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Comments regarding Wayside Gardens

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307 positives
124 neutrals
369 negatives

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Neutral casper8802
(1 review)
On May 21, 2014, casper8802 Desert View Highlands, CA wrote:

I ordered 4 plants from Wayside in May.Each plant was about $25.Each plant arrived in good condition.The 2 Clematis plants were very small(1 shoot about 8 inches tall).The other 2 plants were about the size of a 1 gallon plant.I ordered from Wayside even though the ratings were poor because I wanted a rare plant that they carried.I would not order from them again due to the small size of the 2 clematis plants.After reading others comments I am just glad my plants all arrived in good condition here in California.


On May 21, 2014, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"On Aug 26, 2014 3:06 PM, Wayside Gardens responded with:



We have reviewed your posting on Dave's Garden Watchdog website. We want to resolve the problem but are unable to locate your order with the partial email address provided by the site. Please forward your order number or complete billing address (including zip code), and any other pertinent information to assist you. We want to help.


Angela D
Park Seed Sale Associate
adavenport@parkseed.com"


Neutral Clayfield
(2 reviews)
On Jun 7, 2013, Clayfield Germantown, WI wrote:

Posted on May 21, 2013, updated June 7, 2013
A terrible experience from start to finish.
I did not know that Wayside Gardens had been bought out by another company prior to placing a recent, hefty order.
I ordered early this year because, as a zone 5/5a gardener, you get tired of everything being out of stock when it's finally safe to plant. Wayside's website stated that plants would "ship at the appropriate time for my zone."
When I received an e-mail in early April that my plants had shipped, I immediately e-mailed to let Wayside know that my garden was still covered in snow and that a hard freeze and more snow was in the forecast.
I had to e-mail twice before I got a response saying, I should let them know about any trouble with the plants, but that the plants were shipped at a time judged safe for my zone. Hah! We don't plant anything but radishes and cabbage here, until Memorial Day. We certainly don't plant spindly, half dead infant perennials.
The plants did in fact arrive during a snowstorm and had been packed on their sides, one on top of another and covered with foam peanuts. Once I untangled the contents of the box, I could see that the tiny, spindly Caryopteris were already dropping curled dried leaves. They appeared not to have any roots at all but were just cuttings.
Each of the three pots of miscanthus had only one sickly blade of green, and a pot of "dormant" delphinium never emerged at all.
I managed to keep a number of plants alive until it was safe to plant them...Only a few have managed to survive out in the garden.
The caryopteris died within two days along with two of the Miscanthus. Never any sign of life from the "dormant" delphinium. Lost one of three echinaceas, another one is barely clinging to life. The coreopsis and a ground rose have survived.
Total $$ lost, $66.95.
Repeated e-mails about the "trouble with my plants" have garnered no response at all, and phone calls go to voice-mail.
Never again, Wayside Gardens.



On June 7th, 2013, Clayfield changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Update. I finally was able to reach someone on the phone at Wayside and customer service apologized and refunded all money for the plants that I had lost without hesitation or hassle.

You can't ask for more than that in terms of customer service, so I am changing my rating from negative to neutral.
Neutral LandscapeDAWG
(3 reviews)
On Apr 4, 2013, LandscapeDAWG Vicksburg, MS wrote:

I am giving the company a neutral rating because the plants came in alive and sprouting new growth. Now the reason that I am not giving them a positive and should give a negative are these:
1. Plant size was terrible. Three "shrubs" is what I ordered. I understand that the size of the plant was going to be small. What I did not expect was that it would take 4 or 5 years of growth for the shrubs to amount to anything. The plants are literally less than the size of the palm of my hand.
2. Expensive plants. I cant believe that I paid the company $55 for these tiny little plants. Should have gone to the local nursery.
3. Shipping at the wrong time. Let it be known to all mail order companies. IF YOU SHIP AN ORDER ON FRIDAY THAT HAS TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE YOUR STATE, IT WILL SIT IN A CRATE AT THE POST OFFICE AN EXTRA DAY! ONLY SHIP PLANTS ON MON OR TUES IF THEY HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR STATE BORDERS.

These things being said I did receive the plants alive and in good condition. But I will not order from this company again for the reasons stated above. I have ordered from other companies and got substantially better product. Just go with the top 50 on Daves Garden website and you cant go wrong.

I think I may try to order some bare root plants from another company next just to see if the quality improves.

Anyway, Landscape, Garden, Harvest, and ENJOY!!!

Neutral vivianjp
(4 reviews)
On Mar 26, 2013, vivianjp Chapel Hill, NC wrote:

Neutral from a previous very positive, now bordering on negative.
I used to love this company, but like many more, it has gone downhill. I also had to nurture the plants in containers for a year before they went into the garden. Meanwhile, prices have skyrocketed. I had an old catalog, from just a couple years ago, and many plants have quadrupled in price (mostly by shrinking the container size).

But, I recently purchased 2 Peace roses for the price of 1. I wish I had read all the negative comments here first, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed now. This is their last chance.

Neutral Ispahan
(55 reviews)
On Oct 4, 2012, Ispahan Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

I placed an order for three Sedum 'Pure Joy' this fall. Prices were quite high so I guess I had an idea of receiving plants of great quality. My plants arrived as single stems in 1 quart pots. In spite of what seemed like adequate packing, all three plants were snapped to bits, the one stem in each pot snapped off at or very near the base and at various places along the stems. Whatever. They are sedums after all so I planted the rootstocks in my garden beds and planted all of the bits and pieces of stem that were broken off. I am sure they will all survive and grow.

I should add that while sedums can be fairly brittle, I have never received them mail order from any other source with such damage. To me, that says a lot about Wayside's commitment to quality.

I doubt I will ever order from Wayside again. They are just not a good value and the quality of their plants is disappointing.

Neutral riv
(4 reviews)
On Mar 9, 2012, riv Pine Grove, CA wrote:

Posted on May 29, 2009, updated March 9, 2012
After almost 20 years of doing business with Wayside Gardens, I am saddened to report that they have turned into one of the worst catalogue companies in regards to customer service and quality of plants.

I ordered 3 passiflora. One was obviously dead, but I planted all 3 anyway. After about a week, they all turned black and pulled up from the rootball.

I immediately contacted WG. They did the standard "those plants are just dormant and in 4-6 weeks, they'll start growing!" Well, they did not, so I contacted them again. The poor little things were ONE WEEK in transit to me on a hot UPS plane/train/truck/whatever, as I live in California and the plants came from the east coast. It's a miracle they were even green, albeit withered, when I got them.

They sent me one plant. It is doing fine, but when I try to get the other two plants, they are now sold out. They tell me they'll give me a credit. I ask for a refund. Suddenly, my emails are not answered.

I wait a week and again email them, asking them for a refund, and letting them know that they're getting LOTS of negative reviews on the 'net.

I get a very snotty-toned email back from Josh, saying that if I would've asked for a refund, that's what I would've gotten, and that my money would be refunded in 3-5 "working days". I forward the original email I wrote to them, asking them to refund my money.

Well, it's been over two weeks now and still no refund to my bank account, PLUS they do not respond to any of my emails.

I agree with others in that their catalogues make great reference resources, and I will now be taking them to the local nurseries and asking the very nice people at said nurseries to special order plants for me.

It's very sad that after all the good experiences I've had with them, I guess Park Seed's buyout has brought with it some very bad customer service. Why the quality of their plants has gone downhill, I know not.

I notice that several negative reports on this website have been answered by a VERY lame cut-and-paste response from WG. They are not fooling any of us. I won't be surprised when this company goes "tats" (sic) up, as there seems to be very little they're doing to prevent this.


On March 9th, 2012, riv changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

a couple years ago, i had the below bad experience with wayside, but i kept getting their catalogues and saw a magnolia "vulcan" in one of the recent ones. since i had this beautiful tree in a house i've subsequently moved from and they're really hard to find here, i decided i'd take a chance and order it. i also ordered 6 agapanthus "storm cloud" since my cairn terrier's aka registered litter name is storm cloud. i was nervous...really nervous.

i see from some of these comments here that they're still being idiots to an awful lot of their customers, but this time, to me, they were good. the pots the agapanthus were in were just packed with big, thick, healthy roots and, since i planted them, they're growing like weeds. but the best thing was the magnolia. it is about 4 feet tall with roots just bulging from the pot and has buds all over it for leaves. it's green and was packaged so well, as were the agapanthus. i expected the magnolia to be much smaller.

i had so many good experiences with wayside before park seed took them over, and i hope they're taking some of the negative things people are saying about them to heart. wayside have always had great, uncommon plants and i'd like to keep ordering from them.

i'm not changing from negative to positive yet, though. they've gotta do me right a couple more times, at least, before i do that.
Neutral beblue3333
(9 reviews)
On Aug 18, 2011, beblue3333 Madison, WI wrote:

I have never ordered anything yet from Wayside yet but the prices are outrageous! Probably because they do offer the latest stuff that are coming out. Unless you want the latest, I would go somewhere else. I have been drooling over the new Decadence series of Baptisia that are smaller than the typical 4-5 feet ones. I may just go for it when some of my flower beds are reworked!
(Of course the other expensive one is White Flower Farm)

Neutral jwasson
(2 reviews)
On Apr 24, 2010, jwasson Cedar Rapids, IA wrote:

Ordered 3 venus hostas at $15.95 each. I rec'd 3 bareroot hostas wrapped up about the size of a banana. For $15 I expected a little more plant or at least a plant in a pot.

I'm rating as neutral to see how the hosta do this year. I would definitely say their products are over priced for what you get.

I was also told my plants would come mid-May. They arrived 3rd week in April. One box came UPS the hosta came via the mail.

Neutral igrowplants
(2 reviews)
On Apr 12, 2010, igrowplants Athens, GA wrote:

FYI

Parent companies Park Seed Co. and Jackson and Perkins have filed for bankruptcy protection.

http://www.indexjournal.com/articles/2010/04/12/hot_headline...

Neutral mieow
(2 reviews)
On Jun 9, 2009, mieow USDA 6A, NY wrote:

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.

Neutral kentstar
(39 reviews)
On Apr 22, 2009, kentstar Ravenna, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Although I said I would never order from them again (I had bought a weeping ornamental tree from them last year that died within a few months), I went ahead and ordered 3 ornamental oreganoes from them. I know these are not for my zone, I am using them as annuals here. They smell wonderful and are beautiful, as I have had them before. They came in the mail fast and are doing wonderful in my window. When it warms up enough I will put them outside.
I just needed to say that this one order has worked well, nice plants, quick shipping. I am saying neutral just because of the tree that died that came from them. In all honesty I don't know that some of that wasn't my fault too, watering, site location or planting depth. I had called the company about the tree last year, but was told to shade the plant and keep well watered and it should recover. Well, it didn't even faze the plant. It died anyway. I gave it all winter to recover, but alas it is RIP.

Neutral VirgoGirl
(1 review)
On Sep 25, 2008, VirgoGirl Kalamazoo, MI wrote:

Unfortunately, I discovered davesgarden.com and the rating page after I placed my order with Wayside. Needless to say, I was a little worried after reading all the negative commentary; however, Wayside was the only source I could find for a specific Hydrangea I was looking for. I placed my order on September 12 and continued to check the website for the status. My plants shipped on September 17, and on September 19, I emailed them requesting a tracking number. They replied 2 hours later and I was able to track my shipment through FedEx (I do think it's poor customer service that Wayside doesn't supply this communication to web customers). According to the FedEx website, my plants were scheduled to arrive that day (the 19th). I called FedEx to verify my shipment was on time and was told they (FedEx) had mistakenly put my plants on the wrong truck and they would not be arriving on the 19th. Since I was having them delivered to my workplace, that meant my plants had to sit in a truck all weekend long. I can't blame Wayside for that mistake. When I received the plants, they were packed well, and we're miraculously still moist. The plants are okay; they're a little small and the leaves are somewhat yellow with some blight, but this may be from sitting in a pot for too long. If I saw them in a local nursery, I probably wouldn't pay $20 a piece for them (maybe $10). Overall, they should be fine once they're in the ground and getting some nutrients. But after reading all the negative commentary, I probably wouldn't take another chance on Wayside Gardens.

Neutral spursley
(4 reviews)
On Sep 1, 2008, spursley Brooklyn, NY wrote:

They haven't made me so mad that I don't still order from them occasionally, when they have something I really want. They often have unusual varieties that you can't find easily elsewhere. But in general I am not happy with their service. Very often the plants don't arrive right away; on several occasions they have not arrived for 6-10 months after I ordered them (with no initial indication that there would be a delay). They do not communicate well; I don't receive notices when plants have shipped, which would matter less if they shipped promptly. But since they don't, this is a problem. (You can check your order status on their web site, but it is not always accurate and anyways who wants to do that every other day for months on end? It's depressing.) I just returned home on Aug. 25 from a one-month vacation and found that a clematis I ordered back in April (and was later told it would arrive in the fall) had arrived while I was gone, and was wilting in its box. (It survived, but would not have lasted more than another day or so.) If they had just sent me an email (like every other company I use) saying the plant had shipped, I could have asked a neighbor to come over and unpack it. On the positive side, they do replace or refund plants when there is a problem, and the plants are generally healthy.


On Sep 1, 2008, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On Sep 18, 2008 1:11 PM, Wayside Gardens added:


I would like to further research your above posting. To do this I must request that you please e-mail me with your full name and address. If applicable please provide an order reference number. Thank you.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Department
e-mail:JJohnson@parkseed.com"


Neutral bewyser
(1 review)
On Jul 2, 2008, bewyser Jefferson City, MO wrote:

I have always received plants of excellent quality from Wayside.

I ordered 6 azaleas last spring. 3 arrived in good condition, 3 did not. I emailed the company to let them know I would set out the 3 poor ones to give them a chance to leaf back out. They did not. I requested replacement early this spring. Then they told me about their replacement policy--their plants are guarantee for the growing season--that is from when you get them till the end of May! After several emails similar to ones described in earlier I replied I would no longer shop at Wayside. A manager replied and gave me a credit for the azaleas. Now I know their replacement policy, I will probably order less, even though I did get a credit.


On Jul 2, 2008, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On Jul 15, 2008 10:21 AM, Wayside Gardens added:

Dear bewyser,

We are sorry to learn that some of your Azaleas have failed to survive. I would like to further research your above posting. To do this I must request that you please e-mail me with your full name and address. If applicable please provide an order reference number. Thank you.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Department
e-mail:JJohnson@parkseed.com"


Neutral idabean
(2 reviews)
On Jun 7, 2008, idabean Lexington, MA wrote:

I CANNOT EMPHASIZE STRONGLY ENOUGH THAT YOUR COMPLAINT ISN'T OVER UNTIL YOU WRITE TO THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU. GOOGLE IT AND THERE IS AN SHORT PROCESS FOR FILING A COMPLAINT.

All mail order companies of any size and reputation belong to an organization of mail order companies, which are supposed to adhere to standards, which include money-back guarantee in speedy form.

When I was getting noodled by National Garden Club (another trick place) and could not get satisfaction, I contacted the BBB and within a few weeks the "NGC" finally let me cancel my membership. One report did it, compared to at least three letters and phone calls.


On Jun 7, 2008, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On Jul 15, 2008 11:05 AM, Wayside Gardens added:

Dear idabean,

I have reviewed your above posting and I am seeking the opportunity to address this matter. Unfortunately, the information contained within was not sufficient to locate your order in our database. In order to rectify the problem I must request that you e-mail us with your billing information, including zip code and order number if available.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
[e-mail:JJohnson@parkseed.com]"


Neutral tonybertino
(2 reviews)
On Jun 5, 2008, tonybertino North Attleboro, MA wrote:

I ordered 12 pink double knockouts on May 9th. After almost two weeks and not being shipped, I got a little impatient so I called customer service on May 21st and was told they would be shipping earlier the next week. As it turned out, they were shipped the following day on Thursday, May 22nd.

I was a little perturbed by this as they were being 2-dayed. To me, it would have made a little more sense to 2-day an order on a day that it wouldn't be held up by a weekend, especially a holiday weekend. So, rather than the plants sitting in a box for 2-days, mine were sitting in a box for 5 days. They arrived in okay condition, a little yellow, but nothing to get upset about yet. I let them sit in the pots for a few days and planted them on May 31st.

Only one plant is showing new growth at this point, the others are still a little yellow, but have not gotten any worse. So basically, the jury is still out. This review won't ever become "positive" as I think the items should have been shipped much sooner or the website should tell you the items would take a couple of weeks to ship and the condition of the plants was so so, but it may become negative if these plants don't recover.

I'll reserve judgement for a couple of weeks.


On July 22nd, 2008, tonybertino added the following:

As I stated earlier, this rating would never go above neutral due to poor turn around time/corrospondence regarding the turn around time and common sense regarding shipping over the weekend.

However, I am happy to report that all 12 of my pink double knockouts are growing well and blooming. So, I am happy with the plants themselves.

I would order from them again. At least now I'll know that the items may not ship for a couple weeks. Bottom line is that the price was right and the product was good.
Neutral xdogladyx
(1 review)
On May 29, 2008, xdogladyx Bath, PA wrote:

I received a tempting email for buy 1, get 2 free. I thought if half died, I would still be ahead.There were also free clematises with the order. I put $82 in the cart and then checked the shipping. $32. I don't think so. For that much, I can drive up the road to the friendly greenhouse and get and see exactly what I want.

Neutral elina
(1 review)
On May 18, 2008, elina Scottville, MI wrote:

I wrote the company asking them an environmentally sound manner of disposing of the storofoam peanuts they sent. I asked them to take my name form their mailing list until this issue is resolved. They agreed to take my name frorm the list, but gave no suggestions about the peanuts. The company shipped substitutes for plants I had ordered. When I called to say they were unacceptable, the company agreed to credit my account for the amount of the plants.

Neutral Melissa_D
(4 reviews)
On May 15, 2008, Melissa_D Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have mixed feelings about Wayside Gardens. I love their wide selection and how easy it is to browse their website. Of a couple dozen plants I've ordered from them, only one has failed so far (and I think deer were at fault). My problem is that they don't communicate well. Their website offers being able to check order status, but that page always errors out. And on two out of my three orders, I had to call to bug them about when my plants were going to ship. Most recently, they told me my x.pardancanda had been delayed until the fall (which I knew when I ordered it), but it seemed that up until that minute, they hadn't planned to ship any of the other plants that were available. They did make up for it by upgrading the shipping on the available plants. But stranger still, I just received an email telling me the x.pardancanda have shipped! I just get a sense of disorganization from them.

Neutral RunningTexan
(2 reviews)
On Apr 28, 2008, RunningTexan Crandall, TX wrote:

THANK Y'ALL SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!

I ordered from Wayside last week BEFORE I found this page.

I happened across this page last night and bristled because I'm currently re-landscaping my yard.

I found wayside and the pictures looked so wonderful so I ordered over $275 worth of plants. But, I was able to cancel my order this morning because it hadn't yet shipped.

But I'm a bit concerned on whether or not they'll actually credit my card back like they said they would.

I appreciate your candid feedback and am so happy I was able to cancel the order prior to them shipping out my stuff.


On Apr 28, 2008, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On May 6, 2008 11:12 AM, Wayside Gardens added:

I have reviewed your above posting and I am seeking the opportunity to address this matter. Unfortunately, the information contained within was not sufficient to locate your order in our database. In order to rectify the problem I must request that you e-mail us with your billing information, including zip code and order number if available.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
[e-mail:JJohnson@parkseed.com]
"


Neutral blondie1980
(1 review)
On Apr 26, 2008, blondie1980 Brooklyn, NY wrote:

In late January 2008, I placed an order for twenty plants with Wayside Gardens (Order No. 5023777). All were to be shipped the following spring. As of today, only three (rosebushes) have shipped, and that was several weeks ago. Although they were planted with painstaking care, only two appear to be sprouting leaves. The third has shown no sign of growth at all.

I've contacted Wayside three times now: twice by phone and once directly by email, using Mr. Johnson's address as posted on these forums. Both times I called I've been given entirely different answers. I've also left my number and have been promised that a supervisor would return my call; no one has. I do not expect a response to the email, but as the spring planting season grows shorter every day, I am increasingly anxious to receive my ordered plants.

I wish I'd read the reviews here before ordering so much from Wayside Gardens. I still hope that they'll contact me and resolve this matter to my satisfaction, but after seeing this site, I'm not holding my breath.

It's been an unfortunately expensive lesson to learn, but that will teach me not to research a company before doing business with them. And the fact that they charged my card before shipping the product (Is that even legal?) should have been a huge red flag.

Upon resolution of this matter, I will happily change my review to a positive one. Until then, I cannot recommend Wayside Gardens to anyone.


On May 4th, 2008, blondie1980 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

UPDATE (May 4, 2008):

Several hours after I posted the above comment, a very friendly woman named Beverly called from Wayside's customer service department. After hearing my story, she promised to ship the remaining plants (sans two varieties that weren't currently in stock) immediately via second-day shipping. The plants arrived as promised and I was able to plant them successfully. One frail little hosta seedling came with a tag declaring it "dormant, not dead!" which I find doubtful, but we'll see. The other plants were in decent condition although several of the stems were nearly snapped in two, thanks to the careless packing job (styrofoam peanuts around bare seedlings!).

I'm not impressed by the quality of the plants, and I am still waiting on two rose bushes and a camellia, but to Wayside's credit, I have received the bulk of my order. Although Beverly was very professional and courteous, the general headaches and low quality of the product (seedlings advertised as mature plants, broken stems, diseased leaves, poor packing, one rose bush that has completely failed to leaf out even after 6 weeks of meticulous care, etc.) will keep me from using Wayside again. In future I will stick to local nurseries whose products I can inspect before buying--and take home the same day.

Caveat emptor.
Neutral cpgeorge
(3 reviews)
On Mar 30, 2008, cpgeorge Natick, MA wrote:

I bought a Astrantia Roma for $9.95. The picture on the website was very pretty. I knew i was being sent a bareroot but when it came in the mail and i opened the rather large box it was sent in i was suprised at what i saw. It is about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch yellow looking straw. I hope that when i plant this something will grow. What a dissapointment. I did contact them and they told me that if it didn't grow to call them and they would replace it. My thought was i was getting alittle more for the money i spent and i'm not thrilled with having to plant twice.

Neutral Spookycharles
(29 reviews)
On Dec 17, 2007, Spookycharles Langley, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Wayside has a lovely catalog filled with all sorts of varieties to drool over. Unfortunately nearly everything that Iíve been drawn to in their catalog I either found for substantially less elsewhere for the same size or larger plant or it is an exclusive in which case the prices are bumped far too high for me to consider paying especially when the quality of what I would receive is uncertain.

Despite that there are some exceptions in their pricing and sometimes they have sales that bring their plants down to a reasonable price. While the quality of most of the plants Iíve received from them was nothing to rave about, many of them were not bad either.

I have some lovely painted ferns that I purchased from them a couple of years ago that took a while to get going but are quite lovely and are still doing very well. The columnar apple they sent last year arrived in great condition and continues to thrive. The Ebb Tide rose, though not vigorous and initially blooming with a completely different flower type, sorted itself out later on.

On the more questionable side, of the three clematises I ordered one was no longer available, the second arrived dead and the third, while alive, wasnít all that much bigger than my finger and has spent two years doing very little of anything at all unlike the clematises that Iíve purchased locally. The tiger canna (a plant that Iíve had a lot of success with from other sources) that came with the order promptly rotted without breaking dormancy.

Their customer service was very helpful and did promptly refund the cost of the dead clematis without hesitation so overall my experiences with this nursery hasnít been negative. Itís just that there are a lot of other nurseries out there that offer consistently fabulous quality of plants at very reasonable prices and that just hasnít been my personal experience with Wayside.

Neutral Wassercom
(3 reviews)
On Nov 25, 2007, Wassercom Northbrook, IL wrote:

I've been ordering from Wayside for nearly ten years, with some positive and some negative experiences. Quality tends to be somewhat erratic, and I've even had a couple of orders arrive DOA. However, they have always been very good about crediting me for failed shipments.

This past spring, I placed a large order for about a dozen items. Half of the shipment arrived on time and in reasonably good condition. The other half arrived has arrived sporadically (3 separate shipments) over the past six months.

Most recently (in late October), I received a hydrangea (Vaughn's Lilly) that arrived in a dry pot in an apparent state of dormancy. I'll have to wait until Spring to see whether it is actually alive or not. From the bill of lading, it appears that it spent 2-3 weeks in transit.

Overall, I think Wayside offers good value (particularly if you use their coupons and discounts) for specific items that are more costly at your local nursery. However, you need to be vigilant about inspecting the shipment immediately upon arrival and reporting any problems. And you may have to provide some extra TLC to get the plants through the first growing season.



Neutral purplepatti
(4 reviews)
On Oct 17, 2007, purplepatti Anaheim, CA wrote:

My first order was 11 days in transit and after opening the box I found dead or almost dead plants, all 13. The shipping box had no air holes and was packed with foam peanuts. After calling their customer service I was assured they would send another order, at no cost to me, to replace the whole order. That they did and most promptly. But, the second order was almost as bad as the first. The weather was cooler and the shipping time was 5 days but I still found some dead plant material on each plant, some worse than others. At this time I figured I just lost about $170.00 on a very expensive lesson....don't order from this company again. After planting my poor plants and hoping for the best, I decided to write my second note to their customer service department. I felt the need to again complain about their poor packing and shipping practices. I was surprised and happy to receive a email back from Jay Johnson letting me know I would be getting the whole purchase price back on my credit card! He also sent a $25.00 gift certificate for another purchase to make up for lost planting time.
To be fair, I have to say this is excellent customer service. Their packing does leave a lot to be desired and I buy from other online companies often, and always with good results. My neutral rating blends the terrible packing and their excellent customer service.


On October 21st, 2007, purplepatti added the following:

I did get the credit on my credit card statement but when I used the link provided when they issued the $25.00 gift certificate the shipping charge for two bulbs took all but a few cents! Signing onto their website and going through the purchase of the same two bulbs showed a shipping rate of $8.95. I will use the gift certificate but I can find another company to buy from in the future. Too bad, their website is really nice and informative.
Neutral Larrys_Gardens
(5 reviews)
On Sep 25, 2007, Larrys_Gardens Castle Rock, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I placed an order on-line on Sept 7, 2007 for live plant materials. There was a total of 7 varieties of plants for a total order value of $104. (Ref Order nbr 4907598)

I immediately opened the box and was dismayed at the visual impression of the plants. The tops of all plants were pretty ragged and one variety had no tops.

I took pictures of each plant and e-mailed them to Jay Johnson. He responded in 4 or 5 days with an apology and commented that the plants should all be viable.

However, he offered me an in house credit of $30.80.

I thought that this was fair. Even if the plants are viable, I will have to pot them up and nurse them along.

He has also agreed to allow me to use the credit at the Park Seed website, as I need some materials from that side of the business.

I have ordered hard goods from both Park and Wayside with good results. Looks like the problems are with live plants.

Although I was disappointed with the overall quality of the plants, Mr. Johnson responded and made a reasonable accomodation.

Neutral kimmy222
(7 reviews)
On Sep 18, 2007, kimmy222 Reading, PA wrote:

I don't recall if I have ever given a company a negative or neutral rating in the past. That is until now.

Last Spring I had ordered a butterfly bush for Fall delivery. To my surprise it was sent in the beginning of summer and was completely dried out. The company was very good about explaining that they were having very hot weather and that it must have dried out in shipping. They said to plant it and give it 2-3 weeks to see if it survived. It didn't. They did give me credit for the plant, so I went on to try some new coneflowers (order number 4861117-1). I've have excellent success with coneflowers in the past, so I wanted to get something I knew I could make live even if it wasn't in good condition upon arrival. I ordered two different types: Razzmatazz and Summer Sky. I have never ordered anything other than the butterfly bush from them before, but I figured the plants would be small, sturdy starts like other companies. The razzmatazz showed signs of life. Even though all of the leaves had turned brown and completely dried out, there was a stem coming out of the pot that had some green coloring to it. I might be able to make it live despite the sparse, thin roots. The Summer Sky on the other hand...what Summer Sky? I received a pot with a label stuck in it. There were no leaves (I double checked in the packaging to see if some had died in transport and fell off). No stems in the pot. In fact I was questioning whether or not their was ever a living plant in the pot. I decided to follow their planting instructions and then plant it anyway. To my surprise, when I took the plant out of the pot to plant it I didn't see any signs of roots either! My husband doesn't comment when I order new types of plants online and through catalogs. He's seen plants from other companies and although they are small, they are usually very well-rooted, resilient, and transplant successfully. He trusts that I won't waste our money. Even he was shocked when he saw these plants. Especially when I told him the one without signs of a plant cost me $12.95 plus shipping. In my opinion, after giving this company two tries, I would stick with other companies that I have had great success with. Jungseed Company and Michigan Bulb. You get tough, well-rooted plants that can handle the stress of transporting and transplanting. They also have great guarantees. For seeds I have had great success with Park Seed (I think they might be affliated with this company?) They do sell great quality seeds.

I don't like giving negative ratings, but that's a lot of money to spend on plants to get something of such poor quality. Even if just the roots looked healthy I would have been satisfied, but neither had a strong root system (one wasn't even visible). In my opinion I would look to other mail order companies like those I had listed above. It will be a lot less frustrating for you, and you will get plants that will survive and thrive.


On September 21st, 2007, kimmy222 added the following:

The one plant that was small but had some roots appears to be dead. The small part of stem that did have a little green on it...brown. I followed all of their instruction and have had a lot of success transplanting tons of other plants. Very disappointing.
On September 24th, 2007, kimmy222 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Jay Johnson, from the Wayside Gardens company, contacted me regarding my posting on this site. He was gracious enough to not only offer me a refund for the plants I ordered, but also offered me a credit towards a future purchase due to missing the fall planting season. Although I was disappointed in my experience, the company does appear to stand by their guarantee. Therefore I did upgrade my rating to neutral.
On Sep 18, 2007, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On Sep 24, 2007 11:41 AM, Wayside Gardens added:

I have located your order and I am in the process of reviewing your information. I would like you to know that I will be contacting you via e-mail shortly. We will make every effort to resolve this issue.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
[e-mail:JJohnson@parkseed.com]"


Neutral jesskougl
(2 reviews)
On Aug 16, 2007, jesskougl Sunland, CA wrote:

Earlier this year I ordered a bulb for a beautifully colored mini calla. It was shipped when expected and began growing within a few weeks of planting.
Unfortunately, the flowers that grew were mostly white. I say "unfortunately" because they weren't supposed to be white at all. When I e-mailed Wayside, I received a quick and courteous response offering a credit for the item since the wrong one must have been sent.
I'm pleased that they accepted responsibility, but would like to see a guarantee that includes a refund, not just credit toward future purchases. And I wish I had those gorgeous flowers to cut and have in a vase at work.
I am going to order with Wayside again, and not just because I have a merchandise credit; I'd like to give them one more chance. I hope to be able to leave a 100% positive post after this next order.


On August 17th, 2007, jesskougl added the following:

After posting this yesterday, within an hour I had a friendly response from Wayside offering to refund my credit card in place of the merchandise credit.

On Aug 16, 2007, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On Aug 16, 2007 1:42 PM, Wayside Gardens added:

I have located your order and I am in the process of reviewing your information. I would like you to know that I will be contacting you via e-mail shortly. We will make every effort to resolve this issue.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
[e-mail:JJohnson@parkseed.com]


On Aug 20, 2007 9:27 AM, Wayside Gardens added:

Thank you so much for the update."


Neutral p3rennial_luvr
(3 reviews)
On Jul 28, 2007, p3rennial_luvr Redmond
United States wrote:

The roses I ordered from Wayside took a while to arrive, but when they finally showed, they were in decent condition. I was a little concerned with the quality of the packing materials Wayside uses, but they seem to be doing okay.

I would probably order from them again, but I wasn't thrilled.


On Jul 28, 2007, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On Aug 2, 2007 12:32 PM, Wayside Gardens added:

I have reviewed your above posting and I am seeking the opportunity to address this matter. Unfortunately, the information contained within was not sufficient to locate your order in our database. In order to rectify the problem I must request that you e-mail us with your billing information, including zip code and order number if available.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
JJohnson@parkseed.com
"


Neutral bestgardener
(8 reviews)
On Jun 29, 2007, bestgardener Cincinnati, OH wrote:

You really can't blame Karen Parks Jennings. Wayside isn't even owned by the Parks family. Recently theformer ReMax executives bought controlling interest in the company.
Tony Avent of Plants Delight mentioned it in an e-mail which he sends out
"As always, there is news on the horticultural front. In the mail order
world, Donald and Glenda Hachenberger, former Re-Max realty executives,
have recently disclosed their upcoming purchase of Jackson and Perkins
Roses. The Hachenbergers also own controlling interest in Park Seed and
Wayside Gardens."

This might explain the problems Parks and affiliated companies are having with customer support. Non horticultural people rarely are successful in running this type of business. They are mainly looking for a profit and when they fail they just sell the business. I think sometimes they seem to view the investment as a hobby.

Thus customer service goes down the tubes.

Neutral Jnette
(12 reviews)
On Jun 29, 2007, Jnette Northeast, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

When Wayside's sale catalog came out approximately 2 months ago, I decided to buy a rose from them because I had looked at everything locally and couldn't find what I wanted.

I placed my order and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally I emailed them and told them that if they didn't send it soon it was going to be too hot to plant it. I received an email back stating that if they didn't get it out before the hot weather set in that they would wait and send it in the fall.

Normally, this might be ok, but I had just had my new deck installed and got a planter for it and wanted the color this summer. Not, next summer.

Now, after reading the previous comments, I am in doubt of ever receiving my rose. It is interesting to note that they are affiliated with Parks as I do a lot of business with them. Now I am thinking I will take my business elsewhere.

Jeanette Smith


On Jun 29, 2007, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On Jun 29, 2007 12:59 PM, Wayside Gardens added:

I have located your order and I am in the process of reviewing your information. I would like you to know that I will be contacting you via e-mail shortly. We will make every effort to resolve this issue.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
[e-mail:JJohnson@parkseed.com]"


Neutral kmcinnerney
(3 reviews)
On Jun 11, 2007, kmcinnerney Bozeman, MT wrote:

This is neutral due to one positive and one very negative experience with the company. I will not be placing future orders with them.
I placed an order mid-winter for spring shipment, then a second in mid-spring. The second order (Cornus venus and a hardy Japanese maple) arrived as expected for my zone. I called on the original order and was told that part was backordered for two weeks. A month later I called again and learned the two items were now backordered, which was holding up shipment of the bareroot tree, Cornus alternifolia. The agent cancelled the two perennials and said the tree would ship immediately. Today I checked the order status to find that some idiot had cancelled 'alternifolia' and substituted and shipped 'controversa'. Problem: (1) the latter is four times the size of the first, (2) the latter is hardy to zone 6 and I am zone 4. Customer service assures me that my credit card will be fully reimbursed, but really, why do we provide phone, email, and zip code information if these people don't use it. It's going to break my heart to toss a perfectly good dogwood (were I anywhere else) in the compost pile! So Mr. Company Rep -- what's the excuse? My order number was 4572456.


On Jun 11, 2007, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On Jun 12, 2007 12:57 PM, Wayside Gardens added:

I have located your order and I am in the process of reviewing your information. I would like you to know that I will be contacting you via e-mail shortly. We will make every effort to resolve this issue.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
JJohnson@parkseed.com
"


Neutral giigii
(1 review)
On Jun 4, 2007, giigii Tenino, WA wrote:

I have been considering ordering from Wayside Gardens, but am quite concerned about the huge volume of negative feedback....serious complaints it seems, as well.
What I am asking is, what seems to be at the root of so many dissastified experiences, and what is being done to improve upon each of the problems that have been noted?
I'd LIKE to order, but won't until I have a greater sense of WHY there seem to be so many mishaps and what is being done to improve. Can't afford to lose money on plants. I do have access to several good local nurseries, but your catalog does have some interesting plants that I have not seen locally.
Any reassurances available for (possibly) future customers? If so, can you post those assurances on this forum? It may help me decide, as well as others, regarding future purchases.

Thank You


On Jun 4, 2007, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On Jun 7, 2007 2:47 PM, Wayside Gardens added:

I have reviewed your above posting and I am seeking the opportunity to address this matter. In order to rectify the problem, I must request that you contact us providing your email address.


Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
[e-mail:JJohnson@parkseed.com]


On Jul 27, 2007 10:04 AM, Wayside Gardens added:

I am concerned that I have not yet resolved the issue at hand and would like an opportunity to do so; however, I have not yet received a reply from you concerning this matter. Please contact us at your earliest convenience. Customer satisfaction is very important to us.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
JJohnson@parkseed.com
"


Neutral kgdavidson
(2 reviews)
On May 20, 2007, kgdavidson Yorba Linda, CA wrote:

I ordered two butterfly bushes, a Sambucas and leptodermis oblonga. Although I paid the same price for each of the butterfly bushes, one arrived in a very small container and was very scrawny and lopsided. The other was larger, wilted, and also lopsided. The leptodermis oblonga was dried out. The Sambucas was alright, but much smaller than I expected. Overall, I was disappointed.


On May 20, 2007, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On May 20, 2007 1:47 PM, Wayside Gardens added:

I have located your order and I am in the process of reviewing your information. I would like you to know that I will be contacting you shortly. We will make every effort to resolve this issue.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
JJohnson@parkseed.com
"


Neutral Gardenwonder
(1 review)
On May 19, 2007, Gardenwonder South Monroe, MI wrote:

I ordered 2 Mandevilla laxa from this company online. The transaction was easy. The cost was around $60 for two one-gallon containers. They arrived packaged well, however when I got them out I was surprised to see one of the plants had literally ONE leaf! It looked so sad I could hardly believe I paid over $30 for it. It (the leaf) was also quite brownish yellow! The other plant looks satisfactory, but very thin. I think it has a good chance of surviving with a lot of TLC. I'm hoping to bring the one-leafer back to a happy existence as well. We'll see how it goes....for now I'll stay neutral, but I will not order from here again.


On May 19, 2007, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On May 20, 2007 1:37 PM, Wayside Gardens added:

I have reviewed your above posting and I am seeking the opportunity to address this matter. Unfortunately, the information contained within was not sufficient to locate your order in our database. In order to rectify the problem I must request that you e-mail us with your billing information, including zip code and order number if available.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
JJohnson@parkseed.com"


Neutral tappangarden
(2 reviews)
On May 14, 2007, tappangarden Tappan, NY wrote:

We placed our order with Wayside Gardens on March 4th (Order # 4596882 if anyone from Wayside is reading this). According to their website they start shipping to Zone 6 on March 19. We ordered three roses (one bareroot), a hydrangea, and a kerria japonica. After checking our order a few times on their website we inquired on April 28th why nothing has been shipped. The response? - "Order is under review by nursery manager". Huh? I sent another email and I called - same reply - that the nursery manager is holding up the shipment because the plants are not strong enough to be shipped. (??) I said - it's May, when do you think these plants are going to be strong enough? No explanation.
Wayside shipped a part of our order last week and we received two bareroot roses on May 12th. Will all due respect to Wayside nursery manager - we don't think that mid-May is the best time to plant a bareroot rose. Let's hope they'll survive.

We are still waiting for the rest of our order to be shipped.


On May 14, 2007, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On May 15, 2007 12:19 PM, Wayside Gardens added:

I have located your order and I am in the process of reviewing your information. I would like you to know that I will be contacting you via e-mail shortly. We will make every effort to resolve this issue.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
JJohnson@parkseed.com"


Neutral bleepy
(8 reviews)
On May 11, 2007, bleepy West Islip, NY wrote:

Ordered 4 plants. Website is no help on updates and customer service knows nothing either ( although very polite about it) After waiting 6 weeks and being told they would ship, was told all 4 plants would be released in the fall! Was I supposed to wait? Supervisor was very nice and even called back the next day to advise me of my credit being done. I had ordered last year with no problems but I'm done with them now.


On May 23rd, 2007, bleepy changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Ok, still not ready to rate positive but I need to give Park Seed credit for trying to make things right. I was sent gratis 2 roses for my trouble. They are huge! Perhaps it's because of high standards that my roses were ultimately not released for sale. I still want the Kordes roses but would have to say that Wayside deserves another shot. They just need to work out the communication kinks.
On May 11, 2007, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On May 15, 2007 12:17 PM, Wayside Gardens added:

I have located your order and I am in the process of reviewing your information. I would like you to know that I will be contacting you via e-mail shortly. We will make every effort to resolve this issue.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
JJohnson@parkseed.com"


Neutral jimjanrobe
(1 review)
On Apr 3, 2007, jimjanrobe Flourtown, PA wrote:

I purchased an Empress of China for approximately $100 last year. The tree was planted properly and got excellent care throughout last summer and fall.

When my other dogwoods showed signs of growth this past week, I noticed that the Empress of China looked dead. Further examination today showed that it was dead.

I contacted Wayside Gardens and was told that they couldn't do anything about it as the guarantee states that I should have notified them "as soon as possible" when there was a problem. I did, in fact, notify them as soon as I discovered the problem. Go figure.

I would also note that the Empress of China currently sells for $70 at Wayside Gardens. I can't help but wonder whether the 30% reduction in price says something about the quality and viability of this tree.

I'll buy my future plants, shrubs, and trees at local nurseries whose guarantee means something.


On April 5th, 2007, jimjanrobe added the following:

Jay, I have sent you an e-mail with the information you need to identify me and my order number.

I eagerly await your reply.
On April 19th, 2007, jimjanrobe changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Wayside Gardens has replaced my Empress of China tree.

Thanks, Jay.
On Apr 3, 2007, Wayside Gardens responded with:

"


On Apr 4, 2007 12:50 PM, Wayside Gardens added:

I have reviewed your above posting and I am seeking the opportunity to address this matter. Unfortunately, the information contained within was not sufficient to locate your order in our database. In order to rectify the problem I must request that you e-mail us with your billing information, including zip code and order number if available. Thank you.

Jay Johnson
Customer Contact Representative
[e-mail:JJohnson@parkseed.com]


"


Neutral kissyboots
(7 reviews)
On Mar 23, 2007, kissyboots Asheville, NC wrote:

I had admired the beautifully photographed plants in the Wayside Gardens catalog for over a year before I finally purchased from them. The prices seemed high, but with the quality of their catalog, it also seemed that the plant quality would be better than the other mail-order companies.

I finally ordered a bi-color butterfly bush and prairie petite lilac in Fall 2006. The lilac was the plant that put me over the edge. I was very excited about the prairie petite lilac, because lilacs are my favorite flower, but I do not have enough room for a large bush. This bush grows to only 4ft but produces the same fragrant blossoms as a standard shrub. Wayside Gardens was the only place I could find this plant, so I gave them a try.

The plants arrived promptly before the end of my planting season and were packed very well.

Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed with the size of my lilac bush. It was one short branch, about 3 inches in height. This disappointed me, because it cost $25 + shipping. I really expected more for $25. It has started budding already this Spring, and I am happy to see that. I was afraid it would not make it through the Winter with as small as it was. I hope this little guy grows fast!

The butterfly bush is an adequate size. However, I suspect that it is not a bi-color but actually a black knight. The old shriveled flowers on it looked all dark purple when I received it, and not bi-color. I will wait for it to bloom before filing a report though.

I rated this company a neutral, because I was really disappointed with my lilac bush, and their "guarantee" is rather ambiguous. I suspect that if my lilac bush had not made it through Winter, they would not have replaced it. The guarantee is very open-ended and subject to their own interpretation, I'm sure. It would be polite of Wayside Gardens to list the size of the plants when they ship them instead of indicating what size pot they ship in. Honestly, I would not have ordered a $25 shrub that is only 3 inches high had I known before hand.

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