It has been sort of a rough mail-order season for me this year, and I am tickled to report I had a wonderful experience with Goodwin Creek. Even though the plants had to travel from OR to NC, they all arrived in excellent condition. One of the plants I had ordered was out of stock, so they sent me a substitution free of charge, and refunded the cost of the originally ordered plant plus a fraction of the shipping. Good plants, reasonable shipping charges, and great customer service.
I recently rec'd a large order from Goodwin Creek and must say it was all that I could ask for and more. I am new to gardening and their website and phone advice was extremely helpful with my decisions. I talked to both Jim and Dottie and they are very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. They advised me on selections for my area. I wanted them asap but was told it was too early for my area to plant & ship and they advised me to wait a few weeks, which I did. The plants arrived in beautiful condition with easy instructions on when & how to plant. I ordered a multitude of different varieties from lavenders to sage to salvia and lots more. I would highly recommend Goodwin Creek plants.
On Nov 18, 2011, kwajcats Point Roberts, WA wrote:
I've ordered from Goodwin creek a number of times and have always had a good experience. They can't be held accountable for bad weather nor for running out of stock - with all nurseries you have to order "quickly" if you want a particularly desirable plant.
My lavenders are beautiful, the hardy fuchsia's are thriving and the monarda's are literal show stoppers. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend ordering from this nursery.
FR in Pt Bob
On Apr 16, 2011, SchwarzeKraehe Los Angeles, CA wrote:
The order that I received this week was again very well packaged, the plants (all kinds of stoechas lavender) looked freshly picked and the soil was moist, and they arrived the exact week I had requested them to be shipped. Communication is good and I enjoy doing business with Goodwin Creek Gardens. I have been a repeat customer of theirs for the past few years and always come back when I need something they grow.
Posted on February 28, 2011, updated March 1, 2011
I placed two separate orders with this company within a two day window and contacted them to combine the order. I received a voice mail message from the company indicating they received my email and that there was a problem shipping to Florida, that it had to go air but that they could do it for the same price. When I got the package, the invoice inside the box had a revised shipping charge on it that was several dollars higher than what the order form indicated it would be. If that had been clear at the time of the order, I would have cancelled the order because the shipping was as much as the tiny plants I received. I was surprised at how small the plants were, but I went back to the website and it did say 3 inch pot and they came in a pot 3 inches high... I just expected more of a plant, not a twig with a couple of leaves on it. I sent an email asking for a refund on the additional money charged for shipping. The invoice in the box contradicts what was left on the voice mail message about the shipping charge being the same cost. Also-- this is not the fault of the company, but UPS screwed up and there was a delay getting my plants. The plants were packed okay for shipment and one was bent up to fit in the box but sprung back okay. I am happy with the turn around time and was pleasantly surprised to get a phone message from them, but now I haven't heard back about the over-charge for the shipping. I did not agree to any additional fee for shipping and I don't think it is right to just charge the customer more when the order form already quoted a rate. If they cannot honor the price on their order form the customer should have the opportunity to cancel the order. I did not agree to pay anything extra and I was informed it would not cost extra. I would have found another source if I knew the cost for shipping was going to be several dollars over the quoted amount.
On March 1st, 2011, flagulfcoast changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Obviously the comments on this website matter to garden companies because I received an email this morning from this company this morning regarding my post here. They are going to refund the difference in the shipping charges. I do take issue with their explanation, however. I was never informed in writing of any changes to the charges except for the invoice in the box. The phone message indicated a shipping method that was the same price as what was on their order form. Their order form automatically calculated the charge. I as the end consumer don't understand all the in's and out's of the various shipping options and it was automatic on their page. The phone message wasn't clear. Nor at any time was there any explanation about the nature of shipping plants at this time of year from Oregon (relating to the small size of what I received). I was disappointed but when I went back to the website the pot was the size advertised so my disappointment was the difference between the picture of the plant on the website and the reality of what got shipped, but they said it was a 3 inch pot and that is what they sent (3 inch tall, not wide).
I feel this website did nudge them into responding regarding the shipping charge and I am happy with the refund. I think they are a relatively small mom 'n pop operation trying to do the right thing and I would take a chance and order from them again. I do think their website ordering process could be clearer, however. I would have canceled the order outright if it was clear about the shipping issues. I have no desire to "stick it" to them for the difference with a high charge for shipping any more than I want to be stuck with a higher than anticipated shipping charge. Their quick response to this post and refund of the difference in the shipping charges has changed the rating to positive. On Mar 1, 2011, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:
"On Feb 28, 2011 9:43 PM, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:
Unfortunately, there were 2 points that we thought were explained clearly during the ordering process, both verbally and in a written note, but were evidently misunderstood by the customer. We take full responsibility for not making this clearer to her (see last sentence of rebuttal).
1. Plants shipped in midwinter from our nursery in Oregon are usually dormant and often pruned well back before new growth appears in spring. In her case (2 kinds of Asclepias/milkweed), 1 Asclepias had above ground woody growth that was dormant and nearly leafless and the other type was dormant with no above ground growth at all. This is normal and healthy for both types to apear this way. Both were guaranteed to begin growing in warmer weather.
2. She chose UPS Ground as a shipping method. We cannot ship plants safely, even when dormant, to Florida by UPS Ground. This is stated on our shopping cart. We recommend UPS 3 Day or Priority Mail. We said on the phone that we could ship her order Priority Mail for the same price as UPS Ground. She said she still wanted UPS as it was more convenient, so we shiped UPS 3 Day and added on the difference. Apparently she thought we meant we would not charge extra (we actually charged her less than the real difference). However, due to the misunderstanding, we have refunded her the additional shipping charges."
On Mar 20, 2010, caprigirlfriend Mount Airy, NC wrote:
I was very happy with my purchase of two of their collection specials - a Lavender collection of 6 plants and a rosemary collection of 6, selected for my area. The conformation e-mail, and notification of shipment, with tracking info, was was timely. The plants were well packed and arrived in good shape, except for one lavender -( Peter Pan cult.) that has dry, brittle leaves. There is some new growth evident so, time will tell if it survives well. Over all, I am very pleased and will definitely order again.
I have had several experiences with GCG and whenever plants were not ready or sold out or whatever, they have always made it right. But that has been the exception rather than the rule. I have always been pleases with their customer service and with the plants I purchased from them. I keep coming back to them year after year because they offer what I am looking for when nothing around here does. other places I worked with have done good work usually but GCG has always been great to work with.
I ordered lavendars, scented geraniums and many other plants from GCG. I also ordered salvias and mints. This is the first time I ordered from them and I must say all the plants arrived in time and in perfect health. And I was amazed at how quickly they grew. Definitely a sign of a healthy plant. I can't wait to order from they again for the new growing season. I also spoke to the staff as I had a few questions and they were extremely helpful , friendly and gave me excellent advice.
On Aug 10, 2006, Georgiaonmymind Columbus, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
I ordered 3 Phygelius and an Epilobium on Saturday 8/5. On Sunday, Jim called from the nursery to let me know they were out of the Epilobium and to see if I wanted a substitute or not. (I did not, but it was very nice of him to call, especially on a Sunday evening) The plants arrived on 8/10 from Oregon to Georgia in the heat of August like they had never even been in the box. Nice sized plants, no wilt whatsoever. I'll be doing more business with them in the future.
I have been a customer of Goodwin Creek Gardens for more than 10 years and I have never had anything but positive experiences with them. In fact they are one of my favorite sources for hummingbirtd and butterfly plants. My GCG plants always arrive in excellent condition, well-labeled and at the best planting time. The staff has been helpful whenever I've had questions, and now that they know my plant preferences, particularly for salvias, they have often made suggestions for plants I might like to grow.
On Mar 20, 2005, lisamr Roseville, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Recently purchased several plants from Goodwin Creek Gardens. They arrived as scheduled and look excellent! Excellent communications and I'm very pleased with my purchase! Thank You Goodwin Creek Gardens!
On May 23, 2004, mholmgren Myrtle Point, OR wrote:
I am very pleased. They called to suggest substitutions for the out of stock items and then shipped immediately. The plants arrived in perfect condition (I am within 100 miles). The plants are small but then so is the price. Very healthy plants with good root systems.
On Apr 28, 2004, silkieweaver Salem, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:
Based on my initial order, I'm giving Goodwin Creek Gardens a positive rating, but with a caveat regarding communication issues. On the positive side, they're within 200 miles of me and have a wonderful selection of plants in their informative catalog. They did notify me of an approximate ship date when I placed my order (actual ship date was probably a week later). When I was able to catch them on the phone, they were pleasant and helpful. When two of the plants I ordered arrived in bad shape, they did eventually replace them. On the other hand, a little timely communication from them at various points in the transaction would have gone a long way. I wish they would have notified me before shipping my order that they were only able to ship one of two sweet woodruff plants and given me a chance to substitute another plant at that time to fill out the order. When there was a problem with my order, it took nearly two weeks to resolve. The owners did not reply to emails or return phone messages; and I had to keep calling until I got a live person on the other end of the line. I hate feeling like I'm having to nag in order to get a problem resolved! All it would take is a phone call or email letting me know what's going on.
To give them the benefit of the doubt--maybe I just caught them at a bad time--I'll probably place another order and see how it goes the second time around . . . hopefully more smoothly, as based on their inventory and proximity, I would like to be a repeat customer.
This was my first experience with this company as well as my first experience ordering a live plant rather than just seeds. Very few other places had the particular salvia I was looking for on hand, and no one had such great prices. The plants arrived quickly and in excellent condition. I am looking forward to working with this company again.
I placed an order at the worst time (mid-July) for a couple of things I'd been unable to find elsewhere. The owner called to let me know that they were in the middle of a heatwave, and would ship when the temperatures cooled a bit - what great service! When the plants arrived, the soil was still damp and the plants were in perfect condition.
On May 8, 2003, nevadagdn Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:
You could say that Goodwin Creek Gardens is a good'un (pun intended).
I am very pleased with my recent order. The owner called me to inform me that one of my choices was out of stock, but they did have a substitute. Even better, that substitute was entirely acceptable. When the order arrived, the plants were in excellent condition, and adequately packed to prevent damage. My plants were of the size I expected for the price, and far healthier and stockier than I would have expected for that price. A $5 gift certificate was attached to the packing slip, virtually ensuring I'll be a repeat customer. I'm hopeless....
On May 14th, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:
This year, I had many of the same issues as silkieweaver (see above), but the plants came today, and they are all nice and healthy. It's very evident this is a family-run, very small operation, and when one thing gets out of whack, the whole system ends up out of whack.
Given the price and quality of the plants, the efforts made to provide good customer service, and the selection, I'll take the good and overlook the not-so-good and still keep ordering here.
I'm sure things will be back to "normal" next year, and customer service will have improved again.
On Feb 27, 2003, kipoley Battle Creek, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I was very pleased last summer with my buddleia. The little shrubs were perky and took off quickly in my garden. They had many cultivars to choose from rather than one or two. I plan on ordering other things this year.
I have ordered several butterfly and hummingbird plants from this nursery. They arrived in good shape and most grew well. This is a good place to find unusual plants. I just tried the web site and it is very slow. The catalog is better.
Just ordered from them for the first time this year. Four plants, including two roses. The order arrived promptly and the plants (potted) were in good condition. All have done well, the two non-roses were divided into three plants each and took off like rockets. The roses were eaten by something after planting, but grew back. I got a surprise when I opened the package- three roses instead of two! A note explained that since one rose variety was a bit small (they were) they had sent an extra one free. The prices and variety are good, plant size is very good for the price. I'm already planning a big order for next year.
A huge selection of herb plants and verlastings. The owners, Jim and Dotti Becker, have written a book on everlastings. What interests me is their enormous selection of lavenders--one cultivar of which they discovered themselves-- rosemaries, and scented geraniums (Jim Becker has also written a book about this with co-author Faye Brawner). As you might expect, this catalogue is really informative about sorting out the varieties and giving cultivation info for them. They also have a lot of unusual things-- native American milkweeds as well as more cultivated types, Chinese medicinal herbs (many of which are grown in this country as ornamentals), species roses, prunellas, and other great stuff. The prices are pretty much on a par with other herb places.The orders I've received from them have been healthy, and a real plus for me here in California is that they ship all year, so I can put the plants in in the right season. Last I heard a web site was in progress, but I haven't visited it yet.