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|On Jul 14, 2015, sullific West Haven, CT wrote:
I joined as a Life Member probably over 15 years ago - at any rate, when they first came out, I think. I did receive an entire bag of garden tools and gloves (which I still use). I received seeds to test several times but told them I did not have a good area to plant lettuce seeds, etc. I never got anything else to test. I never paid another cent, never received unwanted or unsolicited books or anything else (just, periodically, offers for life insurance or VISA cards with their logo). I received years' and years' worth of the magazine, which was decent. My only complaint was how rude they were when they rejected a story I submitted and that none of the photographs I submitted were ever used even though they were generally as interesting (or moreso) than someone's grandkid standing next to yet another giant sunflower (nothing wrong with that, but...one gets tired of the Cute Kids In The Garden cliche photos!). I wondered who was doing the judging for the articles and photos (and writing the snotty rejection letters). Other than that, I never had a problem.
|On Jul 11, 2011, tomtkitty Memphis, TN wrote:
Posted on May 7, 2008, updated July 11, 2011
On July 11th, 2011, tomtkitty added the following:
Once again, one of my cats has received this most generous offer of a rototiller, a sprinkler, a lawn mower, and a few other items that she, lacking opposable thumbs, cannot use.
According to the letter, it's no secret among my friends and neighbors that she is an outstanding gardener & passionately devoted to her hobby. As her owner, however, this comes as news to me. I seem to be the only one working in the garden. How did this company manage to get my cat's name? She will have to fill out her own form if she wishes to "apply for this exclusive membership". I will not contribute to her delinquency. I will not pay for her subscription to the magazine.
|On Jul 7, 2011, hardyinokc Oklahoma City, OK wrote:
The first couple of years as a member of the National Home Gardening Club, I was sent 2 or 3 different products to test. I was then offered the opportunity to become a "Lifetime" member. I paid for the "Lifetime" membership in about 2003, expecting to continue receiving products for testing. I have not received a single product to test since becoming a Lifetime member. I suspect that receiving products to test is just their way of getting members to pay the big bucks for the Lifetime membership. I guess the product testing is just for new members or members they are trying to convince to pay for the Lifetime Membership. Also, I have noticed that the Gardening-How-To Magazine seems to have shrunk to fewer pages over the past few years.
|On Jun 22, 2011, BabsERNurse Whidbey Island, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:
I joined Nat'l Home Gardening Club just over a year ago. I have received several items for "testing" and "feedback" that so far have been fairly decent items.
|On Jun 17, 2011, RebeccaLynn Winston Salem, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:
Today I received in the mail a large envelope with an offer to join the National Home Gardening Club. I spent ten or fifteen minutes reading all the information. It sounded good, but before I proceded in joining, I decided to check Dave's Garden Watchdog to see if there were any reviews of the company. After reading many of the reviews, I've decided not to join - too many problems have arisen for "members." In addition to being a member of Daves Garden, I also order plants, bulbs, etc. from several different mail order companies. Still I wonder if Daves Garden provided my name and address to National Home Gardening Club. If so, in light of the many negative reviews of the company, I would hope Daves Garden will no longer sell names/addresses to this company. I truly believe that WE ARE KNOWN BY THE COMPANY WE KEEP. I have loved and trusted Daves Garden for many years.
|On Apr 28, 2011, Alaska_Jim Eagle River, AK wrote:
Although ultra-aggressive in its marketing tactics, this company deserves at least a little credit. Admittedly I joined this club thinking I was just signing up for 12 magazines @ $1/month along with some freebies like many others out there. I'm usually not the type to skip reading the fine print but have to admit I did so when I joined the NHGC. I did my usual "cut n paste" of the agreement details which I saved without giving it much thought. Thing is now that I go back through and read it, everything was laid out right there in black and white. Just wish I would have read it BEFORE I signed on for the pains in the butt to come.
|On Apr 27, 2011, aeastabrooks Soap Lake, WA wrote:
I too received the invitation to join their club which is how I found the davesgarden site... always investigate where you're thinking of putting your money!
|On Jan 20, 2011, MickJorg Andover, MN wrote:
JUst an FYI for all of you who are speculating that your seed companies and other places that you order tools & plants from are selling your addresses to National Home Gardening Club:
|On Jul 30, 2010, kfoye Bismarck, ND wrote:
Posted on Sep 19, 2008, updated on July 30, 2010
On July 30, 2010, kfoye changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
OK. This is one of those things that drives me crazy and has led me to develop the following saying "The seeds of knowledge are rare and very difficult to germinate while the seeds of ignorance are like virulent weeds, which once germinated are nearly impossible to kill." Some posters giving a negative rating have pointed out the "fact" that the positive rating posters must be plants by this company because they are all new posters who signed up and posted this one review. In a quick look at the first page alone, there are 11 positive ratings from first time posters and there are 11 negative ratings from first time posters. One of the folks who insists that the positive ratings are part of the scam has a grand total of two posts him or herself. I am not supporting or negating this company and I am not saying that people who just sign up do not have every bit as much right to post their opinions as those who have posted more frequently. But I do want to point out the fact that it is very, very dangerous to accept something as fact simply because someone else says it is. And, it is unfortunate that this type of behavior is occuring on the Garden Watchdog site, as I have always seen this as a very credible source of information. But, even with a credible source of information, people need to not accept as fact things that just don't add up.
|On Jul 17, 2010, omalmals Howell, MI wrote:
I haven't joined, and probably won't based on the negative feedback I found here. The dead giveaway that this was a scam is the line "it's no secret among your firends and neighbors that you are an outstanding gardener". LOL...my yard is ALL weeds! I can't grow grass. I sent away to Gurney's for a few plants (which I promptly killed) and so they were obviously the ones that sold my name/address. It just sounds too good to be true...and after hearing about their scammy tactics, I want no part of them...and have my doubts about Gurney's too if they will sell my info (though they've been great about replacing the dead plants - twice). So as you can see, they will send this to ANYONE, including me.
|On Jul 10, 2010, TishSparr Lincoln, NE wrote:
I just want to thank all of the contributors to Dave's Garden for always steering me in the right direction. After reading many of the comments, I have decided to pass. I always have to remind myself, "If it's too good to be true...it probably is".
|On Jun 8, 2010, perenniallyme Jamaica Plain, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
THIS IS JUST A COMMENT - NOT A RATING.
|On Mar 29, 2010, Antony_7 McConnelsville, OH wrote:
Like most others, I got the offer through the mail, and I was intrigued. I sent in my intent to join the club for $12 per year, and I promptly received the magazine (6 issues per year.) This is where the guerrilla tactics begin. Contrary to the offer, the National Home Gardening will charge you for two years of subscription, not one year as suggested. I initially refused to pay, and quickly they sent me nasty, threatening letters. I gave in and paid. I then received only one of my free gifts, a small pair of pruners.
|On Jul 3, 2009, kenrnoto Westminster, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:
Isn't it funny that almost all, and I mean just about all, the Positive Remarks were made from members who signed up the day they made the positive remark!
|On Feb 22, 2009, gardengirl1000 Virginia Beach, VA wrote:
I got the offer in the mail yesterday from the National Home Gardening Club, sounded like a good deal and was thinking about joining. But after reading the reviews it is going in the trash. Thank you all for sharing your experience so others don't get scammed.
|On Jan 28, 2009, brokein09 wrote:
Does it seem a little strange that one gardening club forum has an entire area dedicated to reviewing what I assume is a competing club? I appreciate the Garden Watchdog with mail order companies but something just seems odd about this. I'd feel better if Dave's Garden stuck to reviewing mail order companies who aren't necessarily offering the same membership services as Dave's offers. Less perception of a conflict of interest.
Note from the Garden Watchdog editors:
The Garden Watchdog contains a category for gardening-related magazines. This listing for the Gardening How-to magazine was created in 2004 to provide information about the magazine, and an opportunity for the magazine subscribers to add reviews for it.
On January 29th, 2009, brokein09 added the following:
Thanks for the feedback, Garden Watchdog editors. I guess what still doesn't feel very good to me is that this really doesn't seem to be about rating the magazine - most comments seem to relate to bashing the other club and attempting to convince people not to join that club. I'm not defending this club because I don't have any experience with them - I'm just saying some things don't feel quite right. I rely on Garden Watchdog a lot regarding mail order companies and I hate to see things that might decrease the credibility of the good work that Watchdog does in that area. Jack
|On Jul 17, 2008, Susanne7 De Land, IL wrote:
I got a promotion from National Home Gardening Club today and thought it looked too good to be true. The negative and neutral reviews here confirmed this. There is a reason that not a whole lot of joiners got tools to review. They state that they have currently 600,000 + members. Further down the same page, they say that 380,000 members over the years have tested products. Do the math: only about half the members got one tool to test.
|On Jun 11, 2008, donicaben Ogdensburg, NY wrote:
Uh, I think I need to go to the mailbox and take my check out of it!! :-)
|On Mar 25, 2008, patina23 Neptune City, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:
|On Feb 24, 2008, ConGar wrote:
Okay, I seem to have the same issues as several others. I actually got suckered in because I was told in the original mailing that membership dues were much less what they ended up charging me (just over $200.00). If I recall correctly, I was told (in the original mailing) that membership was only $24.00 a year. So, this past summer I decided to join because the price was reasonable, and at that price if they weren't all they said they were (which I suspected they couldn't possibly be for that price) it could still be worth it because of that low low price.
On February 25th, 2008, ConGar changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Changed my rating to Neutral after it was suggested that I check over my paperwork again. I have now done that, and from what I can gather from the rereading is that I won't (or shouldn't be) charged $226.00 every year. It would seem the $226.00 is a one time charge, I can't help but have my doubts, BUT until proven otherwise I decided it was only fair to change my rating from Negative to Neutral since the large charge was the main (but not only) reason I was so very unhappy.
The other reasons (mentioned above) are the reason I'm not whipping out a Positive, and after rereading things there's a new reason I'm not completely satisfied.
There is a disturbing lack of clarity in the original paperwork, because everything in that indicates that my original $24.00 payment was for a lifetime membership and not merely a magizine subscription. It would have been much nicer knowing up front that a lifetime membership was much more expensive than that before getting such a large bill slapped on me.
|On Oct 16, 2007, jcpaul Alexandria, MN (Zone 3b) wrote:
After viewing the magazine on Amazon.com, I subscribed for what turned out to be a two-year subscription (I also thought it was for one year). I have enjoyed the magazine but also agree that it is pretty basic. I especially enjoyed the articles on garden critters and garden design. I resisted signing up for the Lifetime Membership because, after receiving their free hand-held pruner, I realized that their items were not quality products. As a veteran of several book clubs, I was very conscientious about reading all the details of what they sent me, and this prevented a lot of headaches and returns. I did call the company and told them not to send me anything further of any kind without a notice first. The Customer Service Representative was cordial about removing my name from all the different products they mail out (including little porcelain boxes, CDs, books, etc.). I did get about four of their books and felt they were not comprehensive or in-depth enough for my taste and for what they were charging. I still enjoy the magazine (I'm also a gardening magazine fan!) but will not resubscribe when my two-year subscription is up. The customer service representative also asked me if I wanted to sign-on for product testing. I told her that if the products I had already received were an example of the kinds of products they sent out that I was not interested. I never received any products to test that were worth keeping. Soooo, if you sign up for this club/magazine, realize that you are essentially signing up for a series of book and product subscriptions. If you enjoy getting gardening goodies in the mail and especially if you are fairly new to gardening, you might enjoy this group. However, if you are more advanced and only want quality products and in-depth information, you might want to go elsewhere.
|On Mar 16, 2007, nevadagdn Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:
I found a copy of this company's magazine in my doctor's waiting room. The magazine wasn't half bad--I thought I might like to subscribe. Since there wasn't much information on subscribing in the magazine, I went to the website once I got home. I still didn't find the information I wanted--just information on a "trial" membership and that the magazine would cost a dollar a month. I wasn't too sure about that, so I didn't subscribe.
|On Aug 5, 2005, flowermaiden Saint Maries, ID wrote:
I have mixed feelings about this company, both positive and negative. I am a life member. I have found some of the books they sent me very useful and informative, and have voluntarily purchased those I liked. When I sent others back, I never had any problem.
|On Jun 27, 2005, ELT San Antonio, TX wrote:
Just a suggestion.
|On Jan 6, 2005, AngelSong Victoria, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:
I joined for a year to try NHGC out. The magazines were too general, and too broad on the regions they covered. I got more information out of magazines I purchased locally. I did not resubscribe.
|On Jan 2, 2005, missmuffit Des Moines, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:
I have been an annual member of the NHGC since it's inception. I continue to renew because I am a gardening magazine junkie, and while I don't consider this the cadillac of mags, I enjoy certain aspects of the magazine ; seed exchange, best new plants of the year, member's photos, etc.
|On Dec 1, 2004, adina72 Pennellville, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:
I was a member a couple of years ago and found the membership to be dissapointing. I got some pruners that were so-so and a bunch of seeds that never grew and tons of membership stickers and notepads that I could care less about. What really annoyed me was that I somehow got on their mailing list for a book club. It was very difficult to get off the mailing list. The hardcover books were nice at first, but each one got smaller and was not worth the $20-$25 I had to pay for them. I started returning them, but this was a hassle to me. I did enjoy the magazine. This year I found that you could subscribe to the magazine without joining the club, so that is what I did.
|On May 24, 2004, AS (Zone 7a) wrote:
I tried it for a year. What I basically got was a magazine subsciption - any "product testing," other than a few small packets of free seeds, never materialized. The seeds were always small packets of baby's breath, red corn poppies, and the large-flowered sunflower seeds you grow for seed - most of them were sent when they tried to get me to join and again when they tried to get me to renew. Personally, I didn't find much of interest in the magazine, so I cancelled.
|On May 13, 2004, DonnaMack Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Just a warning to anyone joining this club on-line. The offered option of declining to have your name "shared" with a few vendors is put together such that it is very easy to default to the option of giving them permission to share (do they mean sell?) your name. Since joining, my mailbox has ben jammed with not only any catalog even vaguely related to gardening, but some relating to apparel and furniture. There have been dozens. When I joined the American Rose Society last November, I was very pleased by the fact that my name, address, and e-mail were not shared. If you do not want to be bombarded, tread carefully if you want to join but opt out of mailings.