I took advantage of their free shipping offer to try them out. I ordered some butterfly bushes from them. They all came in one gallon containers and were well rooted. They had been trimmed for transport but they were still green and health. They were comparable to any I could have bought at the local store but of a hard to find variety. The packaging was superb. The bushes did not show any transport stress. The plants were sent in a reused box and the plants were well packed in newspaper. After I pulled out the plants, all of the materials went into the recycling bin. I liked that they are so green about their packaging and less waste in the landfill.
On Sep 27, 2007, sadie_mae Central, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:
This was my first purchase with Niche Gardens and I must say, it was the best perennial order that I've ever received via mail! Plants were large, healthy and packing was superb. I happened to place an order 1 day and went back the next day to browse some more. On that day, they had just started a Free Shipping promotion so I placed another order. They shipped both orders together, with free shipping, I was quite surprised and appreciative when I saw my invoice! Thanks Meg and all, I'm sure you'll see my name again next year :-) Vicki
On Sep 6, 2007, agricolarum San Francisco, CA wrote:
After a very disappointing experience with another vendor, I decided to try Niche Gardens for some Joe Pye Weed and New York Ironweed plants. They far, far exceeded all of my expectations! First, the plants themselves were green, vigorous, healthy stock with absolutely unbelievably large, plump root systems--easily three times the height of each plant. Each plant was carefully packed, marked with a plant stake for the garden and came with detailed plant care advice. The plants' progress across country was easily tracked by a UPS code to insure prompt handoff to me for immediate planting on arrival. Even more impressive, however, was the personal service from the professional staff. If you should be so lucky to deal with Meg you will soon know what I am talking about. She was thorough in responding to questions about the plants, prompt with providing useful information and just generally wonderfully informative. If you want to make impersonal internet transactions personal, try Meg at Niche Gardens. Truly exceptional service. The plants are already in the ground and look like they have been there all along. You would never believe they had travelled 3,000 miles in two days!
On Jul 4, 2007, merryma Auburn, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:
I ordered a beauty bush and a couple of other perennials. they arrived packaged beautifully in biodegradeable packing material, nicely moist. They were shipped during the week, so they didn't sit in a freight warehouse over the weekend (something that I think some nurseries don't take into account). The plants were a little root-bound, but that's to be expected since I ordered so late. I'll definitely order from them again.
This was my first experience ordering from this company and I was extremely pleased with every aspect of the order. I purchased four pineapple lilies and shortly after placing the order, I received an email reminding me that these are not hardy in my area and asking me to confirm if I still wanted them. I called and thanked them for being so considerate and confirmed the order, as I dig my pineapple lilies and store them over winter.
I had ordered on a Friday. The order was shipped out the following Monday by three day UPS and I was able to watch it's progress with a tracking number. It actually arrived a day ahead of schedule which was good since the weather was so hot. The center leaves of the plant were slightly crumpled by the ride (pineapple lily leaves are quite soft) but the plants are extremely healthy, and of a very nice size for planting. I was also impressed that they came potted in soil that was actually still moist.
I would not hesitate to order from this company again, based on this experience, or to recommend it to others.
On Jun 5, 2007, kkirschbaum Yonkers, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have had a superb experience with this nursery. I placed two orders this spring and both times received nice looking plants. I like that they enclose a prepaid postcard so that you can acknowledge receipt and make comments, and their selection of natives is great featuring both unusual as well as stalwart varieties.
Excellent packaging of my plants two years running. Had a small problem with two plants from last fall and the customer service and follow-up on the issue was absolutely superb! Being in a customer service business myself, it is hard to overwhelm me with good service, but Niche Gardens certainly has done so. I will most definitely order from them again and again. Highly recommended mail order nursery.
On Apr 23, 2007, ericprk Denver, CO (Zone 6a) wrote:
I recently received my first order from Niche Gardens. I liked that they offer some unusual varieties of plants. After placing the order I received an email summarizing my order. After few days later I received another email saying my order was shipping. The plants arrived well packed and in good condition. I was very happy with the quality of the plants.
Their site was easy to navigate and search. I wish that the items listed in the shopping cart had thumbnail images of the actual plants or were linked back to the item page. Estimated shipping is not listed on the cart page.
Will order from them again.
On Apr 14, 2007, bsp1 Woodbridge, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I ordered 42 plants to help get my new backyard garden started. The plants arrived in two sturdy boxes right on schedule and were expertly packed. The plants themselves were much larger than I had expected and they all look healthy and vigorous. I will be happy to order from Niche in the future.
Niche Gardens was very responsive to my order, emailing me several times to make suggestions and determine the best delivery date when I would be home. The plants were shipped to California on 4/2/07 and received on 4/4/07 in excellent condition. This is a challenge for the seller as soil may not come to California. Many mail order nurseries do not deliver to California for this reason. The plants were packed carefully and arrived looking fresh - no wilting at all.
I have ordered plants on a limited basis in the past and was consistently pleased with the condition and promptness with which they were delivered to me in Connecticut. I had the opportunity/pleasure of visiting the nursery this past month. I have nothing but good things to say about the selection, the prices of the materials available and the especially the way I was treated by the staff, who took the time to answer my questions, show me aroung the gardens and offered additional growing information on certain species, without being asked and with always pleasant demeanors. I left happy, with a smile on my face. That all visits to other nurseries could be so civilized and so pleasant! I would certainly purchase plants from Niche Gardens again and would wholeheartedly recommend the nursery to others looking for a great selection of native plants!
On Aug 22, 2006, Miss_Huff Flemington, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:
For several years, Niche had been one of my very favorite nurseries. All that has changed. This spring, Niche sold me a diseased rose. When I tried to return it, I was treated quite rudely. I also offered to pay for a discarded plant I found there. I was accused of stealing. Then I attempted to pay for another plant and again was treated with incredible rudeness. I will not shop there again. Caution: prices are very high, and you can forget about refunds or exchanges.
On Jun 12, 2006, dmj1218 west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
Have ordered a number of native plants from this company in the past. Plants always arrive in good condition, are larger than most mail-order companies; and thrive after planting into my own garden.
On March 26th, 2008, dmj1218 added the following:
Another year of ordering from Niche gardens--again the shrubs and plants were of excellent quality (several in gallon containers), prompt service, great communications. A superb mail-order company! Their plants always make the transition and thrive in my garden.
I ordered nine plants from Niche Gardens and they arrived in beautiful condition. Really. I was stunned by the growth they sported. I'm talking 18 inches of height ABOVE the root crown or dense foilage in the case of the low-growing peacock ferns. The plants suffered no damage in shipment and I think that's downright amazing given the height some of them carried. I'm delighted with my purchases and busy congratulating myself on my find. I won't hesitate to order from them again.
I have ordered from Niche about 4 times over the past year and have never been disappointed with their plants. The root stocks are always excellent and the plants are robust. This is not a flashy nursery. They print one catalog a year and there are no pictures beyond the front cover. They do not carry a huge selection of plants but many of them are ones you will not easily find at a local nursery (or Home Depot.) Others have already noted the mass of shredded newspaper used in shipping so I agree you have to be careful unwrapping the plants. Still, it beats packing peanuts! And they have never failed to include a stamped preaddressed postcard with each order to let them know the condition of the plants and shipping packaging.
On April 1st, 2007, jmcarolina added the following:
I continue to be extremely pleased with the plants and the people at Niche! I have ordered two more times since I posted last year and will continue to do so in the future. There are REAL PEOPLE there and it is like dealing with a friendly, local nursery (probably better!) I was recently very impressed with the packing job on two jasmine vines. Instead of having the growth cut for easier packing, the 3' of stems was carefully wrapped for the entire length and there was absolutely no shipping damage. Great company!!On April 27th, 2008, jmcarolina added the following:
I guess this is about my 5th order from Niche and I was absolutely thrilled with the condition of the plants I received. They have not missed a beat since being put in the ground. What a great nursery!
Today I received my first order ever from Niche. To be honest, I was a bit surprised at the manner in which my plants were packaged, and my first impression is that they were not packaged well. Perhaps I am just not experienced enough in ordering plants from different mail order vendors, ergo the different ways of effective packaging? I know in the past I've received plants from other vendors either bareroot (and the plants were well maintained and intact) or else each plant was in its own little completely enclosed plastic container which was then in a cardboard box (so none of the growth could get "smooshed" at all). My plants from Niche were all in small pots, and all had growth. One plant was a hydrangea with a woody stem that protruded about 6" from the top of the pot. In each instance, the pot was wrapped in newspaper, an ELASTIC was then put around the entire pot starting from the underside of the pot, up the sides, and then across the top of the pot, and then the newspaper sticking out from the top of the pot upwards was shredded, and the shredded portion then packed tightly against all the plant growth. When I unpacked the hydrangea, I saw that the upper portion of the woody stem was "bent", although capable of standing upright. (I will call Niche tomorrow so that they can tell me the best way to deal with this... whether I should leave the bent stem as is, or if I should prune the portion of the stem from below the bend upward.) As to the other plants which had a good amount of leafy growth just a few inches above the level of the pot, much of the growth was "smooshed". Hopefully the plants will recover from this? I honestly don't understand though why Niche wrapped a tight elastic around these leafy plants in particular, since clearly it resulted in the elastic pressing the growth in the center down to the top level of the pot.
In any case, I don't necessarily have a gripe with Niche at this point. Hopefully my plants will be just fine. But I did want to make a comment on my surprise with regards to their packaging methods.
On June 15th, 2006, yippee1999 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
UPDATE as of June 14, 2006:
I am changing my rating from neutral to positive. As mentioned, the hydrangea plant that I received was slightly damaged. I had informed Niche Gardens, and they asked that I send them a photo. Once I remembered that I'd cut off the damaged portion of the stem (and at this point the plant was looking rather bare), I decided to not even bother sending a photo... that's how bad the plant looked. I figured they would look at the photo and say I should not have cut the plant. In any case, upon not receiving a photo from me, they followed up with me. I explained why I didn't send a photo, and said next time I would know better to take a photo immediately, if I ever had another problem. I assumed that would be the end of it.
However, Niche Gardens said they would still like to send me a replacement plant, and not only that, but a much larger one than I'd initially ordered. The plant arrived a few days ago and looks quite beautiful! I really appreciated their following up with me and offering to resolve the problem the way they did.
On Apr 19, 2006, senna_fan Plainfield, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
This was my first time ordering from Niche and I will be a return customer. I ordered four woodies and they arrived promptly and healthy with great root systems. All larger than I expected. The Chamaecyparis I ordered said it was in a quart pot on the website. To my surprise it was in a gallon pot and the largest plant of the bunch. A nice bonus I wasn't expecting.
On May 13, 2005, fcbertsch Wayne, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I was very impressed with my recent order. The plants are in good condition and of a good size. I was particularly impressed by the root development on most of the plants. Several of the pots had multiple shoots off the set of roots in the pot. I put them in the ground today and am confident they will do well. I'm sure I will order again from Niche.
On Apr 22, 2005, TuddyE Georgetown, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have had experience with at least 30 plus companies in my years of gardening, but can only place a handful of them on my "always use" list. Niche Gardens has ALWAYS been one of the best run companies with which I've dealt. They are prompt with my orders, always e-mail me with order status, quick to answer any questions, pleasant and most important, they send "good sized healthy plants". After many orders with them, I found an occassion to call about what I believed to be a small problem [nothing major, just wanted to inform them for future reference purposes]. Not only were my comments taken seriously, but I was compensated for the minor problem in an efficient and pleasant manor. I would never hesitate to tell anyone "they provide good service and what I believe to be good prices for products rendered".
On May 4th, 2007, TuddyE added the following:
Just got this years order, and even my husband was pleased. He said he judges a company not only on the size and health of the plants, but by how long it takes him to unpack them. I didn't understand until he explained that Niche packs them so well that it takes him longer, but the plants stay in better condition because of it. That makes another happy customer.
I found the black mondo grass the best size and condition for the money, having purchased it from several places before.
I love the selection of hard to find plants and everything I said before is still true. Jackie from KY
Another neatly packed carton of wellrooted healthy plants arrived today. Always pleased with the selection and service from Niche Gardens. Truly one of the 'old reliables' of mailorder nurseries. josh z8a
I have been very impressed with the plants I have received from Niche Gardens. They always arrive by mail healthy and are a good size. Although I live in Wyoming, a very different climate than North Carolina, most of the plants have survived and done quite well.
On Oct 12, 2004, slubberdegulion Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I've been ordering from Niche for several years now and have been very impressed with all my purchases. The packaging is always carefully done and the plant quality is outstanding. I have also enjoyed the updated web-site. I've never doubted that any plant I order from Niche will be large, healthy and worth every penny. My Fall order just arrived and I'm already day dreaming about what I might be able to order for Spring!
I have been ordering from Niche for a number of years now and have never been disappointed. The only reason I don't order with even more regularity is my budget! Excellent source of natives and chock full of plants that thrive in my area-mid GA. My order this spring included several each of sweetspire and clethra--arrived in excellent shape and now thriving in my garden. Have ordered a fairly wide assortment of plants over the years-always delighted!Do wish I lived close enough for a quick trip to see their gardens but don't mind paying the shipping from a nursery I have complete trust in!
I ordered for the first time from Niche after receiving their catalogs for a couple of years and was VERY pleased. They answered questions about bog plants before I bought them, notified me of shipping and the plants I received were very large, well packed and in great shape. I will definitely order from them again, just as soon as I find more space to put plants!
I have done close to a thousand dollars worth of business with Niche over the last three years and am consistently happy with the plants and the service. While I have always picked up my plants at the nursery, I can say this is one nursery that is run with integrity and customer care as well as horticultural knowledge and skill. If you are anywhere near the Raleigh, NC area, I highly recommend a visit. It's not as splashy as some nurseries, but even novice gardeners can grow the beautiful plants they display and sell (and without a $$$ irrigation system and professional landscapers). Although $8-$10 may seem a lot for a native plant, they have actually saved me money by selling pest-free, well rooted plants that do well. The nursery manager's gentle yet highly effective "plant interventions" have saved countless plant lives and quite a bit of my money. Example interaction: "Most of these plants are drought-tolerant, except this one. What kind of place were you planning on planting it, et cetera." I once brought my 18-month old daughter to the nursery, who proceeded to lay waste to several plants within her reach. The owner was standing there the entire time, and rather than chastize me actually offered my daughter and I some water from inside the barn. These are nice people and great plantspeople - please give them your business!
I have used this vendor in the past and I have always received well packed, nicely sized plants that have done VERY well in my garden.
Yesterday I placed my spring order (a shoutout to MEG who helped process the order) and I was very pleased in the knowledge and courtesy of the phone rep who handled my call. She advised me of what will thrive in my area as well as plants that perhaps wouldn't overwinter or do quite so well.
I have basically asked several other companies to cease in their emails and catalogs because despite their glossy, pretty websites and literature, the bottom line is their plants are always below average. Niche gardens quality and customer service put most other vendors to shame!
Caryn in NY
On Feb 6, 2004, StacyInAustinTX Pasadena, CA wrote:
I was delighted with my experience with Niche. Their plants were well-packed (nothing fancy, but highly effective).They were also a really nice size, for the most part. They replaced a dead one shortly after I alerted them (and gave me the option of when I wanted to receive it). I also found their prices to be fairly reasonable (it pays to shop around, though!).
On Dec 8, 2003, Halfspied Star, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
The majority of the plants in our gardens are from Niche. They are not very far away from us so we always order ahead and then pick up our order. That gives us the opportunity to look around and maybe pick up a few extras. Also, we walk through their gardens and get ideas. The people at Niche are friendly and extremely helpful. Their plants are top quality. We focus on native plants. Thus we appreciate the clarity of the descriptions in the Niche catalog.
When my recent purchase of ornamental grasses and Setcreasea pallida arrived, one of the Setcreasea plants appeared to have been broken during shipment. Niche Gardens responded promptly and graciously. Everything about Niche Gardens is first-rate: the catalog, the sales staff, and, apparently, the new owner!
On Jun 12, 2003, liltedwilly Oriental, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:
I ordered three plants this spring (Red buckeye, swamp azalea, flame azalea). All three plants arrived in perfect condition. Best looking plants I've ever seen, mail order or in a nursery! The flame azalea even bloomed this spring! While prices seem a bit high, the quality is excellent and they have native plants not available at local nurseries. Look forward to ordering more plants this fall.
On May 14, 2003, PAgardener Plymouth Meeting, PA wrote:
Found this company through Garden Watch Dog and, because of the positive ratings, decided to order some plants. I called them because the site listed the plants as "Available Spring" but no way to click to order. Ordered 5 shrubs (2 abelias, 2 fothergillas, and 1 clethra) that I could not find locally or were too pricey here. Arrived in excellent condition! About the healthiest I have ever seen. A friend was visiting and saw them and asked for their catalog.
On Jan 4, 2003, Eric_OH Columbus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have dealth with this nursery by mail order and in person and found them to be very professional, offering high quality plants and good service.
Potential customers should know that as of October '02 the business was in the process of being sold - and we'll have to see if the nursery continues to be as excellent under the new owner.
My experience is a few years old, but most of the plants I ordered then are still around. I visited Niche Gardens at the time and found the people friendly and helpful. The plants were exceptionally large and well established. I enjoy their online catalog, especially the phonetic spelling of the names. They have straightened out my Latin pronunciations of several plants.