I placed an order of about $300 on dwarf fruit trees, hedges and roses in April of this year. Everything but the roses, lavender and one dwarf citrus looked like people say... a stick.
I followed the instructions, soaked the roots, dug $20 holes for $10 trees. Now, in December with almost all the leaves fallen, my "sticks" are much bigger and finishing their first year in their final home. I can say, it was a great investment going with Four Seasons Nursery and I'm looking forward to a huge variety of fruits that I wouldn't have been able to afford going elsewhere.
Customer service was friendly, but they mixed up the dates on my two packages. I would highly recommend having your planting sites totally prepared just in case your plants come at an unexpected time.
Survivors: 5n1 Apple, 5n1 Pear, 5n1 Plum, Fruit Cocktail, 2 Peaches, 1 Cherry tree and 4 Cherry bushes, 4 Citrus (potted and indoors now), 10 Climbing Roses and all of the planted Siberian Elm.
Fatalities: 1 English Lavender, 5 Sub-Zero Kiwis and the unused Elms. All my fault. I wish I could get the Kiwis replaced, but it was not 4SN's fault.
I will place future orders with them and their sister companies confidently.
On Dec 3, 2013, Four Seasons Nursery responded with:
"On Dec 19, 2013 10:37 AM, Four Seasons Nursery responded with:
Thank you for your kind posting on Garden Watchdog. Your experience is more typical of our normal customers as we do ship hundreds of thousands of packages to satisfied customers each year. Thank you again and happy gardening!"
On May 23, 2013, HorticulturGirl Penn Yan, NY wrote:
I'm a second time buyer from Four Seasons Nursery. My first order was a disaster. The very first disaster, in fact, ordering from a mail order company in my 15-year ordering history. I figured it was a rare fluke experience and accepted it. (The problem was the NOVEMBER receipt of a JULY order, and getting plants I did not order as well as not receiving all of the plants I DID order which monetarily shorted me by over $10).
I sent another order this April (2013) and a few days later came across "Dave's Garden" site where I read report after report of outrageous conduct by this company. I was very fearful that I'd made a huge mistake and would surely lose my $50+.
To my relief my order arrived within weeks, containing exactly what I ordered. Everything looked - well - like bareroot stock WOULD look - brittle sticks and dried out roots. I always follow the care directions when the plants arrive and rarely have loss. If it helps, I'll share the following with you: I immediately fill a bucket with rainwater and soak bareroot plants for 24 hours. (I add a product called "SuperThrive" to that water. Magical stuff - sells at WalMart). Then I dig a hole fill it to the top with water, let that soak in, then set in the bareroot plant. I cover it with a mix of regular soil mixed heavily with compost. I finish by flooding the freshly planted plant one more time and adding about a cup of solution containing a product called "Boost 'Em"- critical for root development - (sells at directgardening,com). Every plant I purchased this time has broken dormancy and is growing beautifully, with the exception of 6 bridal wreath. These do have plenty of swelling buds along their 'twigs' though.
Please know, I'm not a paid advocate for the two products I mentioned. I just learned how valuable they are by using them through the horticulture trade. (I have a B.S Degree in Horitculture and owned a hort business for about 20 years.) If you buy them just be VERY careful to use EXACTLY the recommended dose. More is NOT better with these potent products, but when used right, you can expect nearly 100% success.
After they're planted in - by the way - if the weather is above 70 degrees (F) and dry for more than 5 days I water everything with about 3 quarts of water each. I repeat every 5 days if it's still above 70 and dry.
I hope this company continues to make an effort to operate competently and every customer can have the fine experience I just had. It would be such a pleasure to have a reliable source of affordable plants.
I know from my first experience with this company how frustrating it is and how defeated a customer feels when a company has screwed up an order and their customer service is unsympathetic towards corrective measures.
Received items in 2 1/2 weeks from date of order in bare root condition - most plants handled their journey from Illinois to Brooklyn, NY quite well. I soaked the roots for 4 hours and planted them right away. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these plants survive.
In any case, I saved the packing list so that I can get a replacement within 1 year should any of them perish. I will now be doing research on how to plant bulbs (4 varieties) they sent me as gift.
On May 26, 2012, lolmewz Abingdon, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on January 15, 2012, updated May 26, 2012
This was my order I placed to them in fall. It did take a lil over 2 months for them to ship, but I have gotten used to how horribly slow all of these online plant companies are. All of these plants shipped bare-root. They all looked half-dead as they always do. This company comes with a 1 year warranty on all plants if your keep your packaging slip as your receipt. I am expecting many plants not to make it through the winter just because of how late they shipped. As long as they honor their one year warranty I would not be worried about it. So I thought I would let you guys know how the plants are doing as of now, and give you an update later on this summer. ^,^
This was what I ordered:
6 purple leaf plum hedges - still look dormant
2 pecan trees - still looks dormant
10 old-fashioned lilacs - THESE DID AMAZING!!!! They started sprouting tiny leafs about 2 weeks after I put them in the ground. It's snowing here but they all appear to be fairing extremely well.
2 hydrangeas - still looks dormant
5 rose of Sharon - still looks dormant
3 barberry - I am 100% these will die, my cats LOVE this bush and chew on them every chance they get. I swear they like this 100xs more than their catnip plants.
2 thorniness blackberry - still dormant
3 wisteria - they're starting to grow leaves on them, I planted them in on of my 2 litter greenhouse things hehe, and then placed them on my windowsill
10 native day lilies - still dormant
90 Grecian wildflowers - still dormant
8 purple day lilies - still dormant
3 blue geraniums - perked up about 2 weeks after i planted them as long as the snow doesn't kill them I think these will do extremely well.
80 blue poppy anemones. - still dormant
I only spend $122 on all of this and like I said, if they honor their 1 year warranty I will definitely be a return customer for them.
On May 26th, 2012, lolmewz changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Most of the lilacs that started off well after I planted them then they died after a bad frost, and so did most of my order. However all of the plants that died were replaced for free, I returned my shipping label along with the dead plants because I felt bad demanding the replacement of almost my entire order but they replaced everything and they did not charge shipping on the replacements either. The new plants seem to be doing well, they were all dormant and bare-root like always but some are starting to make leaves so with no frost to kill them they should do well. I have had them in planters for about two weeks now. I do have to say that when people order bare-root plants to be careful to not let them dry out, I know it is hard to tell because they do not have any leaves so I suggest watering them every other day.
On May 11, 2012, trainbrain0204 New Miami, OH wrote:
I have ordered from this company a couple of times. They do take a long time to ship but once that is understood, no big deal. I have not dealt with customer service as I have not needed to do so. All I know is three years down the line, my cheap hostas are growing beautifully as are my blackberry bushes, strawberries, etc. I have no complaints about this company. After all, you do get what you pay for. But in my case, I have beautiful plants that cost a fraction of what a nursery would have cost.
On Apr 30, 2012, monkeyfish Honeoye Falls, NY wrote:
I've gotten these catalogs for years and thrown them out, but this year my garden task list included some "wilder" areas and these tiny CHEAP trees and other plants were just the thing. These plants were sticks - small ones at that - but very healthy looking. Just the touch of green that lets you know they're no longer fully dormant... And decent root systems, too.
They DID take a long time to arrive, but I mixed up their estimated time frame with one of the reviews I read, so I was pleasantly surprised when it only took about a month. I do wish that there were some sort of shipping notification, though, to let you know the package is on its way so that it doesn't sit outside for several days when it happens to arrive while you're out of town.
In short... These guys aren't the place to go for top-quality established plants, but there are times that small and cheap is exactly what you want and after this experience I'm very comfortable using these guys for those purchases.
I received a 4Seasons Nursery catalog in the mail, and after thoroughly reading through it, I was very anxious about ordering at least half the catalog. After placing my first order, I began to get eager about recieving my plants. I read some negative feedback on the shipping process; however, my experience was excellent. I received my plants in a timely manor. It actually states in the catalog that these plants will be shipped according to hardiness zone. I look forward to ordering from Dave's Garden. If it's anything like 4Seasons, I know I won't be dissappointed.
On Jun 15, 2011, LadyRoseWinters Pikeville, KY wrote:
I have thoroughly enjoyed shopping with Four Seasons Nursery. Their prices are reasonable any time, but when they have a sale--watch out, yaard!
Good variety of quality plants, including some very unique offerings. Great customer service as well--very knowledgable, friendly, helpful & quick.
I've shopped a few online nurseries & they are surely my favorite so far. Wonderful job, 4S!
On May 30, 2011, obsensical Green Forest, AR wrote:
I ordered despite reading most of the negative feedback on this site. I had first placed an order with another company, but after seeing how much cheaper I could get the same items from Four Seasons, I decided to give them a try. Heck, even if half of my order died, I was still going to have more plant for my dollar. Hard to resist that.
I went in knowing that my order would take forever to arrive. I was not disappointed when I made my order early in the year (I think Feb? March?) and I received my plants in May.
Much of my order has survived, and I'm happy with that! I ordered some butterfly bushes that I don't think made the journey, but the lilacs are producing leaves like mad! Almost all the lilies have sprouted, and the other bush plants are starting to leaf (they're a little slow, it seems, but they are green and growing - you can see how terribly picky I am).
If you have low expectations starting out with, I think this is a great company to order from.
On May 16, 2011, spanknjenn Newport, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:
I ordered 3 red double knock out roses bushes and one hydrangea around the last week in April took just a little over 2 weeks just like was stated at the top of their website, Every one of my plants were alive with very good clean root balls, I am very happy with this company and now will continue to shop with them, This was my first time shopping a plant catologe
Posted on May 2, 2011, updated May 6, 2011
I routinely place orders with online and brick-and-mortar nurseries throughout the country and naturally get a ton of catalogs. Well, decided to give 4seasonsnurseries a try and ordered about 70.00 worth of bulbs, shrubs and flowers at the end of March. Three weeks later gave them a call to see if the order has shipped and was told no and the reason was the cold night temps of my locale - mid to upper 40s a month ago. I told them that my HZ was 6 and most plants on order are zones 4-9. They told me to call back in a week. I did, and the same run around. Called again in two weeks - it hasn't shipped yet. By this time my orders with 3 other nurseries (placed at the same time as 4SN) all came in and were planted. After three weeks I was told my order is in shipping dept., but won't ship for another 2-3 weeks. WHAT?? I asked to cancel my order, but you apparently can't do that over the phone - you need to email them. Your email then gets sent to wherever and takes up to 2 weeks to process. This has got to be most idiotic way to handle customer correspondence in this day and age, unless of course it's to their benefit. I filed a claim with CC and will never deal with them again. I'd rather be gardening than wasting my time on this nonsense.
On May 6th, 2011, argoquest changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
A quick update:
Well, the order arrived and I must say I was pleasantly surprised - especially when I had zero expectations. The good: a fern had soil around its roots an looked very healthy, 2 bags of lily bulbs looked fine, a few seeds (in plastic bags) looked fine; creeping sedum looked pretty good. Angel Trumpets - looked like second year's new growth on 1/2" diameter stem with very good root ball (I potted it immediately), the leaves where a little off in color (but try spending 5 days in a dark box, lol). The total height of AT was about 7". The lemon tree looked like a clump of 5 leafs on 1" stalk - leafs looked OK. The only disappointing item was Japanese forest grass - it was potted, but looked miserable. I must say everything was well packed - I'd use a little less water (everything arrived in a stapled plastic bag). So the bottom line – you get what you pay for. It'll be a while before they'll become show-worthy specimen. But getting there is half the fun (for some).
P.S. I still would prefer to know just what exactly I am getting – is it a seedling size plant, 2-year or just seeds. Their catalog’s pictures show fully grown plants and in retrospect I was crazy to believe that I’ll be getting something similar for that low price.
My order included about 10 items. The plants and bulbs arrived at the correct planting time in Chicago, looking good. By the day after their arrival they were all perking up their heads in a late April rain. Very pleased with my 1st order.
On Apr 28, 2011, hsfgarden Newton Center, MA wrote:
The order was late to arrive, but, I received potted plants, not bare rooted. The plant looked healthy, much better then the barerooted I received from another nursery last year. Thank you FOUR SEASONS
On Apr 4, 2011, theaceofspades Brentwood, NY wrote:
Four Seasons catalog sells low priced plants and it is expected that you get small size. I returned the label when plants didn't grow and they were replace no charge. I take advantage of sales and I am very pleased with the $2.50 each 2 yr old Mulberry(Alba) which I am using as root stocks. The roots were long, thick and uncut. The grafts are all now pushing buds.
Posted on May 8, 2010, updated March 16, 2011
I received a confirmation email from this company upon completing my online order, but no other communication, even when they shipped. After 3 weeks, I called for an update and got a busy signal all afternoon before a man answered. He said processing takes 1-2 weeks and shipping takes another 1-2 weeks. I asked if my order had therefore been shipped and he said no.
I then discovered DG’s not-so-happy review page on 4 Seasons and felt certain that I’d never see my plants! I decided I’d call again on day 30, and if my order still hadn’t shipped, I’d request a refund.
Well, on day 27, I received my 20 dry root Hybrid Willow trees, and I must say I’m very pleased. The price was so phenomenal at less than $1.50 each with free shipping, that after discovering what a disaster this company can be, I was expecting just sticks with no roots. Not so. All 20 trees arrived with well established roots, were beginning to bud, and were within the promised 2-3’ height.
So, my first experience with 4 Seasons was worrisome for a couple of weeks but ended with a bag of plants that would be a steal at twice the price (I also got some ground cover which look healthy too). In fact, I plan to order more willows this weekend, despite knowing now that this company is very slow to ship.
Of interest may be a list of 4 Season’s “affiliates” as it appeared in one of their partner company’s spam emails to me: Direct Gardening, House Of Wesley, Burgess Seed & Plant Co., Richard Owen Nursery, Farmer Seed & Nursery, Inter-State Nurseries, Kelly Nurseries, Royal Dutch, and Honeycreek Nurseries.
On March 16th, 2011, farmlife changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
UPDATE ONE YEAR LATER: I originally left Neutral feedback last year due to lack of communication and slow shipping even though my trees and ground cover plants were fine.
But I'm now upgrading to Positive because I just ordered 60 more bare root Hybrid Willows and, once again, I'm very pleased with their condition and size, especially for less than $1.50 each. And this year, they arrived in just two weeks.
Last Spring, I first ordered bare root Hybrid Willows from fastgrowingtrees.com at ten times the price - yes, $15 each plus an outrageous $73 for regular delivery time via FedEx of a lightweight, little 8x8x48 box. The trees had great roots and the shipping and customer service was wonderful, but one of the trees arrived dead (I planted it just in case, but, alas, it was truly deceased).
Not willing to spend that kind of money again, I then gambled on 4seasons with an order of twenty 2-3' trees at one tenth the price. They all survived and grew so vigorously (in the same spot and growing conditions) that by Winter, many of them were indistinguishable from the 3-4' expensive trees.
Granted, the packaging by fastgrowingtrees.com was superior to the mere plastic bag that 4seasons uses (they don't even wrap the roots in moist paper towels), but the roots were not dry, perhaps because I only live a couple states away from IL, so shipping time was probably just a day or two.
Anyway, at least for Hybrid Willows, I have to say that 4seasons can be an excellent source!
I have to admit that when I saw their prices that I didn't expect much. I figured if half my plants survived, I would be doing better that with the last mail order company I used (SpringHill...same plants, higher prices). EVERY single plant survived and grew - 74 of them. Yes, they were small and some looked like they were dead, but I planted them anyway. Gave everybody a handful of good soil in each hole and finished them off with MiracleGro Quick Start. WOW!!! The rhubarb has caught up with the nursery-grown one I bought at triple the price, the trumpet vines went from 6 inch sticks to 18 and multi-branched, and the carpet phlox (which were maybe 2 inch long pieces) are now 8 inch circles which bloomed both spring and fall. Several things were very slow, but my husband wouldn't let me dig them up...and he was right.....they grew,too. Yes, I will order from them again....at those prices I can get a lot of ground covered as long as I give the plants a little TLC.
Every plant I have ordered from this company has been fine, but-
This company slow to process orders.
If you do not live within 300-500 miles from Bloomington, Illinois, you may consider finding plants from a closer location.
I have ordered trees & plants from locations across the US and I believe the criteria for success is getting the plants out of the packages and back into the soil within 24 to 48 hours.
Despite the feedback on this list, I bought from Four Seasons Nursery because the prices are outrageously cheap. I desperately needed to plant 30 Lombardy Poplars to quickly block my view of the teenage gangsters who sit on their roof glaring into my backyard. I also needed the added security of the beautiful (and ruthless) rosa rugosa along my perimeter fencing. This would have cost me a fortune - if I had one. So when my long awaited package came, it was, indeed, a dried-up bunch of bareroot sticks in one smallish package. I unpacked them immediately into buckets of water and to my surprise, they budded within days - before I could even plant them all. And they are all doing beautifully; for the tiniest fraction of what I would have paid elsewhere. I couldn't be happier and I will definitely order again!
On Aug 12, 2009, K4CLE Germantown, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:
I ordered from Four Seasons Nursery back in the early spring and that was before I had read all the ratings on this company. But I must say that everyting I ordered has been living and doing well. I ordered a couple citrus plants, a dwarf apple tree and several stone cherry bushes. I even went by to visit this company a few weeks ago when I was in the area. The name out front says Owen Nursery in large letters and then there are about a half-dozen other company names listed on the bill-board out by the road. Company names such as Four Seasons, Burgess, Direct Gardening, etc., etc. So, it is hard to tell which company you are actually dealing with! But again, I must say that I am pleased with what I ordered and what I received.
I've ordered a few times over the past 5 years and have always had good luck. This time I ordered 10 Poplar Hybrids trees, got one extra. Amazingly cheap, arrived in the twig state, but healthy. I stuck them in a bucket of water, then a few weeks later after the last frost, started setting them out. By then all 11 trees had starting leafing out. All I did was dig a hole, put each one in it, added some extra dirt, watered them for a few days. They are all thriving, have added two feet in height, making them almost as tall as me, over 5', healthy leaves, they will be shade trees and tall as my house in 3 years.
On Jun 13, 2009, deborahstull Rutherfordton, NC wrote:
After reading some of the negative comments here I must say I was skeptical. I placed my order anyway, I got 2 purple empress trees, 2 manchurian apricots, 2 hydrangea trees, 12 phlox, and 12 creeping red sedum. They all arrived fine, shipping did take a while though. So far everything is doing fine except for the phlox which I planted on a very steep hill with no good dirt at all on it. They are still trying to make it so we'll see. All in all, the plants were in good shape when they arrived and besides the shipping taking a long time, I have to say the experience was positive so far.
We received their catalog out of the blue sometime in may and decided to place a "test" order with them to see what we got. We ordered 6 rose of sharon, 4 hydrangea trees, 3 pampas grasses, some irish moss, a few red sedum and a couple of walk on mes. I knew they would be bare root and that wasn't a problem. I have limited experience with bare root stuff and gardening in general but knew they would be "twigs" . After placing the order, I came across this site and saw all the negative reviews and was somewhat dissapointed I had placed the order. I was expecting to receive either mush, dead twigs or nothing at all...Few weeks went by and we finally received our order. Everything we ordered was in the bag delivered by DHL. The rose of sharons were around 2' tall 'twigs' as described in their catalog, the hydrangeas were 2-3' (much bigger than I expected), the pampas grass was alive (it was actually green in their own little peat pots) but were rather small 6"-8", the irish mosses were all alive but were somewhat small, the red sedum looked like it was DOA, the walk on me looked DOA as well. I was still skeptical any of this stuff would do anything (based on the reviews) but we planted everything anyway. The small stuff was planted first, we then soaked and "heeled" in the hydrangea and rose of sharon in a wheel barrow with soil because we didn't have time to plant those during the week. Saturday came along and we went out to see our "twigs", to our surprise, most of the Rose of sharons had started to bud, a couple of the hydrangea did as well. So we planted everything based on their recomendations. By the end of the week the RS had small leaves and the hydrangeas had a few buds. Two weeks later, the hydrangeas began to bud and now all have leaves. The sedum also began to bud and has some growth though not a whole lot. To be honest our dogs have trampled them a few times. The Irish mosses didn't fare so well, 3 of the 4 have disapeared (dead or buried probably due to their small size) one is still there and somewhat green but has not grown (might be getting too much water). Pampas grass is dead (they were probably too small and should have gone in a container until they got some size)The walk on my was truly DOA. So all in all we are pretty satisfied with our order considering the cost. If there was one negative it would just be the size of some of the items we received but then again they are inexpensive for a reason. We won't bother with the refund for the stuff that died as it was not very expensive and not worth the time. So our average cost for the surviving plants based on our order total is probably around $1-$2 so I can't complain.
I will try to be as honest as possible with my rating of this company. I have received three shipments of plants from them, the first two were timely, the third shipment took more time (2-3 weeks from time of order). All of the plants we have received looked fine and are doing just fine. We have ordered items such as trees, grapevines, blueberry plants, hostas and strawberry plants. I will remind people to keep their shipping labels for one year...the package and website both tell customers to do that (just put them in a drawer like me!). I had some strawberries that died after we planted them, and I simply followed the instructions...sent the shipping label back to them with a letter detailing which plants died. I called them today (about 2 weeks after sending the information), and the representative told me the replacement order has shipped. So far, I have had good dealings with this company.
I read all the negative reports posted here and decided to give Four Seasons Nursery a shot anyway and placed an order for lots of mostly bare root trees. When my order arrived, I inspected everything and everything looked healthy. I was short three Colorado Blue Spruce and six Rose of Sharon bushes and immediately e-mailed customer service. Within a short time, the missing stock arrived and were healthy also. All 96 are in the ground and doing beautifully. I would definitely order from Four Seasons Nursery again.
Just felt I should give credit where credit is due!
On Apr 10, 2008, Len123 Adrian, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
I got much more than i expected after reading the reviews, but for the price of three nursery plants, I consider it a bargain. My order arrived at the time i wanted it to even though you can't pick your date. the order was complete plus extra seed packs,and 3 varieties of bulbs. I ordered 3 paw paw,16 wash. hawthorn,5 red twig dogwood,2 peegee hydrang.,10 aparagus,4 snowball bushes. plants are well rooted, easy to plant, came with a planting and instruction booklet, no damage whatsoever, very surprised because they came in a green bag. everything was dormant and bareroot(nice roots for size), the snowballs came potted like a large rose band. After learning my lesson on the large $300 trees, now suffering transplant shock, this seems to be a more sensible way to go. I don't have a cardiac if i have a loss! Would order again from this company.
Shipping time was reasonable and my order was sent complete. Everything is in good shape, though dormant - exactly like they said. We are in the process of planting our items - a bunch of rose of sharons, strawberries, strazzberries, rasberries, asparagus and a fruit cocktail tree. The roots look healthy and nothing was dry or brittle. I will update once I see how they come in.
Not sure how anyone could miss the return policy on keeping the shipping label. Its on their website and also written clearly on the front page of the booklet they send with the items.
On May 17th, 2008, Jungle_cat added the following:
Here is my update.
It took us almost 2 weeks from the arrival date to get everything planted. That really worried me. In that time, while we had things sitting, a few things got mold on them (our fault, not 4 seasons). That makes me wonder if the "moldy" items that others recieved was because of how long it took to get their items due to shipping time?
Anyway, despite that, everything got planted. All of the rose of sharons have leaves coming in, and some of them are getting really full now. The Fruit Cocktail tree is covered in leaves. All but one raspberry bush came in - still giving the last one some time before I request a replacement. All of the asparagus have come up - and those are the ones we planted moldy. In fact the moldy ones were the first to come up and are now the biggest. And all but a couple strawberry plants have come in and some are starting to get flowers. Again, I'm giving the remaining strawberries a little more time before we request replacements.
Overall I am extremely pleased with this shipment. There is no way I would have been able to get all of this locally for the price they offer. I am already planning to order more fruit trees and bulbs from them next year.
On Apr 7, 2008, legallorelei Chateaugay, NY wrote:
I bought a lot of different plants from 4 Seasons last spring (2007). I live way up north and we get BRUTALLY COLD winters! I ordered hibiscus, delphiniums, butterfly bushes, a silver lace vine, fern leaf bleeding hearts, strawberries, and many more. Everything arrived in an appropriate time to plant, in "dormant" conditions. One of the hibiscus did have mold on it, but I planted it anyway. Everything I put in the ground performed beautifully! Even the moldy hibiscus! Spring has just barely begun, but so far everything is coming back nicely. I've found their products to be very hardy, so far. I just ordered another batch of plants, and hope to do as well as last year. I've recommended 4 Seasons to others in my area, as well.
On June 6th, 2008, legallorelei added the following:
Well, everything came back BEAUTIFULLY!! The products I purchased from 4 Seasons came back better than some I bought locally. PLUS, the new plants I purchased this spring are doing so well! The 6 sand cherries I bought already have lots of new growth! And the Maximillian sunflowers are up about 5 inches! I know a lot of people have been dissatisfied with this company, but honestly, my experience with them has been great, and I'm really a BIG FAN!
I considered giving a neutral instead of a positive, because admittedly a quarter of my order was obviously Dead On Arrival even to my novice eyes, and now I suspect half of my order was actually DOA.
Still I decided to give everything a chance before I tried to get replacements/refund. Oops, because I didn't store/hide the bags and someone else in the home assumed they were trash and tossed them out before I knew whether things would live or die.
One really positive (for me) was that I experienced speedy shipping from them, and I always give bonus points for speedy shipping. Hence the main reason I gave them a positive over a neutral rating.
Interestly enough some of order that arrived alive later died, in at least three cases I still don't know why they failed. Admittedly, the rest that didn't make it was either my fault (in one single case), or they were eaten/destroyed by pests, and Four Seasons can hardly be blamed for those last two.
Still it is disappointing that in the end less than a quarter of the stuff I wanted/ordered survived. The plus side is the stuff that did survive is thriving, and I suspect once warm weather arrives those things will actually look like the pictures on the website.
So, based on my 2007 experience with Four Seasons, I'd say if you order trees/shrubs and/or potted plants then Four Seasons is as good a place as any to get them, especially since they tend to be cheaper at Four Seasons than anywhere else (seeds and bulbs are iffy, I'd say fifty-fifty), but if you order bare root or "dormant" plants then you probably won't be happy with the product.
(Honestly, I was thinking about ordering from them again this year, but much of the stuff I wanted this year was not listed in the book or on the website, so I used other sites to order from this year.)
On March 3rd, 2008, ConGar added the following:
I should update about my comment on the seeds. I'd say seeds from Four Seasons are above 50/50, and since in this case they were free seeds with my order I suppose I must say they are wonderful.
(Still 50/50 on bulbs, though.)
Last year I placed two orders, and got two packets of L-Crop Tomatoe seeds (among other things) - there were lots of seeds in each packet, which while I do love Tomatoes it was more than I could plant (lack of space because I'd already planted tom seeds), so I saved the seeds I didn't plant.
Just over a week ago I decide to put four seeds in some dirt and see what might happen. I wasn't expecting much, but I do believe at least two of the four planted are going to come up, and if I recall properly (from last year) sometimes these seeds start slower than other toms, so I might yet end up with all four planted coming up.
(Therefore I felt I should come back and say that - after this - I'd trust buying seeds from Four Seasons, as well.)
I'm going to try some of the remaining Vine Peach seeds (also free) in a couple weeks, perhaps I'll get some of them growing as well. I'd like to because thanks to pests (ants and bunnies) I didn't actually get any peaches off the ones I planted last year.On July 9th, 2009, ConGar added the following:
If I hadn't all ready rated this company positive, after my experience this year I would change my rating to postive.
This spring I placed an order, and it was divided into two shipments - the first shipment arrived short one item. I decided to call rather than send the packing label back since this was about a missing item and not one that failed I wasn't sure what to do. Turns out sending the packing label is pretty standard for everything with this company.
(I also want to note that the lady I spoke to on the phone was very nice and friendly despite the fact that I'm sure she was having a busy (if not rough) day - the phone was so busy that it took me three/four tries to get through.)
Anyway, I believe it took about three weeks, but the missing item did get shipped to me. Interestingly enough that item was healthier than the one with the original shipment. I had ordered two 3-in-1 Butterfly Bushes, and with the first one only one of the "three" has lived. In the end, I decided not to request a replacement for that one since the survivor was the purple section, and I'm happy enough with that, and so far the "missing" still appears that all "three" bushes are healthy, so I should still get at least one 3-in-1.
Seriously, though aside from one Lavender Astilbe (that still after several months has not shot up any green growth - I may end up having to request a replacement here, but I recently checked and the root system still seems to be healthy) and that one 3-in-1 BB I was very impressed by the quailty of items I received from FSN this year.
I ordered 3 snowball bushes, 4 lilacs, 2 hydrangea trees, 2 apricot trees (of some sort), 2 pink pussy willows and got some bulbs for free back in November 2007. Total was about 30 some odd dollars/change. The snowball bushes were packed in dirt, bulbs packed in sawdust, and the rest was bare root. I did not unpackage or soak/plant my items for about 5 days after arrival, but when I did- I noticed I was missing one of the apricot trees (no big deal, it cost me an extra cent.) I used this hormone growth formula that has brought many of my "dead" plants back to life on the items I did have and am very pleased to say, they are all sprouting nicely this time of year in Florida. I was afraid the cold chill we got in January would kill them all, but only one of my lilacs died from the chill (it was sprouting before the chill.)
The pussy willow and two of the snowball bushes were a gift to my boyfriend, and they are doing quite well at his house as well. And, yes, here we have the worst kind of soil possible...sandy, swampy, super compact soil.
Everthing is still small, and I may not be able to enjoy any flowers for some years to come, but they were all very cheap and are still alive.
If Four Seasons Nursery has a fantastic sale on hybrid willows, I would make a purchase from them again.
On March 12th, 2008, hlibebe added the following:
In the middle of February I placed an order for several plants (after pouring over their catalog along w/ other mail order catalogs for four months) for 60 hybrid willow, 2 weeping willows, 2 bluemoon clematis, and 9 robin hood rose hedges. All of which have arrived today! :D (The catalog stated delivery would begin in March, so I wasn't expecting it right away when I ordered those plants.) Everything looks good, and if only the Florida weather will allow, I hope to plant them tomorrow. This was definately another positive experience for me again.
An update to the plants received back in Nov 2007: when i went to move the plant bed for the snowball bush at my boyfriend's house last week, thinking we should put some good soil in the area since we just dug a hole n planted it back in Nov, we saw that the plant had several long feeder roots that reached out about 2-3 feet from under the 6 inch branch that made up the snowball bush. I was very impressed with this plant's vigor! needless to say, we carefully reburied the roots n just put top soil n fertilizer around the plant. **This may have also been due the hormone growth formula I applied to the plant, but I'm still pleased.**
On Jan 4, 2008, jhuot South Windsor, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have not always had the best of luck with plants from Four Seasons, but I took a chance last spring on a 'Blue Moon' rose and a couple of butterfly bushes.
They all arrived on schedule and were packed very well. And while everything was small (about what I might have expected for the price), everything grew nicely this year. In fact the Blue Moon rose still had green leaves up until a couple of weeks ago even after many hard frosts and a snow storm.
On Sep 20, 2007, soapwort243 South Milwaukee, WI wrote:
This past winter, I had spring fever and placed an order for some very inexpensive rose bushes. To my shock, they were delivered the end of March--which is Very early for Wisconsin. I didn't have a place ready for them, but planted them close to the house. Well- they are beautiful right now !! (especially the cheapest ones) They are better than the expensive ones I bought from another place. And I don not have a lot of success with roses- but these were hardy.
On Jun 15, 2007, unicornangel Brownwood, TX wrote:
I ordered from this company in april of this yr and I ordered a blue moon rose along with the angle trumpet collection , everything came to me looking very well , with the exception of one angel trumpet and the blue moon rose , I contacted the company about the plants , they asked for the packing slip from the packing box and bag the plants came in ,I cut them off the bag and box and returned them along with a letter explaining to them that these two plants where very dead upon arriving , they have since replaced the two plants ,no questions asked ,all of my plants are thriving and doing great , I will not hesitae to order from them again .
I have purchased items from 4 seasons that arrived healthy and eventually died. With my shiping label they either promplty replaced the item or sent me a gift certificate. I've had plants and fowers die from mail order firms as well as stores. Things die.
I recently had to return my last order as I was not completely satisfied with the trees. I received a check for the full amount (minus shipping) within three weeks of the return. No questions, no complications, no hassels. This was my second order with them, and my experience with them has been very good. Having now dealt with their customer service and coming away completely satisfied, I would not hessitate to us them again
My recent order to Four Seasons Nursery arrived with the plants, mostly shrubs and trees in excellent condition. The trees were at least as tall if not taller than advertised, the bare roots were still moist on all products and the green on the spruce was remarkable. In the last 3 Springs I have planted some 600-700 trees and shrubs, I wish I would have found Four Seasons sooner.
On Apr 10, 2007, smalltowngirlVA Gladys, VA wrote:
I read all of the negative comments about 4 seasons before I ordered from them, but I chose to order anyway. I figured that the prices were low enough to give it a try. I'm glad I did.
My husband and I ordered 2 apple trees, 1 cherry tree, 1 red bud tree, 9 spruce trees, and 50 strawberry plants. Our order arrived within a couple of weeks and we planted everything within 2 days following their planting directions exactly. Now, I will admit that when the order arrived the fruit trees and the red buds looked like a bunch of sticks, the strawberries were all root with a little top, the spruce trees looked okay though. Of course, from reading these reviews, I had expected that and I figured it was no different than me digging up a slip from my neighbors garden and babying it to make it grow. About a week after we planted, the area received a deep freeze for about four nights straight. We covered the plants each night and continued to water each day. To my amazement the plants are doing great! My strawberries are growing at an unbelievable rate. I may have lost a few but the others are doing so well it's hard to tell. The apple trees and the cherry tree all have buds on them. It does appear that one or two of my spruce trees will not survive but I am going to give it a little more time before I ask for replacements. With a little more TLC they may even make it. The little red bud tree isn't giving me any sign one way or another yet but they are such hardy little trees I believe it will be fine too. Even the free seeds that they sent are coming up!
For everyone that complains about how the plants and trees arrive, please remember that if they mailed you full size plants you would pay much more. Smaller plants will actually do better because they are better able to adapt to their new environment.
All in all I am very pleased and would definately order from 4 seasons again!! They have survived better than the plants I bought last year from Walmart.
On Apr 8, 2007, blackfootproud Annville, PA wrote:
Last summer we ordered 45 red salix for a hedge. At such a low price (and having dealt with many mail order plant companies) we knew we would receive "dead-looking little sticks". Just as our "sticks" arrived - we had a death in the family. We took them out of the packaging, and stuck them in a couple of buckets of water. For the next 1 1/2 months, about once a week, we changed the water in the buckets until we got around to planting them (in the middle of a hot, dry July). Over half of them survived, and are still going strong after nasty ice/snow storms. We thought this was pretty incredible under such adverse conditions! We would order from this company again.