Invidosa Ypsilanti, MI (Zone 6a) (2 reviews) April 10, 2016
Posted on February 7, 2013, updated April 10, 2016
I actually ordered from this company last year and decided to write this review as I am going through my seeds in a desperate hope that spring is on its way! First of all, let me say that for the magical gardener or the mundane you simply cannot ask for a better variety! If herbal magic, medicine or tea is your thing I highly reccomend Harold and the cats. Also, the fact that there is a supplier who is personable and interested enough to include a personal, handwritten note in with my order speaks volumes as far as I am concerned. Also i deeply appreciate that alchemy works addresses the needs of pagan gardeners. In our household the garden is sacred space used for religious ritual by our circle, and as such I love the fact that care is taken to address those needs both in the actual seeds themselves and in the WEALTH of information provided.
But don't assume that fact limits the appeal of Alchemy Works to pagans, anyone looking for a hard to find herb will be happy with this company. We will surely place future orders! Cheers:-) On April 10th, 2016, Invidosa added the following:
Just wanted to stop in a give another bump to Harold and the cats. This year I ordered some additional seeds (Evening Primrose and Black Seeded Poppy) as before, the lovely packets are both generous and lovely, full of information that you wont get on burpee seeds! Again, I truly appreciate a seed supplier who is aware of both the magical and mundane aspects of the garden. What I really wanted to share is my amazement at my 100% germination rate! Thanks Harold! This Pagan Household really appreciates what you do!
Firstly this is a sole proprietor business which alone is a great incentive to patronize it. Yes, that does mean it is going to be a lot slower than some big commercial place. Took at least a month for my order to come through. That didn't faze me, but if you believe everything online should happen at the snap of your fingers, it may not be for you.
I ordered seeds and the packets were neat, about as close to hand drawn as you can get with printed stickers. My one criticism might be to align all stickers the same way; after opening the packets, I wound up spilling several seeds by picking them up backwards--but maybe I should have just looked at the opening instead of the stickers.
One of the things I got was valerian, which he says to expect about 30% germination. So I planted an excess amount and then they nearly all came up. While I was at work, my cats decided these pots were the new couch, every day I came home, two or three more plants were flattened, many with crimped stems. Well the name means "strong" and once I rebuilt them into a fort, most of them kept trucking along like nothing happened. There's now a patch in the ground doing well.
The hyssop sprouted immediately like in 2-3 days, in soil. A few other kinds of plants took longer and were not quite so prolific but, overall, the quality seems to be there. I did find that a potted yarrow needs almost no water and that bottom soaking seems best for anything small.
So yes, very pleased with what must be one of only a few places that provide anything like this, and hope there will be an apprentice to continue the tradition for generations to come.
Posted on February 26, 2016, updated March 9, 2016
Very informative website. Learned a great deal of information from here. My first purchase was very punctual and instructions were very helpful. Seeds came up great. Not the greatest on returning emails, but understandable for people do get busy.On March 9th, 2016, Backyardherbali changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Did receive a response from sender saying he was behind and would send them last week and still not sent. 5 weeks now and still waiting. Very terrible customer service, and will be looking for others to buy off of in the future. If you're not able to keep up with what you're dealing with then you should probably stop offering things on the website or get some help to keep up with the demand. Very unfortunate because the site was very informative and has lots to offer, if they ever make it :(
On Nov. 3 I had placed an order for herbs. After several weeks of not hearing anything about my order I tried contacting the company asking about my order. After still not hearing anything, I contacted them through paypal. Within two hours I received a refund. Still no reason given. All I wanted was to know what happened to my order. I had planned on buying seeds, but with this kind of customer service, I am looking elsewhere.Company representative comment on November 16, 2015: On Nov 16, 2015 4:05 PM, Alchemy Works Seeds & Herbs responded with:
It was less than two weeks from your order to your making a dispute with Paypal, not several weeks. With Paypal, if people make a dispute, I just refund them, because Paypal immediately seizes the payment that was made, and I cannot ship any products without being paid first.
I did respond to your message on Paypal immediately upon refunding you:
Hi, I'm sorry I missed your email. I have been running behind. I have refunded you. Harold"
I do get busy and can't always respond to emails the way I would like. I'm sorry about that, but that's what happens.
It seems all his products are from his heart. I am a garden virgin. Following information from his well written and knowledgeable instructions every thing sprouted. Since then I have read most of the information on his site and his blog. I refer back to it on a regular basis's and wish it was in book form. I have tried other products and every thing has been quality.
Nick1 Plainfield, NJ (Zone 6b) (6 reviews) May 10, 2009
I think Alchemy Works is a great company. I have ordered seeds from them for the past few years. They have a wide variety of herb and flower seeds and other interesting and unusual (e.g., mandrake) seeds. The seed packets come with useful germination information and the web site also has much interesting and useful information. The germination rates are good and the packet sizes generous. Service is prompt and Harry responds rapidly to inquiries. Overall, an excellent company.
I love Alchemy-Works and have ordered from them several times and will continue to do so in the future! Not only do their seeds have good germination rates and detailed germinating/growing instructions, the customer service is excellent and the website contains a wealth of information about the history and folklore surrounding the plant seeds they offer. I especially love the unusual collection of seeds offered.
The one negative review I have seen of this website doesn't make any sense as Alchemy-Works clearly warns the customers that if they purchase a plant that is not permitted in their country, it will be seized by the authorities and Alchemy-Works will not take give any refunds; I have seen similar warnings at the websites of other vendors and it is clearly the responsibility of the customer to remain up-to-date on the laws of their own country and state/province.
alchemy_1300 Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6a) (7 reviews) March 31, 2009
I just ordered some mug wort seeds from Alchemy works the reason I have a neutral rating is I will have to grow them and see for myself,but if what i was reading is true to form then I will be happy to give a positive review and YES! the information listed there is pretty much true I am a "pagan" gardener as well On April 1st, 2009, alchemy_1300 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
On April 15th, 2009, alchemy_1300 added the following:
I'm am happy to say just about all the seeds have broken the hull and sprouted.
cannaqueen Mantua, OH (Zone 5a) (19 reviews) January 13, 2008
Placed my first order with this company 12/1/07. Received the order 1/12/08. Sent company an email on order status
that was not answered, but received the order shortly after.
Order was well packaged, with germination information listed
on each seed packet. I received two bonus packets of seeds
to try in zone 5 where I live. That was appreciated!!
The information on this website is facinating......one can learn
much on the history, astrological and herbal benefits of plants. This is not your usual, dull, carbon copy seed source
site, but one to explore with an open mind......would order
again, in the future.....
I fail to understand Horsegate's remarks concerning Alchemy Works' alleged "encouraging people to flaunt international controls that are intended to protect indigenous flora/fauna (see note of OZ/NZ buyers.)". Here is the note on the AW website referenced (I think; if not, I'd love to see it quoted) :
" Please note that seeds shipped to Australia and New Zealand are highly subject to seizure; non-herb items seem to get through to those countries fine."
Where in this note is any colluding with customers to flaunt international laws? Why not attack every company selling Ivy, or Periwinkle? It is be a mere statement of fact that seeds (particular species are not mentioned) shipped to these countries may be seized.
I find this website to be one of the most useful in terms of germination and other information I've ever encountered. I was able to germinate Mandragora off. using the directions on this site, and I've been trying for almost 30 years to achieve this. AW renders the entire community of people who are in love with plants traditionally associated with religious, spiritual, hermetic and/or magical traditions a profound favor.
spidra Berkeley, CA (Zone 9b) (7 reviews) April 9, 2007
I ordered Cupressus sempervirens pyramidalis v.stricta in April of 2005. It arrived packed well and in a timely manner. It needed to be cold stratified and as I'd never done that before, I think it's my own fault that I didn't have success with the seeds. A very interesting concept for a seed company, though!
xenya North East, MD (9 reviews) September 11, 2006
This is a great company. The website is full of interesting information and tips on growing. My order arrived fast and with additional seed packets. I'll definitely order from them again!
zville123 Zanesville, OH (Zone 6a) (18 reviews) May 15, 2006
Great website! Tons of useful and historical plant info. Generous seed packets with essential info. Owner more than happy to answer any questions. Will order from again and highly recommend.
I have ordered from Alchemy Works several times. The seeds are always great quality and germination rates are very high. Customer service is friendly and always willing to answer questions about plant culture and use. I highly recommend them to any pagan gardener.
xplorer Makati, Amadeo, Philippines (6 reviews) August 13, 2003
I have very good germination rates with the seeds ordered from their store. Online ordering is a snap. International shipping is fast!