An excellent nursery from which I bought a couple of times last fall. They have a great selection of plants, for me in particular, viburnums. Inded, I think I found out about this nursery in a book and thought, worth looking at online. I wanted some Carleseiis, prunifoliums, nudums and through the descriptions for their plants I felt certain that the characteristics I was interested in would be found in the plants I selected. Charactewristics like, frangrance, bloom features color, leave colors at different seasons. I found what think is an obscure nudum called Viburnum nudum var. angustifolium - Narrowleaf Possumhaw Viburnum. I got a couple of well-established specimens that I can't wait to seem go through their changes this year. All the plants I got were good size, affordable (19.95 to 29.95) with uncompacted root balls. Another sort of rare species is Lindera glauca v. angustifolia - Narrowleaf Spicebush, the leaves change color all year long and retain them in winter. They have an enormous selection of Witch Hazels in the $60s. I did not buy them from them as I found another trusted nursery that sells some variety cheaper and I am not too familiar with them. I think Fairweathers witch hazels are just a bit more established and that have quite a selection.
The nursery I think only ships during the two planting seasons of fall and spring, ie not summer nor winter, fair enough, probably sell on location. Their packing is outstanding, boxes are super strong and no hint of damage. Who'd a thought that two of my favorite online nurseries are from central Jersey that I found after I moved down South.
i ordered several viburnums this fall from them. I've ordered from numerous highly rated mail order companies in the past, and I think that NONE have impressed me as much as this. A friend, who was here when the plants arrived, was amazed by the quality. The plants were huge, or as stated,healthier than any I've seen at any of the nurseries I perused all summer. The roots were completely HEALTHY, no rootbound plants as I've had horrors with in past. The roots were also white, the potting medium so "healthy" an earthworm even arrived with it. The plants are thriving.
This spring, I have a bigger order (keep adding on) and I wish I had the money for more. Shipping is the same as any other online place (that I'd use), and it's worth it to me to not have to go nursery hunting, or deal with plants overwintered or rootbound or sick. Their selection is amazing for extremely hard to find (i.e. symplocos offered this spring), and it's fun to see what pops up each season.
After losing TONS of money on plants of inferior quality, I'm all on the "you get what you pay for" track now. I LOVE this company. How I wish I lived closer, I'd be visiting them often.
On Oct 4, 2012, Ispahan Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on March 29, 2012, updated October 4, 2012
Some people find Lycoris foliage to be unattractive, probably the same horrible people who recoil at the sight of wonderful hosta-like Colchicum foliage. For me, any plant that bounds into lush, vigorous growth in early spring and provides much needed greenery after a long, dull winter is delightful. And so what if it dies back slowly in midsummer, "marring" the sight of my ever-so-manicured garden beds? That is a small price to pay to grow such a beautiful plant that almost everyone will envy when it is in flower.
So imagine my joy today when I unpacked a box of Lycoris chinensis in full spring growth. They were huge and had healthy, lusty foliage. Unpacking was a bit of a tedious operation, since Fairweather tried their best to make sure that the huge but brittle foliage remained in as good a condition as possible. Their efforts did not go unnoticed, LOL!
This was a wonderful first experience with this company. The owner was friendly and knowledgeable and responded to both phone calls and e-mails in what seemed like minutes. I am not sure why the poster below was so displeased, but I guess some people can never be made happy.
One negative thing about this order, however: they included one of their printed, full color catalogues in the shipping box and I am already drooling over some of their other plant selections. In other words, it will be great for my garden but horrible for my pocketbook, LOL!
I intend to be a repeat customer. After years and years of buying plants through the mail, this appears to be one of the better nurseries out there.
On October 4th, 2012, Ispahan added the following:
Late this summer, I placed an order for Cornus 'Appalachian Spring' and xSinocalycalycanthus 'Aphrodite' for fall planting. When placing the order, I included a small note requesting that the Cornus be specially selected for use as a specimen tree in a small urban yard. I received a written invoice via snail mail with personalized comments about each plant ordered (i.e., how the plants looked in the nursery, how they were sizing up, etc.). The invoice also said they would ship my order in late September/early October whenever they noticed the temperatures in my area would be cool enough for transplanting.
We have had a very cool fall season in my area so I was expecting my order in late September. Sure enough, a large box was waiting on my doorstep the last week of September. My order was packed extremely well. Not a single twig or branch broken, not a single leaf bent, and no loose soil anywhere. That said, unpacking was an incredibly quick and efficient process since they did not use excessive amounts of tape.
As for the plants themselves, I could not have been happier. The Cornus received is a sturdy, shapely, healthy specimen about 3 feet tall with three main leaders. Exactly what I had hoped for and wanted. The xSinocalycalycanthus was enormous and robust. I have seldom seen such a healthy container-grown shrub. Best of all, each one was appropriately sized for its pot. The roots were incredibly healthy and plentiful and yet were not at all root bound and wound around the bottom of the pot in the dreaded death girdle that can be so harmful to woody plants.
Update: The Lycoris chinensis I ordered earlier this spring are already settling in. Lycoris usually take a year or two or several to settle in after transplanting and to start blooming again. But 6 clumps of my L. chinensis sent up glorious bloom spikes throughout the entire month of August.
All in all, this is a first class nursery run by people who really know and care about plants. Their online and printed catalogues are joyful to read and their selection is thoughtful, often unusual and classy.
Next spring, I may be in the market for two new shrubs and one more specimen tree. Fairweather Gardens will be the first place I look.
The 5ft dwarf Tulip Tree "Little Volunteer" was more than I expected. Perfectly shaped. Just right for the spot we have ready. I've gotten large trees shipped in before, but Little Volunteer was packaged so well, it never shifted in
the box and not one broken branch on it!
I'm so impressed with the tree, the care with which it was shipped and the oh-so-important communication with Mr. Hoffman to make sure it arrived at the best time for me. And such a good price for all this service.
Like with all large plants, shipping fees can really get up there. But I really wanted this tree, and to get it from anywhere else meant special ordering AND paying additional shipping anyway.
The important part for me was that all these extra hoops were worth it. And in THIS case, they certainly were. There's never not enuf time to tout the best professionals.
On Mar 30, 2012, gregr18 Bridgewater, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on May 8, 2011, updated March 30, 2012
This nursery sends beautifully packed, healthy, good sized plants. They have a great selection of rare and underused shrubs and trees. The Neviusias and the Halesia that I ordered were both in flower at the time of shipping, but came out of the box holding their flowers and looking like they hadn't been in a box for 3 days. Great nursery.
On March 30th, 2012, gregr18 added the following:
I got another, larger, order from Fairweather this year, and was very happy again with the transaction. Beautiful plants, very nicely (and very snugly) packed, and the plants were shipped when I requested.
On Mar 30, 2012, duncanroadfish Hemby Bridge, NC wrote:
I ordered a Variegated Tulip Poplar (Liridendron aureomarginata) from these guys and I can honestly say the tree was in great shape, nice sized and the packaging was phenomenal especially for a tree 5 feet tall. It arrived in perfect condition, which is no small task and is thriving in my yard now. I will be ordering again and highly recommend this nursery.
On May 28, 2011, frahnzone5 Bensenville, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
I ordered two dogwoods from them this spring. They arrived beautifully packaged and were a nice size. I kept them indoors for a week and then put them on my covered deck in a sheltered spot. Both blackened and died within 2 weeks. These were expensive plants. I emailed Fairweather Gardens and within a week got a response from them. They gave me a full refund. Obviously they stand behind their product. I will continue to order from them in the future. Their plants are great and this is my first bad experience.
I absolutely love this place! We have ordered from this company for the past 3 years - everything from shrubs to trees to flowers. Everything we have purchased from them has been healthy and has grown extremely well. Even with the snowy winters and dry, hot summers of the last few years, the plants have not only survived but look good. I will definately continue to purchase from them in the future.
On Apr 2, 2011, VA_GARDEN Hood, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I love this company - it is definitely my favorite mail order source for shrubs. I have been ordering from them for several years, and their selection of hard to find gems is fabulous. Although shipping may seem high, the care taken with packaging is worth every penny. I wasn't home one year when the boxes arrived, and my husband (who is not a gardener, but recognizes quality when he sees it) was incredulous at how well things were packed and how lush and healthy the plants were when they came out of the box. Plants are always large and healthy and settle in to my garden beautifully.
Very, very pleased with this vendor. My plants arrived in great shape and were much larger than I expected. Fairweather carries some hard to find plants like sweet fern [Comptonia peregrina] and the button bush selection 'Sputnik' both of which I ordered and both of which are beautiful. Other plants in the order were equally fine. Will absolutely order from them again.
I've just ordered from Fairweather Gardens on the advice of a friend. Like others who have posted here, I've found they have a wide variety of plants which are hard to find elsewhere. Their prices and shipping charges may be a bit on the high side, but in this case you definitely get what you pay for, both in terms of quality of plants and care of shipping. I ordered four small trees, and was absolutely amazed at the way these had been packaged. Their packaging method of plastic bags, twist ties, string, and packaging tape, as described in the post by pileorocks below, immobilized the containers at one end of an oversized box. The the plant tops were left suspended in the open space above, surrounded by nothing but air. Not a leaf was lost, and not one twig was bent, let alone broken. I'd definitely order from them again.
Posted on January 6, 2010, updated January 6, 2010
Posted on April 30, 2009, updated January 6, 2010
My large order arrived quickly and the plants were full and healthy. People complain about the shipping charges, but when you see how these plants are packed, you know it took someone a lot of time. Pots are removed to keep the weight down, then rootballs are bagged in plastic (with lots of rich moist soil), and twist-tied shut. Then they are gently tied into the shipping boxes with cotton twine. Not a leaf was clipped, not a stem was broken. Well worth the expense.
On January 6th, 2010, pileorocks added the following:
Second order received just as nice as the first. Really big plants in great shape. Shrubs from the first order flourished over the season. On January 6th, 2010, pileorocks added the following:
I have ordered from Fairweather Gardens for several years now, and would like to give this company the praise they deserve. I have ordered from many companies in the past and very few are as good as Fairweather. My plants have been full sized, bursting out of their containers and very vigorous and healthy. Echinacea "Pink Double Delight" came as a full gallon with many healthy buds. By July, the plant was huge with multiple blooms. All shrubs have been large and vigorous. Their selection is amazing and their catalog is a plant lovers delight-and it lacks that airbrushed, too- good- to- be- true look that many of the big companies catologs have. Their shipping charges are reasonable considering the size of the plants and the excellent packing provided. I am waiting for my 2010 catalog so that I can place this years order.
On Dec 30, 2009, Karyl7b Dawsonville, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
Posted on July 08, 2009, updated December 30, 2009
I placed a spring order with Fairweather Gardens of about 9 viburnums. The plants arrived well packed and very healthy, larger than I expected. They were not root bound and due to the time of shipping, just breaking dormancy as they should have been. It is now mid summer and all of the viburnums I received from them are doing incredibly well. They were planted in good soil, have been kept well watered and responded great. All in all I am impressed with the quality of plants sent to me by Fairweather Gardens and will make an effort to order additional shrubs I am looking for from them first.
On December 30th, 2009, Karyl7b added the following:
A fall order with Fairweather Gardens was equally as pleasing as my spring order. I had emailed them questions about stock as they were in between seasons and I was not sure that all of the plants I was interested in would be carried in fall. I promptly received an email answering all of my inquiries in a very professional, friendly manner. In fact they remembered my request a couple of weeks later and emailed me an update which was unexpected (and welcomed) as they had answered my questions satisfactorily. I found their customer service to be great. The fall order that I received were all healthy specimens that settled in well. They were well packed and not pot bound. I will continue to order from Fairweather Gardens.
On Jun 24, 2009, TheLoud Atlanta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
I got 3 great pawpaw trees from them. Even though I ordered late in the season, they were perfectly dormant, but leafed out well once I planted them, and they're thriving now. I've heard that pawpaws don't transplant well, but these are all doing great, unlike the one I got from a different nursery.
On May 22, 2009, onewish1 Denville, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:
I placed an order and went to the open house to pick up my plants what a nice place... disappointed because it was too early in the season to see everything in bloom.. but all the plants bought from there are doing very well
I love this company and consider myself a long-time customer. I visited the nursery on 03/18/09, which was one of their "shopping days." One of the plants I purchased was a Magnolia x wieseneri, about 5'- 6' tall and full of buds. Well, as the buds began opening, I noticed that the foliage was wilting and later turning black. I called Fairweather on Saturday, 04/25/09, in mid-afternoon. Not unexpectedly, I had to leave a message. Mr. Popham (one of the owners) called me first thing Monday, 04/27/09, and indicated that he believed the problem to be bacterial in nature. Without asking, he told me that I would receive a credit (refund). There was no "it's not our fault," "too bad." I received written confirmation of the credit on 04/29/09. I will continue to shop here for their great selection of plants.
Yes, the shipping might seem expensive, but the plants I recieved were HUGE, the biggest I've ever received from any mail-order company, and they were all in tip-top shape, you'd never know they'd been in a cardboard box for a couple of days. They were all in big containers with plenty of dirt, so obviously that costs more to mail. But receiving such large healthy plants is well worth the cost. There was a small "glitch" in my order, but the nice person I talked to on the phone went out of his way to make it to my satisfaction. A+!
I would like to add my highest praise for Fairweather's camellias. I ordered from them on the recommendation of a friend, and every one arrived big, healthy and in perfect condition. Their "tree tube" size plants are large and the more mature sizes are immense. I ordered by phone and can also say their customer service was a pleasure.
On Jan 9, 2008, venu209 Jersey Shore, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:
I cannot comment on their mail order service because I fortunately live close enough to take the drive to their nursery. My car is always chock full of big healthy plants for the return trip. All purchases have thrived except one magnolia that died due to my own negligence. It's only a couple of months until their open house days begin again. I'll be there.
On Apr 18, 2006, tobee43 groveland, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
what can one say about a company that is consistently excellent. my order arrived in perfect condition. the plants where not only healthily with strong root systems but they were far larger than i expected.
every year the staff is very patient and helpful i just never make it through the latin names! but i always get what i want.
this was certainly not my first order nor will it be my last....you can order with the utmost confidence, you will WILL NOT be disappointed.
I could not recommend this nursery more highly. They have a wonderful selection of hard to find tree's and cultivars. This spring I ordered seven trees from them, all of which were healthy and well packed. They were also all sized as advertized in their catalog. All their tree's I ordered had excellent root systems, and already appear to be thriving in the garden.
On Sep 27, 2004, victorgardener Lower Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have ordered from Fairweather since 2000 and have, for the most part, been quite satisfied. They have a great inventory and often carry items not found elsewhere from mail order sources. They overcharge, in my opinion, for shipping but the plants are well packed. I have never had a plant arrive in less than superb condition. The quality of the plants is first rate - especially the shrubs and trees. The perennials are comparable to other good mail order sources. The only plants that have failed have been perennials. Stay away from marginally hardy euphorbia - I have had no success with them and I am not a novice. Prices appear a bit high until you see what you get - never a twig but very full, established material. Do your own research because they certainly are not the hand-holding type, but if you know what you want and how to take care of it, you won't find a better source. One major drawback - no online ordering. They need to move with the times.
On February 4th, 2008, victorgardener added the following:
Just want to add that four years later, I am still very pleased and I am a loyal customer. Great to have a consistently reliable source that provides outstanding plants! On my gold list.
I received my order this weekend - I have ordered from Fairweather for the last three years - and once again I was extremely pleased. The plants were beautiful! They were well-packed, much larger than you will find at most nurseries and very healthy. I have had 100% success rate with the plants I've ordered the last few years. The trees I've received have been much envied by my gardening friends - they can't believe they were mail-ordered.
I will continue to look forward to each new catalogue so I can decide which plants to order that spring.
On Aug 15, 2003, skreitz Newtown Square, PA wrote:
Fairweather Gardens has stuff that no one else has, at least not here in Southeastern Pa! The upcoming Open House in Sept will be my 3rd visit.
Aside from the great plants, there is nothing better than a business that is responsive to client input. Last year we waited a long time in line and when we were not doing that we were wondering around the greenhouses without a wagon and thumbing through the catalog looking for what we wanted. There were people to help us, but I think they numbered about 3 or 4. This last spring, they cancelled the first open house due to snow, but they called me and asked what I might like to do with my pre-order. Good news. Better was when we did go,a full month later, they had indeed held my order intact. There were lots of wagons and you could not go 2 feet without tripping over someone who not only knew plants, they knew Fairweather's stock. To top it all off they handed everyone who entered an inventory catagorized by greenhouse. Plants of course were wonderful!! Excellent foliage and roots. I even saw them take some plants out of the selling area because they were not happy with one or the other and were not sure they would do well.
It may well be good to remember that Fairweather was not intended to be a retail nursery and as such they hire folks for the plants most of the year. They are far less demanding than people. No one likes to be treated poorly especially when you are spending your hard earned money, but isn't it great when progress is made in service and quality of product remains constant? Good work Fairweather!
On Jun 8, 2003, mainegardener Wiscasset, ME wrote:
I have ordered many items from Fairweather over the past 3-4 years and consider this to be the premier woody plant nursery on the East coast. Invariably the plants have been larger than indicated, in vibrant health and extremely well packed. A real (and often overlooked) indication of plant quality is the correlation between top growth and root ball size. Many nurseries (for understandable reasons) push top growth with heavy applications of fertilizer. This can result in plants that languish for some time when planted in the garden as the propotionally smaller root mass struggles to catch up with the top. This is never the case with plants from Fairweather. Prices may seem comparatively high, but the value is always excellent.
Last fall's catalog contained two things I've coveted for some time, so I called about the advisability of fall planting in a somewhat iffy climate. I was advised not to attempt it. This is obviously a company that cares more about long term customer satisfaction than sales.
On Jan 5, 2003, teesa Conneaut, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I'm a northern gardener in a pocket zone 6. Usually plants arrive for zone 5, we're on the lake in Ohio, but by that time we've missed the rains and I'm stuck watering my babies every night. I stuck a note on the order form in the off chance that because they are a small nursery they might notice my preferred ship time. They did!!!
Of course, this year we had a freak frost, the first in 25 years, and my big leaf magnolia got frozen in the UPS truck. So did everyone's vegetable gardens. By the Fall, it grew back from the ground taller than when it arrived. It must have had great roots. The other plants were very large, and healthy and didn't even notice they took a trip.
I'm very happy with their stock.
Also, I left a message requesting directions to the nursery for the sale. They arrived in the mail a week or so later. I've never spoken to anyone, but there is defineately someone there.
I have only ordered for the first time this fall and was extremely pleased with the size and vigor of the perennials and, in particular, of the shrubs. The price was very reasonable given the size of the plants sent. I plan on ordering again in the future.
On Sep 2, 2002, alicef PHILADELPHIA United States wrote:
Their selection is really interesting- The shipping is first rate and the plants are of truly excellent size- no babies here. Many of their plants can't be gotten- in the sizes that they sell- from many or any other mailorder growers. This is a small operation and they do make it clear that having a lot of personal attention- esp. by phone is an iffy proposition. In ref. to comments about plants being sold out- Hard as it is, it pays to order early- they can't re-grow oversold items overnight- That is the frustrating thing about this business: try as you might, you can't always predict what might be popular, what might succumb to a disease, what might not propagate, etc.
I have placed several orders with Fairweather Gardens. The shrubs, their packaging, and the timeliness of their arrival were outstanding. They were as robust as the shrubs in local good garden centers.
I phoned to discuss several plants, prior to purchase. The owner was SO helpful, particularly about botanical information. I ordered, and the plants arrived promptly, in robust, healthy condition. I was thrilled with my interaction, and will be purchasing more plants this spring.
On Feb 1, 2002, alberthendley Zanesville, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
I have ordered from and visited the Fairweather Nursery in NJ. I have always received the size or larger plants than I expected. They are very well packaged in custom designed boxes. Without question the best mail order nursery for woody plants I have dealt with in 30 plus years. Bob and Bob are the owners and a bit fussy but good plantsmen.
I ordered from FW in spring 1999 (four items). I was quite please with what arrived, although one magnolia had recently been potted up and was a tad small for the pot. I didn't find the prices as expensive as many say. They don't have ordinary plants, they pack, and ship, beautiful plants, and often, as they say, you get what you pay for. As I am formerly from NJ/PA area, I sent my sister down to visit during an open house, she called me back RAVING about the place, she has since returned and sent many of her friends; I have also referred people because of what my sister said, and I have heard nothing but very good feedback. On a negative note, the gentlemen can be slightly snippy when they answer the phone. All in all, I heartily recommend the place and can't wait until I settle in one place again and can start gardening again.
Ordering late in the season, I was able to obtain several hard-to-find shrubs from Fairweather. The plants arrived PDQ and very carefully packed. The owners of Fairweather were extremely helpful when I phoned to discussavailability and hardiness - even checked their plant databank for cultural information. I've ordered from them previously, and have always been very happy with the plants and the customer service.
I have had the pleasure of dealing with Fairweather Gardens for the past 3 years, and have never been disappointed. Their plants are healthy and substantial and they are the nicest people to deal with.