This was my first experience ordering plants online, doing so only because I really wanted a Cherry Cheesecake Hibiscus, and I've never seen them available at my local greenhouses. I chose Garden Crossings based on their excellent reviews. In February I purchased the 3Gallon Cherry Cheesecake Hibiscus, and added a Berrylicious Hibiscus, a couple Campanula, and a couple Geraniums. The wait began!
On May 5th, I received an email with my shipment tracking number (awesome!), and my account was showing a pending transaction for the total amount owed. The plants arrived the next day, right on schedule... only there was no Cherry Cheesecake Hibiscus. My entire order except for the one item I truly wanted was there (and exceptionally packaged, by the way). I left a message for Heidi, and after waiting the weekend without a response, sent a follow-up email on Monday asking about the status of my balance.
After no response from Garden Crossings, I checked my bank account again on Tuesday and saw the transaction had been adjusted, and only the items I had received had been debited. Unsure if there would be a backorder charge with additional shipping, I called back again and Heidi answered. When I inquired about the order, she said "The hibiscus looked small, and she wasn't sure". I didn't know what that meant, so I asked to cancel the balance of the order. It was pretty disappointing.
I will say that the items I did receive are beautiful and very healthy, but they're plants I could have bought locally.
On May 25, 2011, flowersrule Palmerton, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I really would like to give them a Positive rating, but since I'm a little disappointed with my plants, I cannot.
I bought annual flower plants. On the positive side, the two trays of impatiens arrived looking great and are growing well. The Coralberry Punch Superbells were of a great size and healthy.
Also on the positive side was how well their customer service responded to my questions and my add-on's to my order.
The not-so-positive. A tray of Zahara Zinnias arrived very dry, dumped out of their tray and looking poorly. I have no idea how that could have happened since they were the only plants it happened to. We have less than half of them left, and not one plant looks great. Hopefully that will change.
The Goldalia Scarlet (3) were very small and not healthy looking. I have thrown one in the garbage so far and still hoping the other two will actually start looking better and grow.
So why not contact them ? I did. I called about the zinnias, but unfortunately I could not send the required photos, so I did not even bother to call about the dahlia's. I have very rarely had any kind of problems with mail order plants, but when I did, I did not have to send proof.
I will probably again in the future, but will be more careful about what I do buy. Wish I would have just bought a bunch of Supertunias !!!!
On Jan 18, 2011, kbjanet2003 mid-Michigan, MI wrote:
My experience is with the plant-hunt itself. In searching for Scaevola aemula in the Garden Crossings LCC website I find it is not available, yet it is shown as available on the Dave's Garden Plant Scout. How Can this be? While trying to be efficient and using Dave's Garden I get sent on a wild goose chase.
On May 27, 2010, luvcamellias Little Neck, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
Bought two clematis recently. For 5.5 inch pots, they are small plants - one of them was about 3 inches tall. Not the size I expected for a highly rated nursery in Dave's Watchdog and for the plant size described in their website. I am giving it a neutral rating because, although small, they are alive.
On Sep 15, 2009, reeve1 Plano, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I placed an order on their web site last week and it was partially filled today.
After part of the order was already shipped, I was then notified that the Echinacea 'Meringue' (the primary reason I was placing the order) was not going to be included in the shipment that would be arriving soon. I was asked by Heidi if I wanted a replacement on the Echinacea, but no other option.
With their checkout system, it keeps track (in real time) of what plants are available on their website and how many, so that they don't oversell something that they don't have, which is a great feature. But, when I purchase something and pay for it, it should then be available at ship time, if someone is watching things properly and not relying only on the machines to do this. If it's not available at shipping time, then someone is not prescreening orders and keeping an eye on plants prior to ship day, until they actually go to pull the plants and find that what they had been watering and caring to for the past 6 weeks is not good enough to ship. Not good. But, even still, if a plant is not up to par at ship time, inform the customer and give them the option to continue with the order (or not) before parts of the order start shipping out to me from the nursery. I could then decide whether to go ahead and accept the rest of the order or cancel it, and whether to replace the Echinacea and include something else to arrive with the rest of my order and in the same shipment, (ie, I get all my plants together at one time).
It upset me that Garden Crossings took my money at order time, and then took any options away from me when only part of the order could be filled. They went ahead and shipped a partial order before letting me know that the order I placed would not be complete. Further, when I explained this to Heidi, she told me why the plants were not available (they were too long and lanky and did not have a good root system), but she never offered me anything else besides an explanation?? No refund on the order, no willingness to take the order back, no free replacements, just "This is what we did and this is the way it's going to be"!!! Not right!!
Even a company like Michigan Bulb contacts me when I'm ordering a Buy 3 Get 3 free and part of the order is not available, and I'm not paying them $10 to $18 per plant like I am with Garden Crossings. With plants this pricey, I would have expected the customer service to be a little better.
Since they offered no other solution or option for me after the fact, or a willingness to please the customer, I certainly would not recommend this company and I give them a negative rating. I haven't even seen the plants yet, and I don't care. Whenever prices are this high and customer service is lacking this badly, a disservice is being done. There are much friendlier people and you can do much better for MUCH cheaper at SEVERAL other online nursery's.
One of my favorites is Santa Rosa Gardens, Give them a try. The people are friendly, their plants are Huge, Healthy and they are packaged to perfection. And if the customer feels something is not right, they will bend over backwards to make sure you are happy. A truly wonderful experience all around!
Now that's customer service! Take note you others.
On September 15th, 2009, reeve1 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Rod did contact me and showed interest to resolve this matter. I wanted to also be clear that my comment about Heidi saying "This is the way it's going to be" was based on the situation as she presented it to me and not from anything she said verbally. She just wasn't offering me any other options but to take the partial order that was already shipped and either replace what now couldn't be provided or remove it from the order. But, I didn't want any of it now that the most important part (to me) could no longer be provided. I'm communicating with Rod on this now and I'm sure we will come to a reasonable agreement. Changing to Neutral based on his willingness to resolve this... after the fact.
On Apr 27, 2009, edhjennifer El Dorado Hills, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:
I ordered the incrediball hydrangea and received the plant at the appropriate time. I was very disappointed when I opened the box and realized this plant was tiny. The very few leaves it had were wilted and falling off the plant. I contacted the company and was told to go ahead and plant it, wait 2 weeks and let them know if it was still in bad shape. Well...2 weeks later and the plant is dead. I'm disappointed because I really wanted this plant and was also upset because the plant was so small and in bad shape when I received it. All of the other 11 hydrangeas that I bought from local nurseries, at half the price of the incrediball hydrangea, are doing very well.
The good thing about this experience is that their customer service was great about responding to my emails and said they would refund the amount of the plant.
I won't buy again from them.
first off they said I'd have my order
in a week ,well a month later and
no order,then when I do get it I get
a stick with roots..
I have waited all summer to post this
to see if my plant did any thing,No
not a thing,We shall see what next year brings.
I bought two salvias, and they arrived in the worst shape that plants can arrived in. Obviously, the plant's been tossing around in the box, bruised leaves, roots just dangling from the plant, dry soil all over the box.
I called them and they first told me something along the lines of - go ahead and plant them into the ground, water them really good, and chances are they'll come out fine. I was not happy with that answer at all. So they did send a replacement immediately.
Guess what, the replacement arrived in the same condition! Dry soil all over the place.
They have been in business for just a couple of years, and obviously, packaging is still something they have to work on making better.
I'm not going buy from them again.
I hesitate to give a neutral when I've had such an experience as this one with Garden Crossings. I ordered 3 Clematis and a variegated dogwood and one Joe Pye weed. The company waited almost a week to ship, which was fine. But when the box arrived, the results of riding around the country with Fed Ex were for the most part, horrible.
The dogwood wasn't even in a pot. It was dry and yellow and had been so for days. The clematis were in sad shape also. The container with the dogwood didn't have the cardboard collar on it, the plant tag was upside down, buried in the pot. The dogwood was in the middle of the other plants. The clematis appear broken and one is withered and dead. I contacted the company and was told by Heidi, to plant the plants and give them 2 wks. I did as she asked but as of today, the dogwood is deader and the one clematis is deader also. Again, I contacted the company and again, Heidi said they would reship in the next few days. Seeing as we are in the middle of summer now, I requested either a later shipping date or refund. I prefer the refund and will gladly box the dead plants up and send them back to the company so they can make sure I'm telling the truth.
I will update this as soon as the problems are addressed . If someone from the company is listening. Refund for the 2 plants will be much more appreciated than reshipment since they'll have to go through winter as small plants and probably will not come back next spring. But will update the rating as soon as I get something, plants or refund.
On August 1st, 2007, patnjbob added the following:
After posting on this site, a partial refund was made for the 2 plants which were dead and or near dead upon arrival.
On Jun 13, 2007, White_Hydrangea Aurora, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:
I am very impressed with Garden Crossings. I ordered a lilac and viola from them. The plants arrived quickly (within days rather than weeks like some other companies). I was able to choose my shipping date. They were well packed, given no room to shift around or lose dirt. And they were big, bushy, and very healthy. The lilac was only in a 5-6 inch pot, but it was bigger and more lush than lilacs I've received in 1-gallon containers, yet it wasn't rootbound.
I'm very happy with them and will definitely order from them again.
On August 20th, 2007, White_Hydrangea changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I have to shove this down to neutral at least. The plants have all since died. I won't be making any more orders from this company. I've ordered the replacement lilac from somewhere else.
On May 5, 2007, amylavy zanesville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
The only reason I am rating this a neutral and not a negative is the plants that I did receive were very healthy and large plants.
I had ordered the new Green Envy Echinacea along with a few other Echinaceas.. I was sent an email at the time the package was being shipped and added to the email was a note stating the Green Envy was not available and they would not charge my account. The next paragraph said one of the other Echinaceas was on backorder for at least 4 weeks and when it was to be shipped they would then charge my credit card. I got my invoice with my partial order and clearly the plant on back order had been charged to my account. I had emailed them promptly after I received my email stating I did not want to wait 4 weeks on the back ordered plant and to not send it at all, I also asked them if my invoice was correct that they had already charged my card though the plant was not shipped.. I have yet to get a response.. This was a 15.00 plant and would like to know if I am getting my money back.
I ordered a butterfly bush from Garden Crossings. When the bush finally arrived (a lot longer than I had been lead to believe) it was sickly looking, with one green leaf and two or three brown, yellow, and curled leaves on it. Their packing job was less than desirable as well (dirt was all over the bottom of the box, the plant wasn't in an upright position, etc.) I thought, "This is what I've been waiting for all this time?!" I went ahead and planted the bush, thinking it would make a comeback once it was planted and received some fresh air and water. I contacted Garden Crossings by email two times. It wasn't until I contacted them a third time via Dave's Garden that they responded. After the gentleman from Garden Crossings contacted me, and more or less told me, they would never send a barerooted plant and/or a plant in that condition, I sent him a picture of the bush. Upon receipt of the picture I was given a refund. The bush "gave up the ghost" 5-7 days after it was planted.
On Apr 26, 2006, plantaholic2 N Middlesex County, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:
Just received my order today. Superb!
On time and fast shipping. (I had 5 or 6 orders expected for this week and theirs was the first to arrive!) Healthy plants. Large. Many in bud. All labelled well. Packed well. Reasonable prices, including shipping charges which most places really jack up.
I had never heard of GC prior to seeing it posted here and I wondered if the high reviews might be planted (cynic that I am), but I can assure you, it was the BEST mail order I have ever received and I've received plenty (plant geek that I am) .
These plants were as good as I would get at a quality local garden center -- without the hassle.
My only 2 teeny negatives is that I wish they offerred a more comprehensive plant list. There is plenty, but many things I was considering were not offerred. Plus, their web site had a few navigation shortcomings IMO, but nothing terrible. I sent some suggestions along.
They are also excellent at prompt email responses for questions.
Oh and they don't charge your account until the order is processed! I can't stand it when companies charge you in January to "reserve" the plants supposedly.
I probably have gone on long enough, but this was kind of ironic: The same day that I was marvelling at this order, I was communicating about a back-order delay with another company. They held up my shipment to communicate with me about this back-order, which should have been dealt with well in advance of the ship date. I saw that GC had the item that the other company was back-ordering (same price twice the size!!!). So I just placed ANOTHER order with GC and cancelled the first one from the other company (who charged me in January but didn't even "reserve" the plants!)
On May 31st, 2006, plantaholic2 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Now that I've gotten to planting them all, I unfortunately have to add some negative information and will change my overall rating to neutral. I don't know if I will use them again.
The root systems on most of the plants were disappointingly small. Had I known that while they sat outside and waited for planting, I would not have let them get exposed to so much rain. With jumbo pots consisting of 90% soil and 10% roots, a few didn't make it through some prolonged rains.
The only positive spin possible here is that I have started noticing that plants from local garden centers are also starting to come in with mostly soil. That is a new observation (to me), so it looks like an industry trend. (which doesn't make me any happier!)
My 2nd order was not packed as well as the first. Dirt was all over the place.