On Jun 9, 2010, Eric_OH Columbus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
Rarefind Nursery did the most important things well - sending me large healthy plants (I ordered several different kinds of lilacs) that were packed with care.
It was an adventure getting to that point, though. Their website indicated the plants would be going out on a Monday. Thursday with the shipment not having arrived (and some concern because I hadn't gotten an e-mail acknowledging the order) I contacted them and was informed that it should go out the next day (I requested it instead be sent the following Monday to avoid it sitting in a warehouse somewhere over the weekend). A week later, no plants. This time when I called, I was told the order wasn't close to being completed, and that while they were hunting up the plants in their greenhouses it appeared that one or more plants were not in stock. Ultimately (after I sent an e-mail requesting that they ship what they had available the following Monday or otherwise cancel the order) they did send everything I'd requested.
The bottom line is that I'd consider ordering from them again, but probably not during the busy spring season.
Posted on May 17, 2010, updated May 17, 2010
Posted on May 19, 2007, updated May 17, 2010
I placed an order for a dove tree just two weeks ago and it already arrived yesterday. Larger than described in catalog and packing was excellent. This was a pleasant experience.
On May 17th, 2010, pbk changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
My original order was definitely positive. However this most recent order has been definitely negative. I received three pitcher plants that were so carelessly packaged, that upon opening, the plants had tumbled around out of their pots, roots exposed and "pitchers' smashed. I emailed the company that day (one week ago) and have never received even an automatic acknowledgment. These were expensive plants to have been so poorly packaged.On May 17th, 2010, pbk changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Changed rating back to positive as situation is resolved.On May 17, 2010, Rarefind Nursery (Rare Find Nursery) responded with:
Very sorry about not getting back to you sooner. It has been very difficult to keep up with the flood of emails in the past few weeks. Not to say we aren't trying. It's at the point where it almost takes one person all day to get through them and we are a small business. Please try to phone us in the future, we normally are able to answer the phone personally most of the time and we have an answering machine for those we miss which we check daily. We normally do tape over the tops of the pots on perennials and other small plants, we will look into this to see what happened. We usually get compliments on our packing. The plants should be fine, we will certainly stand behind them if not. We would replace the Tarnok now, but we are now sold out. We do have seedlings of the species if you would like that instead?
I ordered bamboo from them (rare find nursery) on April 17th I emailed them about two weeks later (May 4th) to ask when my order would ship. Two days later I still did not have a reply, so I emailed them again. They finally answered me saying they did not have all of the bamboo that I ordered and could not ship for another week. I replied that same day asking them to cancel my order and that I would get the bamboo somewhere else. Then I bought the bamboo on eBay. Today (a week after I told them to cancel my order) I get a notice from UPS that they have shipped the bamboo. I tried calling to resolve this but canít get anyone on the phone. Iím very upset as I donít need, nor can I afford all this bamboo. This company does not check their emails and has poor communication with their customers.
On May 12, 2010, Rarefind Nursery (Rare Find Nursery) responded with:
Weíre very sorry for missing your e-mail about canceling your order. We received the plants you returned today the 18th and your credit card has been credited. Weíve looked over our trail of correspondence and this is what I have: We received your order with a requested ship date the week of Monday, April 26th. At that time, we had only 7 of the 10 ordered in stock and since we were expecting to get more in soon we decided to delay the shipment until we had all 10. On May 4th, you emailed us asking about the status of your order which we did not see right away. We try very hard to answer e-mails daily, but at this time of year it can be difficult. Two days later, on the 6th, you rightly emailed again and we tried to telephone you several times but the line was busy so we sent an e-mail the following day, the 7th. The following day, the 8th, you emailed us to cancel the order. You said you tried to phone us but got voice mail. We usually are able to answer the phone personally on our 3 lines, but occasionally not, thus we have an answering machine. You didnít leave a message. We check those every day. We didnít see that email to cancel so the order went out on the 12th. We tried to telephone you several times today the 18th to speak to you personally, but your line was busy. Again, we apologize for your inconvenience.
Rare Find is an oustanding nursery with great service and well worth a trip if you are in driving distance of Jackson NJ.
One quick story, we made mulitple purchases on-site one day and left a shrub by accident behind. I called and they packaged it and shipped it at no charge. Their packaging by the way is exceptional. We have become annual customers and this is a great nursery for specialty and unique perennials and accent plants.
On Mar 4, 2010, audreymarmot Annapolis United States (Zone 7a) wrote:
I ordered a dozen deciduous azaleas a year ago and then more shrubs last fall, when they went on discount. All were a good size, some were huge, and all in great shape, and packed beautifully. I especially appreciated the help over the phone from Hank and Ann, each of whom patiently held my hand and helped me pick the most fragrant varieties available in each category.
I also like that you can purchase a gift card for yourself in the winter and get a good size discount for your purchases using that gift card in the spring. I just used mine to place another large order.
This company is expensive, but it's worth it for the wide selection (particularly of deciduous azaleas) and large size plants.
On Nov 19, 2009, ConifersRule Kenosha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:
I placed my first order with Rarefind last week, two Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Green Arrows'. They arrived today, very well packed, large, beautiful, lush green plants. I am very happy with them and will definitely order from Rarefind again in the future.
On Nov 15, 2009, plant_collector Oak Ridge, TN wrote:
Placed my first order with this nursery since they had many of their items marked down in price. Was well satisfied with order. Items were shipped next day after order and arrived in 4 days on a Saturday no less. Shipping charges were also reasonable. Shrubs were also within the size range stated and well packed. They included a free copy of their impressive catalog as well. One shrub dropped most of its leaves during transit but suspect it will leaf out again next Spring.
I ordered some magnolias from Rare Find Nursery and was very satisfied with the plants when they arrived (much larger than I expected, too.) Their catalog is beautiful with an excellent selection of uncommon plants. I will order from Rare Find Nursery again.
I ordered a verigated mock orange for my mother's yard on Thursday, September 10. Given the option to request "ASAP" delivery, that is what I did, and the plant was delivered on Saturday, in excellent condition. Their catalog has beautiful pictures, and delightful descriptions of their plants and their required care.
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.