 4 inch pots? You have got to be kidding me? Yea I am more than disappointed I am P!ssed :-(
On June 7th, 2011, floridaheat added the following:
Yes, I see the reviews...Tom I sent you 1 of the dead plants back , I wasn't going to spend more money than that out of the 3 at my expense, explaining I would try to save the other 2 crispy ones, they in fact did not survive as well.
I expected to at least have a replacement for the one, that didn't happen either. You had a basket full of excuses, the one you mentioned is a new one...I have all the e-mails. On June 24th, 2011, floridaheat changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Tom finally made good on the order, I DID in fact get new plants, they look good and are thriving they came fine. He made more than good on the order. I am not happy about how much time all of this took but none the less I changed my rating from a negative to a neutral. They look good Tom thanks :-)On Jun 24, 2011, Glasshouse Works responded with:
"On Apr 17, 2011 8:34 PM, Glasshouse Works responded with:
I have already emailed this customer using her Dave's Garden address.. We are very sorry the shipment did not arrive well. I told her at this time that we would replace the plants in the shipment and monitor the shipping so that she would know when the plants would arrive and not sit in the sun in Florida. We worked very hard to get these rare plants ready for her after a crop failure last year. I also told her here in my email to her that if she wanted to use the money for other easier plants to grow, I would reship her order with other plants. We want our customers to be pleased with our plants and our service. I had told her of our problems with this difficult plant. We work hard to grow plants that other places do not. I hope to hear from this customer to talk over a reshipment. .I do wish at times when there is a problem with a shipment that the customer would email us first. Things like this can be easily taken care of. You can see from our other reviews that we do take care of problems. Tom Winn "
On Sep 10, 2010, dsa2591 North Port, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
Posted on September 10, 2010, updated September 10, 2010
Posted on September 10, 2010, updated September 10, 2010
Posted on September 10, 2010, updated September 10, 2010
I ordered a rare Rhoeo from this company, and asked that they not ship before the end of September, maybe mid October, because of the heat in SW Florida. I received it today, September 10. Luckily, it was overcast today, so riding around all day in the hot mail truck did not destroy it. I was very specific that I wanted a well-established plant, and if they did not have one, to let me know and I would wait.
I am very disappointed. This plant has very few tiny roots, and was evidently just stuck into a pot and sent before it was rooted at all. It is way too small for a plant I paid $22 for, with an additional $12 in shipping costs. They did send a bonus plant, but that is a very common variety that I just bought half price at Wal-Mart for $1.75 a one gallon pot.
I will be contacting the company to let them know that if this plant does not live, I expect a refund. I will update when I hear back from them.
On September 10th, 2010, dsa2591 added the following:
Update: Phoned the company, and the man who answered the phone was borderline rude to me. He kept overtalking me, not letting me say what I was trying to say, and swore that this plant was not root rotted when it left their place. I tried to tell him that I am a horticulturist and I know that root rot takes more than a few days to set in this badly, and he just kept talking, saying they would give me a credit for my next purchase, and that 99% of their customers were thrilled with their purchases, etc. I tried to explain to him that I was not those 99%, I was me, and my plant was not satisfactory. He just didn't want to hear it. I told him that I have cleaned all the rot off the plant and am trying to save it, but I don't expect it to live, and he wanted to even argue with me on that. I will never order from this company again, even if they give me a full refund. I have never had someone be so condescending and uninterested in what I was complaining about.On September 10th, 2010, dsa2591 added the following:
I meant to add that when I further inspected the plant, every single root on it was completely rotted.On September 10th, 2010, dsa2591 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Changed my rating from Negative to Neutral, because I just came in to find a message from Tom saying he was sorry if he sounded rude on the phone, and that his partner said that he had rooted that plant just for me, and it looked good when it left the greenhouse. He reiterated that if it did not live, they would make it right.
While that is all very nice, and I'm impressed with the customer service, I'm still unhappy with the plant being root rotted when I got it. I feel they should have checked the roots before they shipped it. On Sep 10, 2010, Glasshouse Works responded with:
"On Sep 10, 2010 2:40 PM, Glasshouse Works responded with:
I was surprised to hear that this plant did not arrive well. I tried to say that we stood behind our plants and that we would make this good if it did not put out new roots. I guess we kept interrupting each other, because I was trying to explain that she did not need to worry. I said that the plant was specifically rooted for her order. I kept trying to say that if it did not root up again, we would take care of this. I also said that even if the plant did start growing again, we would give her a bonus or a credit on her next order anyway. I could barely get a word in because of her being so upset. I was trying to tell her not to worry. That is why I am writing this now because I want her to know that we appreciate her business. She is obviously a real plant lover!!!. She ordered a very uncommon plant. And I want to know that it does start growing for her. It has been a difficult summer to ship plants. And we have gotten very little feedback about problems. But once and a while, something bad does happen. That is why I told her not to worry. We appreciate our customers. I do wish we could have talked more calmly on the phone. Perhaps I was a bit brusque myself. If so, I apologize for this. I will try to call her again. Tom
Possibly I misunderstood what Seedlings meant however some of the plants I ordered Didn't Say Seedlings and I did Expect to have Leaves on the twigs. The Twigs were the thickness of a coat-hanger or less and approx 3"-5" tall . Very disapointing. It will obviously Be a long time before I know if they will make it, or what they are. (Yes they were marked) Packing was Great - true. But I hope they describe a better picture of what you are to receive.
On Nov 8, 2008, Glasshouse Works responded with:
On Dec 3, 2008 2:44 PM, Glasshouse Works added:
As usual, we want to offer any help to this customer. Sometimes peoplle order items that have dormant cycles. I am nort sure who this customer is; so I cannot look up the order specifically. But I would imagine that the plant/plants should come out of dormancy in early spring. We just want this customer to know that we can be emailed or called with any questions. Tom"
On Aug 17, 2007, herbivore74 Chicago, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
As far as the quality of the plants I received, I would definitely give a very Positive rating. I ordered a dozen various houseplants, and all arrived healthy and with very minimal shipping damage to a few leaf tips. Everything was carefully packed (in compostable/recyclable paper shreds, no styrofoam, which I appreciate). The variegated Syngonium in particular is drop-dead stunningly gorgeous. I also received a bonus Sempervivum that was of a similar type to those I had ordered, which I really appreciated.
The reason I am only giving a neutral rating is that there were a lot of communication/technology problems throughout this order. The online order form wasn't working, so I had to email my order list and phone in my payment. Then my expected ship date passed (due to hot weather that would make it unsafe to ship live plants) and I did not receive the notification that they say they sent, nor did I receive a reply to my first inquiry. A lot of emails got lost in transit, both ways. I do a lot of shopping online and I moderate an international vegan message board, so I have somewhat high expectations for someone doing online business. I think keeping your sites and mail accounts up and running is really important for customer service. So I was a bit disgruntled by the frustration of not being able to communicate about my order status very easily.
Having said that, I would still order from them again, because (when I could finally get through to them and they could finally get back to me!) they did put a rush on my order at no charge when they got my second inquiry/complaint, and they did throw in a free bonus plant. And the plants arrived in great condition and all seem to be really healthy and nice specimens. No substitutions, nothing missing. If they can get their technological problems under control, they will be an excellent resource.
On Aug 17, 2007, Glasshouse Works responded with:
On Aug 17, 2007 9:41 AM, Glasshouse Works added:
We do have good news. We recently upgraded our Internet Server and our Security Certificate. Emails and orders come into our office often within five minutes now. As with other Shopping Carts, the order process still requires that your Browser accept "cookies." This is a simple setting to make on your Browser (in either 'Options' or 'Preferences'). Internet Explorer even allows you to accept "cookies" just for certain Websites now. We have always had a secure server, but the added upgrade to 'GeoTrust' (one of the most trusted names for security online) for our Secure Certificate means that your dealings with us have the highest level of encryption. I may add that customers can always call our Tollfree number to place an order also. Tom"
I have ordered plants from this company twice and had problems both times. The first time 2 of the 4 plants we received were in bad shape and could not be saved. I called and Tom said he would send replacements but asked that I order more plants so that he could send the replacements with that order and not have to 'eat' the shipping costs for the replacements. I did not order more plants at that time. 2-3 months later I had still not received the replacements. I called several times and got a different excuse each time. Finally I decided to order more plants and asked Tom if he could just give me credit for the 2 plants toward the new order since I didn't need the replacement plants by then. He agreed to the credit.
When the 2ND order arrived the plants were healthy and in good condition, Tom had also included the replacements from the 1st order and they were healthy as well. The problem with the 2ND order was I did not receive the ivies I ordered. I called and Tom had me send a leaf from each ivy. He said that we got the correct ivies. After several calls Tom ended up refunding my money for the second order. I later found out that one of the ivy I ordered had the wrong picture on their website. The picture they had posted for a Chimera ivy was in fact a picture of a Yellow Ripple ivy, which is what I thought I was ordering but I got a real Chimera ivy, which of course didn't look anything like the ivy pictured on their website. I had planned to order a lot more plants from this company.
On January 20th, 2007, Loki_ changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
My daughter and I were contacted by Tom(?) the day after this rating was posted and were told that they would give us $35 worth of plants to change the rating.
I planned to change the rating once we received the plants. When I ordered the plants I did not include any payment information, just put down that we had a $35 credit. I just received an e-mail asking for payment for our order. I am changing this rating to neutral in good faith and will change it to a positive if / when receive the ordered plants and all goes well.On March 16th, 2007, Loki_ added the following:
We received our plants today. In addition to the 5 plants we ordered, Ken (?) included 3 bonus plants so we received a total of 8 plants.
One of the bonus plants, an Ivy , is completely dead. All of it's leaves are dead with black stems so it is very unlikely it will recover.
The philodendron I ordered was not the one pictured on the website and it had no roots, they sent us a non rooted cutting. I may be able to get it to grow roots since it was otherwise in fairly good condition.
3 of the other plants came in good condition, 2 plants came in somewhat fair condition and 1 came in bad condition but still alive. The plants also came with another bonus, 1 plant was covered with scale insects and I found a slug in the soil of the dead plant. I have not yet checked the soil in the pots of the other plants so I don't know if the rest of the plants have slugs or not.
The staff at Glasshouse works has went out of their way to make us happy ( Only after I posted a negative rating on this website) and I am pleased with the personal service we have received.
At this time I cannot change this to a positive rating since I would have been very unhappy had we not gotten these plants on a credit and I had paid for this order.
Wretched. I ordered plants from this co. last March. When the plants arrived (in July) they all had insect gnawed leaves, shipping damage, and were just generally puny and unhealthy looking. I DID call....Tom refused to replace the coleuses or the aspidistra on the grounds that these plants are so tough that I could just cut off all the leaves and they would grow back fine. He claimed that he would replace the philo selloum and the plectranthus (the pot of which was mainly filled with another unknown plant, and one sprig of plectranthus.) Never recieved replacements, called at least 3 times to remind him, was told each time that he was just waiting for the plants to grow to a salable size...4 mos. later and I'm still waiting. I got sick of calling and have really just given up. $ down the drain.
The coleuses did grow back after I chopped them down, but were still far inferior to coleuses I could have bought much cheaper and easier at Walmart, so I mercy killed them. The aspidistra also grew a healthy leaf....hopefully it will eventually develop into a plant worthy of display, but as of now it's just one leaf....and that's all I have to show for a $40 order. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org if the co. is interested in patching things up with me. But I'm not changing this rating UNTIL I actually recieve healthy, attractive replacements
On November 10th, 2006, karamy changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Tom did contact me after I posted my review, and allowed me to pick out new plants as replacements, free of charge or shipping cost. The plants arrived very quickly, slightly exceeded the cost of the original order, and were far superior in condition (to the original order).
Tom seems to desire that I change my review to a positive, but I can't in all honesty do that. Yes, they will go the extra mile to rectify things...but seemingly only after you've publicly complained. And the plants I recieved this time are still a bit bedraggled, by shipping perhaps. This may very well always be the case with plants that are packaged for shipping....it has been on the few occasions that I've ordered plants online (twice from other co.'s). So I just won't be ordering online anymore.
I've noticed that many of the positive comments here are from people who actually visited and purchased from GHW in person. I'm sure that it's a great place to do just that.
On Jul 12, 2006, BOB740 East Aurora, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
My first reaction on receiving my order was Negative. But in fairness,I decided on Neutral,as some of the 'poor' was offset by the 'good'.
First the 'poor' : $18 for a 4" Dyckia 'Carlsbad' that should have been 12" or better ? But,they must have realized this too,so they sent two 4" plants. I felt a little better. By their own e-mail before I placed the order,I asked how many Deuterochonia Lorentziana will be in the clump I receive for the $8 ? The answer was 'usually 3-4' ,well,I received just 1,half dried out,and the stem close to mushy. (it won't root or survive) .I was not pleased.
And now the 'good' :The hard -to-find Puya Berteroniana for $8.50,was a bargain,nice 8" size,and excellent condition.I've seen this plant offered for $20 elsewhere,and half the size of the one I received. I was very pleased. The Ambrometiella chlorantha clump for $5,was very good,consisting of about 7 heads (better than the 'usual 3-4). Pleased again! The Cryptanthus plant I ordered was another fine looking healthy plant,and they put in another 'freebee',and that was good.. The packing of the plants was some of the best I have ever seen. But it was so tightly done,that the outer leaves of the 2 succulent Dyckia's did get a bit bent,damaged, from the pressure. They would have done better just loose in the shredded paper.
As we've seen in other reviews,the LONG wait to receive your shipment is irritating,especially when they charge your C.C. right away. Anywhere else I've ordered,they charge when they ship. So that was my first experiance with GW.
Mixed feelings on wether I'd order again. ....We'll see. RKC.
On May 16, 2006, MerryMary Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
After contacting the company over a month ago, I have still not recieved my LARGE order from them. It was placed in Jan and it is now May, and still nothing......
Never again will I order from this company, they have my money, I have nothing....Buyer beware....
On May 20th, 2006, MerryMary changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
We have mutally agreed upon a full refund, which I have recieved. GHWs sent some complimentary plants in good faith to make the issue right.
I have changed the rating from negative to neutral.On May 16, 2006, Glasshouse Works responded with:
On May 19, 2006 7:00 PM, Glasshouse Works added:
As soon as I heard that this lady was upset with the delay, I refunded her entire payment for the plants. I also sent her a gift of five of the coleus that she had ordered as a goodwill measure from the Glasshouse Works. Because of the dark and dreary month of May in the Ohio valley, the plants were not rooting quickly. She would have gotten some of our finest new hybrids. I wish her good luck on her gardening. "
Even though I read about Glasshouse Works here they had something I couldn't find anywhere else so I gave them a try. All the postive and the negative things happened. I probably should've listened but I didn't. The first order was so messed up I just cancled it. The 2nd time I tried them the plants were alright but it took forever, and I mean forever. The 3rd. time was the worst. This time it was extra long. When I called to ask about that week They sent my order but with the wrong plants. The invoice inclosed put a rush on it because I simply called to check. What's worse was they changed my order without even letting me know. Only after calling & complaing did they finally send the correct plants, but eveything written about GHW in this website is true. They list a lot of plants, but you take your chances getting anything from them.
After placing my order and waiting for 2 weeks for a response I decided to call for the ETA on my order. The man that answered the phone could only say ", we are a very small company You'll have to bear w/ us". The worst part is that they charged my credit card for more then the invoice amount. I cancelled the order. This is a company I would watch out for..
On February 8th, 2006, lovethydog changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I was contacted by the owner immedietly after leaving my feedback and have decided to change it to neutral.
I ordered 3 Rhipsalis cuttings and a Passiflora from this company in early summer. Reciept of order took about 1 month.
I was disappointed with working with this company. Most of the items I wanted from them that were in the on line catalog were listed as out of stock or unavailable.
Rhipsalis cuttings were very small, less than half that of the size I received from Lauray of Salibury and Bob Smoley's Garden World. Glasshouse provided 1 cutting of each variety, while the other companies sent multiple, larger cuttings. Still, being Rhipsalis, they thrived and have quadrupled in size this summer. Unfortunately, the Passiflora was also very tiny and did not survive more than a few weeks after transplanting. Considering the reputation of some Passiflora to "pause" for a while after transplanting, I think they should be shipping larger plants.
I cannot recommend this company and will go elsewhere for future items. You can find better value elsewhere with other compines listed on DG.
On Jul 29, 2003, miltboyd Haverhill, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:
Well, not neutral so much as "mixed".
The website is hard to navigate, and I accidentally placed the same order twice. I noticed two confirmation notices, and sent email explaining the situation. It was corrected immediately. Nice to deal with.
My wife and I wanted some chenille plants (Acalypha sp.), and Glasshouse offered a collection, which they said would be made up to meet our request from their stock. I described what we wanted, expecting the collection would include one A. pendula or A. repons, which have nice "cattails". Didn't happen.
We did get a nice varied collection, well packed, shipped quickly. We've enjoyed them, but they weren't quite what we expected.
Perhaps we read into the description more than they really promised. Perhaps their stock that week just didn't have what we really wanted.
Next time, if we want a particular species, and Glasshouse has it in the catalog, then we will consider buying. But I think we will stay away from the collections.
I like to order from them because they have an incredible variety of coleus which I collect, however the plants that they ship are very small and the shipping costs are way out of line. I have also had to repeatedly call to get my order shipped out. They seem to provide better service end of summer, fall. Not sure if I will order from them again.
My husband and I have visited Glasshouse Works several times. I understand how these negative experiences could happen. I think they have been overwhelmed with internet responses to their offerings and are not staffed sufficiently.I have had similar problems with mail orders. But if you ever have an opportunity to visit this business you will find that the owners are extremely knowledgeable and their plants are top quality.And they do care. The area is very very rural but within a radius of 15 mile or so we were directed to several other interesting nurseries and found some great finds -finally a bay tree that likes me, some trillium etc. I remember while visiting Glasshouse there was such excitement in one of the greenhouses and everyone was called in to see a rare tropical blossom that had just opened. I'm sorry I can't recall the name but I can see it still. I have no connection to this business and I feel everyones pain but I just had to express my opinion.
I have e-mailed the owner of the nursery several times with questions about plants, and even though I wasn't buying anything, he responded within a day. A coworker of mine (green industry) odered something and was very pleased
On Nov 27, 2002, lupinelover Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I did not do business with this company via mail-order; rather it was a selection of plants the owners brought to a meeting I attended, so I cannot comment on their mail-order operation.
Most of the plants they brought were well-grown, well-rooted and disease-free on close inspection. Their prices ranged from very high to very reasonable. The collection did include many unusual varieties of common plants, and also included many unusual plants. The few things that did not appear to be well-rooted were all succulents which readily root.
I have ordered from them for years. I could echo virtually all the negative comments listed above with things that have happened to me. I guess the reason I am still a customer is because I have a pretty good idea what can go wrong here and accept these terms. Well, I guess you just have to be so in lust with the irresistable and unique treasures offered herethat you accept that the rules for acquisition are a bit different at GW. Rule one is never order anything you absoultely need by a certain time. Rule two is that you need to be a pretty good gardener to nurse some of the plants back to vigor (except the dead ones), and you expect to propagate them yourself anyway once you've got a start. Rule three is have a lot of reference books or be a good web surfer because there is little advice or instruction given in their catalog. You won't even know what much of the stuff is, rare or not. If you have the attitude of a plant hunter willing to face hardships in pursuit of the Holy Grail, you may be a candidate for the GW experience. Sane gardeners will patronize nurseries that specialize in plants that are much more useful and intelligent, like heirloom vegetables, and forget all about GW and stop reading this now. At least they're democratic. You don't have to be wealthy to have fun here. And you see, I LIKE discovering new plants, and maybe have a touch of adventure (or snobbishness) which makes me want to have annual flower and foliage displays which do NOT feature everything all my neighbors have. One final tip, call in your order and discuss it with the owners. They are very nice and will share their hunches about what will or won't be available at some vague time in the future. Glasshouse Works is a trip to the moon. It's not too late to turn back.
I have ordered from them 3 times because their varieties for the plants I am interested in is unequaled. The first order had most of it's plants dead because the shipper only delivers to physical addresses, not post office boxes. The package stayed in a hot truck for days until I gave a physical address. The person I called to give the order didn't tell me that I had an invalid address for the type of shipper I had chosen. The other 2 orders were consistent, specific ordered plants are often mediocre but plants in collections are often of good quality and can be relatively rare ones. I think they are expanding so quickly due to the Internet that they can't keep up. I would order again but only if I wanted a collection they offered or the plant was unavailable anywhere else.