Thank you "Dave's Garden" for a wonderful website.
I want to let your readers know what a terrible experience I am having with Direct Gardening.
I ordered seed potatoes, and they arrived wet and smelly. I powdered them with sulfur, and planted them. Not a single one grew.
I followed their ludicrous rules, i.e., I returned the label, with a list of what I'd ordered, and a handwritten note that I would like a credit. They sent it back to me saying that I didn't follow their "rules".
Up to now they have not honored their guarantee. I'm not asking for a refund, I'd just like to be able to re-order the seed potatoes next year.
Even though their prices are low, I'd recommend to your readers to find a more reputable company.
Thanks for this opportunity to share my experience.
Frustration is the word that best describes my experience.
I placed my first order with this company on July 6. It was a fairly simple process, but that is the end of the simple.
I waited for the 1-2 weeks for them to process my order and ship it. I followed the tracking and on the day it was supposedly delivered to my house, the security didn't pick up any delivery attempt. I didn't even get regular mail that day. Nothing came. That was July 16. I called multiple times to attempt to get a resolution and received this email response:
Thank you for your email. Please follow the tracking number on USPS.com.
If you continue to have problems, you will have to contact the carrier.
Thank you, Customer Care
The post office doesn't want to talk to me, I didn't have a contract with them. So I went back and forth with the customer service line for a month. On three different phone calls I was told they would send a replacement, but that never happened. I finally managed to get a supervisor, who told me they don't really have any communication with the office, and that all they could do is send a "write up" to request something. And that is what happened to my order... they sent up the write ups and that was all anyone at the phone center could do. On August 19 I received an email from someone at Direct Gardening stating that since my tree was not picked up at the post office it was returned, and they would be happy to re-ship if I paid them more money. I sent a copy of the tracking information and a synopsis of the lengthy communications, including a copy of the tracking information. Upon seeing that, they were willing to admit the post office made a mistake and would reship as long as I gave them a different address. To resolve the issue, I gave them my dads address.
That was over 2 weeks ago now. I have sent multiple emails since then asking for a status and tracking information. Finally I received another response telling me:
"There is a 1-2 week processing period. You may check back in with us at a later date."
On the 2 week day, I again requested an update. They answered:
"A reshipment of your order is in our system and will ship once the item becomes prepared."
Please, keep in mind this is the entire email. I mean the whole text. No 'dear' or 'thanks' or 'shove it up your nose' or nothing.
They keep saying how important customer service is to them, but it isn't evident by how they are treating this customer. I have been getting the run around and delays, excuses and reasons why it isn't their concern for 2.5 months now.
I ordered a bit late, but not too late to plant in Utah. It is now snowing in the mountains here, which means where I am it will be snowing in a couple months. I don't expect to get much more than a dead stick when they finally get around to sticking a new label on my package.
I hate posting negative reviews for any company, but Direct Gardening has worked hard for this one. I have given them every chance to work with me and they simply refuse. They act like customers are an inconvenience and all they want is the money.
I hope I get my tree, though I am no longer expecting it. Regardless, I won't be placing another order with them.
I wish I would have seen these comments before my purchase. I ordered 2 Eastern redbuds. I got 2 "dormant" sticks. I did everything to revive it. By the time I realized it was no good, they said no refund! But they would send a replacement in a few months. 6 months later I got 2 more dead sticks. I requested another replacement and a while later got my third set of dead sticks. When I asked for a replacement they said sorry 1 year warranty is up! Now I have kept a Ghost pepper plant alive for 3 years! this should have been simple.
windwoman Lanesville, IN (1 review) August 29, 2019
I ordered 3 Liberty hostas, but received Patriots instead. They replaced with the correct ones, and the plants were absolutely beautiful: big, leafed out, packaged in hard plastic containers. VERY happy. The only negative is the incredibly long period of time it takes to actually receive the order.
PaseoPena Minneapolis, MN (1 review) August 15, 2019
I ordered a pack of 20 hybrid poplars. They shipped them "dormant", which means you get sticks. 16 of the the 20 did NOT sprout. Then they gave me an endless run around about their warranty. It's now been 3 months since I originally ordered them and I still don't have replacement "sticks". DO NOT BUY! I couldn't find anyone else on the internet selling hybrid poplars. The ones that did grow, spouted about a foot so far. Can't wait to see it get to 6 feet before frost.
Should have read these reviews about Direct Gardening and then I would not have thrown away my money. Was looking for a specific rose bush and Direct Gardening was the only one who had it at the time. Purchased it, prepared pot with gardening soil and rose feed then planted according to instructions. After a month no sign of life and it clearly being a dead stick, I contacted them about sending me a replacement plant. Now the fun really began with them wanting the shipping label which I did not have but sent their shipping statement and FedEx shipping statement. Then they wanted my billing address. What!? It was on the shipping labels but sent it anyway. Next, they could find no record of my original request for a replacement of a dead rose. Sent them a copy of my request and finally, they wanted either a bank statement or credit card statement showing I had paid them for the plant. I sent them their own receipt they sent to me when I purchased the plant but that was not good enough and I am not going to go through any more trouble for this rip off company. Lesson learned.
Some of the roots were crushed (how stupid do you have to be to ship plants in a F__ing bag?), so I immediately emailed them about it.
They said "We do ask that you allow 6 weeks for signs of life to start to show.", saying nothing about requiring the shipping label to get replacements.
60 days later, plants with crushed roots are dead so I email them requesting a replacement. But to get a replacement they require the original shipping label to prove I made the purchase (as if they have no record of the purchase), which I'd tossed 60 days ago.
I got ten types of berries and 2 different pear trees that grow in az. Only 3 have not come to life and it has only been a month. Gardening is what you make it and it is difficult, but this place delivers what it advertises in my experience. They replace if needed which is crazy for $4 dollar berry trees that get 50 feet eventually. I love that this place has so many options and wish I found them earlier.
If I could give a MINUS rating I would.
The problem is receiving dead plants and their guarantee
.I understand proving they died once planted and I'm fine with that. But when they arrive dead- that's another story.
I had 2 orders. One was shipped 5/29 and took 9 days to get here. 4 of the 5 plants were dead. They tried to tell me that when they're in a dormant state they may look dead. They were not- they were dead. I do know the difference, I've been gardening for 25 years.
The 2nd order was shipped 5/25 and has yet to arrive (this is 6/9). I called them about this when I 1st checked the tracking and they said- "The plants are in packaging that should allow them to survive during transit.". They didn't even make 9 days, let alone 16 days, that's how long it will be.
These things do happen. There are some really LOUSY companies out there. I told them I wanted a refund and I didn't want to jump through hoops to get and I was not sending the dead plants I have- but I will take pictures. The other order I will Return to Sender.
They have refused, and are standing behind their Guarantee- the only company that needs that kind of guarantee is a SHODDY company.
This company is very possibly the worst ever. From Quality to Customer Service.
Emma60 Grassy Creek, NC (Zone 6a) (11 reviews) May 24, 2019
We ordered two arborvitae trees from this company. My husband did it because it was lured by the low prices, but I knew it was a mistake and how! It took way over a month for the trees to arrive; there was no tracking number when we found out they were being shipped, but that itself took longer to get to us than anything I've ever ordered. There was no tracking, so no way to expect it. Today we opened the mailbox, and stuffed inside was a green plastic bag. My husband joked that maybe those were his trees since we had been looking for them for some time. He was only joking, but the joke was on us. Inside this plastic bag were our dried out trees, less than 10 inches in length, with nothing keeping the roots moist. There was a half a sheet of newspaper stuffed in the bag, but it wasn't even around the plants. I don't know what that was supposed to be for. The foliage and the roots were dry as a bone, and one tree's leaves had browned. I've never seen plants packed this way, and I have bought plants through the mail for 40 years, and even have a mail order nursery myself so I know about plants and how to ship them. I refused to pay shipping to send these paltry, dried up sprigs back but was told that was the only way I would get my money back. Beware of a "nursery," or a business posing as a nursery, that has too good to be true prices, buy one and get the second for a penny. These people are not gardening folks. There are no plants; there is no customer service; there is nothing. Beware!
Posted on April 14, 2019, updated May 1, 2019
Website say ships in 2 weeks. I am still waiting going on 5 weeks for probably a bad shipment after reading the reviews. Should have done my research first lesson learnedOn May 1st, 2019, Lyvers23 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
My plants finally came in and to my surprise they are all blooming after the first week direct sent me excellent plants. I was impatient waiting. But very happy i did
This is my place.I started out with so many garden companies when I first started gardening.With Direct Gardening Iíve had the most success.Now,yes some plants die but these guys are the best at getting you a replacement,just keep that label that is on the packaging and send it to them for a new plant within a year after purchase.I think usually the ones that die is due to the long shipping experience but that is the convenience of ordering online because you just canít get the quality and variety of plants these guys have at the local nursery and the local nurseries are way overpriced.I will stick with Direct Gardening and I definitely recommend them...try one of their gorgeous tree peonies...happy gardening!
Direct Gardening substituted flowers for shrubs. Was told I should have used comments field to say "No substituting". Problem was I never found the comments field on their webpage. And flowers were dead on arrival.
I ended up complaining to the Illinois Attorney General. I included a dozen screen prints and pictures of dead plans plus tags saying "6175 1 RED HYDRA NO LONGER AVAIL SUB 4736 LARGE POTTED CHEYENNE CONEFLOWER". It took awhile, but I got my money back, thanks to ILLINOIS AG.
Now I see where Direct Gardening and "Four Seasons Nursery are next door to each other. DG has address 1704 Morrissey Drive, while Four Seasons has address 1706 Morrissey Drive. I would say one is the Main Bldg and the other is the Warehouse next door. Beware!!! 03/25/2019
IRSman Murfreesboro, TN (1 review) September 26, 2018
I ordered a North Start Dwarf Cheery tree from Direct Gardening. It arrived dead, not dormant. Brittle branches, loosing roots and dead buds are not signs of a dormant plant.
It indeed was a dwaft. It measured a little over a foot. Their website stated the tree was 3-4 feet tall. The tree was delivered by the USPS in my standard size mailbox. How do you fit a 3-4 foot tree in a standard size mailbox (mine is about 20 inches deep)? You can't. Total misrepresentation and in my opinion fraudulent.
The tree was shipped in a plastic bag and not a box. Customer Service is slow. Took them 4 days to get back with me on first email to them. Still have not heard from them in regards to my second email. They are not very responsive and timely which makes me question their motives (14 days to sent the tree back for a refund)
I tried to keep an open mind about this company and give them a chance to make things right. Bottom line, there is NOTHING I can say that is good about this company. In my professional experience (over 40 years), these type companies ultimately fail and end up in bankruptcy court.
I ordered over $140 worth of plants my first order. They arrived in horrible to "dead" state. They offer to replace but you have to send in original label (which I did) each time. Then they replace with more horrible plants. You also have to send everything snail mail so I always sent certified so they had to reply. I've lost money with them because you finally get so beat down from dealing with then you just give up!!!the last time I sent back the "fix" plants that were in poor condition I did not send certified... big mistake they never responded and I just threw in the towel! Never do business with this company!!!
I have now received 3 replacement orders for the 3 dead replacements they have sent. Customer service is rude and insulting, and make it next to impossible to prove they are in the wrong. This is really a bad scam company. Save your time and money, and work with an HONEST company
I love this site. I am a novice at gardening but I did my research and gave it a chance in spite of the bad reviews. I understand that the bare root plants arrive in a dormant state and may take several weeks before starting to bud. The unbelievably low prices encouraged me to experiment with a variety of plants that I otherwise would not have considered purchasing. I ordered 12 items on June 20th: 1 American redbud, 2 changing hydrangea trees, 1 weeping cherry, 2 magnolias, 2 red maples, 2 weeping willows, 1 mahonia, and 1 climbing hydrangea for under $55 (shipping included) and received 3 gift items: a bare root strawberry plant, a giant peony bulb that was sprouting, and a packet of seeds. The order came within 2 weeks. I did the scratch test on items that were not sprouting and everything looked alive. It is now September 9th and the Magnolias are happy and healthy, the weeping cherry has tripled in size, one of the changing hydrangea trees has sprouted many leaves. Those four items have already made my purchase worthwhile. I know it can take months for roots to establish themselves so I am giving it a bit more time before I return the other items, which are guaranteed for a year. We have had extreme weather conditions this summer ranging from 90+ degree heat to torrential down pouring for days at a time and I do not blame the site if the other items don't work out. The mahonia had several leaves and looked healthy on arrival and the changing hydrangea had several buds, but neither are doing well - probably because of soil drainage and sun exposure issues. The good thing is that Direct Gardening will give me an opportunity to try again with the 1 year guarantee. I have just made a second purchase from the site, my father has since made 2 purchases, and we hope this business is still around for years to come!
I ordered over $120 worth of pants my first order over 3 years ago. They arrived in horrible to "dead" state. They offer to replace but you have to send in original label( which I did) each time. Then they replace with more horrible plants. You also have to send everything snail mail so I always sent certified so they had to reply. I've lost money with them because you finally get so beat down from dealing with then you just give up!!!the last time I sent back the "fix" plants that were in poor condition I did not send certified... big mistake they never responded and I just threw in the towel! Never do business with this company!!!
I ordered 12 Persian Lilac trees from DirectGardening. The trees arrived with "bare roots" and no leaves. The "Complete Planting Handbook" that accompanied the trees stated the trees had been shipped in a "dormant state", not to worry about no sign of life and give it time to come out of hibernation. They stated to allow" 6 weeks to become acclimated to their surroundings.." however their money back guarantee is only valid if they received the original label and letter within 14 days. All planting and care instructions were followed. After waiting and watering the trees for 6 weeks there was no sign of life. Since the company was "out of Stock" for these I sent back the original label and a letter listing the replacement items desired for equal/less value than the $239.94 owed me. I have been fighting with the company ever since to get satisfaction. Apparently the company Direct Gardening hired to handle their complaints/escalations is a 3rd party that has no authority to do anything but send a message to the "office". I am not allowed any further contacts to the "office" to escalate the matter. In my opinion this is set up by design to avoid transparency and restitution. My last correspondence with Direct Gardening was to inform them that if replacement product as outlined wasn't received by August 15th I would notify the BBB and post a warning on the web to potential customers to avoid this company. I received an auto reply that someone would get in touch with me as soon as they could.....to date no response. I've since filed a SMALL CLAIMS PETITION against Direct Gardening. BTW, this company is part of Burgess Seed Co so beware of them as well...guilt by association in my mind.
Ordered mid may requesting early june delivery. No delivery date confirmation, ever!
Finally shipped late June via Fed-x cheap ship program that took 9 days through a nasty nasty heat wave.
They said let us know if any problems.
Less than 10% survived!
Just went to submit a request for refund and now discover I need the shipping label. Clearly an intentional avoidance technique.
Simply put the company is not user friendly and I am now out the money I spent.
Spare yourself the pain and expense and avoid at any cost!
I have used this company several times this year and have been very happy with their service. I have lost a couple of plants during the shipping process. However, the majority make it. They are very prompt replying to emails as well.
In reading some of the comments on here, I would like to recommend that if you order from them, read the website thoroughly. You may receive most live plants that are dormant, so don't panic thinking you received a dead plant. They always include instructions with their plants. If you follow them to the letter, you can not go wrong. Happy Gardening!
Very poor shipping. They use FedX Smart Post, but they donít tell you this. This is a terrible shipping method, is unpredictable, and completely inappropriate way to ship living plants. And all this to save a couple bucks. Google smart post... it took 14 days to get package. They will replace them, but an entirely new issue, as you need to send them the shipping label ...via snail mail..back to them, presumably so they can file a complaint with FedX. Its not worth the savings, spend a couple more $$$ somewhere else, and save yourself the headache.
Had my order placed in January of 2018. Order did not arrive until May 2018...That's just the beginning....My credit card was charged immediately...All of these horror stories you are reading are all TRUE...I have no reason to state otherwise or dispel other's experience(s). I actually had to threaten the "business" with a complaint through the NYS Attorney General's Office. When the blue plastic bag arrived, the products were all bare root as expected and totally dry...Some were not even wrapped. I figured I'd try this place because of their pricing and selection in spite of the war stories...OK so what I had to do was soak the asian pear trees...Two survived, the persimmon were another story...Being these are bare root, for all I know I could be planting a palm tree lol!!! If you can, avoid this place like the plague. All the negative stories are the same and truthful. Additionally, I'm thinking this store is not located in the USA.
I knew I was taking a chance with this company because of the prices, and yet some recent reviews here were good ones. Mine was not a good experience. I placed my order April 23, expecting shipment within 2-3 weeks, as the website states. After 3 weeks, it was hot out and I doubted anything would survive shipment from the midwest. I wrote to request a cancellation and a refund (my card was charged right after I placed the order). I was promised a refund, but instead I got a shipping notice a week later, 4 weeks plus after I placed the order. The plants were 11 days in transit through Kansas, New Mexico, Southern Arizona, Southern California, during a heat wave in early June. I issued a claim with my credit card company when they arrived looking quite fried and pathetic, given that I'd been promised a refund. Direct Gardening objected, now saying that cancellations can only occur the same day as the order was placed. I didn't pursue the matter -- just took the hit. The only plants to survive were 2 of 4 forsythias. None of the bulbs sprouted, and the masses of roots called "plants" have also failed to sprout, despite my TLC. So my cheap several dozen plants turned into two quite expensive gnarly bare root forsythias. This company might be okay if one lives in the midwest and orders very early in the spring, just because prices are so cheap. But a reputable company it isn't. Direct Gardening doesn't keep its word.
Everything I ordered came on time, actually a bit earlier! I ordered 25 bare root strawberries, 10 bare root jersey knight asparagus, and also received a free peony bulb/root and 4 gladiolus bulbs. I had to put everything in the fridge due to bad weather, so I was nervous that they wouldnt make it after soaking and planting them...but success! Even after two days of storms, rain, and 55 degree weather, my strawberries are growing and getting healthy green leaves and my asparagus is already popping through the dirt! I'm still waiting to plant the other two things, but everything else is a great success...and at a great price too! I don't know where else you can get 25 strawberries, 10 asparagus, a peony, and gladiolus bulbs for $25...and I don't need to know because I'm sticking with Direct Gardening.
My experience was only slightly more positive than negative. It is positive because I got a bunch of cheap plants that survived. It is negative because of all the same reasons on the negative reviews here: horrible customer service and takes much longer than their website states and longer than their customer support emails state. But again, I eventually did get a lot of dry root plants that did mostly come up for a very cheap price. If I want to pay top price and get excellent customer service there are other places for that. You get what yo pay for.
I placed my order over a month ago, no action or feedback has been forthcoming from Direct Gardening. When I contacted them I was told they've been "very backed up" this year but "my order has been sent to shipping". When I inquired how long it takes to ship an order, their response was "another 3 to 4 *weeks*. I sincerely doubt a company with customer service this poor and lackadaisical is TWO MONTHS behind in their orders. Thus far I have recieved no plants and no refund. Do not order plants from these folks!
I ordered 24 Indian Current Coralberries, 2 Pink flowering almonds, and 24 burning bush from Direct Gardening. I soaked the roots in water and planted all of these as directed in July of 2017. I watered all of these plants every other day. I waited until May of 2018 to see any sign of life. I sent a registered letter to Direct Gardening on May 9th, 2018, first delivery attempt was refused, finally on May 17th, 2018 they accepted the letter requesting replacements for all of the above mentioned plants but 7 burning bushes. With the exception of the 8 bushes, all others did not show any sign of life in 2017 or in 2018. I have emailed them 3 times now to get a follow up on the request for replacements, no response. I have tired to call them 20 times since May 17th, 2018 and receive a busy signal. I have been gardening for 25 years and have experience with growing bare root plants. I am very surprised of the amount of plants that survived. 14% (7 of 50) plants showed any sign of life in 2017 and came back in 2018. This is a very low percentage of survival. I would not recommend Direct Gardening at this point, even if you are an experienced gardener.
I spent over $100 and only about half (at best) of the bareroots and bulbs are viable. They were in the hands of USPS for a week in a plastic bag. It would be best to get expedited shipping if possible or better, just purchase from other companies. I tried calling Direct Gardening for days and only got a busy signal. I ordered a month ago and they have not shipped all of my order, although they claim they have and I'm left in the dark about the status. Prices are good, but it's a false economy.
Just received my order. What a pleasant surprise -- I've been on-line ordering shrubs from a number of places last fall and this spring. The "common lilac" I received from Direct Gardens is about 3 times bigger than any of the other shrubs I've received from other companies-- including 3 other lilacs. It is bare root, but has lots of green buds. The 2 other bare root roses with this order are also budded nice large items. Will get these planted right away.
Purchased from Direct Gardening in Mar'18. Received my order a couple of weeks later. Placed a small order because I was concerned about all the negative reviews.
Ordered 2 lilac trees, 1 variegated Weigela, 3 red weigela, 2 hydrangea trees, 3 hens & chickens. Rec'd 3 gladiolus for free. Apparently the red weigela was a crop failure so that was replaced with 3 pink ones. I appreciate the replacement, but I really wanted red.
Soaked them all in water for over 24 hours. The pink weigelas and 1 of the hydrangea trees have sprouted green leaf buds already. Although the rest still look 'dead', I did scratch the bark/outside of the twigs and I can see that they are green inside so theoretically, these should all be good to go for planting.
I have used them in the past. They are very inexpensive but one needs to temper their expectations of what you will be receiving- you will for the most part be getting twigs and very skimpy dormant cuttings.
I tried to use their warranty - and had a difficult time getting replacements. I sent the original shipping label, a letter explaining the request and a 3rd paper that was referenced in the letter that contained a table that listed everything ordered and the quantity that needed replaced in a separate column next to each plant name ordered. (Item ordered, # received, # dead / needing replaced.) These were even highlighted in boxes and yellow highlight and quantity.
I received a letter with them stating they cannot honor my request stating I didn't provide a list of what needed replaced. I would post a picture here showing the 3 pages referenced if I could to illustrate the resistance they will put up to avoid replacing products.
I would suggest going to another vendor.
--They will try to avoid honoring their agreement and they use a bizarre requirement of needing the shipping label where every other online vendor seems to just need a copy of the receipt (email). They will try to explain why it's needed and how it helps expedite the process - which is bogus. It would provide nothing that an email receipt couldn't provide. (order number, dates, items ordered, quantities, address.
--As others have mentioned they have 20 different names for the same business - why would that be needed? Only reason is to try and avoid a lot of negative feedback on other names.
-Products received had a 45 - 55% failure rate. That is VERY high!
Company representative comment on March 22, 2018: On Mar 22, 2018 2:26 PM, Direct Gardening responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customerís experience as we do take pride in our customer care. We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee which is clearly posted on our website and we stand behind them. We are affiliated with other companies but these are separate companies, not aliases.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem
crystal1212 Wichita Falls, TX (1 review) February 26, 2018
I'm a big fan of this company! However, I'm a patient gardener. In fact, I enjoy growing as many things as possible from seed. I mention this because if you are not a patient gardener, this might not be the best nursery for you.
I order plants from a huge variety of online/mail order nurseries and have just as much success ordering from Direct Gardening and affiliates as I do any other mail order nursery.
I most recently ordered six Flowering Weigela shrubs, which are about $30-$40 a pop elsewhere, not including shipping that would also be high, because pots with moist soil are heavy and the weight drives up the price. I think I paid $3 a shrub at Direct Gardening. Elsewhere, I would've received six inch shrubs in moist soil and after planting, these six inch shrubs may or may not have survived.
From Direct Gardening, the shrubs I received looked like dead sticks upon arrival (which is what bare root means), but they were each about two and half feet in length, which is much larger than I would've received from most places. I did the scratch test and they were all alive and well. I followed directions by placing them in a bucket of water for a couple of days before planting them. They began putting out buds in a few weeks. From this point, whether they live or die is on me, not on Direct Gardening.
My only criticism is that Direct Gardening isn't always very accurate in sending plants to you in your proper planting time, but this can be easily avoided by ordering from them early in the season. If you order late in the season, you risk not receiving your order until planting time is over (which happened to me), leaving me to store my new plants in the garage and hope for the best all winter long. I ordered them in early August and didn't receive until early November, when we were already experiencing frost. This was an excessively long handling time but since the price was vastly lower than any other nursery could match, I'm calling it a wash.
The great thing about using this nursery is that you can afford to experiment with plants that you might not risk purchasing elsewhere because of cost. When you buy anything living, there is always an inherent risk that it might die for a myriad of reasons that may or may not be the gardener's fault. So if I'm going to plant something new and I'm not 100% sure how it will fair, I'd much rather get it for cheap.
Just keep in mind that service influences price greatly due to staff/handling costs. If Direct Gardening responded to every inquiry immediately, made it super easy to deal with returns, sold top of the line plants that arrived blooming in high quality moist soil, and shipped things out within a week of purchase, all of these things would be reflected in their prices - meaning you probably wouldn't have been placing the order with them to begin with.
All in all, I think for your money, Direct Gardening is a pretty safe bet. Just be prepared to order early, be patient, to receive bare root plants and to have to follow the enclosed directions before planting. The added free gifts are also a big plus and very few places offer that. I'll continue to place orders with this company so that I can experiment with a variety of really cool plants without breaking the bank. Company representative comment on February 26, 2018: On Feb 26, 2018 10:53 AM, Direct Gardening responded with:
Thank you for your kind posting on Garden Watchdog. Your experience is more typical of our normal customers as we do ship hundreds of thousands of packages to satisfied customers each year. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post your comments.
Posted on October 5, 2017, updated January 10, 2018
The username name is due to previous admiration for the company based on a nice gift that came from it, yet the business has obviously declined on many levels after decades,
On Sept. 22, 2017 an order was sent and payment received from our bank on Sept. 25. We had previous great gifts from others by this company. We had to contact them on October 2, 2017 due to the loss of the parent for whom the garden and a move were planned over that weekend prior. M--- said to email G--- A--- to cancel the order, and even the website form says a 24hour reply. In fact, an acknowledgement email was received the same day. After two days, we called and were told it was three days. Instead, we received a shipment notice. Both FedEx and USPS were contacted about how the order had been cancelled and to return the shipment. FedEx and Direct Gardening claimed that it had to continue on to NY where it is obviously no longer needed and will not be received. The notice and reason for cancellation were done in a timely manner. Instead, S--- and who she claimed was her supervisor when asked for one made the excuse that shipping did not get the cancellation information in time. G---- A--- never wrote back. 1) How is it that she cannot take calls 2) does not reply and 3) the order was sent anyway, as if 4) in the 21st century it takes more than a day to relay information in the same business? We never expected to have to contact Direct Gardening again at such an emotional time. The NY AG office by phone advised to contact them again to request a refund without authorities being involved, yet there is a breakdown in honesty and ethics here. The entire $110.10 should be refunded, and our bank fraud department will be notified unless this is done promptly. Only for old-time sake is the BBB asked to intervene first.
In view of notifying the company upon our situation, and that nothing had been shipped, there was no reason for Direct Gardening to do so anyway. It appears that the shipment was sent to force us to receive the merchandise which is unacceptable under the circumstances. The $110.10 in full paid by our bank by VISA should be credited back to us immediately as a matter of ethics and honesty. On January 9th, 2018, Friend_NoMore added the following:
Here is the reply to one official contacted regarding the company's questionable dealings, including varous name changes to deflect attention and consumer action.
Thank you for the time speaking with me yesterday, regarding communication about File No. XXX. As mentioned,
the USPS-stamped letter indicating it was damaged was only received this week. Again, we had emphasized with the staffer with whom
we initially spoke in October 2017 that email communication is best. Due to field work in cancer care, the voicemail stays full, and patients
cannot be left unattended to receive or make calls. Being in remote locations, there is often not good cellular reception, as well.
Because of the unethical and dishonest tactics of the vendor, Direct Gardening, we refuse their response. Here are our reasons.
1) The company was contacted at the beginning of the business day on October 2nd as we always stated by telephone and email. There was no reply except a form email of receipt. The referral to Grace Avery was fruitless, because she never replied, and staff claimed
she did not take calls nor respond in writing.
2) The recipient of planned garden had died, so there was no longer a need for the items, which had never been shipped. Direct Gardening disrespectfully sent them anyway, as if to try to force receipt. We never had the merchandise, which USPS investigators and inspectors
verified the return of both the parcel and flat envelope back to vendor.
3) There was no agreed upon policy with the company unless it has backdated one which computer forensics can prove just as USPS did the packages. There was ample time in this age of electronic technology (since the 1980s) for the order to have been stopped on site or
with FedEx SmartPost. Both FedEx and USPS officials know what we do from past work about vendor shipping contracts.
4) Funds were taken from our bank credit/debit card over ten days before shipment was made, which is another reason why the ENTIRE $110.10 is due back to us. In fact, the rush to ship items was suspiciously done two days after the contact to vendor was made.
5) That various company name changes have been done are apparently an effort to detract the questionable dealings of this vendor which may be operating in the red, and making phony business loss claims. The redundant lies and excuses of a formerly good vendor's customer
service staff is only making us more steadfast about keeping fraud investigation open with the bank and officials.
Mrs. J. T for the XXXXXXX Family
cc: Bank Fraud Investigation
Official ComplaintsCompany representative comment on October 6, 2017: On Oct 6, 2017 7:26 AM, Direct Gardening responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. It does become very difficult to cancel an order once entered into processing. We do have a refund guarantee and we have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance.
gregislost Delhi, NY (Zone 5b) (9 reviews) November 6, 2017
Posted on September 16, 2017, updated November 6, 2017
Posted on September 14, 2017, updated September 15, 2017
Posted on September 12, 2017, updated September 14, 2017
Posted on August 27, 2017, updated September 12, 2017
Posted on August 23, 2017, updated August 27, 2017
Posted on August 15, 2017, updated August 23, 2017
I am currently putting this as a neutral review but will update my feedback to positive or negative pending the outcome. I did have to send a letter with the shipping label to request some replacements, however the items that were healthy are doing well.
So far customer service has been good, they have replied to every email within 2 days so far.
I had read all the reviews on this company prior to ordering. That said I do realize people are more likely to post negative reviews than positive. Why did I decide to take the risk? #1 I am starting a gardening website and I wanted to review this company firsthand (as well as others) #2 they had what I wanted for a good price. If this turns out to be positive I will test them once more to see how that turns out and if I also need to request replacements again for any of the items.
My order first order:
25 bare root Jewel Strawberries
25 bare root Albion Strawberries
25 bare root Seascape Strawberries
Strawberry Bargain (25 bare root, turned out to be Ozark Beauty)
Black Raspberry Collection:
3 Blackhawk, 3 Cumberland and 3 Dundee bare root
Trip-l-crop tomato seeds (for next year)
Also received as free gifts:
3 bulbs Peacock Orchids
3 bulbs Ixia Mix
5 bulbs Blue Poppy Anemone
Order was placed on:July 16th, 2017 and received on July 27th, 2017
This is a great turn around time so far so good.
Packaging was a large green plastic bag, this is NOT a good shipping container for plants and I am sure this contributes to many of the problems they have. #1 the items are not protected from rough handling. and can break easily. #2 if left in sunlight green gets hot very fast and its contents will basically cook. #3 the bag does have vent holes and could be how the plants got soaking wet as the bag was left outside as I was not home when they were delivered and we did have a thunderstorm. I do feel they must rethink their shipping packaging.
100% of the raspberry bare roots were in poor condition but this could be due to shipping. The stems of the bare root plants were broken just above the crown of the roots. I also noticed the plant inside where it broke were completely dried out which is not a good sign as being able to revive the bare roots out of dormancy. I did soak the roots for several hours and attempt to plant them and none were revivable.
100% of the Albion Strawberry bare roots arrived in poor condition, they were soaking wet and moldy, any recent growth on the bare roots had turned translucent brown and mushy (rotten). Planted and none were revivable.
11 of the 25 Strawberry Bargain bare roots (Ozark Beauty) also were moldy and rotten and non-revivable. All of the other 14 however have been doing very well, some are even flowering as of today which was a nice surprise as they were planted 18 days ago and leafless when planted. None of the 11 survived, I did plant them to be sure.
17 of the 25 (actually 27 were in the pack) of the Jewel Strawberries were also moldy and rotten. I am very happy with the ones that were ok, all of them survived and some even are putting out runners already. None of the 17 rotten ones came back.
100% of the Seascape strawberries are doing great.
I have not tried the Trip-l-crop tomato seeds but will post a review on them next year when I also review the results form a seed order I will be placing with Direct Gardening shortly. I also am planning to order several varieties of grapes, more raspberries, more strawberries, and hardy kiwi. (once I receive the replacements from this order). Shopping cart and wish list are filled and waiting...
I had sent back the shipping label and a letter requesting replacement on August 7th once it became apparent what was and was not revivable. I again am giving them the benefit of the doubt for now, we will see how they handle the replacement request. I hope it does turn out well as I really hope to try out their seeds and there are other plants I would like to order from them as well. I will update and edit this post accordingly. Honestly if they honor their replacement guaranty then they do deserve a positive review.On August 22nd, 2017, gregislost changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I received the replacements for my order today. I know they are making an attempt to correct the situation fully as they sent the replacement strawberry plants and raspberry plants. The strawberry bare roots all looked great with plenty of live sprouts on almost every one, 2 of the 3 raspberry bare root bundles also look great and I am sure all of them will make it but 1 of the varieties of raspberry plant I think they know those are not likely to make it as they sent me 2 bundles of them instead of 1 but both bundles are non-revivable.
I am giving them a positive review because they have been fast and helpful and they honored their policy without any headaches at all.
I will be ordering from them again. On August 27th, 2017, gregislost added the following:
Wrote to direct gardening and they told me to send them the shipping label again with a request letter and they will replace the plants that are non-revivable.On September 11th, 2017, gregislost changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I had followed the instructions that the customer service person gave me via email and was thought it was being handled properly, however I just received a letter from their customer service that is totally the opposite of what they told me via email.
The letter is a generic reply, it neglects what I even wrote in my letter to them about MISSING ITEMS. Besides the missing plants I requested the replacement of the Jewel strawberry plants that were totally not viable in both the original order and the replacement. I requested replacement for the Black Hawk raspberry plants that were totally dead on arrival and non-revivable. I have been gardening for over 35 years. I have worked with bare root plants for most of that time and I know what is and isn\\\\\\\'t revivable. I have actually written articles on raspberries and how to start with bare roots. I am going to refrain at this time from exploding on them unless this situation is not corrected. I am also preparing an article reviewing online gardening stores and had planned on giving Direct Gardening a decent rating but again I will definitely be giving them a failing review if this is not corrected.
#1- I noticed after my last post that 1 of the items listed on the replacement invoice was missing. I wrote to them about this requesting for that item to please be sent.
#2- I requested the replacement of the Black Hawk Raspberry bare roots as they are NOT REVIVABLE. All the other raspberry stocks in the replacement package were fine and have since grown, I did plant them in pots just to be sure and the black hawk have just rotted.
#3 The Albion Strawberry bare roots both in the original and replacement package were not viable. The first bundle had crown rot due to too much moisture, the second ended up just being non-viable.
#4 on top of this some of the other strawberry plants from the original order that seemed viable have since not survived. I was not planning to even request a replacement for them but since this occurred I am planning to request their replacement as it should be covered by their 1 year guaranty as it has only been about 2 months since i received them.
At this time I would NOT recommend using this company. Again I am restraining myself from exploding on this. I will take this further if it is not corrected. I expect this to be resolved. If it is then I am happy to change my review.On September 14th, 2017, gregislost added the following:
Received a reply via email today. They stated I need to wait 6 weeks from the time I received the replacements to request the missing items and dead items to be replaced.
Note, I placed this order in JUNE. It is now mid-September. If I need to wait 6 weeks from the August date that I received some replacements and when I was suppose to receive the missing strawberries it would be after my first frost date and I would not be able to even plant them. This is on plants I ordered originally in June!! I have ordered plants for several venders this summer, Direct Gardening is the only one I have had any problems with. On September 15th, 2017, gregislost added the following:
Now being told via email by customer service to once again send in the shipping label and letter. Why all the back and forth? I have only 2 weeks until my first first and 6 to 8 weeks to the first hard freeze. I think it will be too late by the time they will ship or just return my letter and shipping label again. Note the original order was placed in JUNE it is now Mid September and will not likely be settled until mid-October.
I now must decide to either wait until next spring to request the replacement and risk the replacement being sent timely so that if there are still issues with being sent dead sticks and rotted bare roots I will have time to yet again request a replacement or to request the replacement now and go through the pain in the butt and extra costs to pot everything so I can bring it inside to overwinter as well as to check what grows (if anything) and what doesn\'t. This should not be such a painful process. On November 6th, 2017, gregislost changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Received Replacements for the raspberry bareroots, Albion Strawberries and they sent me Allstar Strawberries to replace the Jewel Strawberries. They didn't replace the Seascape... THey also did sent new gift items which was nice.
I gave them a neutral as they have honored their replacement policy (other than the missing SeaScape Strawberries) but I will have to wait until spring to see what grows at this point.
LouWarren5 Pittsburgh, PA (4 reviews) September 22, 2017
The quality from Direct Gardening is poor: small, unhealthy and, three times now, not what was ordered. Their customer service is lousy, too. Apparently, they continue to thrive with aggressive advertising and one time customers who donít know better.
Looking at the reviews for the other companies owned by this same group, thereís a clear pattern of poor products/service. See for yourself.
Now I know. And will take my business elsewhere. Company representative comment on October 6, 2017: On Oct 6, 2017 7:23 AM, Direct Gardening responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. We do have a refund and replacement guarantee available. We have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance.
mjk6358 New Richland, MN (2 reviews) September 21, 2017
Shipment Details:Ship Date: 2017-8-24 Package #: 1
received them on august 30th
$18.99 there were 12 one appears to be growing
$9.99 there were 12 plants one appears to be growing
$7.99 there were 6 all appear to be growing
more plants may sprout, but they have been in pots for 3 week now. The ones that did not sprout appeared to have been in storage for a long time. Company representative comment on October 6, 2017: On Oct 6, 2017 7:22 AM, Direct Gardening responded with:
Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. It does not mean they are dead, but since they are dormant, and not leafed out, people unfamiliar with bareroot nursery stock may they mistake them for dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. Then keep well watered after planting and within 6 weeks of warm weather, the plants should break dormancy and show signs of leaf.
We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee and stand behind them.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance
inflorescence South Central, AL (Zone 8a) (2 reviews) September 19, 2017
Posted on August 10, 2017, updated September 19, 2017
My experience with Direct Gardening was altogether unpleasant. I did not receive all of my order and several items I did receive were rotten when they arrived. I believe the daylily tubers had been packaged in plastic while wet because there was nothing but mush in the bags. I have a hard time believing they were viable plants when they were shipped and deteriorated that badly in transit. I contacted the company by email from their website about two weeks ago and asked for resolution before I wrote a review and have had no response at all from them. The shipment I did receive was marked that it was 2 of 2 meaning the order was split and mailed separately. I have never received 1 of 2. Customer service is very poor and rotten daylily tubers is not an acceptable product. I would not order from them again. On September 19th, 2017, inflorescence added the following:
After my initial review Direct Gardening posted a reply saying if I returned the original shipping label they would correct my order. I promptly sent them the label as directed along with a letter explaining what was wrong or missing with my order. They have not replaced anything. They have not offered to refund the money I spent for rotten, worthless bulbs that had disintegrated to mush prior to my receiving part of my order. They have not sent me the missing bulbs that I never received. (Per their shipping label my order was shipped in two parts and I only received one part). I was shorted by half when I ordered because it was a "penny sale" - order a bulb and get another for one penny. When I put my order in the "basket" it showed the proper number of bulbs, but when I paid with a card my receipt only showed ONE of each instead of the two that showed on the order form. That was dishonest and shorted me by half before I realized half my order would never come and half of what did would be rotten. I will never order from this company again, no matter how good the prices look. Bulbs are of the poorest quality, many are rotten and not at all viable, bulbs come enclosed in plastic which does not let them breath and are not padded to keep them from being bruised in transit. Customer service is nonexistent. I got MAYBE 25% of what I paid for and the company will not communicate with me about correcting their mistake. No more bulbs for me that I don't hold in my hand and inspect prior to purchasing.Company representative comment on September 19, 2017: On Aug 10, 2017 7:30 AM, Direct Gardening responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customers experience. We do have a refund and replacement guarantee available. We have contacted this customer via D-mail to see how we may be of assistance.
On Sep 19, 2017 2:14 PM, Direct Gardening added:
We have been corresponding with this customer via Dmail as we did not show receiving previous emails. We do show that a replacement order was shipped on 9/14/17 and should arrive very soon.
cgarfield Greenville, SC (1 review) August 27, 2017
I ordered 43 sedum plants to fill in some spots that were mulched. When they arrived, they were all dead or dying. Many of the plastic bags contained mold. I tried planting them anyway, but none made it, including the free plants. I asked for the plants to be replaced. It took several weeks, but they did arrive. Unfortunately, they were in nearly the same condition as the first batch, minus the mold. I did plant them, and of the 43, 4 survived. Company representative comment on September 7, 2017: On Sep 7, 2017 12:55 PM, Direct Gardening responded with:
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem.