In response to my fellow Hoosier, ashmeadskernel: Although I can't speak for Dave, I'm grateful that this site retains information on defunct companies. If I've seen a company recommended elsewhere, but can't find its web site, it's very helpful to know whether it's gone out of business, or has changed its name, or simply doesn't have a web site.
On May 27, 2011, ashmeadskernel Indianapolis, IN wrote:
I thought this place closed? (And for good reason.) So why is it still listed? Come one Daves Garden, clear out the clutter!
~Never challenge an old man, because if you lose, you’ve lost to an old man, and if you win, so what?~
On Jun 16, 2009, Gitagal Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
This is NOT to express an opinion--even though I have been there and thought the place was totally junky....
Today I got the Carroll Gardens e-Newsletter and the below was the subject....Not much of a surprise....Just wanted to share this with you all and Dave too.
Effective June 30th, 2009, Carroll Gardens will suspend accepting orders for shipment. Our store in Westminster is also scheduled to close on that date. The Saturday morning call-in radio show, which we have provided for the last 20 years, will continue for the foreseeable future. (The Garden Club; WCBM-680AM; 7-8 a.m. Saturday Morning)
To satisfy our creditors, we must raise cash. Our loss is your gain! All products and plants on CarrollGardens.com and in the store are being sold at 25% off, subject to availability and first come first served. If you have gift certificates or credits, please use them now. Your credit card will not be charged until your order is shipped and there can be no backorders.
If Carroll Gardens can resolve its financial problems, we will resume business. We have the potential of an investor which may allow Carroll Gardens to continue. There is one last thing that we are requesting of you. If Carroll Gardens returns, I would like it to be better than it is now. Please send me a brief email describing what Carroll Gardens means to you and what you will miss without Carroll Gardens. (Please send emails to email@example.com.)
Carroll Gardens was founded more than 75 years ago as a mail-order company. Through these years, it has been our pleasure to serve you and we truly regret having to suspend business.
I ordered two heucheras last sept.15, only received one. I was told the other was backordered and I would receive it this spring. This spring I called and was assured I would receive the plant. Never received it, so I called back numerous times and each time was assured they would send the plant. One time I called, the lady taking orders said they would not get the plant in stock and offered a refund. I told her customer service said they would ship me the plant. I called back to customer service & "Susan" said the plant was in shipping that day. A blatant lie, I never received the plant. I called back and asked for a refund. "Sandy" (supposedly the office manager) said I would get a refund on my VISA card that day, I still haven't received the refund. They are on Maryland's BBB page as a bad business and I was a fool not to check them out!!!!
On May 26th, 2008, suel changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
The Office Manager did honor her word and gave me a credit for shipping & the no-show heuchera, so I'm satisfied. But I won't do business with them again.
On Jun 11, 2007, snapple45 Holland, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
I ordered a Forever and Ever Double Pink Hydrangea from this company through Amazon.com on April 24, 2007. I chose to order through Amazon rather than Carroll Gardens directly because I wanted some protection if the purchase went awry (having read the many negative posts here). This was my only source for this plant. Although the local nurseries carry the Forever and Ever line none carried the double pink, nor would they order it! The plant arrived June 8th, very well packed. It carried the Forever and Ever label as well as the hand written nursery label. It was good sized and had been de-containerized with the roots placed into a plastic bag. I was satisfied with the size and packing. The plant however was very heavily diseased with Cercospora leaf spot. It will require a careful fungicide spray schedule for this acclimating season and meticulous fall cleanup for the future. Order from this company only as a last resort.
I ordered and paid for Double Knockout mid January. I sent an email in May inquiring shipping status and was rudely answered that they had already told me it would be shipping in the beginning of May. (It was mid May at this point)
Then I heard that their shipment hadn't come in and they were awaiting it and would ship when it arrived.
I was shocked to find my order on the doorstep today. I had all but given up on it. Shocked doesn't describe the state of the rose however. I was expecting either a bareroot or least a grade 1˝ grafted rose. What I got was an own root, no larger than standard Heirloom Bands. This plant is a baby!
I can't believe I paid $23.85 for a barely rooted band, $8.35 tax! and $7.00 shipping for this. I am steamed. I am happy to finally have the rose, but it's not like I can plant it. It will have to go in a gallon pot and be babied all summer long. It was wilted upon arrival, and all the dirt around the roots that was held together with a paper towel fell apart when I was attempting to get it out of the towel and into a pot.
On Jun 6, 2005, c2garden Virginia Beach, VA wrote:
I ordered 10 Double Knockout Roses from this company. I was told they would not be shipped out until the first week in May. The first week in May came and went so I called again. I was told they would be shipped out in the middle of May. I do not appreciate a company that lies to its customers. The lady on the phone was not all that friendly either. After I was told the "middle of May" I decided to try to find them somewhere else. I didn't cancel my order until I found them at Triple Oaks Nursery in NJ. I called and canceled my order. The lady on the phone said "you understand you can not order these once they are canceled?". I told her yes. I traveled five hours to Triple Oaks Nursery to pick up my roses. I decided to do that because I can not be out in the heat and humidity without getting sick. Thankfully I didn't believe Carroll Gardens because I bet I would be out in the heat on a 89 degree day (but with our humidity feels like 97 degrees). I will never order from them again and hope they get their stuff together or they will be losing a lot of customers.
On June 11th, 2005, c2garden added the following:
I am so glad that I told this company to cancel my order of 10 Double Knockouts! From the review above I can tell that I would not be a happy camper spending well over $200.00 for band roses. Do not deal with this company. They do not deliver what they promise and do not deliver when they promise. On July 17th, 2005, c2garden added the following:
DOES THIS COMPANY HAVE A CLUE? I cancelled my order from this company a long time ago and already made a five hour trip to pick up my double knockout roses from another nursery. I did not expect the roses to show up at my door since I was asked rudely "you understand you can not order these once they are cancelled". I went on vacation and came in to the house to find a package from this company that our house sitter brought in while we were gone! I do not see a charge for these roses on my account. I have the box sitting in the kitchen unopened awaiting the post office to pick this box up tomorrow. I will let you know if they charge me for these or if I have any other problems with this company. Thankfully I was planning to pay with a credit card and can dispute the charge if they try to charge me. This is a waste of my time to deal with this company! NEVER AGAIN!!!On July 28th, 2005, c2garden changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I am changing my rating with Carroll Gardens to neutral because when I called to ask why the roses were delivered to me over a month after I cancelled them I was told to just keep them. The credit card I used has not been charged or this would stay a negative rating. I gave all the roses to my Mom who planted them right away. I haven't asked her how they are doing. When I opened the box the Double Knockout roses were very small for the price but looked healthy and were still moist. I only inspected one rose and it didn't have a great root system but the top growth looked healthy. Time will tell if the roots can support its top growth after they have been in the ground awhile. I appreciate them allowing me to keep them and not have to deal with sending them back. Knowing what I know now though I still would not buy roses from them because they are about 1/3 the size of the Double Knockouts I bought well over a month ago and cost more.
On Apr 23, 2005, eviestevie Austin, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
i ordered a gruss an aachen rose from them at the beginning of april over the internet. when you order over the internet, there is nothing that tells you what date your order will be shipped or by whom. after a week and no delivery, i emailed them and got a response from Donna who told me i should expect my order in about a week and if it didn't arrive to call. i called at the end of the week because my order still had not arrived. by now it had been 2 weeks since i placed my order. the lady on the phone (don't know if it was Donna or not) told me there were many orders ahead of mine and i was not to expect my order to arrive for another couple of weeks. wow. so i wasn't to expect my april 1st order until may? i ended up canceling my order and my credit card was refunded promptly with no hassle, but it would be nice if carrol gardens did something about that shipping policy.
When I came across Carroll Gardens' web site, I was excited to see such a huge selection in the Baltimore area. They were offering free shipping, but I decided I'd like to see the place, and e-mailed them about picking up my order in person. I received a prompt reply stating that my order would be picked and ready for pickup on the day I planned to visit. Perhaps Carroll Gardens deals primarily in mail-order rather than retail, but I was surprised at how incredibly unkempt the place was. I visited in early April, and I realize that most perennials and deciduous trees are still dormant, but the place appeared to have been totally neglected for years. Most of the conifers I saw were straggly and misshapen, and many showed poor color, as if suffering from malnutrition. I was interested in checking out a few additional items I had seen on the web site, and the young man who assisted me had difficulty locating these additional plants. I was looking for a Goldflame Honeysuckle, and when he finally found it, it was a single stem stuck in a 1-gallon pot. The price was $18.85. I went to Lowe's afterwards, and found the exact same variety, staked and much more robust-looking for $5.96! None of the additional stock looked appealing, so I asked to see the three items from my web order. The Metasequoia was dormant, but was very tall and had a large, healthy-looking root ball. $38.85 seemed a fair price. The Abies was another matter. It couldn't have been more than 6"" tall, had a sickly yellow color, and they wanted $28.85 for it. I told them I didn't want that one. The Buddleia was also very small, but appeared healthy. I thought $18.85 was too much for such a young plant, but I decided to go ahead and take it. The young man assisting me never offered any assistance in loading the plants. I don't remember anyone saying "thank you" the entire time, and he seemed a little insulted that I wouldn't pay outrageous sums for tiny, sickly-looking stock. All in all, the place looked as if it had been closed years ago and all the stock allowed to fend for itself.
I have placed good-sized orders with this firm twice and have been extremely dissatisfied with their plant quality and service. Orders arrive late and incomplete, with no communication as to why certain plants weren't shipped. I ordered a Mahonia shrub from them which arrived as a bare stick - when I complained I was advised it was "good horticultural practice" to strip an evergreen of its leaves prior to shipping. The shrub never recovered. I've not encountered any other nursery that follows this practice. I've also received mislabeled plants from them. And, when I called to inquire about plants that were not received, I was treated rudely. They could provide no information about backordered plants - they told me plants MIGHT be available next year. I asked for a refund for the unshipped plants and they told me no one is available to issue checks. It took multiple requests for me to get my money back. They also told me that they don't use computers.That's too bad, because that means they can't see the comments that people are making about them on the Internet. It's unfortunate that a nursery with such an extensive catalog of plants doesn't have the infrastructure in place to run their business.
I too had a so-so experience. What came was healthy & is doing fine, but they do not notify you of delays in backorders, I called a half dozen times, and after several months, just cancelled. I do however keep their catalog as a good reference resource. Even without pictures, the text is invaluable.
I have not mail-ordered from Carroll Gardens, but I live nearby and buy from them occasionally. The nursery occupies maybe 3-4 acres. Because they do have such a large selection, they are best suited to working with smaller plants, such as perennials, which are generally very nice. Their shrubs and trees tend to be crowded, and therefore straggly and/or asymmetrical. The owner is quite knowledgeable and rather business-like. His crew of workers is mostly a skeleton crew, hard-working, but laborers more than gardeners. The nursery is certainly not weed-free. Last year I saw Arisaema Sikokianum in flower in one of their 10 polyhouses, which was not unpleasant. I have purchased golden hakone grass, Miscanthus, Calamagrostis, Hosta, Iberis, ivy, Echinops, Phlox, rosemary, etc., most of which are thriving. Again, I have not dealt with the mail order side of their business.
Carroll Gardens sends a nice catalog (again, no pictures), which lists a large number of perennials and shrubs. About 75% of the catalog is devoted to perennials. They claim that "no one else carries as large or varied a selection of perennials as we do."After seeing Forestfarm and some others, I'm not sure as to the veracity of that claim. However, it is an extensive list. The prices are good, excellent in some cases. I found plants there that I did not find in any other catalog.The descriptions were good, including hardiness and other growing requirements in brief detail. They received our third-largest order, behind Bluestone and Forestfarm. We ordered in March, specifying an April 15 ship date (as we did for all orders in March). The plants arrived on time.The plants that arrived, however, were not perfect. First, they wrapped the dirt plugsin paper and stuffed the plants into regular boxes for shipping. The most plant damage that we had came from them. Plants were small, but not tiny. All of them (aside from damage due to the leaves being crushed) looked healthy, save for three. We ordered three Crocosmia plants that arrived in one package as dead, brown stalks. Their plants were also the driest.Some plants were placed on backorder, which is not a problem for me. When I called to inquire about this, and to make the emergency one week order, the person on the phone was somewhat rude and surly (it was the busy season, you know). I ended up ordering only one shrub in the emergency order, which they promised to deliverwithin the week. Two weeks later, we still don't have it. To sum, I would call Carroll a mixed bag. Order from them, but be prepared to find separate sources.