I ordered several types of flower and vegetable seeds last year (2005), and was very happy with my experience. I especially like the way the seeds are packed. Most come tripple packed in an inner plastic zip lock bag, a waxed paper envelope, and an outer paper envelope. I had good germination with most of them. I think the only ones I had an issue with were the type that take a long time to germinate, because I sowed them in peat pots and they dried out too quickly.
I had a slight problem with the website when I ordered, where at the very end I got an error and the order did not go through. However I called and they were able to solve the problem by having me paste the list of items I had ordered into an email.
On Oct 26, 2005, kbaumle Northwest, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
Nice packaging. I bought only columbine seeds and sowed them as soon as they arrived (back in September). Most of them germinated, but a couple varieties did not.
On October 26th, 2005, kbaumle changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
EDIT: I have to change this to a positive, as I heard from Lynn from Swallowtail within an hour of posting my rating. I received a refund for the order, although I assured Lynn it wasn't necessary. They have good prices and I wasn't out that much anyway, but it was a nice gesture and for that, I have respect for them as a company that cares about their customers.
On Sep 30, 2005, gardenstone Centerburg, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
Excellent customer service! I had trouble sending my order through their online secure server. I e-mailed them with my trouble and Don from Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded within the hour! My problem has been resolved and my order will be filled. I will post again once I receive my order.
On Aug 25, 2005, sweet_whitney Tucson, AZ (Zone 8b) wrote:
I am very happy with the quality and price of their seeds. When I ordered, the seeds arrived within a week. The germination rate of the seeds was excellent, and the plants were true to type. I've ordered twice from this company, and plan to order again.
On Aug 9, 2005, mlm01 St. Louis, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:
My experience with this company was very positive, just about every seed germinated (I say just about because I assume there may have been one that didn't germinate, but I didn't actually see it!) Very well packaged with great instructions, timely shipping. I'm very satisfied and I will use this company again.
On Jul 24, 2005, jestelleoan Tyler, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I was having a hard time sending in an order so I e-mailed them and got back an e-mail with in hours. They had checked there computor and others and then offered to help me with mine even to the exstent of having there computor department help me. It was me [computor dumb]. I sent in my order and got my order number right back. There service is outstanding and I am looking forward to do busnisses with them.
After placing a small order and receiving it within 4 days, I planted all of the seeds I received. I only had a problem with one variety germinating, so I wrote the company asking them if they had any other complaints about these seeds. Within 12 hours, I had a response from Don with 3 options....refund, choose a different seed, or replace. He also gave me detailed germinating instructions, what their germination rate was on this variety (82%), and an apology.
I wrote back telling him that I didn't expect them to replace the seeds or give me a refund. Since I've killed a LOT of plants in my time, had some unsuccessful germination rates, etc., I didn't feel it was necessary. Besides, the seeds were very inexpensive and it was most likely my fault. Much to my surprise, I received a replacement package AND a bonus package of another variety.
I'm not hard to please, but my priorities in ordering seeds are quality, customer service, and variety. I have always been an avid fan of Park Seed, but I must admit, Swallowtail will now be right up there with them and have my business for life. The customer service was way beyond what I expect, plus they have a great selection of seeds I can't find anyplace else and with great prices to boot. I'm sold on this company.
On Jul 19, 2005, flowercrazy39 Manchester, NH wrote:
They've really improved the website recently with lots of pictures and descriptions, which I really like. I ordered three packets from them this year and received one packet with the right seed name and description but the wrong seed as I recently found out. But I've already called and spoken with customer service and they are sending me a free replacement. They were very courteous and pleasant and I like their seeds a lot. Will definitely order more next season as they've got lots of new stuff!
I have ordered from this company over the past three years and their seeds have always germinated extremely well and have always been true to type. Customer service has been very courteous and always willing to help in providing further information beyond what their website supplies. They also select certain seeds and give them a highly recommended rating. I have found this to be very helpful in deciding what plants to grow. I hope they continue this practice and even expand it wherever possible. They use this practice on, for example, Benary's Giant Zinnias, where their prices are lower than any I have been able to find elsewhere. Add free shipping to reasonable prices on seeds and you have an outstanding bargain!
On January 3rd, 2006, marcop changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
There is now a $2.95 shipping charge!On April 15th, 2006, marcop changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I am changing my rating to neutral. My original complaint was that the company does not provide the extensive cultural information of ,for example, Johnny's Selected Seeds.
Over priced seeds that did not come true to type. Poor customer service.
On Jun 26, 2005, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:
On Jun 26, 2005 8:42 PM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds added:
It is our commitment that any customer who contacts us with issues about "true type," germination or any other concerns about the quality of their experience with our seeds will be dealt with quickly and generously. Although we don't have a record of shipping to Chardon Ohio within the past 3 years (we do understand the shipping address could have different) we have contacted this person through this web site and offered a full refund.
This is terrific site and we certainly encourage anyone with opinions about us to post. We do ask however, if you have a problem, to at least consider coming to us first. In almost all cases, customers are pleasantly surprised at how far we will go to make things right. We can make 99 out of every 100 customers happy, but we will always be sad about the one we missed. If we are aware of a problem, we fix it...always. "
I've ordered seeds from this company for 3 yrs now. They have a great selection, user friendly website, and quite reasonable prices. My order always arrives very promptly and with a friendly invoice. The seed packets are labeled with detailed instructions and each packet is *very* generous with the amount of seed. I've had excellent germination rates with the seeds. No problems! I also like the fact that the seed packet labels are dated (unlike Park seeds-their packets are not dated & I always wonder just how fresh they really are). Highly recommend!
Ordered quite a few different kinds of seeds...order came fairly promptly with seeds nicely packaged. Will be planting them right away...the proof as they say ...is in the pudding. I'll post again to update as to the quality of the plants.
On Apr 8, 2005, revclaus (Judith) Denver, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:
I ordered a small number of morning glory seeds, and reordered when one package rotted -- not due to Swallowtail, but due to saturated soil. I reordered those and some other seeds. They sent me an email that I didn't even bother to look at, supposing it was confirmation of shipping. (I do a lot of online ordering.) So imagine my surprise when a jumbo package of the seeds I had allowed to rot arrived without the other seeds I'd ordered. I then went back to my email message from Swallowtail to see if I could find something to indicate why the rest of the order hadn't been sent. What I found was that my credit card had expired and they couldn't send the order. But they DID send me a jumbo package of Early Call seeds to replace the ones that had rotted.
It wasn't their fault, but they went out of their way to see that I was satisfied. I call that TOP customer service!
I would definitely buy from them again. I'm sure they lost money on my order, and it wasn't their fault.
Less than 2 weeks ago, i placed a fairly large order with this company after discovering they were a Garden Watchdog 30 company. The website was excellent; well organized, great pictures, easy to use. I received email confirmation of my order and delivery was fast. And best of all....NO ADDITIONAL SHIPPING CHARGES. All the seeds I ordered were nicely packaged and labeled. Every seed package has planting instructions and valuable info on germination time and plant description. I'll keep you posted on how they turn out.
On April 8th, 2005, hvnlyhibiscus added the following:
6 days after starting all the seeds I purchased from this company and everything is growing. I started all the seeds in peat pots inside my home... no grow lights.. I just sat the trays in front of a window....hard to believe EVERYTHING I started is growing. I'm very impressed with the quality of everything I purchased. I HIGHLY recommend this company.
On Mar 19, 2005, NitaBee Calabash, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:
I found Swallowtail when searching for Blue Peal Vinca seeds. I ordered those and a few other packs of seeds just this past January. They arrived fast and I have them planted in my small greenhouse and they are doing great! The Blue Pearl Vinca seeds are actually doing better this year (much better germination) than others I have bought in the past from well known companies. My future orders will include many more items now that I have found Swallowtail!
Swallowtail Garden Seeds deserves to be on the Watchdog 20 list; everything about them is top-notch. My seeds arrived in a week and were extremely well packaged, the best I've ever seen. The seeds themselves are generously counted. The packets have good germination information, too. I'm so happy I've found this online seed resource, and look forward to doing business with them again.
On January 29th, 2006, ccobanshee added the following:
Another year, another fabulous experience with this company. I urge everyone who hasn't tried Swallowtail to place an order! I had great success with the seeds I purchased last year. Their customer service is a refreshing improvement on the norm, as is the fair and reasonable shipping and handling rate. Recommended without hesitation!
I placed a large order with Swallowtail Garden Seeds and the order was lost....just my luck. However, when I contacted the company they replaced the order for me with a 10% discount automatically. I did not even ask for the discount or complain. They volunteered it. The lost order was just a website issue and really not a big deal. They seeds were shipped quickly and arrived well packaged. I have already started most of the seeds inside and they appear to be doing very well. This has been the best expierence I have had so far with online ordering.
I highly recommend this company for seeds. I ordered last year and again this year. My seeds came very fast, my order was complete and correct. The planting instructions well detailed. My morning glories and other vines started from seed grew into beautiful plants that bloomed all summer and into late fall. I started many of the plants inside and they transported well. Very high germination rate that turned into hardy and beautiful plants.
On Jan 28, 2005, MitchF Lindsay, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
I just got my seeds in - they where well packed with very easy planting instructions. Even the primerose had special extra tips for growing! I cannot wait to see these in my garden - they are in seed trays now I will update this to let you know how many come up.
On March 12th, 2005, 75154 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Out of seven packets three came up near 100%, two came up less then 50%, and one was a no show. I had close to 100% from every trade so I have no idea what the problem is . I will order again because they have good prices, but only after trying to trade for it first. On May 21st, 2005, 75154 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Replaced and all growing - wonderful place to get your seeds. I have my fall order ready to place now, they really stand behind their seeds. On August 11th, 2005, 75154 added the following:
Everything is up and blooming this year! They look great and are stunning! Thanks! Now to look in here to find some more seeds!!!! On Jan 28, 2005, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:
On Mar 26, 2005 2:57 AM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds added:
All our seeds are 100 percent guaranteed. The three packets mentioned were replaced at no charge."
Last year I placed an order at Swallowtail Seeds. Took a little while but finally my package arrived and I tore into it with great anticipation, only to find that the entire order was wrong. I wrote the company, and I wasn't at all happy. They called me, on the very next day, a Sunday, to find out what had happened. We never did figure out exactly what went wrong, but they not only mailed my order promptly, they also let me keep the seeds that had been sent to me by mistake. I planted these seeds in my cutting garden and was very pleased with the germination.
On Dec 23, 2004, vs71099 Osage City, KS (Zone 5b) wrote:
I have marked SwallowTail in my Favorites for Seed Ordering. I will check here before I order seeds anywhere else. It was a great website, easy to order, very reasonably priced, and shipped quickly. The packages were wonderful, labeled and included growing instructions. I just can't say enough positives about this company and my first experience with them.
On Dec 10, 2004, Maine_Gardener Abbot, ME (Zone 4a) wrote:
Just found Swallowtail Garden Seeds and sent an order to them as they had seeds for some perennials that I did not find in catalogs of other "big name" companies that I get catalogs from. They recieved my order on Monday, mailed it out Tuesday and I recieved it on Friday of the same week. Was very pleased with their prompt service. Now I am very hopeful that I will be just as pleased with the success rate of their seeds!
Now that it is the end of the season, I have time to make a quick comment about Swallowtail Gardens. I placed a fairly large order earlier this year. The service was exceptional! Packaging, labeling and germination information were very good as were the germination rate and quality of the plants. The price is slightly higher than larger companies; however, I have been "burned" all too often by the larger companies. I have every intention of placing another order this year, and would not hesitate what-so-ever to make a clear recommendation for others.
On Oct 16, 2004, alwaysplanting Northville, MI wrote:
I"ve placed a number of orders with this company in the past year. I think they provide an exceptional value, especially considering that postage is included in the price. Since my first order, I always check to see if Swallowtail has any seeds I want before looking elsewhere.
Shipping has been timely whenever I've ordered, and I've had great germination with the seeds too.
I have ordered many times from Swallowtail.I find their service and seeds top notch . They are fast and I find the price of their seeds very fair .I will continue to purchase from Swallowtail for years to come.Thank You Swallowtail for being the company that you are .
On May 2, 2004, purplepinkpolka Leesburg, VA wrote:
A little expensive, though less so since shipping is free. The selection works well for cottage gardens and there are some difficult to find varieties. I got my order promptly and the seeds are well packaged. Would order from them again.
Wonderful company! I enjoyed looking through they're selection of seeds and found just what I was looking for. Wave petunia seeds came pelleted for easy sowing, planted 24 seeds and had 100% germination within one week! Would definitely recommend this company and the free shipping is just the icing on the cake!
I recently placed my first order with this company and just received it. Overall, I don't find their selections to be too out of the ordinary, but they do have a well rounded selection of annuals, perennials/biennials, veg/herbs.
They do have a rather interesting selection of hollyhock seeds, including some unusual colors and some dwarf varieties. They also have seed for some quite lovely mallow (which they refer to as "zebra hollyhock" (I ordered the 'zebrina'), along with some other last minute odds and ends.
Another thing I liked about the company is that there are no handling/shipping or other hidden charges. What the total of the seeds cost is what you pay.
Assuming the germ rate on these seeds I just received is good, I'd order from them again.
I will say that the order took about a week and a half, so place your orders early if you need your seeds right away.