Has anyone else had trouble with germination of their Park Seeds during the past couple of years? I became suspicious before it actually happened when I noticed the seed packets had started to use a removable "packed for" label. I thought they used to have the date printed right on the gold packaging. Last year I noticed the small removable label and found it odd. Then, last year I have much lower germination rates on seeds I had grown 2 year and 1 year earlier from the same company-same seeds. Now this year, it's a bit early yet but I'm wondering if it's happening again. I ordered every type of Canna seed available. The first year almost every seed germinated, last year it was about 75 percent of them. This year they had a new Canna and oddly THAT one germinated just fine and all of them sprouted. Meanwhile, the others that would have sprouted by now have not. I may be a bit premature in my concern and I will follow this up in a week. I know what some will say, oh maybe they froze in the mail etc. Well, no, it was very mild during the week of both deliveries and they did not sit outside. I have a really nice grow tent with expensive 200 watt grow lights which I tend to like a mother hen, as I think we all do. ANOTHER ISSUE that I absolutely HATE about Park Seed-When you go onto their website, even if you just look and don't buy, their website dumps strong tracking cookies on your computer and if you visit Ebay and other sites, all of a sudden you notice that the same items you looked at on Park Seed are now advertised on your Ebay page and others !!!! I've had to go into Control Panel, Internet Options and DELETE COOKIES and TEMPORARY FILES. This is part of the reason why I'm wondering if they are selling old seeds, because a company that has to tag these cookies on your computer isn't exactly above-board with their intentions. One more thing-if you order something and they don't have it I assumed that's the end of it. However, all of a sudden your bank account is debited much later when they get the item in stock which can throw your bank account out of whack, and they do it with no notification. Do you suspect they are re-selling outdated seeds with new date labels added to the packets? Thanks for reading.
Oh how I wish I would have read the reviews sooner. I ordered seeds from them for the first time on Jan 30. Thankfully, it was a small order as I never place large orders with anyone until I feel I have adequate personal experience with them. But here it is Feb 7 and no indication as to when my order will be shipped. Now maybe I am jumping the gun here, but I have ordered from 3 other companies since Jan 30 and have received all of my orders from the 3 other companies already. After reading other posts, I feel some anticipation of a long wait ahead of me. At least, it was a small order, but I really could have purchased the seeds from one of the other companies and had them already.
On Oct 1, 2012, vommarlowe Overland Park, KS wrote:
Posted on September 26, 2012, updated October 1, 2012
Posted on September 22, 2012, updated September 26, 2012
I wish I had read the comments before ordering. On September 10, I ordered several packs of Wave pansies, as no one near me had any plants and I love them in fall plantings. I also ordered an 18 pack of Graffiti purple cauliflower, as it was on sale with a few other cool season veggies.
This past week, my order arrived (no shipping notice was sent, but so it goes). The pansies were in good shape, and I have no complaints about them.
The cauliflower also looked good. A little pale for a purple, but good. I proceded to harden it off on my porch and today began planting. Unfortunately, Parks sent the wrong variety. Veronica, a yellow-green variety. (I'm sure it's nice if that's what you want, but I don't. I specifically wanted the purple, it's better for my zone and my cooking preferences.) I contacted them via email, since they had closed for the day. I will update when I hear anything. I would normally not post a negative until I hear more back, but I only ordered two things. :/
On September 26th, 2012, vommarlowe added the following:
I sent them another email, but still have not heard back. I'm hoping they'll just refund my money for the incorrect plants, since it's too late to plant the right variety.
Also, the pansies were obviously grown in much smaller plugs and then put into the larger 6-packs later. Some of them are rootbound because the roots were so tightly bound they never uncurled into the larger dirt. I didn't even know people did that kind of thing. Just goes to show, I guess. I'm hoping my careful TLC will pull them through.
Lesson learned. I will not be ordering from Parks again. :/On October 1st, 2012, vommarlowe changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I received an email from Park's customer service. They apologized for sending the wrong plant and said they would refund the cost of it.
That seems fair, but I will probably not order again, given my experience.
In January Park Seed promoted a free shipping offer via email. Apparently I missed the fine print about the fact that only the standard shipping was free and an express fee would be charged per pack of plants. I think that the offer was deceptive. The plants were not shipped until the first week of June, which is a little late; however, they were healthy and are growing. I have ordered seeds from them for many years because they have varieties that I cannot find from other catalogs and I have not had any problems with the orders or the quality of the seeds.
On Apr 12, 2012, LoveForests Clearwater, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:
Posted on April 2, 2012, updated April 12, 2012
Posted on March 24, 2012, updated April 2, 2012
Ordered 3 packets of seeds, they sent me an email saying all three were shipped.
Two weeks later nothing has arrived, so I email them saying I received no seeds. They email me and say they are going to re-ship two of the seed packets but the 3rd seed packet is now "out-of-stock".
They email me 4 days later saying the two seed packets were shipped. Two and a half weeks later none of the seeds ever arrived.
So this whole time, they get to have my money, but I don't get to have my seeds, (which I really needed those seeds a month ago because it is going to be getting very hot here in Florida very soon).
I am never ordering from them ever again.
On April 2nd, 2012, LoveForests changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
One packet of seeds arrived today.
I called the seed company, the nice Lady said my other two packets of seeds were returned to their company after being shipped to me. She asked me if I would want a credit or have those two seed packets shipped out to me again (today), .... I said go ahead and ship those two seed packets to me again. Hopefully they will get here this time
By the way, I never had any shipments from any place marked as "undeliverable" to this address, so her saying that is what happened is pretty new to me.
Will see if I get the rest of the seed packets.On April 12th, 2012, LoveForests added the following:
Received the rest of the seed packets on April 9, 2012.
On Mar 19, 2012, cramsey1 Salt Lake City, UT (Zone 6b) wrote:
I recently purchased several packages of seeds from Parks. They were the only vendor that had Snapdragon Twinny Violet $3.95 Snapdragon Twinny Bronze Shades $3.95, Snapdragon Twinny Yellow Shades $3.95, Columbine Double Pleat Blue and White $1.95, Cantaloupe Ambrosia Hybrid $4.25. The prices were high and the shipping was $6.95. Very expensive for 5 packages of seeds. Well the snapdragon seeds germinated well but I had only 4 out of the 20 seeds of the Columbine germinate. I hope my Cantaloupe seeds germinate better then the Columbine. Now in Parks favor they did replace the Columbine seeds and I should receive them sometime next week. I think that their prices are very high for the amount of seeds they sell and the shipping cost are outrageous. However, their customer service was good. Overall I gave them a neutral rather then a Negative because they replaced the seeds and had good customer service. However, a 2 oz package sent first class USPS mail should only have cost 90 cents and not almost $7.00.
Posted on January 14, 2010, updated February 9, 2012
Posted on October 21, 2006, updated January 13, 2010
I have been ordering from Park Seed for a good 30 years, since moving to Florida in 1975. They have always provided fast service, excellent seeds and plants, and excellent customer service. I just received two Verbena plants last week that looked OK upon arrival, but within 24 hours had shriveled folaige and now appear dead. I have e-mailed them about this, so we'll see if they are still the company they used to be. I expect they will be good to their word, and if they aren't I will be back to let you know.
On October 22nd, 2006, gardenpom changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Well, I'm back to update my recent post about Park Seed. In reading the letters from other people I was dissapointed to find out Parks is no longer a family run business. That may explain how the company has changed for the worse. I e-mailed them to tell them my two Verbena I received died practically overnight...they tried to tell me the plants have simply gone into dormancy (overnight). The plants are DEAD. I am not going to fight with them over $7.95. The bad publicity they get will hurt them more than the money will hurt me. They are no longer the wonderful seed company I dealt with for YEARS. Enough said!On January 23rd, 2007, gardenpom changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I will not let one bad experience undo all the years of pleasure I had ordering from this company. I wish they were the same trusted company they used to be, but since they are not I will no longer order from them. I will change my rating to NEUTRAL. On March 16th, 2008, gardenpom added the following:
Against my better judgement I did order once more, from Wayside Gardens, only because I wanted a Butterfly Rose bush and could find it no where else. My credit card was charged and I waited for my Rose. I never heard anything so I finally e-mailed them as to the whereabouts of the Rose bush. They explained the ones they had been sent were not up to their standards and were sent back. To make a long story short, the Rose I ordered in spring did not arrive till fall. It was a decent sized and healthy plant when it finally did arrive. Most reputable companies will not charge a credit card until they ship an item, but Parks wastes no time getting their money up front. I am leaving my rating at neutral only because of the years of good service I had from Parks companies. But I will NEVER order from this company again. There is NO EXCUSE for not keeping a customer informed about their order.On January 26th, 2009, gardenpom added the following:
Very sad reading all the reviews here, because this was ONCE a wonderful company. I eagerly read through the winter catalogs, checking off what I wanted, and would order a few times a years, always getting excellent service. I still receive their catalogs, but now they go straight to the trash. On January 14th, 2010, gardenpom added the following:
Just received the spring catalog and was almost tempted to order a few things. They do have one of the nicest seed catalogs out there. Thank goodness I came back here to the reviews. It brought me back to my senses. Catalog to recycling. On February 9th, 2012, gardenpom added the following:
I wanted to update this review, because six months ago I was looking on the internet for another plant light for starting seeds, and finally decided to get another just like the one I have now, which I got from Parks. I filled out the order and went to do the credit card info, and my computer warned me that it was not a secure site...so I cancelled the whole thing. I then e-mailed them to tell them about it, and of course, never got any e-mail back.
On Dec 29, 2011, willmetge Spokane, WA (Zone 5b) wrote:
Posted on September 10, 2009, updated December 29, 2011
Very misleading description of Heteropappus meyendorfii (Blue Knoll). The photo is totally doctored. I've grown this variety for years and it looks nothing like the photo. The information provided is very misleading and contradictory. The subheading says "Neat little cushion of lavendar blue" and the description refers to it as "powder blue". I would consider it a soft blue violet that is definately not a "neat little cushion".
The description says "in late summer, when all the summer annuals are fading and the fall color hasn't yet got started, it is nothing short of amazing" and then states at the bottom "sow seeds in January or February for October and November bloom". It always is the last thing to bloom for me, even after the garden Mums. I have never had it bloom even close to summer.
On December 29th, 2011, willmetge changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
On Oct 15, 2011, zinniared Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Posted on October 10, 2011, updated October 15, 2011
Posted on October 9, 2011, updated October 10, 2011
First time ever ordering from Park Seeds. They had a
certain pepper I wanted. I bought 2 packs of the pepper,
25 seeds suppose to be in each packer. One had 24,
okay that just one seed short. The other pack had 21,
four seeds short. When you pay $7.02 shipping for
2 packs of peppers and 2 packs of tomatoes, you do not
want to be shorted any seeds, especially hybrids.
Most companies will give you a little extra because not
all seed germinate. Parks is so stingy!
On October 10th, 2011, zinniared added the following:
I sent them an e-mail and received a reply that they
had an automated machine that packs the seeds
and sometimes it gets stuck. They are going to send
me some replacement seeds. Will update post if
I receive replacement seeds.On October 15th, 2011, zinniared changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I did receive a replacement packet yesterday 10/14,
so I am happy about that. I changed the rating from
negative to neutral.
On Sep 8, 2011, sharonmi Westland, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on March 1, 2011, updated September 8, 2011
Posted on February 14, 2010, updated March 1, 2011
Gave Park one last try this year (how dumb am I?). Order arrived after 5+ weeks and 2 phone calls, still not a complete order. Two packets of seeds had little stickers placed over the area that has the date on the front, you know, packed for 2010, which is what the stickers said. Well, like I'm not going to peel them off, and underneath them it said packed for 2009. So, not only are they liars (each phone call they claimed they would send my order right out, put a rush on it - via pony express, I guess), they are also cheats, trying to pawn off old seed on us. Not very smart about it, either. So I say, DO NOT ORDER FROM THIS COMPANY! It will be a big waste of your money. Want my order no., Park? 5875366 Lets see you lie your way out of this one.
On March 1st, 2011, sharonmi changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Ordered from Parks this year only because I had a credit due, which I received only after complaining to the S.C. BBB. So far, I am pleasantly surprised. My seeds arrived within 3 weeks (quick for Park), and I received a refund for seeds for which the price had dropped. I mean, who does that? A refund! I will reserve judgement on ordering from them again and watch this years posts to see if they have improved or are still the same old same old.On September 8th, 2011, sharonmi added the following:
All seeds germinated well this year,but I'm still seeing all the negative posts so will have to think hard before I order from them again.
Posted on March 24, 2010, updated January 25, 2011
Posted on March 20, 2010, updated March 24, 2010
Posted on March 16, 2010, updated March 20, 2010
Posted on March 5, 2010, updated March 16, 2010
Posted on February 25, 2010, updated March 5, 2010
I was going to wait until I received my seeds from Park, but it has now been over three weeks, and I have no idea when that may occur. I ordered seeds on January 31 and after two weeks went by I emailed them to find out what was going on with my order. To cover all bases, I asked them to immediately send available seeds in case any were on backorder and to send the backordered item(s) when they were available. I got an email back indicating that one of the items was on backorder because they were having a "quality issue" and were conducting germination tests on the seed. Maybe it is just me, but shouldn't germination tests be conducted before the shipping season starts?
No mention was made about shipping the seeds that were in stock as I requested but rather they indicated that it would take up to another 10 business days before anything would ship.
So, if I am lucky my seeds may get shipped 1 month after I ordered them.
I don't know about the rest of those ordering seeds on the web, but I am getting really disgusted by the lack of service with some companies. (Here's where the seed companies reply and tell us how busy they are).
I can order from almost any online retailer (seed or other product) and have product shipped within 5 business days regardless of the time of year or how busy a particular retailer may be. In fact, I have ordered from seven different online seed companies this year and none of them took even 5 days to ship.
This type of non-service from Park Seed has now occurred two years in a row for me, and I won't allow them a third strike. There are too many other options in terms of seed selection, quality, price and service.
Good Bye Park Seeds, this is definitely the last you will hear from me.
On March 5th, 2010, trc65 added the following:
It has now been five weeks after I ordered and still nothing from Park, no comments, no updates, no seeds. I'm now past the date at which I wanted to start all but one of the seeds I ordered (Radishes). They have another month before I'll be ready to sow them so maybe they can make that deadline!!!!
My plan for the future: 1. Let Park Seed Keep sending me their catalog (it is a great catalog) at their cost. 2. Choose the seeds I want from their catalog. and 3. Order from any online retailer except Park Seed.
It is very illustrative of the type of business that Park Seed has become in that they don't reply to the negative reviews here and even try to make things right with customers they have wronged.
On March 16th, 2010, trc65 added the following:
I am now entering the seventh week of waiting for my seeds. One week ago I emailed them again and was told
"your order is in the final stages of preparation before being shipped and should leave our facility within the next few days"
My question is: How many stages and how long does it take to ship 5 packets of seed??
This is really turning into a tragic comedy. On March 20th, 2010, trc65 added the following:
Imagine my surprise when my seeds finally showed up in the mail today, 1 day short of 7 weeks since I placed the order. I was surprised because I thought I would never receive the order and because their website still lists my order as "Not Yet Shipped". I also didn't receive an email confirmation of shipping with tracking information. I'm just glad my order didn't include any plants as they would probably be dead by now (below freezing and snowing right now).
Since Park Seed seems to be ignoring the comments placed here (or at least deems them not worthy of reply), I found a feedback form on their public relations website. I'm not sure who gets that feedback, but hopefully will be someone other than their saccharine customer service reps.
I just got an email from Park telling me that my order was shipped -- three days after they were delivered to me.
Question: Are they so screwed up that they only tell you they are shipping your package after you have received it?? Or, are they so screwed up that they are double shipping orders?? On January 25th, 2011, trc65 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
In spite of the problems I had last year, many people had positive experiences and I decided to try one more small order with them. I placed my order and received all my seeds within 6 business days. Even though this was a positive, I only changed my rating to neutral at this point. Two orders in two years and I figure they average each other out. I will use Park Seed again and will hopefully have a repeat experience from the most recent order.
Park Seed is in the middle of bankruptcy at the moment and is restucturing. I too have had the wrong items shipped and the wrond plants in the wrong packaging. They have always been reliable but this year not too much.
On Jun 10, 2010, beccabeelime Port Angeles, WA wrote:
The negative - I ordered 32 packets of seeds from Park this year & had problems with poor germination on 12 of those packets & one packet that was shipped with only 3 seeds in it (there was supposed to be 20)
The positive - I called Park Customer Service & they were friendly & helpful. They shipped out replacement seeds to me but, these took awhile to get to me.
Not sure I'd order from them again since the germination rate was so low & by the time the replacement seeds arrived it was to late to plant them.
My order arrived in a timely manner, I placed my order March 7 and received the shipping confirmation March 10. I received my order just a few days later.
I went in on an order with someone last year and was pleased with the results I had with Park Seeds, I was especially pleased with the Small Wonder Spaghetti Squash. With the seeds I have started indoors from my order, germination seems to be very good.
The reason my review is not Positive has to do with the seed counts advertised and the number I received. I ordered 7 varieties of seeds. Two of the 7 did not have the same seed count that the website advertised. The zucchini I ordered shows online that a packet contains 30 seeds. The seed packet says it contains 20 seeds. I have not yet opened it to see the actual count as I'm not ready to plant yet. One of the cucumbers I ordered shows online that a packet is 40 seeds but the packet states (and seems to contain) 30 seeds. The other easily counted seed packets seem to be as stated.
I sent an email to Park's customer service and received a reply stating the Internet Dept has now been notified of the error but a week later the website has not been corrected.
On Mar 8, 2010, thegladiator Pottstown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
Last year in early January I ordered an Athyrium Ghost Fern, 3 raspberry plants and some Coneflower (Echinacea) bravado seeds, watermelon, cucumber, and squash seeds. The fern did well until our 48in of snow came and its too early to tell if it survived the winter. The raspberry plants had 1 berry ripen which I was surprised we got any at all since I had heard they take a couple years to produce, again too soon to tell if they survived the winter. The Echinacea did well and I hope it survived the winter. The squash did very well and my pumpkins I planted near the watermelon took over the garden so the watermelon didn't produce anything more than what almost looked like a weed (my fault). I'm giving a neutral rating because of the time in which things were sent to me. (a piece at a time) I didn't get the cucumbers seeds until after I had planted my entire garden and It was too late in the year to start the seeds as they would not mature in time to harvest before cold weather set in. I understand that the bare root pants can only be shipped in good weather but seeds can be shipped with any non perishable items and should be shipped early enough to give people time to grow the seed before planting season starts not after its finished. I plan to plant the cucumbers this year and the watermelon I had left over and no pumpkin so the watermelon should do well. I did reorder from them on 3/3/10 so we'll have to see if my order comes together or in pieces like last year. If I get items to late to use I may stop using them and order from other catalogs that have a better reputation.
Well, I should have read the reviews BEFORE I went with Parks. I placed my seed order early, to get seeds on time. I received a portion of my order but my 20 packets of Mirai BC corn has been backordered. I am reasonable, I am not planting until May, but after contacting them twice by phone and being told two weeks in a row that the corn was going to be sent out at the "end of the week", I am getting a little nervous if it EVER will come. I would love to know one way or another so I can order from a different supplier. There are not many suppliers of the Mirai corn so I do not want to get left out to hang. Times a wasting!
Dave, Hammonton, NJ
Ordered seeds on 12/22. They were shipped 1/29 after I sent an email of inquiry on 1/23. (I did receive an immediate reply on 1/23 that stated they'd put a rush on the order...notice the ship date of 1/29. Rush must mean six days?) One item is still on back order. Very slow service. More than likely won't use again. I need more reliability.
Also, catalog is now offering 10% off entire order. I wrote to ask if I could have a discount on the existing order since I waited so long but no reply.
On Apr 3, 2009, sanrocci Dover Foxcroft, ME wrote:
I ordered before reading all the reviews and was totally bummed out cause the order was for $75 worth of seeds. Lucky for me, they came in as planned and none were backordered so I have to give them a positive review for this order. But after reading all the comments, I'd be CRAZY to re-order anything so that is a negative comment which equals out to neutral!
On Mar 13, 2009, 1indyfan North Salt Lake, UT wrote:
Here is some info. that might be helpful to those who negative issues with Park Seed Company. I have just placed two orders with the business and will keep you all updated with my experience. Anyway, if you go to the Better Business Bureau US Organization you will find some helpful numbers and find that Park has a "B" rating, due to number of complaints, and there head honchos name, Mr. Chas Fox. Hope this helps those frustrated, and might I suggest that in your future communiques with Parks, you mention the BBB.
I wonder what's become of Jay Johnson, Customer Contact Representative for Park's. He has not been responding to negative reviews for quite a while now. (Yet another reason for people not to be spending their hard-earned money on Parks products.)
On Feb 20, 2009, 2racingboys Bartlett, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:
I ordered a Will Goodwin clematis early last summer and didn't received it in the fall, yet they said it would ship immediately. Not only that but this clematis was TINY. Be careful what you order from Park Seed. I personally don't recommend them at all.
Placed order in November for some seeds and bio-dome supplies. Web site showed all items should ship within 10 days. Only received partial shipment. About two weeks later placed another order for additonal supplies. Showed should ship in 10 days. Now I have two outstanding orders waiting for supplies to ship. Called and was given a shipment date in January. After that shipment date passed I called again and was given another shipment date. Items did finally ship out on third shipment date promised. Once received, items were as described. Packaged very well.
I might add, the first several phone reps I spoke with were useless. They spieled the standard lines and showed little concern as you would expect from a phonebank worker (sorry if I offended any phonebank workers). Only after speaking to a supervisor did I get any honest explanations as to why the order was delayed and what to expect.
Luckily, I had ordered all supplies well ahead of when they were needed. I certainly would not want to depend on this company if I needed something in a bind. I would search out other companies, and pay more, before ordering from this company again.
On Jan 10, 2009, emeraldblue70 West Sacramento, CA wrote:
Attention California Residents - Please be aware Park's is charging CA sales tax on vegetable and fruit seeds, and food producing nursery stock (roots, crowns, strawberries etc.) that should be exempt from sales tax. In California purchases of the items above are exempt from sales tax. Therefore another state should not charge CA sales tax for these items. If you order from them and they charge sales tax, call them to have it removed. I am not an advocate of any organization or anything, but just a fellow gardener and customer. It's more the principle of the matter than anything else. Why should we be charged for sales tax on items from another state when these items are exempt in California? (Reference: CA Revenue and Taxation Code 6358)
This is a 3 part experience. I've ordered the past 5 years from Park. Have only ordered seeds, and they have nice moisture proof packaging. A few of the varieties did not germinate, but it happens to all companies. I love the bio starts. They work wonderfully on annual plants. Be forwarned, that they only work on annual plants. Do not use them on Perennial plants, since they pop out of the ground. I lost a considerable amount of money with this product. After complaining to them, they said I didn't plant the plants early enough for the roots to hold it into place. I planted the plants in August. They still popped out of the ground. Even annuals which have had all summer to grow, pop out of the ground. They said they would post a note on this product warning people of this possibility. To date they have not.
Last complaint is the price of garlic. Give me a break. The price went from 7.95 for half a pound, to 19.95. Their response was the lower price served 2008, and the higher reflects 2009. Many other companies still offer the lower price. It appears this company is getting greedy.
On Jun 22, 2008, That_bob_guy_2 Kansas City, MO wrote:
Surprise surprise, fairly good news about Parks. Like a lot of you the only thing growing from Park's was my disgust with them, but they had a Day lilies Moses Fire & Startle that I wanted, so I decided to give them one more chance. The plants are growing and Startle is sending up a flower shoots. That's the best results I have had from a Park's plant in in the last 4-5 tries.
On August 10th, 2008, That_bob_guy_2 added the following:
The Startle Day lilies did good I got 4-5 flowers from a first year plant, but what was supposed to be the Moses Fire was even close, Park has promised to send the right one this fall so we'll see what happensOn August 10th, 2008, That_bob_guy_2 added the following:
The Startle Day lilies did good I got 4-5 flowers from a first year plant, but what was supposed to be the Moses Fire was even close, Park has promised to send the right one this fall so we'll see what happensOn Jun 22, 2008, Park Seed Company (aka Park's Gardens) responded with:
On Jul 16, 2008 8:09 AM, Park Seed Company (aka Park's Gardens) added:
I am happy to hear that you enjoyed our products so much.
We would love to forward your compliments; if you would send us your order information, we can let the appropriate department know that their efforts were recognized and appreciated. Please email me your zip code, last name, and order number.
Customer Contact Department
On Jun 16, 2008, june_nmexico Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:
Park Seed has now added a "fuel surcharge" to products ordered on line. I ordered some "sticky labels" which totaled $11, plus shipping, PLUS an extra $2.50 for the "fuel surcharge". I couldn't find the product locally but will look for a new resources that doesn't add unreasonable fees. I can understand a fuel surcharge for products that are delivered, but not for mailing a packet of labels.
I ordered about $100 of perennials, mostly Gaillardia. The plants arrived in good condition, already blooming! Only problem? More than a month before our average date of last killing frost. What I am supposed to do with these plants for a month before it's okay to put them in the ground is a mystery to me. I don't have all that much indoor sun. I guess we'll see how that goes.
Also, there was no advance notice on the shipping. The box just showed up one day.
And another thing -- the plants are sold as coming in "3-inch pots" or "4-inch pots," but this has no relationship to the size of the plants in the pots. Some are enormous and others are tiny! Since they are all going in the same garden, it would be nice if they were a uniform size.
I also ordered a Buddleia. Being more brittle than the Gaillardia but packed exactly the same way, all its twigs were snapped. It does seem to be healthy and vigorously growing new leaves, though, so again I'm willing to see how that goes.
On Mar 12, 2008, cloverlymd Silver Spring, MD wrote:
I ordered from Park's this year as I have a number of time before, and my order was delivered accurately and promptly, as usual. However, I have been disappointed with the decreasing selection and increasingly puffy text in the catalogs. It's hard to justify the premium prices for material that has become more and more ordinary.
Like many of you, I too have been a Park Seed customer for many years and have seen their level of service compromised in recent years. I lieu of this I thought I would share with you some information that I became aware of during the past year as it may explain. Living in SC we always visited Park Seed every June and this past June during our visit we noticed a definite change in the atmosphere at the company and its employees. Subsequently, we learned that the Park family is no longer involved in day-to-day operations and that there is in fact a nasty law suit ongoing between Karen Park Jennings and the investor who took over managing ownership.
It is only my opinion, but these things can only have a negative impact on a company. Nor is it an excuse for the level of service being experienced, but it may explain why the companies level of service is so far below what many of us had come to expect.
Although I am well aware of the negative ratings of this company, I was enthralled with it's lovely catalog, and they do have items I haven't seen elsewhere. I placed my first ever order this month. I ordered 3 "rosea" summersweet and 3 "ruby spice" summersweet shrubs. The order arrived quickly, but I think the plants are really small for the price and shipping. The roseas could be considered an acceptable size, about a foot tall, but the ruby spice are barely 4 inches tall, and VERY fragile-looking. Packing was very good. I hope these shrubs make it!
On February 22nd, 2009, magic8balltx added the following:
Only 3 of the 6 shrubs I ordered survived the summer. The survivors are small and frail. I watered them religiously throughout our drought-stricken growing season. I ordered 2 mushroom kits a month ago which arrived quickly and are about to show some production. But...I hate the fact that Park's unapologetically takes your money BEFORE they ship you something. Seems like it would be difficult or impossible to get your money back if something turned out to be not available. Anyway, it's very tempting to order since they have lots of variety.....but they are high priced for the size of the plants and with this many recent bad reviews I guess I won't. I'm surprised the company isn't worried about all those upset customers!
On Feb 29, 2008, tabasco Cincinnati (Anderson Twp), OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I should have checked Watchdog before I ordered, but I thought that Park's was a well-established old line family company who had its act together. Not so. First of all, I tried to order the mat set that someone else mentioned below and was treated to the 'bait and switch' , too.
Then I decided that I would order the heat mat alone since the website said it was in stock (and no other company on the 'net seemed to have it in stock). OK., I ordered that and the thermostat and an alfalfa bean sprouter. All was fine. Then several days later I called to see where my order was and the customer service rep said 'Oh, it was delayed until Feb. 29. mats not in stock'. Well, by then I was odd girl out, but I wanted the sprouter and I thought I could borrow a mat to get started and just hold off until March for the Park's mat.
Well, by darn, today if I didn't get an e-mail saying my sprouter, which before they had e-mailed to say it was 'set aside' for my order, is not in stock!
So I called and cancelled the whole shootin' match. The customer service lady was quite accommodating, by the way, and I could tell she had been through this before!
I found a heat mat at 'Worm's Way' for $10 less, too.
For the high shipping and handling Park's charges, you'd think they could get their inventory in order and sync it up to their website properly! No more shopping at Park's for me.
I first ordered fall bulbs from Park Seeds last summer. I knew they wouldn't ship until mid-September. A number of the bulbs I ordered needed to be refrigerated for 2-3 months before being planted (Northern California), so it was pretty important that I receive the order no later than early October.
Come the ship date, the bulbs didn't ship. I sent several e-mails and made a phone call to the company (which were all answered quickly), and was repeatedly told that the bulbs were delayed. The company did agree to ship me those bulbs that they had in stock in a separate order (of course they charged me an extra shipping fee). Those bulbs (fall-blooming crocuses) all sprouted, but only 2 flowered.
By late October, the bulbs still weren't in stock. I cancelled my order and purchased my bulbs from a local nursery. It took about 2 weeks for my refund to be processed, despite repeated calls to the company and assurances that they refund would be processed within 24 hours.
I tried Park Seed again in January for all my spring bulbs. On the web site, all the bulbs I ordered were listed as "in stock." However, after 3 weeks and a few e-mails, I was told again that there was a hold-up in their nursery and the bulbs were not in stock. They had no idea when the bulbs would ship
I ended up cancelling my order and purchased my bulbs from another web site. (Again, I was assured this refund would be processed within 24 hours and it hasn't showed up on my online statement yet).
The customer service is pleasant enough, and my e-mails are always answered promtply, although all the e-mails I received offered generic answers to why the bulbs were delayed, and they could never provide me with even a ballpark ship date.
I won't use Park Seed anymore.
On Feb 8, 2008, Park Seed Company (aka Park's Gardens) responded with:
On Feb 14, 2008 9:09 AM, Park Seed Company (aka Park's Gardens) added:
I have reviewed your above posting and I am seeking the opportunity to address this matter. Unfortunately, the information contained within was not sufficient to locate your order in our database. In order to rectify the problem I must request that you e-mail us with your billing information, including zip code and order number if available.
Customer Contact Representative
On Feb 20, 2008 12:23 PM, Park Seed Company (aka Park's Gardens) added:
I am concerned that I have not yet resolved the issue at hand and would like an opportunity to do so; however, I have not yet received a reply from you concerning this matter. Please contact us at your earliest convenience. Customer satisfaction is very important to us.
Customer Contact Representative
My first orders from Park Seed in the spring were of mixed results. First I ordered plants that were received dried out, broken and of poor quality. These were ordered as gifts and I had little time to replace them locally. They did offer credit on a fall shipment order. I never received the last of that replacement order. Now it is bit late for fall planting. The large group of seeds that I ordered were disappointing. Only about half of the packages sprouted. They either were fine or no sprouts at all. My overall experience tells me to stay away from them. Also, their shipping charges for seeds seems excessive.
On Jan 7, 2008, Park Seed Company (aka Park's Gardens) responded with:
On Jan 11, 2008 10:52 AM, Park Seed Company (aka Park's Gardens) added:
I have reviewed your above posting and I am seeking the opportunity to address this matter. Unfortunately, the information contained within was not sufficient to locate your order in our database. In order to rectify the problem I must request that you e-mail us with your billing information, including zip code and order number if available.
Customer Contact Representative
On Dec 11, 2007, michaeljo West Norriton, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I just placed an order for seeds and bare roots plants. Order number 4972685. I'm hoping everything arrives in good health and in time. I want to use the seeds to do some Winter Sowing this December. The seeds on the website say "ship now", so I'm hoping the seeds arrive in the next week or so. I found a few of the bare root plants $3 dollars cheaper at Bluestone Perennials, so I hope I'm not disappointed. I'll keep you posted on how satisfied I am with my first order from Park Seed.
Your Order Status
Order # 4972685 Processed
CAMPANULA PEARL DEEP BLUE (BELLFLOWER)
LIATRIS FLORISTAN WHITE (BLAZING STAR)
STOKES BLUE ASTER (STOKESIA LAEVIS)
COLUMBINE CLEMENTINE BLUE (AQUILEGIA)
CONEFLOWER (ECHINACEA) PARADOXA YELLOW
PENSTEMON STRICTUS (ROCKY MTN PENSTEMON)
AQUILEGIA RED STAR
AQUILEGIA ORIGAMI MIX (COLUMBINE)
RUDBECKIA GREEN WIZARD
EVENING PRIMROSE INNOCENCE (OENOTHERA)
BLUE HIMALAYAN POPPY (MECONOPSIS)
VACCINIUM BLUEBERRY SUNSHINE BLUE
GERANIUM JOHNSON'S BLUE
POLEMONIUM HEAVEN SCENT PPAF
VERONICA LILAC FANTASY
CUCUMBER PEARL HYBRID
On December 19th, 2007, michaeljo added the following:
On 12/12/07, spoke with Ann on the customer service line, very pleasant and helpful. Inquired about my order, and Ann told me my seed order would arrive in 3-4 business days. Received my seed order on 12/18/07 ... very timely. Bare root plants to be shipped mid-March.