I have purchased plants from Canyon Creek Nursery several times over the past twenty years and have always been impressed with the selection of hard-to-find plants. Reading the message from kkirschbaum on Canyon Creek Nursery also raised my interest about what happened. So recently (2-28-09) I sent an email to John Whittlesey at Canyon Creek Nursery. It is lucky that his email address is listed on an old forum from 2001, and that the address is still good! He answered back with a friendly message that included this -- "I have discontinued the mail order aspect of our nursery. I'm still growing plants, but for local sales only. I do plan to resume the mail order of violets in a few years (or maybe next year). I feel badly that I have pulled out of the mail order so suddenly, but after 23 years, it was time to do something different."
kkirschbaum Newburyport, MA (Zone 6b) (29 reviews) February 24, 2009
Does anyone know what may have happened to this nursery? I wanted to look at their viola and dianthus offerings, but for the last 2-3 weeks their website appears to be down. The link from DG doesn't work either.
I had occasion to actually visit this nursery and meet the owners. It was a very special morning for me and I couldn't have enjoyed the experience more! John was very helpful in determining which varieties of plants would grow in my area. As a matter of fact, he wouldn't let me buy something if it wouldn't grow in my area. Where I am at we have had an unusually long hot summer with no cooling breaks. All the plants I bought: asters, penstemon, etc although young plants, are tolerating it all beautifully. I can't wait to visit this special and wonderful nursery again next summer!
mary0114 Lodi, CA (Zone 9a) (8 reviews) February 17, 2006
I have ordered several plants from Canyon Creek over the past few years and, in fact, just ordered some more yesterday. The plants are always beautifully packaged and healthy. They have many unusual salvias and perennials and a beautiful selection of violets. EXTREMELY nice people too. YOu can't go wrong ordering from this quality nursery.
I ordered plants from these very pleasant folks last spring and was pleased with the recommendations, the packaging and the quality. They have many unusual plants and are able to tell you what their experience has been with them. Best of all, everything they sent is doing great a full year later.
bibbykitty San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) (41 reviews) November 18, 2003
Overall a positive experience. They had quite a few salvias I had been looking for. They ship very fast, I ordered the plants one week recieved them the next.
They were out of one variety though they didn't email me to see what I wanted to do. They just gave a credit for the amount of the plant. The plants are extremely small, but seem healthy. I would order from them again but only in the spring due to the small size of the plants.
I ordered several salvias and oreganos from them this spring. The plants were nice -- much bigger and healthier than those you receive from most mail-order companies. They're now thriving in my greenhouse and garden.
They also have a nice selection with unusual perennials you can't find elsewhere. I'll definitely order from them again.
dianthusman Pecos, NM (Zone 5b) (29 reviews) December 3, 2002
One of my favorite nurseries of all time. Their plants are always healthy, their shipping always timely. Unhesitatingly recommended.
One of the first mail order nurseries I ordered from and they spoiled me. The plants (Salvia, Lavendar, Ballota, Rosemary, Euphorbia...) arrived in beautiful condition. Customer service was wonderful - they gave me excellent advice on soil ammendments (most of their plants need sharp drainage) and placement. Didn't recieve a catalog this year and the online version seems a little sparse.
I ordered several agastaches from these folks. All but one arrived in good shape. I e-mailed the company to say that I was disappointed in one of the plants. They responded the same day, and said they'd search the nursery for a better looking specimen. Imagine my surprise when the replacement plant arrived the very next week! (And now I feel kind of bad because both plants are doing beautifully...) Good product, great customer service.
sunfest West Palm Beach, FL (11 reviews) May 15, 2002
I ordered several sages (salvias) this spring. All arrived in good condition and had good roots. The plants were well packed, and the company was easy to deal with. The plants are now thriving. I am very satisfied.
I've never lived in or had a garden within the State of California, but this small family-run nursery in that golden place has served my east coast garden well for over eight years. This nursery offers the best cultivars of hardy andtender perennial plants that do well on the west coast. But there is much of value and utility here for experienced gardeners anywhere who seek the beautiful, historical and unusual. Canyon Creek does not attempt to be "one-stop shopping" for all your perennial needs. Instead, it focuses on a relatively few genera of highly useful garden plants. Some of these include Abutilon, Aster, Dianthus, Euphorbia, Geranium, Viola and Salvia…I started ordering from Canyon Creek because way back then, it was impossible to find interesting Euphorbia species elsewhere in this country. That's changed somewhat now, but Canyon Creek still has a great selection of euphorbs. …Let me support most of the comments made by others: the folks here are courteous, the plants are small, the prices are cheap and no catalog photos. They give hardiness info, but some additional research on your part will help you choose wisely. This is a nursery for experienced gardeners, I think, who are capable of babying a young plant for a bit and who might already know that Diascia and Fuchsia are not happy in steamy Atlanta. Or who don't mind killing one or two to find this out. If this kind of gardening adventure appeals to you, Canyon Creek is a great resource. Of course, if you live in California this is a no-brainer and I'm extremely jealous.
Really interesting selection. Plants I'd been looking for and could find nowhere else. BUT the plants were really small, some cuttings with scarcely any roots. Three out of fourteen died soon (one my fault) even though they were well packed. Didn't test customer service. None of the plants have really flourished in my east coast acid amended clay.
I have had the pleasure of ordering twice from this company and have been pleased with both the quality of plants sent, as well as their packing (especially considering the plants were being shipped from the west to the east coast). Canyon Creek offers interesting selections that I have had difficulty locating locally (ex violets, dianthus, lavender). Reasonable pricing. I would suggest indicating a referred shipping date for Fall orders; I had received plants backordered from my Spring order fairly late for Fall Northeastern planting. Most of these "zone hardy" plants did not survive the z5 winter but were replaced without question in the Spring. I would highly recommend this nursery.
Just a quick note to second the opinion already expressed. This is a nursery enthusiastic about their plants and is still small enough to be able to deal on a personal basis with their customers. I highly recommend Canyon Creek.
A good catalog. No pictures, and the selection is smaller than Bluestone, Carroll Gardens, White Flower Farm, or Forestfarm. However, the selection is better than many. They received one of our one-week emergency orders. I spoke to the proprietor numerous times. He was helpful, and made sure that the plants get there on time. The plants, in dirt plugs, were wrapped in white paper and a reed-like substance around the leaves. The plants were small, but healthy. Prices were reasonable. A good 'supplemental' catalog for hard-to-find and emergencies. Hardiness zones and some cultural information were provided. Phone orders were discouraged in the catalog, but I found that calling was not a pain if you were brief and serious.