Randi seems like a nice person and ordering was easy enough. And plenty to choose from! But the plants I received today were tiny. First, I have bought many Columbine canadensis before, and they have almost always been lush, full pots. These were tiny seedlings. They were single growth and small in their 3 3/4 pots.Yes, they will continue to grow and will likely bloom next year. But they aren’t ready to do so yet. I emailed Randi and got a somewhat terse response, but no suggestion that we work this out.
I was a nurseryman for 20 years. I hope we never sent out any packages like this one. And when we did have a problem, we ADDRESSED it.
I recommend you order with care if at all.Company representative comment on April 8, 2019: On Apr 8, 2019 9:10 AM, Toadshade Wildflower Farm responded with:
We’re so sorry you were disappointed with your Aquilegia canadensis plants that you ordered from us this April, and with our email, but we do believe you will be surprised and pleased to see your new plants bloom (barring transplant shock) in just a few short weeks. We do guarantee that any customer unsatisfied with the condition of their plants may receive one set of replacement plants free of charge; please reach out to us if you would like to take advantage of this guarantee, but as we mentioned in our email, all of the plants we ship in March and April are indeed second or third year plants; the reason some may appear small at first is simply because they are re-emerging from winter dormancy! Toadshade is a slightly unusual nursery in that we grow all our plants outside to keep them aligned with the natural seasons, and do not “force” any of them via a greenhouse setting into experiencing an artificially early spring. Because our plants are all native, we feel that it is important for us to keep our plants in sync with their natural pollinators and bloomtimes. It’s also healthier for the plants! In the case of Aquilegias, they naturally lose their stems and leaves each winter and regrow from their roots in the spring— it takes some time after the soil warms in the spring for the plant to regrow to last year’s full size, but have no fear! They regrow quite happily every spring, and as their roots mature from year to year, the resulting plant grows larger as well. Our current Aquilegia canadensis plants are two and three years old, and can actually be seen featured in last September’s blog, if you would like to know what your plants looked like last fall. With their well-matured roots, they will flourish even more vibrantly than they did last year, once they have had the chance to experience a few more weeks of spring weather! Keep in mind, we’re located in New Jersey (about a month behind Georgia, in terms of frost-free dates), so our friends in the southern United States might find our springtime schedule to be just a touch behind their own. Up here, the Aquilegias bud in time with the arrival of the hummingbirds, and bloom in May, but plants shipped south will grow quickly and catch up with their newfound climate. In any case, you should find your plants plenty lush in a few weeks, when they will have naturally finished re-emerging from their yearly winter dormancy and will bloom right on time with their annual seasonal cycle. Hope this helps!
I ordered 5 hard-to-find purple milkweed (Asclepias Purpurascens) from Toadshade this spring. There were a couple of delays with shipping due to a cold spring - which made me nervous. I almost cancelled the order. Due to the delays, I needed to change the shipping address, which they were able to accommodate. I am so glad that I didn't cancel the order. Plants arrived last week, very healthy root systems, nice looking plants, carefully packaged with planting instructions. I am extremely pleased with the purchase, and would definitely buy from Toadshade again without hesitation.
Emma60 Grassy Creek, NC (Zone 6a) (11 reviews) March 22, 2017
This is always a positive experience for me. The plants and seeds are generous, true, and reasonably priced; shipment is swift; the owner is knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly.
Jonnieso New Rochelle, NY (2 reviews) March 19, 2016
I ordered some Virginia Creeper plants. The order was delivered in a very timely fashion. They were packaged perfectly, held up very well during transportation, were vigorous looking and immediately thrived after planting. What I found interesting is that they ask for follow up on one’s purchasing experience. They seem very keen to have the best possible experience from t heir online purchasers. Since I order plants from time to time online, I would have to say that I would rate Toadshade Wildflower farm quite highly.
Randi spoke gave an informative talk at our garden club. She brought a number of plants and I bought a few - which have done wonderfully. She advocates propagating and growing native plants and cautions against buying from nurseries that just dig the plants up from the wild. I made another order from her and received excellent customer service.
pileorocks Montclair, NJ (2 reviews) September 23, 2008
my order of 15 plants arrived promptly and very well-packed. plants were large and healthy for the 4 1/2" pots, with very very well-developed root systems. customer service was friendly. overall, a great experience. i will order again in the spring.
Plants arrived healthy, promptly and very well packed.
herbmoxie Annandale, NJ (Zone 6b) (1 review) May 10, 2006
My friend and I had a wonderful experience at Toadshade today. Randi gave us her 3-penny tour which was worth a gazillion. They are mail-order - but we live close and she accomodated us. Having viewed the operation up-close and personal - I can vouch that the quality of the plants is great. Randi is meticulous and while I haven't received plants by mail, I would expect that they are carefully packaged as all other aspects of the operation are carefully done. I am envious of the recipients of the plants that were "pulled for shipping" that we saw today. Their website suggests contacting them with questions - and I would encourage that based on our experience today receiving answers.
I ordered a Virginia Creeper plant, and the young plant arrived in excellent condition. The people at Toadshade seem both extremely friendly and professional--two different people called to be sure I was aware of the minimum shipping charge (a few cents more than what the online ordering system had shown) and to see if that was acceptable. Customer service, packaging, and product were all outstanding.
Ewald Limerick, PA (Zone 6b) (15 reviews) November 10, 2003
I ordered three violets and a wild hairy petunia (With a name like that, I couldn't resist!). The order was promptly shipped and well-packed. Shipping was reasonable at $4.50 (their minimum charge). Plants appeared healthy and of good size.
I ordered several wildflower varieties from this company on May 30, 2002. I received my order on June 8, 2002. My order was received in an extremely sturdy shipping box. The plants were all carefully packed with plastic bags around the plants and individually wrapped in newspaper. The plants arrived with moist soil and were in excellant condition. I will definitely be ordering more from this company.