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|On Sep 4, 2015, siege2055 Stilwell, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
I liked the plant, but the shipping was craaaaazyyyyy. Way too expensive!
|On May 16, 2015, dave12122 East Haddam, CT wrote:
Posted on February 23, 2007, updated May 16, 2015
On February 24th, 2007, dave12122 added the following:
I was kidding about the sugarplumfairy and Peter Pan of course, but when I got my new Annie\'s Annual\'s catalog, there was Annie, on page two, dressed as a FAIRY PRINCESS!!! I\'m not making this up, I swear it! Unlike the sentiments of another poster, the tone of a particular catalogue is extremely important, as it can give one clues on how difficult situations may be handled. The tone here is apparently fun, fun, fun. Frankly, I don\'t think it\'s all that fun to receive plants that are not appropriate for your climate which then just slowly die. In that vein, I am going to take the time to describe some plants from this new catalogue which have not been good performers in Connecticut. I suspect they would not be worth growing or at best very short lived in most states East of the Mississippi, but that\'s just a prediction.
1, Convolvulus tricolor - Royal Ensign
Has a short blooming period, and the blooms only last a few hours. The stems soon trail and flop around the garden unattractively. In addition, this variety is subject to just about every kind of chewing insect going. So, you would have to spray vigilantly to control the many \"shot holes\". Almost never looks at its best even in full bloom. Eminently forgettable!
2. Anagallis monellii-
My experience is exactly the opposite of what the catalogue says. Has a short blooming period (the heat and humidity turns the flowers off here), needs rich soil and constant watering to survive. (mine wilted at even a touch of drought) and has never reseeded, even into nearby gravel. Yes, the flowers are pretty, but a weak plant and a poor doer unless you live in Seattle or Vancouver.
3. Papaver \"Lauren\'s Grape\"
A colossal disappointment. The stem looks like a drawn out pencil and bears ONE flower at the very end that lasts one day. Moreover, the foliage is sparse and unattractive. I fail to see the blue tone as in the description. Yuck!!!
A fussy species, even for experts, cannot take summer heat and is best for zones 5-6 or high elevations of zone 7. Certainly not appropriate for zones 8-10, unless grown as a short lived annual. In any case, even under the best of conditions is usually short lived. The resting winter bud is easily frost heaved. and even in flower, this really isn\'t all that attractive, the actual bloom is smaller and more tapered than the photo would have you believe.
5. Verbascums- All the listed Verbascums are poor garden subjects. The basal foliage looks like a weed and is coarse and unattractive. As for the flower spikes, only a few flowers open at one time, so that as the spike elongates it gets uglier and uglier, with bare spots at the base. At the end, you will have a few flowers at the top of a long naked stem that look absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention that the verbascums combine poorly with other plants. They stick out in the garden like that proverbial sore thumb and are difficult to utilize effectively.
6. Alcea rugosa- Here, it does NOT bloom from Spring to Frost. Three weeks is more like it, in early June. The stems can easily get to six feet or more, and have to be staked (a daunting task with this species), otherwise they easily collapse in a windstorm or heavy rain, and once collapsed are unspeakably unwieldy and out and out dangerous to any plant they happen to be smothering. I almost lost two very choice Azaleas because I did not realize the Alcea rugosa stems were on top of them! The foliage is also prone to chewing insects. An enormous plant with takeover tendencies (seeds everywhere and each seedling needs to be painstakingly dug out!) Use it sparingly!
7. Lewisia cotyledon- \"low maintenace??\" They\'ve got to be kidding! Needs absolutely perfect drainage, gravelly rich soil. Very prone to rotting in wet, humid weather unless perfectly sited. I grow mine in troughs which are put under a carport in winter. Lewisias in a wet winter climate will rot out unless a plastic cloche is put over them. They also cannot take hot, humid summers, and will develop a rust which disfigures the plant. Even under the absolute best of conditions, short lived in the east.
8. Gladiolus carneus- Yes more graceful than the modern hybrids, which are hideous. That said, a gladiolus is a gladiolus, which means:
a) stiff, unattractive fake looking foliage with combines poorly with other garden plants.
b) a flower scape which features only a few open flowers at one time . At the end you have the last blooms above many dying or dead ones, not a pretty sight. UNLESS you want to pull the dying flowers off every day. Doesn\'t sound like too much fun to me.
9. Cynoglossum amabile- Foliage is non-descript and prone to chewing insect damage. Airy flowers develop far above the foliage and flop all over the place, as the plant is very weak. Never looks right in the garden and it would be impossible to stake every stem. I would plant Myosotis instead, for a similar airy effect yet much better plant performance.
10. Oenothera pallida- An out and out thug in a hot summer climate, runs all over the place and is difficult to remove. Yes, the flowers are pretty, but at what cost?
If this saves some Easterner a disappointing experience, than I will be pleased. I might add that I have purchased these plants from other nurseries, not Annie\'s, and unless she sprinkles her plants with Fairy Princess dust, I assume their performance would be commensurate to those obtained from other sources.
On May 16th, 2015, dave12122 added the following:
I haven't ordered from Annie's in 8 years, and decided to give them another chance. I only chose 4 plants that are hard to get elsewhere. The specimens they sent were nice, if not overwhelming, and appeared to be healthy. The real test will be how they perform in the garden. As to the postage, I personally think a large flat rate box via USPS is the way to go, or they should at least offer ground UPS. Yes it takes 5 days to get to the East, but the plants would be fine, especially the way they pack them. I notice the catalogue appears to be less "fun" oriented then it has been previously. There still are a great number of plants listed that are short lived at best, and an even greater number of listed species that are "in production or "unavailable". All this can make for a frustrating buying experience, as every year the plants I REALLY want are unavailable.
|On May 10, 2013, lemurianne Ida Grove, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on May 8, 2013, updated May 10, 2013
On May 8th, 2013, lemurianne changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I feel so sad about changing my rating of Annie's, I still dream of the too few days I've spent at her absolutely fabulous nursery and the plants I've received in the past. I placed two orders this Spring and received the first of them today. First of all, the shipment packaging has changed -- there are no more packing peanuts, but there is nothing in their place!!! The plants are just free to fly and flit about the box in transit, AND THEY SURE DO. Some of the plants had come out of their containers, dropping their dirt all over everything else and losing leaves whilst no doubt being tossed about during their two day journey from Cali to Iowa. Upon tidying up the loose plants, I noticed one empty container. One of my plants has been "backordered", whatever that means...
As has been made obvious by everyone else, Annie's shipping charges are outrageous. I have never been charged so much shipping by another nursery, even ones that are shipping gallon containers!! Even ones that also ship 2nd day air from California!! Seriously, I got multiple packages today that were shipped on Monday from the west coast that cost way less and contain twice as many plants!!! Ahem.. so naturally, I order as many plants as possible from Annie's to make the crazy shipping charge worthwhile. Annies's has such a great selection that it's no trouble finding things I'd like! When they just don't send a plant, it's really annoying. I would have liked to have been contacted and given the opportunity to have something else put in its place. Most mail order companies that I have dealt with have contacted me if something wasn't ready or available to ship. I can only think of one exception, but their shipping was totally reasonable and fair so it didn't seem like a big deal.
Anyway, I'm unhappy. Maybe I wouldn't be so unhappy if Annie's hadn't set the bar so high in the first place. Also, my Bill Wallis geranium is but a wee little spot of a plant, NOT AT ALL what I have come to expect to receive from Annie's.
I'm so sad :(
On May 10th, 2013, lemurianne changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Since there was no response to an email that I sent regarding this order, I called and spoke to a wonderful person at Annie's. She was very sweet and apologetic and it turns out they are sending my backordered plant for no additional shipping. She also said they are working on finding an alternative to the packing peanuts to help with the loose plants situation AND that they'd compensate me if any plants didn't survive. I'm still disappointed that the experience was not as wonderful as I'd come to expect. I'm not sure I'll order again until they have sorted out a better way to ship.
|On Oct 25, 2012, vifferx Burlingame, CA wrote:
Annie's sells 4" pots. They do a great job packaging and shipping plants. I have also bought from their nursery since I'm local.
|On Apr 20, 2012, jessbellamy Charleston, SC wrote:
In early March I ordered a large order because the shipping to the East Coast is very expensive, so you order all the plants for that shipping amount. When asked when I would like them delivered, the website only offered April ship dates. I called them, to explain that it gets warm in SC fast and could they not ship these sooner, as according to the website, they had them in stock. The answer was they could not, but would ship them on the ship date 3 weeks later. No problem, they had warned me online.
On Apr 20, 2012, Annie's Annuals and Perennials responded with:
"On Apr 23, 2012 10:18 PM, Annie's Annuals and Perennials responded with:
|On Apr 6, 2012, PoodleChick Belmont, CA wrote:
I have mixed feelings about this nursery. On the one hand, the abundance of plant varieties is outstanding. The website is fun to navigate and I have done mail order with them once. The plants arrived beautifully packaged and I had no issues with that. Shipping is expensive, that has been covered in great detail with other posters.
|On Sep 7, 2011, plantgnome1 nowhere land, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
i chose to try & purchase 1 delphinium elatum and when i got to the page where the shipping charge appears I nearly fell off my chair. the plant was $9.00 the shipping was to be $28.00 which is over 3 times the cost of the plant-are they kidding me. talk about over the top.I don't care if they package the plant in gold plated boxes-that is ridiculous. I immediately deleted all my information and went back to my old standby Bluestone Perennials. I only gave a rating based on the shipping charges as I will never purchase from them because of the exorbitant shipping charge for 1 plant.
|On Jul 25, 2011, phdler Homer, NY wrote:
This is the first time I have ordered annuals via mail order. I ordered from Annie's based on the reviews here. I was disappointed and the neutral rating is because there were both positives and negatives. It was a mixed bag. Most of the annuals I got from Annie's are not doing well. I am an experienced gardener and all were planted and cared for appropriately-- except the two that were DOA. Their sweet peas are leggier and bloom more sparsely than the same ones ordered elsewhere that are planted among them. The Nicotiana and Sunflower Autumn Beauty are the only plants I ordered from them that are doing as expected. For the money, it is not worth it. They also do not have many of the varieties they carry in stock at the same time so it is difficult to place just one order and get even most of what you want, which results in much costlier shipping for separate orders.
On Jul 25, 2011, Annie's Annuals and Perennials responded with:
"On Aug 1, 2011 9:14 PM, Annie's Annuals and Perennials responded with:
We pride ourselves on our customer service and we answer all emails and phone calls personally. We are certain that this experienced gardener planted and cared for the plants well, however we are very dismayed to hear that two of the plants were dead on arrival. Just a quick phone call or email and we would have sent replacements immediately. If there are other issues, we would like to hear about them as well - we can help! Due to the complexity of growing so many different plants from seed - and each individual plant's requirements and demands - it's not possible for every plant in our catalog to be available at the same time. We have the most varieties available simultaneously at the beginning of spring, which we know is not always a good time for those customers under snow on the east coast. Please do drop us a line at your convenience so we may take care of the issues you had."
|On Jun 10, 2011, parasailor Carlotta, CA wrote:
the plants arrived but after over month one of them did not make it. I emailed re: their replacement policy. They felt it was d/t to my error, and refused to replace the plant, considering that I spent over a hundred dollars with them. I felt that the cost of one plant would've been a gesture of good business. My local nurseries have no problem with replacing items with in the year that have died. (doesn't happen too often) Considering that I spend thousands of dollars a year on gardening. They know that I'm coming back.
|On Jul 7, 2010, mikerotell Franklin Park, NJ wrote:
Incredible selection and I'm sure top quality plants however shipping to the East coast makes it cost prohibitive for that "must have" plant or two. I would love to give Annie's a shot at winning me over but just can't justify the exorbitant shipping charges. It is the rare occasion that I can't find the same plant somewhere else with more reasonable shipping & handling charges. That being said, I would suggest that those on the East coast, more specfically gardeners in New England & the Mid Atlantic order from Select Seeds in Connecticut. Their selection and quality are top notch, packaging is stellar and shipping is a fraction of what Annie's charges to our area.
|On Jul 6, 2010, unccgardener Charlotte, NC wrote:
First let me say that the website and plant selection are awesome ! However I feel close to $30 for shipping is just a bit too high. I know in some cases Fedex is a good choice but with most seed or bulbs USPS Priority Mail would suffice. I was going to order some things frm the website but I can't justify close to $30 for shipping 1 bulb and some seeds. Maybe give us a choice on the shipping especially in the economy we are in right now. Just a suggestion.
|On May 14, 2010, eas2 Richmond, CA wrote:
Great plants, lovely Nursery, lots of hard work...falls down with not very friendly staff...especially if your a professional...this spring I took my clients shopping (fifth year in a row) I had to fill out yet another form! that's three in as many years...each with a slightly tighter ruling. After gardening in the Bay Area for 24 years this is not the norm. Not sure if I will be taking clients there again?
|On Aug 1, 2009, ptooming Titusville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:
I have recently found that the shipping costs have gone up dramaticly. It states that the more you order the less shipping you pay, Well sort of. Depending where you live. My first purchase of 1-8 plants shipping is $28.95 or an added cost of 3.62 per plant for shipping and handling. 9 plants and more is $25.00 PLUS 20% of the order for over 9 plants, I wanted to order 16 plants, my shipping costs came out to $3.32 shipping and handling per plant!!! Yes that is .30 savings per plant a savings of $4.80 when you consider 4 inch potted plants and your purchase goes from$140 to $193 thats a big jump. Thats over $50.00 in shipping for 2 medium size boxes. I have seen this as an issue brought up before with this company and now I see why. Yes I like the plants and have ordered from them, but I just can't do it any more.
|On Mar 16, 2008, pixiesadelle San Diego, CA wrote:
After getting the Summer '08 catalog, I spent a good while picking out my top eight choices (to fit in the first tier of shipping prices--a hefty 14 bucks). Although a few of my choices included the statement, "Available in March," the others said nothing about availability. To make a long story short, it's March 15th, and only one of the eight I picked out is available. I couldn't believe it as I sat down to order and one after another came up unavailable for purchase.
|On Feb 28, 2008, robcorreia San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:
I have ordered twice with them and want more! Love the way they describe the plants and I love to know those plants will all thrive here in CA.
On June 6th, 2008, robcorreia changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I have already ordered twice from Annie's. I do have to change my rating due to their bad customer service.
Upon my first order, I emailed them asking about the best location for two of the plants in my order. I received a response a month later or so, and of course it was too late and those two plants weren't doing good at all.
My most recent email was a few weeks ago, inquiring about their shipping fees ( I wanted to place a third order but one of the items I wanted wasn't available yet), and I never heard back from them. You know what, there are A LOT of mail order nurseries out there, and every single one made a point to respond to any inquires I have made in the past.
Too bad, their plants are nice but I must feel like a valued customer in order to STAY a customer.
|On Nov 7, 2007, bmuller Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:
I love the website--and the fact that Annie's carries (some of the time) plants that are difficult to find elsewhere. I recently ordered (from them, online) a salvia saggitata that is thriving in a sunny window until I can transplant it outside when the weather is warm enough. It's a healthy plant; I hope I can keep it that way.
|On May 13, 2007, CarpePacem San Diego, CA wrote:
The plants I ordered were listed online as available, and I expected their arrival a few days ago. However, I received a customer service answering machine message, saying that they were NOT available. Called back to discuss. Told the person who'd left the message that she'd called and I was returning the call. She responded, "I DID?" When I asked if a particular plant could be substituted, she answered, "Maybe they're available." Had to ask for her to check.
On May 18th, 2007, CarpePacem added the following:
UPDATE: Plants arrived on the scheduled date (addressed to my surname and someone ELSE'S first name :o)
A few missing leaves, but otherwise nice, fat, healthy-looking plants. With tax and shipping, I paid about $12 something per plant, so hope they thrive spectacularly.
|On Jul 6, 2005, chunx San Diego, CA wrote:
I feel the need to respond to Annie's (owner) post and explanation of her shipping charges and other comments.
|On Jun 27, 2005, Indigoez Floresville, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
A few months back I heard about Annie's and visited the website, and she does have a wonderful selection of plants, including many South African plants I've seen nowhere else and had to have. Anyway, I ended up with about $75 worth in my basket, but with the shipping and the extra $2 per plant it was over $130!!!!
On Jun 27, 2005, Annie's Annuals and Perennials responded with:
"This letter is in response to Indigoz, and other Garden watchdoggers who have have a difficult time understanding the price of shipping our plants. Shipping (by UPS) costs are calculated at exactly the cost UPS charges us to ship the plants. Outside of California, we choose to only ship by 2nd day air, which may be more expensive, but the plants arrive in excellent shape, which makes everybody happy. Our handling charge is $2.00 per plant. We add this charge separately as handling charges are not taxed. If we just increased the price of the plant, there would be extra tax within California where most of our current mail order customers live.
|On May 7, 2005, 1darkshadow Brightwaters, NY wrote:
My experience was similar. I spent a lot of time on the website over the last few months. The plants look beautiful online, and they have an excellent selection. I decided to order ten plants at an avg cost of $4.50. I was shocked at checkout to see that my total was $100. I would love to be able to visit the nursery, but as far as buying online, the shipping and handling seems excessive.
|On May 3, 2005, Northeastern Weymouth, MA wrote:
I spent time this winter exploring Annie's website and makings lists of what I would like to order. It is a great website and a very interesting collection of plants. I was very much taken aback when I realized that I had to add $2 to the price of each plant that I ordered for handling. The prices on the website for specialty annuals seem comparable to what I can get locally, and I was willing to factor in shipping costs as well, but in my years of extensive mail order purchases, I have never seen such high handling costs. This may be a factor that other shoppers will want to be alerted to. I wish I could visit her retail establishment.