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The scoop on 'Hornbaker Gardens'

  Company Profile  
Hornbaker Gardens

Mailing Address:
22937 1140 North Ave
Princeton, Illinois 61356-8545 (United States)

Phone: (815) 659-3282
Fax: (815) 659-3159

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This company offers a variety of plants.

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  Feedback History and Summary  
15 positives
No neutrals
1 negative


Positive delicatustraba
Norfolk, VA
(1 review)
October 9, 2020
I'd been purchasing a copious amount of plants from online over decades and usually don't bother to put comments on nursery/online source regardless. But I'm so compelled to comment on Hornbaker Gardens so it goes. (I'm not affiliated with them in any manner)

This fall, I've been amending my garden and flowerbeds with five truck loadfuls of top soils and compost, and also restocking my hosta and peony collections. Purchased many hostas from usual reputable nurseries/online outlets as well as from could be-would be-should be sources, and received varying quality hostas ranging from 'oh, excellent, money well spent' to 'oy, you got to be kidding me, that is really a starter plant'.

Then American religion of Google Search answered to my prayer -- Hornbaker Gardens. Never ordered from them previously but their hosta selection in their website was excellent with many rare and species hosta that are hard to find nowadays. Ordered seven hostas, then hosta arrived promptly. My, my, hostas from Hornbaker Gardens were all in top quality in their health, size and clump rhizome -- simply it cannot be better, and they were absolutely gardener's delight. At this point you'd guess what happened afterward -- yes, ordered two more times for more delight. I must admit that I was sad when I heard their hosta shipping season will end on Oct. 12...

If you are looking for quality hostas, your search and trial are over -- I would highly recommend Hornbaker Gardens for healthy, rare, large, sanguine clump rhizome and robust roots, overall top quality hostas -- forget about other big online hosta outlets, simply no comparison both in quality and price. Marcie, office manager was also so helpful and professional, and she was very prompt. I wish I had known Hornbaker Gardens decades ago!
Positive MGinIL
Port Byron, IL
(4 reviews)
July 19, 2012
I returned to Hornbaker's after visiting once as a child many years ago with my grandparents...the place was much as I remembered it - it was one of the first years they had the iris garden. We ordered many different iris plants and returned in late June to pick them up. We added a few clumps of daylilies to the order. Both the iris and daylilies were very healthy and well cared for. All have been planted and are growing in our garden...
Positive KyWoods
Bellevue, KY (Zone 6a)
(4 reviews)
July 3, 2012
I ordered some irises to be sent as a gift to a fellow DG member, and she said they arrived promptly and were large and healthy.
Marcie, the office manager, helped me place the order and she was very helpful and nice. Thanks so much, Marcie, my friend was delighted with her gift!
Positive virginiarose
Portsmouth, VA (Zone 8a)
(64 reviews)
May 24, 2012
Received my first Hosta from Hornbaker Gardens today, Very large Hosta, very healthy and great packing. Love it!
Thank You Hornbaker's!

( see my pictures on Hosta Forum 'Mail Orders, Good or Bad...')
Positive urbanimage5
Chicago, IL (Zone 6a)
(4 reviews)
August 20, 2011
Posted on April 13, 2011, updated August 20, 2011
Two summers ago I ordered a dozen daylilies of several different varieties from Hornbaker. They arrived in excellent condition. These were very generous clumps, and some bloomed a few weeks after planting. All but one survived the first winter, when we didn't have much snow cover. They grew vigorously and bloomed very well. I've been very pleased with the health and vigor of these plants. I'm looking forward to buying more from them this summer.
On August 20th, 2011, urbanimage5 added the following:

I made a trip out to Hornbaker a few weeks ago. It was well worth the 2 hour drive to get there.

I had a long shopping list and was finding a few species/cultivars here and there at Chicago area garden centers. Hornbaker had nearly all on their availability list. I sent e-mail in advance to find out whether all were currently in stock. They had all but one.

Hornbaker employees were helpful and friendly from the time we started browsing and shopping. Their selection is enormous, and plants were well cared for. I was able to find nearly everything on my list quite easily, because their stock was well organized. I found help quickly when I needed it.

The display gardens were spectacular. When I walked through the daylily fields to view the selection there, it was mindblowing. I selected a clump of daylilies to be dug up from the field. When I planted it, the root system was extensive and very healthy. I've been enjoying some beautiful blooms since planting it at home.

All the plants I bought have done beautifully since I planted them. The root systems were all very healthy. By late July and early August, plants in most garden centers are potbound and stressed out. The plants I got were in much better condition than I've seen at most places at this point in the season. It was well worth the trip.
Positive franknjim
Peoria, IL (Zone 5a)
(2 reviews)
June 28, 2011
I made a trip up to Hornbaker Gardens for their open house this year and purchased 17 hostas. As always, great plants, great prices and beautiful display beds.

Not a single hosta had less than two eyes while most had six or more per pot.
Positive Gabrielle
(Zone 5a)
(28 reviews)
March 28, 2011
I have heard of the legendary Hornbaker Gardens for years, but it wasn't until last year when I was putting in gardens for a friend that I finally made the trip. It was AMAZING. In the next few months, I made two more trips and enjoyed them both just as much as the first trip. Even if one wasn't intending to purchase anything, it is a beautiful place to walk through and become inspired. The selection is humongous, most of the plants top notch, and compared to some other places I have shopped, the prices are fairly reasonable. The one warning I would give is, don't plan on a "quick trip," because there is SO MUCH to look at.
Positive lottabeds
Blooming Grove, NY
(1 review)
November 4, 2010
Great selection of daylilies, our passion. Nicest people on phone...would call us back within a few minutes of placing a phone order to let us know they had the plants available...fresh dug fans,in great condition arrive on exact day planned for putting in garden...we have gotten some of our most beautiful flowers from this company. Consistent great experience year after year.

Negative tveguy
Janesville, WI
(4 reviews)
January 25, 2009
The summer of 2007 I went with 3 friends to visit Hornbaker Garden's Iris bloom. They were beautiful, and I ordered 16 rhizomes from them. They arrived on schedule, but were very small, some having few roots. One did not survive, and one was misnamed, and not a variety I had ordered. It took two years for them to bloom (some have not bloomed yet), and when I e-mailed them, I was told in no uncertain terms, that they would not replace the dead plant, as their guarentee was good for 3 months following shipment. They did say that they would replace the missnamed plant, and they did. Since then I have ordered about 250 plants from other venders, and have seen the high quality of their plants, Most of which bloom the next summer! So I won't be buying their sub standard rhizomes.
Positive garden_crazy
Crystal Lake, IL
(2 reviews)
September 18, 2008
Although I have never ordered from Hornbakers, I have made the 3 hour drive there the past two years. -Truly outstanding plants and value and an overwhelming variety of hostas. -Good for 2-3 hours of browsing! I would order from them if I didn't like my day trip so much!
Positive chenning3
Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6a)
(1 review)
July 3, 2006
This is by far the best place for hosta and iris. We have purchased over 50 varieties of iris and about 30 hosta. All have remained healthy, all of the iris have been shipped and found to be of great quality upon arrival. Will not buy hosta or iris anywhere else. Whenever we visit my parents in IL, we always end up here. One of the most beautiful display gardens I've seen. Look at photos of iris and hosta under chenning3 to see how they react in Pittsburgh PA. Thank you very much and enjoy Hornbaker's.
Positive Tkzone7
Jonesboro, AR (Zone 7a)
(3 reviews)
June 21, 2005
The plants I recived were very nice.
The tags were switched on 2, but that was an easy fix. Overall good quality and I would order from them again.
Positive TBsCakes
Cambridge, IL (Zone 5a)
(1 review)
April 27, 2005
Hornbaker Gardens is a 2-hour round trip for me, and I gladly make it at least twice a year! They carry hundreds of types of Hotas, irises, and daylilies- plus Ornamental grasses, trees & bushes, and perennials.

BUT- the BEST part of the Gardens are the gardens themselves! You can stroll thru the acreage & see what your little hosta or grass plantlet will look like at maturity- and that's a good thing. Go during peak iris or daylily bloom, and you're in a sea of color & form- that you get to pick from.

And- and- and...the water features are awesome. Truly. The whole place is inspirational, engaging, and worth the trip!
Positive LimeyLisa
Princeton, IL (Zone 5a)
(3 reviews)
July 24, 2003
I have been going to this nursery for years and have never had a problem with them. Their display gardens are worth the trip alone! Their hosta ravine is really something. And it is not limited to hosta, they have a great daylily and iris collection as well.

LimeyLisa Kay
Positive EarthTree
Spring Valley, IL
(3 reviews)
July 15, 2003
A VERY beautiful place and right in my backyard!
I recently purchased a Honeysuckle. A very healthy plant and growing quite nicely!
Worth the trip!
Positive Mastiffdad
(1 review)
April 20, 2002
This nursery has beautiful display gardens as you drive in so you can see what something will look like when full grown. They have a large variety of plants. I found some very hard to find varieties of hosta. The prices are reasonable. Extremely helpful employees. I will continue to make the 3 hour journey each year to visit Hornbaker.

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