Renee Shepherd founded Shepherd's Garden Seeds in 1985. In 1997 she created Renee's Garden after White Flower Farm purchased Shepherd's.
Renee is widely recognized as a pioneering innovator. Although widely available now, Renee was one of the first in the United States to introduce international vegetables, flowers and herbs to home gardeners and gourmet restaurants.
Her germination rates are so predictable some say her seeds seem to jump out of the ground. That certainly reflects my experience with her seed. Today, I mainly use her for edible flowers such as nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus).
Her keen marketing sense has led her to offer several attractive heirloom combination packets. She expedites her shipping and is efficient to deal with.
I love this company. Several years ago tried one packet of seed for Mina Lobata "Exotic Love Vine". Many more seeds in packet than expected and they germinated well. Vine was lovely. The garden center I bought it from closed and I have been looking for these seeds ever since. I found them recently on a visit to California. Bought seeds at the store and also ordered some on line. My on line order was received in 3 days and I already have planted them. I can hardly wait for them to come up.
On Jan 23, 2005, handhelpers Coopersburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
i received my first order in a very timely matter and am anxiously awaiting the correct time to plant these harder-to-find seeds. i love the packaging and the information that is provided on the packet is very complete.
On Jan 22, 2005, bmuller Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have ordered from Renee's Garden several times in the past and have never been disappointed. I began ordering because it carries particular varieties of annuals that (as far as I've found) nobody else offers (e.g., nasturtium 'Copper Sunset'). I continued because of excellent results with the seeds (germination and hardiness of plants), an increasing variety of offerings, and excellent service (rapid delivery and immediate and courteous responses to questions on the customer service line).
On Jan 5, 2005, Katzen Puyallup, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:
I've bought seeds from them via the web and through a local gardening store. They germinate SUPER FAST. Highly recommend them!! Not a huge selection but everything seems to be interesting or useful. They carry seeds for lavender, rosemary and miniature roses, among their many offerings.
On Apr 27, 2004, silkieweaver Salem, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:
Renee's Garden carries a good selection of seeds. My initial order of flower and herb seeds arrived in only three days, with no mistakes or substitutions. I like the large amount of info on the seed packets (and the illustrations are pretty, as well).
On Thursday, March 25 at 11 PM EST, I ordered 3 packets of veggie seeds from Renee's Garden and paid an extra $6 for faster shipping to Connecticut. Somehow I messed up my address on the website's order form and the next day, I got a phone call from California....a very nice customer rep asked me for my address and said the seeds would be in the mail later that day. On Monday, March 29, I had the seeds in my hand. I consider this to be great customer service and I am very pleased!
I ordered seeds from this company in December,2003 and after over a month had gone by and no seeds, I e-mailed them regarding the status of my order. I received a reply from them in a matter of hours. They said my order had obviously gotten lost in the mail and that they would send a replacement order that day. I got the seeds within a week. I am very much impressed with their service and attention to my order. I will buy from them again for sure.
At first the seeds seemed a bit pricey, but so far I've had 100% germination. For those of us with small gardens, the mixed-variety packages are a good plan-- you can try 3 varieties for just a tiny bit more than the price of 1 packet from the average nursery. While it's true that the cost per seed is high, you don't end up wasting half the packet, so the cost per seed actually *planted* is pretty reasonable.
I've ordered twice from the Web site, and both times I got very speedy service with no substitutions. This spring I ordered on a Thursday night and had the seeds by Tuesday.
Interesting and eclectic selection of seeds, reasonable delivery time. I've ordered herbs from them in the past and received good germ and results from the plants. This year, I ordered seed for some of the ornamental amaranths; 'cinco de mayo' and 'mardi gras' (globe). Worth a look if you like the unusual and quaint.
I really like the varieties available, and everything has grown great. My favorites are the Duos or Three-in-One packets. I get to plant several kinds and not have to order a seed packet of each. It's great for trying out new things. I've had good success with both flowers and vegetables.
Recently I order 3 packs of sweet peas I was excited
about this company ,,,, but I received one pack sweet pea ,
one butterfly plant pack and one hummingbird seed pack .
I know companies sub thing s but that was over HALF my
order ,,,, not such a good thing -----
On Feb 7, 2003, Renee's Garden Seeds responded with:
I regret that our order "pickers" made a mistake and pulled the wrong item. We don't substitute items and would not do so because if you order something from us I assume that you want that item not something else. Errors in orders don't occur very often , but our order pickers are human and, once in a great while, they may mix up packets or omit one. Please do call us on our toll-free number or e-mail us as soon as you see the error so we can properly apologize and replace the packet immediately."
On Jan 27, 2003, ChicagoGardener Evanston, IL wrote:
I have grown Renee's seeds the last two years and reordered again this year. While other companies might have a large selection, all the varieties carried by Renne's are carefully choosen for the taste and quality. I have come to trust that if Renee's carries it, I will not be disappointed. The seed packets are simultaneously the most attractive and most informative of any I have come across. Orders are sent out quickly. A great source for top quality seeds.
I have grown Renee's seed last fall and through the winter and will be continuing for this spring and summer. I'm used to ordering seed from various catalogs, and find Renee's seeds very competitive with the best catalogs out there. Her website is now setup such that you can order seed easily with a click of the mouse, if you can't find it locally. Her sweet pea mixes are the BEST of any US catalog or company that I have found. All the seed grew vigorously and had very high germination rates. The best part of her line though (for me, since I enjoy variety,) are her mixed seed packets allowing you to grow several kinds of a vegetable/flower from one packet. Ie: three colored bell peppers and three colored beans. For people who are interested in their plants looking as great as they taste(like me,) or only wish to grow a few plants of each kind, this is a great bonus. And those seed varieties are NOT cheap just because they're mixed-- they're all TOP named varieties. This company selects based on taste, 'color' and how vigorous a plant will grow in many climates and this finely chosen line reflects that. Finally, I have emailed questions several times to her customer service at the website and Beth provided very quick replies each time. I am hooked! Try them!
Okay, so she's a neighbor . . . it doesn't change the fact that she has the most interesting seeds around. Not only that, the germination rate for Renee's seeds are better than most. Haven't had much experience with her flower seeds, but her selection of vegetable seeds is wonderful and she packages many of them in such a way that you can have three different varieties in one package. (By the way, her garden is always lovely.)