Posted on March 26, 2008, updated October 4, 2010
I have ordered from Parks both as a wholesale and retail customer for years. As far as shipping and germination I really dont have a problem, I do however think there are cheaper sources of seed out there. I guess if I had a complaint it would be the foil seed packets. They seem to create a static, and it is very difficult to get the seeds out especially if you want to sow 1/2 now and 1/2 later.
On March 26th, 2008, veryblessed added the following:
Sorry, This was for Parks not Wayside...But they are one in the same anyway. I did just receive some pretty expensive plants from Wayside. For the price I think there are better mail order choices out there as well, many in the Watchdog Top 30. The plants seem to be OK, one or two are still dormant, so we will see.On October 4th, 2010, veryblessed added the following:
Just received 3 Leucanthemum 'Banana Cream'. These were beautiful healthy plants, they were packaged well and shipped promptly.
I also ordered the Bloomerang Lilac bush which is relatively new and very expensive ($40+ with shipping) I received a two inch dead plant that the company said was "sleeping" and I needed to wait until a few months before they would do anything. I am an avid gardener and I know the difference between dead and hibernating. After waiting the suggested time and "babying" it, it was still dead. Interesting that the suggested time was after the time I could contest it on my credit card (90 days) By then they had sold out so could not replace it and would only give me a partial credit. I will never order from them again!!! RIP-OFF!
On Sep 11, 2010, NGW Farmington Hills, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
Best nursery website around! Great variety, too. Quality and size of plants -- pathetic. I use Wayside Gardens website to research and view plants; then, I search them out on the web and order for some other mail-order nursery. I've learned...
On May 31, 2010, detroitspeed Detroit, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I looked all over for a Kerria Japonica shrub and Wayside was the only company I had heard of that had it. I am so pleased with my purchase! The plant arrived in great condition, very well packed in sturdy cardboard, and best of all the bush is about 3' (yes, that's feet, not inches) tall. I can put it straight into the garden instead of nursing it in a pot for a year as you have to with the usual tiny offerings. Less than $20 for a large shrub that is pretty hard to find is a great deal in my opinion. The $10 shipping was well worth it too considering the size and weight of the plant/pot.
Wayside Gardens has been my favorite mail order company for plants for many years. They haven't always been perfect, but they have replaced any plant that did not satisfy me. My garden is filled with their bare root roses. More than twelve years ago I visited their store and bought a wonderful pruning saw that I still use.
On May 5, 2010, omasuziq Greensboro, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on April 20, 2010, updated May 5, 2010
I hadn't gardened for a while, now living in a NYC apartment. But when I did, Wayside was an extremely reliable source of unusual plant material (what I couldn't get in the garden center that I wanted for my garden).
I recently ordered from Wayside plants for a new garden I now have access to. I placed my order in February, was originally told the plants would ship mid- to late-March and was told today (after a second follow up call) that two of my three plant choices are in "back order." These same plants are still being sold on their Web site.
I don't mind that catalog/mail order suppliers may now outsource some of the plant propagation they used to do in-house. This was likely because it was too expensive for the amount of the plant material sold by each of them alone. Consolidation is not a bad thing, if both quality and supply is insured by the original supplier. That's where they earn their cut.
Right now, I am feeling as though I am squeezed because it's late in the season and my alternatives are fewer, both with alternative species and suppliers available.
If this is not the Wayside Gardens of old, I mourn its loss. And I'll report back on this site.
On May 5th, 2010, omasuziq changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
It is May 5 and I have cancelled my entire (expensive to me)order, placed in February. Not a single plant has arrived and no firm targets were available for when they might arrive. I was able to find other sources for some of the plant stock, but had to make substitutions for others. This is not what you expect would happen when you start planning relatively early.
I ordered a Butterfly Bush "Miss Ruby" when it was on sale
and no shipping charges except $2.00. I received the bush today via UPS. I was very happy with its size and it looks very healthy. It was packed really well to prevent damage.
I would buy from this company again.
Despite reading the negative feedbacks for this company, I decided to give it a go and placed orders for plants not available at local nurseries.
No surprise, another NEGATIVE from this frequent online orderer.
The most expensive plant was the rebloomering lilac, Bloomerang from Proven Winners @ $24.95 + shipping/handling. It arrived as a 3" 'multi-branched' DEAD, crispy 'plant'. After several attempts at getting a response from the company and none being received, I am entering this problem here. The other plants were not remarkable but at least were alive and were planted immediately so they do have a fighting chance of survival.
I will NEVER order from this company again and urge you to look elsewhere for that plant you dream of having.
I have been a customer of Wayside Gardens for a few years, thinking they charge too much for their plants, but putting up with it because they offer things that are not always easy to find and they always sent large, healthy plants. This year however, upon ordering some that I needed to finish an area I started last year, I was astounded they had the nerve to charge me a $2.50 gas surcharge, on top of their basic shipping charges (for two lousy Astilbes)!
I have ordered many plants this year from different sources and no one has charged me a gas surcharge, even from places much further away from where I live; on top of which basic shipping usually was less than Waysides, with only one company being a few cents more.
I find this "gas surcharge" business to be code for "let's take advantage of our customers" and unless they stop this nonsense, I refuse to do business with them again. Wayside should be highly ashamed of themselves, especially in today's economy when people are struggling just to get by! A big fat NEGATIVE is what they get from me!
I have ordered from WG for the past few years, but I think this is the last time. I had to call last week to find out what was holding up two orders I placed in early February (they supposedly started shipping for my zone in mid-March). You cannot get any good information from their website. I found out that the order was being held up due to one plant being back-ordered, which was not obvious from the website ("not yet shipped"). I received the first shipment (minus the back-order) today - no email letting me know they were being shipped as in previous years. I have no clue when the second one will ship - website still says "not yet shipped" and it's getting late. I never experienced this sort of hassle in the past.
I received the plants I ordered from Wayside Gardens in several shipments. I am very pleased! After seeing some negative comments I was worried, but now I can't understand why people had complaints about this service. The plants were healthy and packed very well. Before I received my shipment I didn't really understand what size of pot or container I could expect--but after checking and then getting my shipment, I am really satisfied. Yes, I still buy at the local landscape and plant business, but I enjoy the extra diversity of Wayside. Three cheers!
I had looked at previous ratings and thought this was a good company. Based on my first experience, I will not order from them again. I ordered three new variety hydrangeas that were very pricey for their size. No local nurseries carry this variety, so I decided to go for it. My plants arrived mid-week. The packing was in good shape. Two of the plants were fine, but very small. One was badly mangled and obviously dead. I took pictures and emailed them to their customer service. No problem, they would send a free replacement---which arrived on a Monday by USPS. The replacement was also mangled and obviously dead.
Posted on April 14, 2010, updated April 19, 2010
I had the impression that this company had a fairly good reputation. As a first time customer, my experience unfortunately was far from satisfactory.
This spring, I ordered a relatively uncommon Japanese Maple (A. shirasawanum 'Aureum'). They were offering free shipping on all of their maples. Although fairly pricey for a one-gallon tree ($50), I decided to give them a try.
The problems began when they chose to ship the tree via UPS Ground at the end of the day on a Thursday which of course meant that it ended up spending the whole weekend in the UPS facility. When it finally arrived, it had been very poorly packed with numerous branches broken and the foliage looking very stressed from the time spent in a box. On top of that, even for a one-gallon tree it was very small.
When I contacted customer service via email, I was given their standard canned response that the tree would bounce back with no problem and to contact them if they could be of any further assistance. I planted the tree anyways and waited about a week with the foliage looking more unhappy each day. Finally, I again contacted customer service and explained my dissatisfaction with their product and asked for a replacement. This time they agreed to send a replacement. I asked for them to send it earlier in the week if possible to avoid this problem again. Monday of this week, I was told that it was "on the shipping floor" and would go out that day or Tuesday. It is now Wednesday and the replacement has still not shipped and it looks like it will spend another weekend in a UPS warehouse.
Overall, compared to other online nurseries I have ordered from, Wayside does just not seem to have their act together. With their highly then average prices, there are much better options out there.
On April 19th, 2010, bjohn1974 added the following:
Ok, so I finally received the second tree. Of course they did ship it on a Thursday so it again spent the weekend in the UPS facility. Not sure why it had to spend four days on their "shipping floor" before sending it out. This even though I was assured it would ship on a Monday or Tuesday. That being said, this one arrived fully leaved out and with brown spots on many of the leaves.
I was also surprised by something else. This tree arrived in a much taller box and when I first unpacked it noticed that instead of the 8" tall tree I was shipped the first time, this one was almost 30" tall! I thought that they had selected a better tree this time for me since it was a replacement. However, after I fully unpacked it, I noticed something unusual. Some of the leave were very different then the normal Aureum style. Many were greenish/red instead of yellow and much more divided. I then realized that all of the "strange" leaves were coming from two branches from the base. This was obviously a grafted tree where two suckers had been allowed to grow so large that they overwhelmed the grafted portion which was only about 8" tall. I'm not a tree expert at all, but it is amazing to me that I could realize this within minutes of opening the box but the "experts" who grew and shipped it did not. On top of that, it is also obvious that $50 is way too high of a price for a grafted tree which usually sells for less, especially since Wayside was not honest on their website and kept this information secret. Overall, I am now left with a very unpleasant view of this company. I will not order from them again.
On Apr 13, 2010, pgt Chalfont, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on May 12, 2009, updated April 13, 2010
I was nervous ordering from Wayside b/c of all the negative comments. But, I have to say that I was extremely pleased with my experience. I ordered 3 Origanum rotundifolium "Kent Beauty", and they were packaged extremely well (they were packed by #26 if that makes a difference), and arrived in beautiful shape, and they arrived in the week that Wayside said that they would. I will try them again in the future. Very very happy.
On April 13th, 2010, pgt added the following:
It's April, 2010 now. And my Kent Beauties did great last year. They bloomed beautifully and were very healthy. And, they are back up, and looking great this spring! I would definitely order from Wayside again.
I have an entire garden ordered from Wayside gardens. Plants are healthy well packed and sent at the proper planting time. Twice in the last 10 years I complained that some of the plants did not do well. I was quickly sent replacements.
gardeners, please unite, & put this bad company out of business.they do not stand behind their(inferior) plants-can't blame them there,it's hard to stand behind pure trash.they have never heard of customer service or customer satisfaction,but their palms are always wide open to pick your hard-earned pocket money.steer clear of by- the -wayside gardens. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
THE VERY WORST COMPANY EVER!
On Mar 29, 2010, cardinal988 Grand Rapids, MI wrote:
I am still trying to get plants which I ordered in 2006. I made the mistake of making a large order because I was thrilled with their selection. Stuff arrives dead, sick, substituted and cancelled. They issued a credit for $300+ at the end of 2008 for merchandise which they took payment for in 2006 and never sent. The items were ordered early, but I got out of stock notices and unacceptable substitutions. I received slimy plants and dead sticks. Every problem got it's own seperate credit issued. I was still going around trying to use the multiple credits they sent out when they didn't ship my plants at the end of 2009. They refuse to send a grab bag to use up the credit. When the plant isn't available, the money spent on shipping just dissappears and they send a credit for only the price of the plant. I also can not recombine the credits to make one order, each credit must be used and shipping paid, seperately. Only 2 items of that several thousand dollar 2006 order survive today and I still have 3 little tiny credits it would cost me more to use than ignore.
The oakleaf hydrangeas that I planted last fall did not show any signs of spring growth, so I contacted them. To my satisfaction, the company replied promptly, advising me to do a "scratch test" to check for green near the crown. (2 out of 3 passed the test). I'm waiting a few more weeks to see whether the shrubs actually bud, but my initial interactions with their customer service have been positive.
The company charges shipping on ORIGINAL price of sale items, which is some 40-60% more than my purchase price. I've never encountered an online store that does that. I'm skipping on Wayside on principle.
On Nov 3, 2009, kinchen beaumont United States wrote:
On Sept. 24, 2009, I received three butterfly bushes from Wayside Gardens. I found the plants to have been loosely packed in shipping peanuts. The plants had fallen over and soil had been dislodged. All three plants were damaged; stems were broken, most the leaves were off the stems, and tips of some stems were black. When taken out of the containers to plant, soil fell from the roots, and I realized the root systems were not well developed. I notified Wayside Gardens of the plants' condition, and was assured the plants had well developed root systems. On November 2, I notified the company that the plants had no leaves, no stems, and not much in the way of root systems, and asked for a refund. Wayside Gardens refund was a few dollars more than the cost of the plants, but not as much as the plants plus tax or those items plus shipping. I asked Wayside Gardens to explain the amount of refund, and am waiting for a reply. I have lost confidence in Wayside Gardens and will not buy from them again.
On Oct 23, 2009, prlevy Belmont, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
After several years of decreasing satisfaction with Wayside/Park, I decided to take one more shot and ordered plants from the fall sale on 9/6. When the phlox finally arrived (after several phonecalls from me) they were in the expected 6" pots, but looking small. As soon as I tipped them out I saw why: they were rootbound plants that had been overgrown in small pots and only recently stuffed into large pots with new soil which fell away instantly. The clematis, which did not arrive until 10/20, was in a 6" pot under equally false pretenses and with dead foliage to boot. The sambucus was a poor specimen and the heuchera, after a wait of three weeks, was declared not available. My shipping should have been but was not reduced with the elimination of the heuchera. This is by no means the first time I have had such an experience with Wayside Gardens /Park Seed. Their list of excuses for nondelivery are many and various, including, 'held for quality control', 'on the shipping floor', 'expected soon', 'a problem with the grower', 'error in availability status', etc., and are the rule in my experience, not the exception. Poor plants, poor service.
I ordered 3 sunshine blue blueberry plants from Wayside Gardens.
I did pay for expedited shipping as I am in a very hot climate and
did not want the plants to be traveling too long.
My blueberries arrived as scheduled. They are healthy, full, very
nice plants and are doing quite well under grow lights at present.
I will plant them in an outdoor container next month when it cools
off a bit more. I was very pleased and surprised at the size as they are about 12 inches taller than the 4 inch pot and have several branches each. So with the pot they are 16 inches, and these are 2 year old plants.
On Sep 22, 2009, WormsLovSharon Las Vegas, NV wrote:
I thought it was my problem when I ordered numerous plants from Wayside and they would die immediately. This has been happening for many years. Then I started to plant them in my holding garden for a year and then the plants were fine. One day my brain kicked in and said HELLO. They are shipping very small plants and I have to nurture them for a year in order to immigrate them into my normal landscape. But I am paying top prices. No more, Wayside is off my list. I love the idea of using their catalog and taking it to your local nursery and having them order it. With their shipping charges, special order will probably be cheaper. However, cheaper was never my goal...
On Sep 16, 2009, nford Hot Springs Village, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:
I've previously placed two orders in 2009 with Wayside and all the plants in both orders are doing nicely, despite problems with local critters. (A rabbit ate most of one Scabiosa, but it has rebounded.)
I'm awaiting the Fall shipment of another order -- a hydrangea and 3 more helleborus.
The only thing that keeps me from ordering more from Wayside is their high s&h, which is usually (for me) about a third of the total product prices. This appears to be because Wayside charges s&h by the # of plants while others (like Spring Hill) charge by the order total. I had one order at Wayside where the products came to $26 and the s&h was $13.50.
I didn't place one recent order because on a $40 order, the s&h was going to be nearly $20
Nevertheless, I don't have any complaints with the plants so far.
What can I say good about this company. Nothing. I ordered 4 Louisiana Iris in May, received early June, they were tiny sickly looking plants but I decided to plant them anyway. I waited and waited. One made a slightly green showing then promptly died, the others never came up. I sent the company an email requesting a refund or replacement. To my surprise I discovered they only have a 30-day guarantee. I received a "so sorry but" return email from them. So, my advice to anyone considering an order from this company is to STOP right now and don't waste your money.
On Aug 24, 2009, DaughterNature Shrewsbury, MA wrote:
I made a purchase last fall from Wayside Gardens. Plants ordered were Lonicera Sempervirens 'John Clayton', the Coreopsis collection (Coreopsis 'Heaven S Gate', Coreopsis 'Moonray', Coreopsis 'Snowberry'), and the double Echinacia collection (Echinacea 'Coconut Lime', Echinacea 'Cotton Candy') - for just over $98.00. When shipped, the Coreopsis collection resulted in one 5"+ pot and two very tiny pots with one stem for one and three stems for the other. As there wasn't any guarantee for pot sizes, and I scratched it up to "buyer beware," but I was extremely disappointed with the quality of the two small plants. We had a very wet spring in the Northeast so I gave more time than their June 30th policy (which I only found out about just prior to lodging a complaint). I called their customer service within the past week, as none of the plants had made a showing (including foliage). I told them I had ordered perennials from three other suppliers (Paradise Garden, Plant Delights, and Oakes Daylilies) within a week of my order to Wayside and all their plants came up. Wayside's explanation was that Echinacea don't like wet conditions (What about the Coreopsis and Lonicera? What about the five other Echinacea in that bed - on a hill, by the way - that did come up? Four of them were planted that same fall.)
Their customer service associate had an immediate attitude of "we can't help you," however she did consult their horticulturist (after prompting) who came back with the "blame it on the weather" attitude.
I have never posted a complaint for either mail order or local nurseries prior to this, as I understand that sometimes the plants just don't adapt to the new environment. I consider that the risk of the gardener. However, in this case, 0 plants surviving when other suppliers have 100% survival rate under the same weather conditions and in the same bed, I have no doubt as to the lack of quality. I have requested they save their money and not mail me another catalog. I will NEVER order from them again and I recommend that those who read this save their money and order from other more reliable suppliers.
I read the negative posts, but decided to order anyway. I put in an order on a Tuesday and was willing to pay for expedited shipping so that the plants would not sit on a truck someplace and they would arrive for the weekend. As of Sunday I have not received an email confirmation about my order, nor did I receive an order number so I could find out what was happening. I've canceled my order.
I agree with those who say Wayside has gone downhill in the last few years. This year, I bought 3 miniature verbascum from a late spring sale. When they arrived, it was obvious that 2 were dead as doornails, and the other looked good. I planted all 3 within hours (literally) of arrival. The 2 dead ones stayed dead, and the other is now blooming nicely. I emailed them on June 29 to ask about a refund/replacement for the 2 dead ones, and was told that the warranty had expired. Their website says to notify them by June 30 - which I did. Granted it was close, but it was still within the time limit. I have asked them to honor the warranty since they were indeed contacted in a timely manner, and I haven't heard back yet, but I just replied to their "no refund" email. We'll see what happens, but I think I am done with Wayside Gardens plants. I've had numerous plants arrive in very bad shape over the last 3 or 4 years, and things are not getting any better. It's too bad, because it used to be a good company to do business with.
On Jun 16, 2009, WDMgardener West Des Moines, IA wrote:
Received: 5/15/2009 11:31 AM
Subject: RE: order #___
I'm writing about order #___.
I have been very disappointed with the Hydrangea "Incrediball" that I
ordered. The first plant arrived with leaves that were black-ish
green and slimy. I called customer service and they sent me a
replacement. It arrived two days ago in poor condition - almost
completely wilted. I watered it right away, but it is not coming
back. I'm attaching a photo. The right hand side is the original
order, the left hand side is the replacement.
- - - -
Wayside Order ___
Thank you so much for contacting us here at Wayside! We value our customers' comments and questions very highly, and we appreciate hearing from you.
We apologize for the condition of the hydrangea upon arrival. It is not uncommon for the tops to be wilted upon arrival, from the shock of being in shipment without light. Please check the root system. If it has a good root system, it should put on new growth in about 3 to 4 weeks for planting time. Please let us know if it fails to grow by the end of this month.
Again, thank you for writing to us. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us (number and address listed below). And thanks for gardening with Wayside!
On Jun 15, 2009, PamelaQ Navarre, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
I ordered Rose Brilliant Veranda® and it arrived in a timely manner. I received a bareroot rose of excellent size that had new shoots and a very good root system. It was still moist wrapped loosely in plastic. There were no broken branches. So I was very pleased with this order. I would order roses again from 'Wayside Gardens'.
I ordered three lilacs this spring. When they arrived, two of them looked like they were infected by the pseudomonas disease. I had to throw them away because the disease would spread to other plants. Luckily I was able to get the refund. I only hope in the future the company will have better quality control before they send out the plants to the customers.
On Jun 8, 2009, bassein33 Marlborough, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I ordered 4 shrub roses and 2 old English style climbing roses from Wayside Gardens in April or May 2009. They arrived promptly & in great condition. They were of very decent (bare root) size as well as cane size. I was unable to plant them within the recommended time frame so I left them in the plastic bag for about a week (longer than recommended). Then, I planted the shrub roses but could not plant the climbers yet, so they stayed in the bag another week... then in a tub of water an additional week or so... far longer than their recommendation. (I know, neglect to start! We just moved into a new house & lots of prep work was needed.) When I did get to them, they were vigorous and started leafing out immediately...even while in the tub of water! Same with the 4 shrub roses I planted too! It's a great start, even with a not-so-ideal start. I would give them a shot again. This was my 1st order with them.
I don't have much experience with Wayside, but two weeks ago I ordered three Euphorbia "Rudolph" and three Rhorodendron yakushimanum 'Yaku Princess' at very good sale prices. The plants arrived quickly and were large and healthy. I received excellent value on this order.
I ordered some Lo & Behold Blue Chip butterly bushes and they were packaged good and arrived in good shape. All but one appeared to be in very good shape and even that one wasn't bad....just not as good as the other 6. I am surprised by all of the negative comments here about this company because I have never had a problem with them. The only problem that I could see was the shipment was sent so that it sat in a warehouse over the weekend and even on Memorial Day so I was a little surprised that they didn't show any wear from this. I would have preferred that they delayed their shipping so that it wouldn't have had to sat there that long but they did fine so why complain. Wayside was the only company that I could find that was even reasonable for this new plant and I am overall happy with my order.
The Incrediball Hydrangea I ordered from Wayside arrived in very poor condition. All the leaves and most of the stems were black. When I contacted them they told me that this was normal and that it would sprout new growth in 4 weeks. A plant stressed like this does not do well and takes years to recover if it does not just outright die. Because of the poor service and the line of bull that they are feeding me, I will never buy from Wayside again and not recommend them to anyone.
My first disappointment with Wayside Gardens was that, although their catalogue said several varieties of echinacea were for sale, their web site said they were sold out and wouldn't be available until the fall. So, I chose another variety. Of the nine plants ordered, only five were in good shape. The other four were bone dry and their leaves were completely black. In other words, the plants were dead. When I complained to Wayside, they said the plants were dormant -- ludicrous! -- and that they would come back next year. By next year, if the plants don't come back, I'm sure Wayside will say they have no control over conditions in my garden...
I agree with other posters' comments that Wayside's prices are higher and the plants smaller than other mail order companies.
I ordered from Wayside before I found the Dave's Garden site. For the prices that I paid, I expected bigger plants. Half of my order arrived in very poor condition. The Echinacea died and had very poor root structure when it arrived. The same was true with their Caryopteris. When I contacted the company, the Echinacea was never replaced. The Caryopteris was sent again in the fall, very late for planting in PA and did not survive the winter. I contacted them again this spring and was told that the one replacement was all that I would get even though they sent the plant at an inappropriate time. The My Monet Weigelia has survived but it does not look like their pictures in the catalogue, and at present is a very poor specimen. All in all, a great disappointment.