On Jun 15, 2009, PinetopPlanter Auburn Four Corners, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:
I am still reeling from my visit to Rare Find! An amazing place! A friend and I visited this past Friday. We were to shop for a few Rhododendrons for his land in the Poconos, and I was going to treat myself to a magnolia. We had ideas of what we wanted, and what would be hardy for our areas, from the terrific website. I had e-mailed a query as to whether they still had inventory on hand and how up-to-date the website was, and got a response from Hank Schannen (the owner) within a day that they did have a good deal on hand and that a visit would be worth the trip. What an understatement! We were greeted by Hank, who took us on a tour, via his golf cart, of the multiple shade and sun houses and display gardens. The conversation was lively, and peppered with anecdotes about plants, customers, the business, etc. What a great experience to speak with someone who is actually MAKING some of the hybrids one is viewing, and knows the folks who made some of the other ones!
A plant lover, especially a Rhodie, Azalea, Magnolia, or Japanese Maple lover, could easily spend a full day there (we only had a few hours). We left with four nicely-sized Rhododendrons (which Hank looked over and felt were good for our climatic zone) and an 'Elizabeth' magnolia just shy of six feet, along with a couple of copies of their latest catalogue.
I've been looking it over ever since, anticipating a trip next year! There are even more varieites than listed in their catalogue at their location, in larger sizes that are perfect for picking up in person.
I've ordered for years from Greer Gardens (a great source), Klehm's Song Sparrow, and Girard Nurseries. Each has one or more things to recommend them. What has put Rare Find at the top of my list, however, is their East Coast location (far less of a trip for the plants to make by mail-order to my location) and their plant offering list, which is tailored for this part of the country. ALSO, the size of the magnolia trees, for the price charged, is the best I've seen.
Many thanks to Hank and the staff for a great time. I can't wait until next year's visit!
I ordered two witch hazels, which arrived promptly. They were bigger and leafier than I had expected and among the most beautifully packed plants I have ever received. It took me five minutes per plant just to get them out of the box and released from their packings! I'm very pleased with this company.
I have ordered several rhododendrons from Rare Find each year for the past several years . I've only had one bad plant and it was taken care of very fast. All the rest were very nice plants ,well packed and arrived in great shape. They should be the model for all nurseries. It was a pleasure to do business with them. A great outfit !!
I had the distinct privilege to visit this nursery last spring and my friend and I were absolutely overwhelmed by the beauty, diversity, and quality of their stock. If you can visit this beautiful oasis, I highly recommend you do!
I bought four or five rhodies there and all of them have made it through winter. I cannot wait to see the blooms this spring!
On December 2nd, I placed an internet order for 3 Mahonia 'Charity' and 3 Buxus 'Dee Runk'. The web site is beautiful, easy to use and chock full of accurate information. An item in my order was out of stock, so they called me the very next day - the woman helping me could not have been nicer. AND, to my surprise, my plants arrived the very next day!
The plants were carefully packed, and the packaging was almost entirely recyclable - not filled with those pesky styrofoam peanuts. The plants were bigger, bushier, and healthier than I had expected - what a nice surprise when shopping online.
I whole-heartedly support this nursery - you can tell they LOVE plants and appreciate their customers.
I ordered 2 Carolina Allspice shrubs from them in the spring and both were very nice, healthy shrubs. Unfortunately, only one survives due to a brutal drought and summer heat the last few months. We can't control the weather. I would order from them again.
Ordered a Seven Sons shrub online. I received a phone call stating they were out of stock on that size and offered me options of other sizes, one which I chose. In less than 24 hours after talking to them, the bush arrived! It was packaged very well and arrived healthy. Would definitely order from them again.
I ordered several sapplings from RareFind this spring. Magnolia 'Eric Savill' died because it came with woodborers. I called several times and they shipped me a replacement tree this week. I'm very happy with the new tree because it looks healthy and strong. RareFind's standing behind its plants makes me feel more comfortable ordering from the company.
My order of ACER palmatum 'Osakazuki' and ACER palmatum 'Wou nishiki' arrived very quick 02JUL2008. I planted both on 03JUL2008. The Osakazuki did not look as nice as the Wou nishiki. The Wou nishiki looks fabulous. It also looks like has taken well to the transplant. We'll see how things go with the Osakazuki, I have my fingers. Overall the experience with Rare Find was positive.
On July 14th, 2008, hyeelynx added the following:
I sent an email to Rare Find's support and got a speedy response from Hank. I'm sending him some pictures of the Osakazuki and Wou nishiki. The customer service at Rare Find is great.
On Jul 3, 2008, plantaholic2 N Middlesex County, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Super speedy service!! I placed an order Monday morning and asked if it could be shipped this week instead of next Monday (the default shipping date) without risking it getting caught up in holiday (Friday) delays. It arrived in 48 hours!!!!
Phenomenal Plants!!! FedEX completely screwed up the routing of my first Package (11 days in their hands). I live in WV and they are located in NJ, but when I ordered two Mt. St. Helens Azaleas, FedEx routed them through ARIZONA!! I expected them to be dead. When my crushed box arrived, I had two living plants - still. They had nice root balls- still moist, they had lost most of their leaves, but are already beginning to recover!! After discovering the shipping issue, Rare Find Nursery staff were wonderful and offered to replace the plants regardless of whether FedEX would reimburse them. The next pair arrived and are beautiful. Fast shippers!! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!
On May 30, 2008, pixie62560 South China, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:
I ordered 2 Magnolia Tree's from Rarefind Nursery...this was my first order from them ever. The order was placed at the end of March-first of April for Magnolia 'Stella Aclaim' and 'Flamingo' with instructions to deliver mid-May.
Tuesday when I had not recieved shipping confirmation for them I called at 8am...they hadn't shipped but the gentleman did not know why, said he's call me back in an hour or two. I waited until 4pm, when he didn't call me back I called them but got a woman this time. After a few minutes of her looking my order up and sighing in my ear about the gentleman not telling her anything this morning when she came in...she finally found the paper work and assured me they would be shipped out on Wed. An hour later the gentleman called me and stated the same thing...they would be shipped out the next morning. (Wed.)
Yesterday a box arrived from Rarefind Nursery...only one tree in it with a note saying "Sorry..couldn't find the other one". I just feel like they could of told me on the phone...I had been very excited about finding Magnolia Tree's that could with stand my winter lows. 8 weeks of waiting and then this... it was a huge disappointment to say the least.
My disappointment alone would give this a negative but the condition of the Tree was very good so I am posting on a neutral but im not sure I will ever order from them again.
On May 31st, 2008, pixie62560 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I am changing my rating to a postive as Ann at Rarefind contacted me and has found my tree! She went out of her way to look again, find it, call me and apologize for everything and said it will ship it out on Monday.
I am amazed and so very pleased to see a company go out of their way to keep their word and make sure the customer is happy.
I WILL shop there again!!!!!
On May 28, 2008, RachelMason Bedford, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I ordered a japanese pieris "Dorothy Wycoff" from this company and I am very pleased with the result. I felt the plant was a bit expensive, but after seeing it, it was well worth the extra money. The shrub was bigger than I expected and really well packed. The plant itself was in gorgeous condition and took to transplanting without a hitch and has continued to be a vigorous grower. The shipment arrived promptly too. I don't mind paying a bit extra when the goods and service are superior.
On May 6, 2008, snapple45 Holland, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
I received an amazing large healthy Japanese Maple Acer palmatum "Ukigumo". This small tree was everything they advertised in terms of size and vigor. The shipping was extremely quick - just in time for my first garden club tour. The packing resulted in very few brusied leaves, despite the large bushy sized tree and no broken limbs. I couldn't have been more pleased. I searched everywhere for this tree. They have quite a selection of the rare finds!
On November 20th, 2008, snapple45 added the following:
I recieved another order of Japanese Maples from Rare Find Nursery today - Koto Hime and Beni Hemi. This company consistently ships top quality stock in the best packaging imaginable in the fastest mode available. The plants are always larger than the description. What a treat.
On May 4, 2008, Rajl East Providence, RI (Zone 6b) wrote:
I am very demanding of nurseries and seek out the best. I prefer independent nurseries selling top quality specimens, where you can deal with real human beings who love plants and in turn be treated politely and as an individual. Rarefind excels in all categories and though I am a new customer it has already become a favorite source of mine.
I have received two orders through the mail, both consisting of very nicely sized and healthy plants that I might have purchased at a nursery in person. The size of the perennials exceeded any others I have purchased by mail. Prices on all the plants were therefore more than fair. Hank Schannen, the owner, phoned me personally to discuss an order and left a very pleasant message. There were also follow up e-mails.
Rarefind specializes in Rhododendrons and Azaleas, among other plants, and Hank is clearly a recognized expert in that area. The beautiful and large variety he sells is extraordinary. They also focus on perennials -- native species, particularly -- and have a wide variety of other plants, including dwarf conifers.
Support them in person if possible; otherwise order with confidence.
I just received my first order from Rare find last week. It was a joy to unpack. The plants are HUGE. They are in such good health, with outstanding root systems. The packing was alot different than I am used to, but they arrived in great condition, so no complaints here. They are a bit pricey but the plants you get are so large and healthy I think it is worth it. For example I ordered a Chamaecyparis "Curly Tops" for $35. I hemmed and hawed about the price but took the plunge and ordered it, and I am so glad I did. It is so big (for a dwarfish shrub anyway), I don't know how they made any money on that sale. The 5 other trees and shrubs I ordered where much larger than I expected too.
They were out of stock on one of the plants I ordered, which they informed me of months ago so I could substitute. They shipped on time and in full. I highly recommend this company!!!
On November 14th, 2008, plantslayer added the following:
I have placed 2 more orders with this company, and my first order was not a fluke. Just beautiful and huge plants. If you are a complete plant dork, like myself, you have to give this company a try. I oooh and aaahhh the entire time I unpack my orders. Trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, it doesn't matter what you order, they are gorgeous. They have outstanding customer service as well. Out of my top 3 mail order companies, they tie for 1st.
On Apr 25, 2008, treeguy_NY West Seneca, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
This is my first experience ordering from Rare Find Nursery. I ordered one Magnolia grandiflora 'edith bogue'. The plant arrived packed well and in excellent condition. My only complaint is that prices are a bit high compared to similar sized plants from other mail order companies. Otherwise, my experience was great.
Great Company! Ordered from here before, and was very pleased. This year, I wanted a tree that could only be picked up in person. I drove to the nursery, and couldn't have been more pleased with the people and the plants. My tree was great, I had 6 to pick from, and they were all great! Hank the owner, drove me around in his golf cart and gave me a tour and history of his place and the plants. Needless to say, I bought more than I orginally had planned. Great quality plants, great people, (Bill is a big asset to the place), and a real treasure here in New Jersey. Go, you will NOT be disappointed.
I have ordered from them 2 times this year. It is by far the best mail order for plants that I have ever used. They arrive quickly, are large and healthy. It's WOW for every single plant I take out of the very well packaged box.
I ordered a Calycanthus "Venus" from Rarefind this summer. The plant arrived promptly and the size was larger than described in the catalog. It was very well packed. It also flowered a few month later. I'm very please with this nursery and will order from them again. I'm looking forward to get some larger sized American species azaleas from them.
On Oct 18, 2007, Cearbhaill Russell, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:
This is how mail order plants are supposed to look- large, full, healthy plants. Did I say large?
I am very pleased with the condition and quality of my plants- had I gone to the premium nursery in the country and hand picked my plants I couldn't have done any better. This in combination with the variety of material available all adds up to one swell source.
The packing was extraordinary- so much so that I would say allow extra time to unpack them. The plants are bagged, wrapped, cushioned, and tied into place so much so that a plane crash wouldn't damage them. No crushed or bent leaves here.
I will most definitely order again.
On May 12th, 2008, Cearbhaill added the following:
Spring 2008- I continue to love this nursery!
They have nearly furnished my new homes entire landscape and I have not been disappointed with the first plant. I did experience one teeny order mix up, but Hank responded immediately and remedied things straight away- and even let me keep the wrong items!! Such a deal.
I should also add that he called to ask me if he could substitute a $55 plant for a $22 one that was out of stock.
I can't stop ordering from Rare Find. Huge, healthy, well packed, timely, odd varieties- what more could you ask for! My credit card is screaming but I am one happy gardener!
On Jul 8, 2007, georgefleck Philadelphia, PA wrote:
Ordered three Japanese Iris and in a second order, a Pinus Thunbergia 'Thunderhead'. Both orders were extremely well packaged, plants were large and healthy. The iris were still blooming even though it was early June. Promptly subdivided iris (after blooming) and now have six nice-sized plants. Visited the nursery on June 9 and was impressed by their inventory depth, variety, and the staff's plant knowledge and courtesy. Have ordered more plants for fall delivery. A top-shelf nursery.
I received four one gallon phlox in early May. The plants were in good shape except two of the plants had very small root balls for the gallon pots. It was like they were just potted up in those containers. When i took the plants out of the pots the small root balls separated from most of the dirt leaving the small plants. I did send an email to the owner voicing my concerns. He was very sorry and said he would make it right. Two months later no further emails. Needless to say he has lost a good potential customer.
On September 17th, 2007, hts changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
The owner, after reading my comment, did call me. He stated the email was lost and did refund the cost of the two plants. I cant make it a positive rating but did appreciate the apology.
On Jun 22, 2007, phyllisfriedber Andover, MA wrote:
I have just received my first order from Rarefind. I ordered a large number of azalea and rhododendrum. They let me know by phone a day ahead of the delivery. Packing was excellent . The plants are superb in every way. They had been watered prior to shipment and the soil was still moist. No leaves were lost. These are the best shrubs I have ever received from a specialty nursery.
On Jun 5, 2007, kkirschbaum Yonkers, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
I placed an online order with Rare Find, and then realized weeks later that I had never received the plants. I hadn't been charged either (which is good), but of course I wanted the plants and it was spring was wearing on. When I called they were very apologetic and arranged to fedex the order for delivery on a Saturday at no additional cost to me. Apparently the mix up was caused because a part of my order was not of the size they deem appropriate for shipping, but then they threw in for free one of the corydalis elata I had ordered but were not deemed ready for sale. I am happy to say that not only is everything I received from Rare Find thriving, even the undersized corydalis is doing well. I would highly recommend Rare Find.
Plants were well packed, healthy and of a great size. Customer service was great. Everything arrived when it said it would. My only recommendation to the company is that they mark the boxes "live plants". My UPS delivery person tends to leave those for me and not carry them around in his truck for 3 days and over a weekend. However, I understand that restrictions in certain states would make live plants subject to search and this would slow delivery so this solution may not work in all cases...but other companies I buy from do stamp the box to identify the plants so there must be some acceptance of the practice.
On Apr 16, 2007, sempervirens Northern, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:
They have a good selection of interesting shrubs and plants, some hard to find natives. I called and added plants to my order and received all the plants together in good shape. They even called back to clarify my order.
The selection of plants is tremendous and what makes it especially good are two things (1) the unusual varities of plants (not the same stinky old stuff you find a Home Depot) and (2) the helpful, knowledgeable staff. Today I bought a weeping silver pear tree (something I have been dreaming about forever). I can't wait for it to be warm and everything to leaf out and bloom!
On Apr 6, 2007, ksgarden Freehold, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:
I drove to the nursery to buy certain plants for a specific site: slope, need to control some erosion, and lots of wildlife esp hungry rabbits. Ann was VERY helpful, took lots of time to talk with me, and I ended up finding and buying 20 plants of a plant new to me (spirea thunbergii Mt. Fuji with fabulous spring flowers and varigated leaves) and perfect for the situation I had. My car could not handle this much, so they are holding the plants for me and I will go back in another car! A positive experience, recommend this nursery.
I do not live in the area but was visiting New Jersey and went to the nursery-what a pleasant experience. The staff is very helpful and knowledgeable. Hank took me on a personal tour of his fantastic rhododendron gardens, the largest private collection I have seen in the East. They have one of the best selections of rare plants in the country and cater to the collector. Their plants looked very healthy. I highly recommend them. If you are a collector it is worth a long drive with a big truck to load up with all the goodies you'll find.
Ann at Rare Finds was absolutely fantastic!
I had placed an online order and a couple days later received an e-mail apologizing because the tree was out of stock. I called and spoke to Ann and she stayed on the phone helping me with a new selection that met my criteria then went out and physically checked the inventory. They had it and she gave me a follow-up call and shipped out that same day. I received the tree just a few days later and it was in perfect shape. Rare Finds Nursery went the extra mile for customer service and now days that truly is a rare find!
On Oct 5, 2006, labslug1 Chesterfield, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
This past summer my first grandchild was born and to celebrate this blessed event my wife and I decided to plant a tree in her honor. Not just any tree but one that had her name; the Magnolia variety 'Elizabeth.' We had some trouble locating the tree but did finally find it at RareFind Nursery. Not having ordered from this nursery in the past I was a little bit apprehensive but I was extremely pleased with how quickly we received shipment and the size and good health of the tree. Elizabeth the tree was planted last week and while not apparently growing as fast as Elizabeth the baby I'm sure that in time the tree will end up taller then my grandaughter. Thanks!!
Quick, personable and thorough email responses to my inquiries; sage advice; incredibly fast shipping; extremely healthy plant material -- what more could one ask for? I have been mail-ordering plant material for years, and put this company at the top of my list of gratifying experiences.
On Sep 26, 2006, rcn48 Lexington, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:
Placed an order in March, 2006 - extremely pleased with the plants I received. Excellent quality and size for the prices. One plant (Caryopteris 'Summer Sorbet') wasn't going to be ready to ship until June and it arrived as promised around the first of June. It's now blooming and is absolutely gorgeous! My only complaint - I wish they would notify you of a shipping date for plants on back order. I had almost forgotten about the Caryopteris being shipped in June (my mistake, not theirs). Fortunately we were around when the plant arrived, a week later we would have been gone for three weeks and come home to find a dead plant! A quick email to notify you of shipping would give them a Postive+++ rating in my book. Would not hesitate to order from them again.
On Jul 10, 2006, Tigernach Charlottesville, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I'd never ordered from this company before, so I was a little hesitant, especially since their prices were rather high; however they were the only place I'd ever see carry rare native species like Sweet Fern and Sand Myrtle. They answered all my questions promptly over email, and after ordering, I recieved my plants within the SAME WEEK. I've never seen delivery that fast. Best of all, their plants had well established rootballs (indicating they were grown, not just dug up) and they were expertly packed. I even ended up with a free minuartia growing with one of the other plants!
Reflectively, the price was absolutely worth it. If they continue to grow other high quality natives then I'll certainly order from them again.