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On Aug 10, 2008, charissas118 Calgary Canada wrote:
I ordered four Hoyas from Rob at the VioletBarn last month -- my plants were shipped relatively fast (from USA to Canada) and were intact when I received them.
The phyto inspection cost is a bit prohibitive but I felt hopeful about the quality of the plants after talking with them on the phone. In reality, the four plants I received, while well protected in the shipping box and undamaged when I received them, were extremely small and basically appear to be leaves that have been shoved into the dirt. I was promised 2.5" pots, but received 2" ones, and other than one plant which is already a six inch climbing vine, the other three (as I said) are each just two or three leaves in some dirt. Frown.
I have ordered several times from the Violet Barn. For the most part plants have been in beautiful condition, well packed and usually in bloom. They are reasonably priced and the website can tell you just about whatever you need to know.
I have had some disappointment where I was due bonus plants and did not receive them despite mail/emails to them. Just couldn't get my complaint across to them. It was just overlooked so I gave up.
I had a chimera violet bloom untrue and it was credited to charge card(they quarantee plants bloom true)., after I told them the plant was out of stock and couldn't be replaced.I also had an expensive leaf chimera violet arrived rotted and it was credited to charge account but what a disappointment.You want the plant not the refund.
Also some plants I repotted the next month showed they had been"around" for some time with necks to the bottom of the pot. Probably stock plants that had been leaf donors and then sent out as sales plants. Was very unhappy about that but reason that others probably do that also.
As per Rob's suggestion that everyone try a streptocarpus. I did order 5, two bloomed and the other 3 haven't done much of anything. But love them and now have about 70. The second order of streps were very tiny and not worth the price.I think from ordering too late in the season as most were out of stock.
Was able to find many of his hybrids available at "Out of Africa," the Portage, Indiana one with Gary Mikita. Here I got big, blooming plants for just a bit more money and meticulously packed, very prompt service.And Gary will answer questions promptly by email.
I would buy from Violet Barn again but early in the season and mainly to get new introductions not available elsewhere.My other comments would be about plant descriptions, just about everything is listed as a constant bloomer, easy to grow, etc.etc. gets tiring. In my experience nothing blooms constantly and the ones that are touted as doing well on window sills haven't for me. There is a big difference in greenhouse window sills and that in your own
On Feb 9, 2005, PlantMomto3 Nevada, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
I recently ordered from The Violet Barn and, as always, was very pleased with my order. I ordered nineteen plants, including gesneriads and hoyas, and all but 2 of the gesneriads were in bloom. It is so nice to receive blooming plants in winter! Packaging was great with no damage due to the cold weather. Only one leaf was broken off and it is happily growing at this time.
On October 22nd, 2005, PlantMomto3 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I just received the latest of many orders I have placed with Rob's over the years. The plants I received are by far the smallest that I have ever received. Thirteen very small plants.
The three streps were by far the smallest. One plant only had two leaves--one leaf was a bare 1" long and the other was 2" long. Another strep plant was essentially identical except that it does have a third leaf beginning to form. The third strep had a 2" and 3" leaf. If I had known how tiny these plants were, I would not have ordered them. I hope these plants make it--they are so tiny. For comparison, two weeks ago, I received an order from Logee's that included some streps and these streps were absolutely huge. All of the plants were in bloom. One plant had no less than 7 open blooms with many buds. The Logee's plants were only a few dollars more than those I ordered from Rob's.
I was very happy that the three chimeras I ordered were all in stock. However, I am confused why all of the bottom rows of leaves were clipped off. One chimera had 8 leaves removed. I initially thought maybe this was for shipping purposes; however, the other standards I received did not have the bottom rows of leaves removed. The result of clipping these leaves off is that the plants already appear to have a neck. I repot all plants anyway so I guess this is not a big deal.
I did not give a negative rating because this is the first time in very many orders that I've been disappointed. I will order from Rob's again because of the many wonderful varieties available and their good packing--only one leaf was broken.