Comments regarding Park Seed Company (aka Park's Gardens)
It's time to read and vote for your favorite article in the 2013 Write-Off Contest! The four finalist's articles are featured in the May 13 newsletter and can be found through this link. Hurry! Voting ends May 18.
Yesterday evening I emailed this company asking about an order I had not yet received. First thing this morning I received a very polite and helpful response from a member of their customer contact team. She was very apologetic and explained that my plants were being shipped from their Michigan facility in a few days. She said that if the plants arrived too late for me, they would gladly issue a full refund for the items. With that kind of customer support, I'll certainly continue to order from Park Seed Company in the future.
I ordered geranium seeds from Parks. 100% germination in pots by a wood stove in January 2012. The Red is spectacular...vibrant...blooming by March 2012. It was cold at night after the fire went out but the little plants made it fine. The plants are compact and have bloomed continuously..I never thought I could grow geraniums but with these treated seeds..it is easier than tomatoes
Looks like I'm bucking the trend here, but I have had nothing but very positive results from Parks, and I have bought many plants from them over the past 3-4 years. I admit, I buy very few seeds; my patience isn't great. I do LOVE their SunPatiens, though! Every time I plant them I get loads of compliments and questions about finding impatiens that grow in the sun. They are expensive, probably too expensive, but they arrive very healthy and each plant is full and close to blooming. This year I added petunias, bacopa, & a few other items. They haven't arrived yet so I promise to update this if they arrive in anything other than stellar condition or if their customer service suddenly turns into a bunch of ogres.
On Mar 21, 2013, Isvlives2 Huntersville, NC wrote:
I placed two seperate orders in early in March. One I cancelled and was handled well by customer service. The order status on their web page was helpful. The second order arrived in about three weeks. Both plants were packaged well and the plants looked healthy, watered, and undamaged. I would order again.
Posted on February 23, 2011, updated March 21, 2013
I don't understand why there are so many negatives on Park Seed. I have been ordering from them for years (literally for the past thirty years!), and have never had a complaint about service, speed, or quality. Everything I've ordered from them has germinated and grown beyond expectations, and never have I received a 'bum order' with seeds that didn't germinate or perform as described. I recently placed my annual spring seed order with them, and the entire order was filled and shipped to me within a week. No substitutions, no backorders. While, in the past, there have been occasions where my order was separated into several shipments with backorders (I'll add that there was never an extra shipping charge), this was not the case this year. Overall, dealing with Park Seed has always been a pleasurable and reliable experience, their products have proven to be of quality, and I'll continue to shop with them in the future.
On March 20th, 2013, jimbarg added the following:
Again, here in 2013, and I have NO complaints about Park Seed. I placed a large order and it was shipped, complete, in a reasonable amount of time, Much of the "early indoors" starts are doing great. Excellent germination. I have no complaints with Park at all.
On Mar 16, 2013, excellentjohn Binghamton, NY wrote:
Posted on April 27, 2012, updated March 16, 2013
I have given Park seed many many many chances to improve itself. The catalog offers "unique" seeds but planting instructions are marked generically and poorly with gold foil envelopes that loose the seed and are hard or impossible to read. THE SEED GERMINATION IS 40-50% AT BEST. And most importantly, IF you choose to do business with this seed company, you better give yourself 2-3 months to receive your seeds. Customer service is full of broken promises such as "I apologize for the 4 week back order in sending out THE REST of your order but they were on back order. I will rush your order out today." 4 weeks later, still never received my order. B E W A R E with Park Seed. Bad, bad, bad, bad!
On March 16th, 2013, excellentjohn changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I swore I would never do business with this company again but they do offer some unique seeds that you can't find anywhere else. I broke down and gave them another try. I was surprised to receive my seed in a timely fashion. Everything was smooth. Not sure of the germination but I'm thinking they are trying to get there act together and I'm glad I gave them another chance. Thanks Park Seed. You have a lot of history out there. I hope you are turning the corner.
Posted on January 16, 2013, updated February 11, 2013
Posted on April 30, 2012, updated January 16, 2013
Posted on May 6, 2011, updated April 30, 2012
Posted on April 25, 2011, updated May 6, 2011
Posted on February 23, 2011, updated April 25, 2011
This is the second year that I have ordered the bulk of my seeds from Park Seed and I have been very happy with their service and products. My garden last year was one of the best I've had in years and that was with a drought in southwest Ohio.
My order this year was delivered promptly (37 packets of seed plus seed starting mix/pots). I have only one packet outstanding (cucumbers) which I don't need for awhile anyway. I for one am quite happy with Park.
On April 25th, 2011, OHGardenGuy added the following:
Just an update on this year's seed starting activities. All seeds that I purchased from Park have been planted and nearly every single one has germinated (including the seed packets that had the "Packed for 2011" label covering the original label on the packet.
The pansies I already moved outdoors are blooming like crazy. Most of my other seedlings are growing so fast that I have to keep putting them under additional grow lights so they can keep growing with plenty of room. Some really exceptional ones: Sunny Lady and Cherry Blush Impatiens, Big Begonias (all types - huge plants right now), Wizard Mix and Watermelon Coleus, Arizona Sun Blanket Flowers and all the tomatoes and peppers that I have started (all ready to go out now, but I still have to wait a couple of weeks).
The only ones I didn't have much luck with were Delphiniums, but I never have any luck with them and thought I would give them one last chance.
In summary, I have had great luck with Park seeds both this year and last. Now I just need to get them into the garden - this rainy springs is maddening!On May 6th, 2011, OHGardenGuy added the following:
One last comment on this year's purchase. The cucumber seeds I didn't receive were replaced with another variety at no cost (I was not charged for my original cucumber seed order either). The variety I ordered apparently had a crop failure hence the replacement. Not bad out of 37 seeds packets ordered. And I appreciated the free seeds. On April 30th, 2012, OHGardenGuy added the following:
I have had nothing be excellent luck with Pard Seeds. I placed my 2012 order in late December (40 packets of flowers and veggies) and received my complete order in a couple of week. My experience with germination rates has been at least 98%.
I agree that I am not crazy about the way some packets have the current-year label placed over the previous year's "grown for" date. I still had the excellent germination rates, so I don't sweat that too much. My problem is that I tend to have too many plants to set out (and not enough room for them).On January 16th, 2013, OHGardenGuy added the following:
I just received my seed order and seed starting materials for 2013 and as always, everything was received quickly and in order. I have always had great luck with germination rates and Park is my main seed source. Never had a bad experience yet.On February 11th, 2013, OHGardenGuy added the following:
I must be ordering from a different Park Seed company as I have never had an issues with them. I always get my orders quickly and have always received email confirmations when they have shipped. I recently sowed the Park Whopper pansies I ordered and each and every seed germinated. I don't always have 100% germination rates, but it has always been darned close. I guess I should be thankful I haven't had any problems.
Posted on May 4, 2004, updated January 24, 2013
I ordered 9 roses. The plants arrived within 3 weeks of ordering. They were all large healthy well rooted and trimmed plants. All of my dealings with Park's have been very satisfactory.
On January 24th, 2013, Buddy44 added the following:
On Jan 3, 2013, organic_tomato Tyrone, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
Park's Seeds has been my staple for seed orders each year for many years now. Their seed packets almost always have almost 100% germination rate. They are one of the best seed sources for the latest AAS winners and new seed varieties.
I can't comment on their nursery/plant sales, though that seems to make up the bulk of the negative comments about the company. I had some customer service trouble around ten years ago that scared me away for a few years, but every year since then, the company has delivered great seeds, a large variety, and service.
I've ordered a lot of seeds from Parks and they've been great! Excellent germination rate and the shipping was fast. I love the descriptions written about each plant. They give a lot of detailed information about each variety they sell.
On Aug 12, 2012, src84 Santa Maria, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
this year was my first time starting seeds...parks is also the first catalog ive ever ordered out of..
i bought 12 packets of seeds from parks ealier this year,i chose them cause they had a lot of unique weird varieties..maybe because i ordered early in the year i got my seeds super fast i even sent a money order via snail mail and they still came fast just in time to plant...yes the shipping was a lil $$ but i kinda expected that it is all the way on the east coast and im on the west so i didnt mind too much...pretty much all the seeds came up with the exception of like 6 or 7..i was very surprised and happy...all my flowers from parks are beautiful..im happy with them and would order from them again
I have ordered seeds from Park Seed several times. The seeds have always arrived promptly and germinated without problems. I've never needed to contact customer service so I can't comment on that but their seeds, packaging and shipping time have been excellent in my experience.
On May 4, 2012, Larrys_Gardens Castle Rock, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have ordered seed, biodomes, and biodome refills for the past several years. I have never had a problem.
This year I decided to take a leap and order live plants. I place two orders, and I was amazed at the quality of the plants, the quality of the packaging, and of course, the expedited shipping time.
Very well done.
On May 1, 2012, larry3228 Columbia, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:
After a number of years buying seeds at the local big box store I decided to try Park Seed again. My order of strawberry plants arrived in 6 days, both of the types had a few extra plants. I set them out a few days ago and they look good so far. My order of 14 types of seeds arrived in 9 days, no back orders or errors. I'll update this review after I see how everything grows.
On Apr 30, 2012, qterhrs Friedens, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Way back in the 80's Park & Burpee were my go to companies but after years of bad germination I stopped using them. This season I needed some seed starting supplies and Park had great prices so I thought I would give them another try. They had seeds on sale so I purchased some of them alond with my supplies. Shipping was fast and well packed although I forgot what a PITA packing peanuts where. All the seeds germinated and are growing great so I placed a second order and had the same great experience. They will be added to my list of companies to order from next year.
Posted on April 23, 2011, updated February 12, 2012
Posted on April 23, 2011, updated April 23, 2011
I wanted to plant some Helleborus for my wife. In order to get all the varieties I wanted, I ended up buying from 3 different online vendors. Most sold them for $20 each, including Park Seed. One had an internet special for $10 each.
Park Seed plants arrived last out of the three. They were fairly large and healthy compared to the other companies.
I just planted them so it is too soon to tell how they will work out in the long term, but by comparison, I give them a positive rating.
On April 23rd, 2011, srvadt added the following:
Ooops, I got this company confused with one of the other 3. The review should have gone like this:
Most sold them for $20 each, but Park Seed had the Golden Sunrise variety online as an internet special for $10 each, so I bought two, but was wary of what the quality would be like for that price.
Park Seed's arrived first. They were also the largest and healthiest of the three. Amazing. By far the best company of the three.On February 11th, 2012, srvadt added the following:
Update Spring 2012: Plants did great over the winter and are putting up flowers in February!
On Feb 10, 2012, CapeCodGardener Mid-Cape, MA (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on April 18, 2010, updated February 10, 2012
My experience with Park Seed has been very positive since I began ordering seeds and seed-starting supplies (BioDomes and sponges) in 2006. This year I ordered about 25 different varieties of flower and vegetable seeds and received them all within a few weeks. As another reviewer noted, their prices aren't always the cheapest--though generally reasonable--but I've always had good germination with them and I like the detailed instructions on the website and in the printed catalog. I also ordered a three-tier L-5 plant grow-light system from them in February and received it in a few weeks, despite being told that it was back-ordered for two months! Don't know if this slight confusion was a result of their bankruptcy process, but I was pleased nonetheless to receive the setup so quickly!
I'm hoping that they emerge from bankruptcy reorganization in good shape because I've always relied on them and had good service.
On February 10th, 2012, CapeCodGardener added the following:
My rating is still positive, in Feb. 2012. I ordered several bags of Bio Sponge refills on Jan 31 and received them four days later, with a bonus packet of tomato seeds. I think this is the fasted response yet from Park Seed.
I ordered assorted annual seeds over the internet on Jan. 29 and they arrived in my mail box Feb. 7. My family has ordered from Park for over 40 years and have been very satisfied with their service over that time.
I have ordered from Park Seed a few times over the years. I guess I have been very lucky because I have never had a problem with a single order. My last order was for seed starting supplies. They had some of the best prices on 1020 trays and cell flats I could find. Shipping was very reasonable. Roughly half the price of a very similar order I had placed elsewhere. Over all I'm very happy with Park Seed and will buy from them again.
On Sep 5, 2011, gardenboy1985 Stratford Canada wrote:
Posted on January 30, 2010, updated September 5, 2011
I Have ordered seeds from Park's for the past 5 or 6 years with no problem's at all! The seed all germinates well. There catalogue is wonderful and is a very good place to get hard to find seeds. Seed is well packaged in foil envelopes to keep them fresh for a long time. Customer service has been excellent to me. And they make ordering seed from Canada a breeze. I Would gladly recommend this company to anyone and will contine to order from them!
On September 5th, 2011, gardenboy1985 added the following:
Ordered many different seeds again this spring with excellent results. Germination was at least 80% with all of the seeds. Not sure why there are so many negative comments. I have been ordering SEEDS from this company for 10+ yeasr and never had a problem! I WOULD RECOMMEND this company to anyone!
On Aug 5, 2011, quixotic_in_AK Eagle River, AK wrote:
This year I placed my first order with Park's and I have to say that I was and am impressed, so much so I placed another order. The order contained a couple bio-domes and 10 seed packets. The bio-domes are a God send! Previously I had only grown in recycled tubs, peat pots, ect... This year I experienced no damping off, bugs or any other ailments and in addition the roots were plentiful and obscenely long. The seeds I ordered had a close to 90% germ rate, as opposed to the seeds I had ordered from Thompson & Morgan (maybe 20%) and they all came true to type. Had the same positive experience with my second order. Not sure why there are so many bad reviews...However I do know that I will be ordering again.
Wow! I guess I've just been lucky ordering from them. I've ordered seeds from them the last several years and had no problems at all. The all came just like they should. This year I ordered several plants from them and once again, no problems. They were well packed and healthy ( Scaevola aemula - fanflower). They are thriving! The strawberry plants are also doing great. I shared them with the neighbor kids and they are doing great as well.
I'll keep ordering from them until something goes wrong...
Late 2010, early 2011 I ordered a number of seeds from Park. Some were on their seed sale. Every variety I planted germinated very well. I have not ordered any live plants from them, so I cannot comment on them, but I am very happy with the seed orders. Will continue to buy seeds from Parks.
I have ordered from Park Seed for the last 3 years. I have always been happy with them. The plants I recieve are packaged well, they are healthy and I always recieve them when I should! I have had plants shipped from other companies when there is still frost in the ground! This year I ordered 30 plants and they all arrived in great condition at an appropriate time and they are ALL thriving. Thanks! Park Seed :o)
So disheartened to see all negative feedback, sounds like a management issue.
I came to be here because I wanted to send Parks a picture of my lovely "Smeraldo " bean crop. I spoke to one of the gardeners at Parks before placing my order. I wanted to order Kwintus pole beans, they were out of stock so I asked him which was the next best and how much should I order for my limited space how big are the towers and how many beans do I need to plant. He recommended the Smeraldo, Italian flat stringless. He took a great deal of time with me on the phone. I ordered 3 bean towers and a 1/2 pound of Smeraldos and Kwintus to arrive when in stock. The Kwintus arrived to late for spring planting but that is ok because I had plenty of Smeraldo's & I will plant Kwintus for fall crop.I have 3 bean towers full of lovely beans.My husband says they are the best he has eaten. I had 98% germination, my garden book says to only expect 70%. I am overjoyed with my order and my crop is over the top. The service was personal and except for the darn birds nest in the top of one of my towers I can't fuss. I will be back! Wish I could upload the picture. Just a thought "Why would anyone order live plants through a catalog? I have never had any luck with any company doing that. If I want exotic I will travel to my local specialty gardener.
On May 18, 2011, onewish1 Denville, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on June 2, 2007, updated May 18, 2011
I ordered quite a few times from Parks both seeds and plants... in the past I have seen a 50 / 50 chance that the plants will arrive in good shape... the last order seemed to improve in the quality of plants and shipping methods
All arrived in good shape and not the largest of plants but not the smallest either
I am happy to see improvement over the last 3 years that I have placed orders with them... and I love the dollar seeds
On March 27th, 2008, onewish1 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I changed my rating to neutral... I thought the shipment was sent way to early for my zone... it is supposed to snow here on Saturday.. we are not looking at planting temps. for at least 3 weeks... I am glad I have grow lights to hopefully keep this plant alive until then... but it did come packed well but it was smaller than I expected for $10.00
I placed a small order with Park's in March (3 packets seeds and a 6-pack of a hard-to-find plant, Zion Copper Amethyst osteospermum (gorgeous). The seeds arrived promptly and the plants at proper planting time for my area. I have ordered seeds from Park's before & appreciate the way they are packaged in waterproof foil. All 3 kinds of seeds germinated well & the plants are blooming nicely. BTW, they are one of the few nurseries that carry Snow Crystals alyssum, my preference for white alyssum. My only quibble is that I can't check status of order on screen with accuracy. Very pleased overall!
On Apr 29, 2011, sseiber6 West End, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
I have always had a positive experience with Parks. Every year I ordered seeds, that I could not find anywhere else, and they came with in a week. I also ordered live plants, namely Surfinia and Lophos. They came today, and are beautiful. The Surfinia were all in bloom when I opened the box! I can't wait to see them in my window boxes. The only negative I have had with Parks, was with some Flowering Tobacco last year, which I love. There was either poor germination, or improper planting, for which I take responsibility for. I did get some lovely ones from the packet of seeds though, and loved them. They replaced the flowering shrub promptly, which I have not had but one, that did not survive. The seeds are very well packaged, and if you look, they tell you how many seeds will be in the package, every time.
On Apr 24, 2011, FlowerAddict68 Ridgecrest, CA wrote:
I ordered a large variety of vegetable seeds from Park Seeds. It took about 3 weeks or so to get my order. I have planted most of the seeds with good results, ie. 90 - 95 % germination rate. They give you a number of seeds per packet and that is what you receive. There were a couple of seed packets that I ordered that were "out of stock", but they replaced these with similar seeds, and that's ok with me. All the seeds that I received were fresh and good quality seeds. This is a good company and I will order from them again. Thank you for the good service Park Seed.
On Apr 9, 2011, twosocksmom Adairsville, GA wrote:
I had not ordered from Park's for several years. Having just moved to Georgia I have the opportunity to grow a wider variety of plants than I have had in many years. I placed a live plant/seed order and received email confirmation immediately. My plant arrived a few weeks later (early Spring) and the rest of the order arrived promptly and well-packaged. Unfortunately, my dog destroyed the plant (my bad) but I am happy with the seeds and the "freebies" included with my order. Am sorry to read of their recent distress and I hope they can pull it together. I would order from them again.
It has been a number of years since I ordered from Parks and I was saddened to read of the problems they have been having and people have been having with them.
They have some seeds I couldn't find elsewhere and some seeds at very good prices so I placed an order with them on April 4,2011. On April 5 I received a shipping number and a statement indicating that everything I ordered was included.
I'm hoping this indicates that many of the problems are being handled better. I won't get my package until the end of April when I go to Ca. For the moment, everything seems good.
I have placed three orders for seeds through Park so far this year and all were shipped within a few days and received within a week. I was really happy with the service and now have happy seedlings from all of the seeds. No seeds I received had stickers remarking them from a previous growing season. I would definitely order from Park again :)
Posted on September 20, 2010, updated March 25, 2011
I have been a very satisfied Park customer for better than forty years, It is sad to see an old friend being in such straits, but I'll stand by them. I've never had a bad experience ordering plants or seeds, which I can't say about other companies.
Their catalogs are a delight and I have looked forward to receiving them every year. Over the years, I've learned a great deal about plants and gardening from them. When I got my first catalog from Park I was a rank novice, and am now recognized as an expert gardener. I owe much of this to a foundation from Park's catalogs.
I hope the new owners can bring them back to their former status.
On March 25th, 2011, ronmason added the following:
I just can't understand all the negative reviews about Park. I have made five orders from this season, and everything has arrived on time, and in excellent condition. One of the greatest things I can say about Park is that their packaging is superlative. They are the best, bar none. This afternoon I went to one of my greenhouses to check on seedlings I sowed two days ago, and found that several seed packets with unsown seed had been soaked by my misting system. The paper packets from Territorial Seeds, Jung's, Thompson & Morgan and Burpee were all soaked, as were the seeds inside. The foil and plastic packets from Park were in perfect condition. I was not prepared to sow the seeds from the other companies just yet, but had to do so since the seeds were already wet. I will definitely keep this in mind when I order seeds in the future. Seeing all these negative comments about a company I love and trust is like watching my grandmother get slapped by a stranger.
On the other hand, I don't order plants from anyone. If they don't come out of my greenhouses, they don't go in the ground. Period.
On Mar 15, 2011, smallwonders Grand Rapids, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I ordered 10 different genera of perennial seeds from Park Seed. My order was shipped complete and in a timely matter (10 days). Additional seeds were sent at no cost for those seeds with poor germination success.
Eight of the ten genera have already germinated in less than 5 days.
I will definitely order seeds from Park Seed again.
I have order seeds from Parks for the last two years and have found the company reliable and the seeds excellent. My seeds were carefully packaged and germinated well. My seed orders tend to be lengthy and I can say that I got everything and in the right amounts as well.
On Mar 7, 2011, chigeritch Shawnee Mission, KS wrote:
My experience with Park Seeds was a very positive one. After my order was placed, my one e-mail to company was answers in a timely manner. Seeds arrived, packaged well, with plenty of time to start indoors for spring planting. I would not hesitate to order from Park Seeds again.