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Comments regarding Gardens Alive!

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  Feedback History and Summary  
156 positives
39 neutrals
115 negatives


Neutral jane1989
(2 reviews)
On Jul 18, 2020, jane1989 Amsterdam,
Netherlands wrote:

I would like to order bulbs from this website, but I am not sure if they are related.

[[email protected]]

Any help would be appreciated


Neutral Regality
(1 review)
On Jun 25, 2014, Regality Concord, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is just an interesting FYI: I recently received a notice from UPS that a package was being sent to me from Gardens Alive! Since I had not ordered anything from the company in quite a while, I was confused. After a little research, I discovered that the package was from Bits and Pieces, a jigsaw puzzle company, which is also owned by GA.

Neutral danmc91
(2 reviews)
On Apr 10, 2013, danmc91 Woodstock, GA wrote:

Posted on April 2, 2013, updated April 10, 2013
I recently placed an order for several items, one of which was a tool. When the box arrived, I opened it and found that the tool was broken. When I called customer service, the said they could give me a credit towards my next purchase but no coverage of the shipping costs. When I explained that I was not at all happy to find that despite having paid for a product and paid to have it delivered that I would in fact not end up with the product, they hung up on me. If they can't stand by their shipping, then why should I waste more of my money trying to order the same item again and paying shipping again? They also weren't willing to just refund the money so I could purchase the item from either a local store or a place where I know I'll get what I paid for.

Last time I order from them.

On April 10th, 2013, danmc91 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

I contacted customer service via email and relayed my phone experience. They sent a replacement order (without charging shipping) and the item arrive undamaged this time. Changed rating from negative to neutral. They made it right in the end but not without getting the runaround on the phone first.
On Apr 10, 2013, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Apr 5, 2013 12:04 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. I truly apologize for the way this was handled. I would be happy to reship the tool or refund you for the product including shipping. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information."

Neutral mcclainhosman
(1 review)
On Oct 21, 2012, mcclainhosman Bowie, MD wrote:

We have spent a lot of money at Garden's Alive while starting our kitchen garden over the past couple years. Most of the things we have from this company are good to great. Unfortunately, we got 6 Blueberry and 2 Huckleberry plants in the spring that quickly deteriorated and then died. We got blueberries from other companies that have thrived, and our soil tests perfect for blueberries, so that is not a problem. We contacted the company about their satisfaction guarantee but have yet to hear anything.

On Oct 21, 2012, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Oct 31, 2012 9:08 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your posting. We apologize for the problems with your plants and we would be happy to take care of this for you. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information."

Neutral nancysewswith
(1 review)
On Jan 3, 2012, nancysewswith Batesville, IN wrote:

I'm so happy to have found Dave's Garden again! I couldn't remember for years and years what this site was called.

I used to work for Gardens alive (aka Breck's bulbs, Spring Hill, Gurneys, Audubon Workshop, Thompson & Morgan and a handful others I can't remember.) A lot of times, my friends/coworkers and I would pull up this site and have a good laugh. Not *at* the customers, mind you, but at our company for making people so mad.

All in all, I don't really have too many complaints about the company. I used some Brecks once and it didn't grow, but who's to say if that was my fault or theirs.

I will say you need to do your own research. The people you're speaking with when you call in have as much information on the products as you do. If someone asked me a question, I'd just pull out the catalog and clarify what was in it. We didn't really have extensive training on the products.

Additionally, don't abuse the "Unhappy? Send it back and we'll refund/replace for free" policy. If you return/refund a little less than half of the things you've bought (legit or not,) they'll ban you.

Lastly, cut them some slack when they try to "upsell" you at the end of the call. They have to sell a certain number of items per month or they get in trouble, or possibly fired if it's happened enough. That was always the most frustrating. In this economy, GA should be happy people are still ordering at all.

Hope everyone is doing well up there in Indiana! I'd say I miss it... but.... I do not. At all. :)

On Jan 3, 2012, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Jan 25, 2012 11:21 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Gardens Alive is always working to improve our customer experience which includes product training and information provided to our employees. We are also dedicated to maintaining a positive working environment for our employees. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you well in your future endeavors.


Neutral tomtkitty
(12 reviews)
On Jul 11, 2011, tomtkitty Memphis, TN wrote:

If Gardens Alive! Customer Service spent as much time on getting the initial orders correct as they do on apologizing for the errors, they would have higher ratings, as I've found their products to be high quality. However, since they changed hands, I've not ordered from them in several years.

On Jul 11, 2011, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Jul 12, 2011 4:27 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. We do our best to ship our products correctly and in a timely fashion. Gardens Alive has not changed hands, it is the same founder/owner from the beginning."

Neutral happydadto5
(3 reviews)
On May 23, 2011, happydadto5 Burke, VA wrote:

Posted on May 23, 2011, updated May 23, 2011
Posted on May 13, 2011, updated May 23, 2011
I placed an order using a $25 coupon. As required, I paid the balance of the order with a credit card. Plants arrived in the fall and by the next spring they were blooming nicely. End of story? Not quite yet. Fast forward to the call from a collection agency claiming I somehow own money from a COD order. A quick call to Gardens Alive (aka Breck's) and they confirmed they failed to apply the coupon in full. It took them 2 minutes to figure out where they made the mistake. It is now nearly a month later and I still get calls from the collection agency despite attempting to follow-up with the company 1/2 dozen times. They have written nice letters (to me) stating that they have cleared this up, but the collection agency still says my account is not cleared. So if you order from this company, realize you may end up having your account go to a collection agency after they misapply a coupon. Good luck.

On May 23rd, 2011, happydadto5 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Update - I was contacted by Customer service who finally fixed the problem and offered a nice apology. While it took some time, they did come around.
On May 23rd, 2011, happydadto5 added the following:

Update - I was contacted by Customer service who finally fixed the problem and offered a nice apology. While it took some time, they did come around.
On May 23, 2011, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On May 16, 2011 10:13 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for letting us know about the problems you are having with your account. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information and take care of this for you."

Neutral nancybz
(1 review)
On May 2, 2011, nancybz Appleton, WI wrote:

Did a search for the Iron X Selective Weed Killer ingredients pdf on . Found the following at Pesticide Database Org: PAN Product Info for Neu1173h concentratecurrent windowpreviewpreviewshow in clouds. Bayer advanced natria lawn weed control concentrate. W. neudorff gmbh ... Iron x selective weed killer for lawns. W. neudorff gmbh kg. Distributor Product. Dec 30, 2009. Active. Iron x ! ...
26.5 % Iron Pholate in this product. Has slightly toxic rating (#3)-Eye corneal irritant

On May 2, 2011, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On May 11, 2011 9:03 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your feedback about our product Iron X. I checked with our product specialist concerning the toxicity and find we donít claim that our products have no toxicity, just that they have low toxicity, which is the case with Iron X. "

Neutral dandelionhugger
(1 review)
On May 24, 2010, dandelionhugger Denver, CO wrote:

I was happy with the customer service but the product (Iron X) didn't work.

I ordered two bottles of Iron X from Gardens Alive based on the misprinted catalog directions cited a few posts back. I called and found that each bottle treated 600 sf, not 2500 sf. I have a 5000 sf yard so I never would have ordered knowing the correct application rate. Domestic customer service offered me a couple more bottles for free because of the mistake. I was pleased with this as it gave me enough to cover the weedier areas.

Unfortunately the product did not work as advertised. I mixed it at 5oz/gal as directed and spot sprayed the dandelions 24 hours ago. There was no rain and I sprayed them thoroughly. Some look slightly shriveled but all still have green leaves. I saw no effect on any other weeds. I will try for a refund but I would have far preferred an effective product.

On May 24, 2010, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On May 24, 2010 11:43 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for taking the time to post. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information."

Neutral countrykatgirly
(1 review)
On Feb 25, 2009, countrykatgirly Indianapolis, IN wrote:

I've ordered from them several times in the past with no issues. Just love WOW! for controlling the crabgrass, etc. I bet I got rid of 80% of the weeds in the last double I lived in .

The last time I ordered from GA was back in the late 90's. I have heard that they are now outsourcing their customer service, though, and I don't like that idea. I want to deal with American people. I was also surprised and dismayed to see so many negative ratings on here. Not sure if I will order from them again despite the $25/$50 coupon on the catalog they just sent me.

Neutral Tabacum
(16 reviews)
On Feb 12, 2009, Tabacum Mantua, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

2/11/09.....Received their catalog in January....Sent an order in mid January that had a $25.00 off cost of products
ordered....I was after a product called Knock-Out Gnats
Granules....Also ordered Bulbs Alive......Order came quickly;
the Bulbs Alive, but not the more expensive product that I
really needed, the Knock-Out Gnats Granules.....
The invoice stated that the product was not available; and
the catalog just came offer to send it later....was
quickly given a refund check for this....not sure what to think
about their inventory situation......Maryanne, zone 5, Ohio

Neutral roflcopters
(1 review)
On Aug 27, 2008, roflcopters Bloomington, IN wrote:

Alright, enough already.

I used to work for GardensAlive, and now that I've moved on to bigger and better things, I feel comfortable calling the majority of our customers out on their bs. My comments are based on observations as an employee and have not been reviewed or condoned by GardensAlive or any of it's affiliates, staff or suppliers.

I'll start off by saying that yes, there is much room for improvement in some of their business practices. Iíve seen pictures of packages that arrived to customers completely destroyed, and youíre darn right that Iíd be angry in that case, too.

Keep in mind, however, that they REPLACE YOUR PRODUCTS FOR FREE. And for all those who say they donít stand behind the guarantee just because you couldnít get any more free things, just shut up. (see # 1 for details.)

Here are a few simple rules to keep in mind to make everyoneís life a bit more pleasant:

1.) If you return or have us ship out (for free) more products than you actually pay foróthey WILL freeze your account. Either youíre lying to get free plants, or their products just donít work for you, in which case you're better off with another company anyway.

2.) When you call the customer service line, you are NOT speaking to a supervisor. You are speaking to someone with no authority on re-pricing plants, shipping, or other products. Do NOT complain about the shipping on your Wow Supreme. They canít change it. No one at the company can.

3.) They, like pretty much every company no matter what service they provide, do NOT combine coupons and special offers. NO EXCEPTIONS.

4.) KEEP YOUR KEY CODES!! Theyíre on the back of your catalog OR in the corner of the order form if itís a special offer. No key number = no way for the computer to know which price you get. They have too many magazines and flyers around to know which special offer you mean.

5.) This is a big one: The person on the other end of the line is NOT directly responsible for the problem youíre having. Therefore, if you call on an irate rant, you will most likely be hung up on. Thing get lost in shipping, things run out of stock (especially if you wait until last minute to order) and most importantly, people make mistakes. YES, even companies. Deal with it. If youíre reasonable and they have genuinely messed up your order royally, they will be happy to set things straight for you, provided you treat them with one ounce of basic human decency.

That goes for EVERY mail order company on the planet, by the by.

AnywayÖ. As for the products, if you stick with your zone and soil requirements and sun/shade preference and have a semi-green thumb, they should work out just fine. Yes, there is the chance your plants may not grow anyway, and yes, thereís a chance the UPS guy sat on your bulbs and busted them to hell and back. But again, if the return policy has not been abused, you can get it replaced for free. I donít know of any other companies who will replace your stuff and not even make you pay shipping.

And hey, if you really donít like GardensAlive, there are a million other companies out there. Go pick one and stop placing orders somewhere where youíre not satisfied.

Neutral yardener
(21 reviews)
On Dec 5, 2007, yardener Greenfield, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

So-so on their products. The price makes them worth trying but I find cheap homemade solutions work just as well.
I still look thru the catalog every year and occasionally I'll purchase a sale item.

Neutral CedarBerry
(8 reviews)
On Oct 15, 2007, CedarBerry Oakland, OR wrote:

I decided to take Gardens Alive! up on its "free $25 worth of products" coupon I received. I spent quite a bit of time looking over everything they offered, finally choosing some liquid kelp spray and another item.

The bottle of kelp arrived shortly, albeit with a broken cap. I was very glad that the seal on the bottle kept it from leaking in shipment. (Of course, now that the seal's removed, the broken cap doesn't keep the contents very airtight.) It did seem to have a positive effect on the plants I sprayed it on.

Disappointingly, I received a postcard from Gardens Alive! telling me that my other item was discontinued and that I "would not be charged" for it. Great, except it was part of my "free" order, so I wasn't charged for it, anyway!

I emailed them and said that it would be nice if they could offer a replacement item, noting that I could hardly complain since everything was free to begin with. They replied that they would send me a $5 gift certificate. That was 2 months ago...I have not yet received any certificate.

Although I do appreciate the free products offer very much and like the one that I received, I feel very "neutral" about the experience overall and am not particularly likely to order from Gardens Alive! in the future.

Neutral dkm65
(3 reviews)
On Jul 3, 2007, dkm65 Cedar Falls, IA (Zone 4b) wrote:

I have mixed feelings about GardensAlive! They have some high quality products, albeit often over priced if you don't get one of their occasional special offers. On the other hand, their product info is often incomplete and their marketing is often either questionable or very ecologically irresponsible.

On the questionable marketing, they will often show "test" results that imply that their product produces great results, but then if you look they are comparing a plant with fertilizer to one without, rather than their product compared to brand X. Any fertilizer would get short term growth results like they show, and they usually don't back up any claims of enhanced results over an alternative product.

On the irresponsible marketing, they portray themselves as environmentally responsible, but they are mainly out to get you to use a lot of their products in your gardening even though some are far from benign. The metals in some of their insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides can cause problems for your soils, wildlife, and water systems and should not be used unless absolutely necessary, yet they market them as if they are benign. They also make claims about some of their products not harming beneficial insects, when they are well known to harm many beneficial insects. For instance, they sell a BT-based spray insecticide with the claim that it doesn't harm beneficials, but the indiscriminate use of BT can cause a lot of problems for important pollinators like butterflies (several of which are threatened and have had recent population collapses) which is why organic advocates have such a problem with BT-corn. We don't know what the impacts on soil organisms and other beneficials of many of the ingredients in many products that are listed as acceptable for use in organic gardening and which GardensAlive sells, which is why they are used as a last resort after taking steps like physical removal and changes in cultural practices. Even then, some levels of "harmful" species is a good thing and much better than the often not-fully-known consequences of applying a strong chemical like copper or organisms like BT and nematatodes. After all, what will the beneficial populations live off of if you try to wipe out their food supply? A bit of aphid, grub, or fungus damage does not justify applying any chemicals or other substances, be they certified for organic gardening or not.

I've done business with them for many years, and they still are a good source for some products. I just worry that they are encouraging unsound practices in the name of environmentally-friendly gardening, and wish they would be more responsible in how they describe and market products.

Neutral seagardener
(40 reviews)
On Jun 21, 2007, seagardener Southport, ME wrote:

I REALLY DISLIKE their new automated phone ordering system. It immediately mis-identified my name & said "I'm sorry..." a lot. I quickly got disgusted and simply said nothing until a real person *finally* came on the phone (had it on speaker phone while I did other stuff). We really like some of their products and are a big fan of the organic "W.O.W." lawn weed&feed products and their micronized copper fungicide "Soap Shield" for roses. Another disappointment is that the latter product is only available in quart sizes instead of gallons as in the past. It's too bad that they are now affiliated with companies with bad reputations. Overall we have been satisfied with the products purchased from them (including pantry moth traps). I just hope they ditch the AWFUL automated phone system.

Neutral Jednorozec
(2 reviews)
On Apr 29, 2007, Jednorozec Binghamton, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have rather mixed feelings about this company. They do have some very nice products but a lot of them seem to be very much overpriced. A few years ago I purchased a windowsill greenhouse. For the price that they were charging I expected something that would be quite sturdy and reusable for many years. What I got was the thin cheap plastic that's meant to be used once and thrown away. I saw the identical thing in a hardware store at about one quarter the price. When I called to complain they gave me a refund and didn't ask that I send the item back. So I came out ahead but would rather have had a decent greenhouse.

I've purchased their pantry moth traps several times and they work very well. The last time I used the $25 coupon and ordered 3 traps by mail. With shipping it only cost me a dollar or so -- no complaints about that transaction.

I would order from them again but only if I can't find what I want at a cheaper price someplace else.

Neutral mickeyj
(3 reviews)
On Mar 20, 2007, mickeyj Staten Island, NY wrote:

Neutral due to customer service experience, otherwise good products. Ordered 3 bags of gardener's gold compost by mail. One bag arrived 3/15. Called c/s and was told the order was at a postal facility not far from me. 8 days later and the other two bags have not arrived. I e-mailed c/s this time and was told to wait 7-10 days after shipping to notify them. I e'd back and advised them it was already over 10 days. They are resending the "lost" items.

The kicker? I am being charged the postage even though they owe me a refund from postage for the previous shipment.

I doubt I will order from them again because anything they sell is pretty much available elsewhere on the web .

Neutral stephaniadawn
(7 reviews)
On Jan 8, 2007, stephaniadawn Agra, OK wrote:

if i would of written this last year it would of been positive as that have always had a great experiance with them. once my order was lost, a few years ago, and they replaced it asap. was wonderful. have used and loved there products.
then there was last year. i place two orders. one for a friend and one for my self. i ordered hers first. arived no problems. then there was mine.
i ordered it with a money order, as i do most of my orders from any one.
i never recieved my order when i called they said that they would check and call me
no call. when i called back. they said that they was looking for my order, and asked me what it was. they couldnt find it, but just said that they would replace it. never recieved. when i asked them about they asked for my reciet on my money order. sent it once and never heard. caled back and still never got a answer as to if was recieved. and so they asked if i could resend reciet and order. i was gonna resend and then i discovered that i had lost m.o. receite. and so just lost over 70.00, pluss shipping.
they have really good products and i hate to loose them but cant afford to give a way money. i have recomended them several times and sent many new coustomers there way, now i will be a bit more consirtive who i tell about them. if i tell about them.

Neutral borged
(10 reviews)
On Sep 27, 2006, borged Thomasville, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

First off the compost aerator I ordered was of good quality and does a great job just as advertised. However, it took 7 days longer than promised to arrive and when I called to check on it's status I was told to "call my local post office". It did finally arrive but a week after the promised date. I chose neutral because I may order from them again to give them a chance to redeem themselves.

Neutral barngarden
(3 reviews)
On Sep 18, 2006, barngarden Versailles, KY wrote:

I have never ordered from this company, and never will based on recent ratings. I would suggest the best way to possibly make a change is to find someplace else to buy the same or similar products where customer service is more important than the bottom line. "Demanding" that the co "hire Americans" is not our place; we do our demanding by shunning companies that do not live up to our standards. There are many out there that do a great job; support these companies and hope that companies like Gardens Alive! get the picture. If not, they will feel the impact of our "demands" in their bank account.

Neutral 21723
(1 review)
On Jun 22, 2006, 21723 Cincinnati, OH wrote:

Picked neutral as though I love the products and find them helpful, I am worried that my future experiences may not be so good. Heard they are moving Customer Services offshore.

Neutral Mudluppy
(2 reviews)
On Jun 2, 2006, Mudluppy Chapel Hill, NC wrote:

I have ordered from Gardens Alive! several times now, and can say I have on the whole been pleased with their products. If only their shipping dept. were of the same quality! My most recent order was for Escar-Go, which I find effective against snails and slugs without risk of poisoning my dogs and the local wildlife. The order was placed on May 5 and still had not arrived on June 1. When I notified them, I was told that my order was "lost in transit" and that they would reship--no mention of just when this would happen. They were "sorry." In the meantime, the weather has turned hot and the snails and slugs are feasting like there's no tomorrow. "Sorry" has little meaning to leafless Hostas, folks! IF I order from them again, I will try to give them at least a two-month leeway. Given their steep shipping charges, I would think they could send things by supersonic personal courrier!

Neutral FlipTX
(13 reviews)
On Mar 31, 2006, FlipTX Pasadena, TX wrote:

I placed an order nineteen days ago, and received shipping notification seventeen days ago. My order has still not arrived. Moreover, the tracking site says only that it has received notification from Gardensalive, not that the package has been sent. Considering how much I paid for shipping ($10) they could have sent it by UPS ground service and it would be here by now. I've tried contacting customer service but get no reply. I will NOT be shopping here again.

On April 16th, 2006, FlipTX changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Donna from Gardens Alive responded to my Watchdog post and let me know they were having major trouble with their shipper. I did eventually receive my order just shy of a month after placing it. If the company changes shipping methods, I will consider shopping there again.
Neutral slughater
(1 review)
On Mar 28, 2006, slughater San Marcos, CA wrote:

I have used prducts from Garden Alive before, and was pleased, but I feel they charge way too much for something that could have been shipped for $2.00 or less instead of charging $6.00 plus.

Neutral Purlefirefly
(4 reviews)
On Jan 18, 2006, Purlefirefly Cherryville, NC wrote:

WARNING: coupon amounts can be changed, and you will not be notified!!

I ordered from this company last year as a new gardener,knowing nothing about this site or the company, and was satisfied, it went smoothly. So, when I got the $25 off coupon again this year I ordered some seed starting supplies. I never received email confirmation and have been wondering if the order even went through...until today when my credit card was charged for MORE than the total of my order. I checked the website and saw that my order has already been shipped, so I called customer service.

The rep was very nice and apologetic, but she told me that they changed the value of my coupon to $20.50 because I did not order over $50. That was NOT Stated on my coupon, and when I ordered it showed my total with the coupon and everything. RIGHT NOW, THE WEBSITE STILL SAYS MY TOTAL ORDER IS LESS THAN WHAT THEY CHARGED. She said I should have been notified when the amount changed and I said NO, I was never notified of anything AT ALL. Her only reply was "well, sorry."

Sorry doesn't cut it with shady business practices. Reel 'em in with coupons then charge them for more without explanation or warning. Shady, I will never do business with them again. We are on a tight budget and just cannot afford them! I am telling everyone I know about this, and I know lots of gardening people in a few states.

I haven't received my stuff yet, but can only give them a big thumbs down for ripping me off. The coupon was the only reason I ordered from them...could have gone locally and gotten it cheaper now that they've changed the value of my coupon.

On January 22nd, 2006, Purlefirefly changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

After emailing the company and asking to be removed from their mailing list I finally got someone to refund my money for the difference in prices. I am changing my rating to neutral since it was corrected, but the practice of luring customers with coupons, taking their credit card number with the agreement on one price, then taking out more money without permission, has ruined my trust in this company. I like to know that the amount I agree to is the actual amount they will take from my account.
Neutral fluffysoftkitty
(2 reviews)
On Aug 10, 2005, fluffysoftkitty Kansas City, MO wrote:

I placed an order very early in the year using the coupon for $25 in free product. I was wary at first, because it sounded too good to be true. Received my products promptly though, the 'Natural Beginnings Seed Starting Mix' and the 'organic yellow crookneck squash' seeds. Used both in the spring of 05 to start mutliple trays of seedlings. The yellow squash seeds performed beautifully, every one I planted sprouted and I have healthy plants that are bearing well. The seed starter mix was a disappointment though. It dries out very quickly, does not retain moisture well, and I had very poor seedling growth compared to other brands of starter mix I have used before. I would order the seeds again, but the remaining mix will just get tilled in to the garden as filler next spring.

Neutral Magala
(4 reviews)
On Mar 2, 2005, Magala Seattle, WA wrote:

I've ordered from Gardens Alive several times over the past year and have been very happy with their customer service and their products. Their natural fertilizers and insect control potions do what they say they're going to do, and they do it well. To get the best prices, call them and ask if they have any coupons in effect when you want to order. The coupons often come attached to their catalogs, but if you can't find one, call and ask. They almost always have some variation of a "$25 off $50" kind of coupon in force, even for existing customers.

On May 21st, 2009, Magala changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

(Updating entry)
I've ordered from then several more times since my original review. I still find their products and customer service to be very good, but I honestly don't see very good results from the products.

They say their products are all-natural, but they don't disclose the ingredients or how they work, which makes it difficult to compare their products against other "natural" options. I'm starting to dislike the "It's magic!" tone of their product descriptions. I'm not seeing any miracles.
Neutral CountryDaddy
(7 reviews)
On Feb 5, 2005, CountryDaddy Wilmington, IL wrote:

I have never actually dealt with Gardens Alive, but I have with both Gurney's and Henry Field's and I have no complaints with either company as far as service or quality. However, I have discovered something mildly disturbing and I am posting my comments here because they pertain to both of the latter and since they are both affiliated with Gardens Alive.

I was going to order rhubarb roots and I started checking in each of several catalogs to see which variety I might like to order. In doing this, I happened to notice that in Gurney's catalog the photo of Valentine rhubarb was the same photo used by Henry Field's for Chipman's Canadian Red. "Hmmm° mistake?", I wondered,... so I began comparing other photos in the two catalogs and here is what else I found;
...The photo for Honey & Pearl sweet corn in the HF catalog is the same photo used by Gurney's for Quickie sweet corn, but the photos are reverse of each other.
...The subject matter in the photo for HF's Sweet Purple asparagus is obviously the same as Gurney's Purple Passion, with one spear slightly moved.
...The same goes for HF's photo of Annie Oakley okra and Gurney's Clemson Spineless.
...In the HF catalog, the photos for Detroit Dark Red beets and for Ruby Queen are the same photo, reversed.
...HF's photo of Little Finger carrots is the same as Gurney's Scarlet Nantes.
...HF's photo for Tendertreat sweet corn is the same as Gurney's Illini Xtra Sweet.
...HF's photo for Earli-Dew cantaloupe is the same as Gurney's Milky Way.
Obviously, in each case only one or maybe neither is the correct photo for the variety coupled with it. I don't know about everyone else, but I always trusted the photos in catalogs to be accurate representations of the products. Now I can't do that with these two companies. I will still buy from them, but only products that I am already familiar with.


Neutral AS
(46 reviews)
On Apr 29, 2004, AS (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've used them for years for organic pest controls, with a lot of success. They're expensive and their shipping costs sometimes make me gulp, but their products have worked - especially the Escar-Go, the corn gluten products, and some of their insect controls. I was very impressed, too, this spring - the day I received my order, I also received a small refund check - they were apparently running a sale I didn't know about and gave me the sale price.

(I've never bought any of their plants.)

On June 11th, 2007, AS changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

They're not the company they used to be, and I'm not sure I can recommend them any more. More than a month ago, I placed an order that included nematodes. They marked them "separate ship" on the order instead of backordered, can't give me any estimate on when they'll be available - and, on top if it, they expect me to "check back" periodically and they'll be happy to update me on the status of the item! (Um, and how long am I expected to do this?) It was a canned reply that basically said to me "we can't be bothered to provide individual customer service any more." Plus I'm getting tons of junk mail and "special offers" from them by mail, some of which make me almost uneasy. No longer do they have a straightforward offer to pay a fee and get a discount on their products; now, it's disguised as an offer to join a garden club and get this nifty discount as an extra perk. (Not to mention their new affiliation with Michigan Bulb seems an poor sign.)
On June 15th, 2007, AS added the following:

I expressed my dissatisfaction to them about the vague "canned replies" that never addressed my specific question when NEMATODES could be expected to be in. (They kept babbling on about plants, and that orders that couldn't be shipped by a certain date in the spring would be sent in the fall. Can't see what good nematodes would do my squash vines in the fall.) They didn't care that a customer who had ordered from them for many years was unhappy, and made little/ no effort to address my specific question.

I'm done with Gardens Alive, and am going with other organic product suppliers from now on. I'm leaving my rating as neutral only because their products do work. But I can't recommend buying from them now that they've become a big conglomerate and their customer service has been farmed out to India.
Neutral Frostette
(12 reviews)
On Mar 26, 2004, Frostette Wichita, KS wrote:

I was delighted with the $20 coupon because my order was FREE. I ordered the 72 unit seed starter tray and it is a great little item. It arrived in just a few days from FAXing my order, even though the site said it could be 10-15 days. However, the thin plastic unit probably won't last thru too many uses and I don't feel it would've been worth the $13 + S&H if I had to pay for it. Overall, all their products seem very pricey.

Neutral corrales
(3 reviews)
On Jan 29, 2004, corrales Arvada, CO wrote:

GARDENS' ALIVE WEBSITE IS STILL NON-FUNCTIONAL. I have purchased from this company in the past and have been TRYING to purchase from them through January, using a catalog arriving immediately after Jan.1. Their website has been non-functional continuously. I have made a long distance call to them to ask WHEN the website would work...very casual and indifferent response. I RESENT PAYING FOR PHONECALLS when I pay an ISP for computer service. Dave, please forward my complaint to the CEO. 1/29/04

On February 10th, 2004, corrales changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

A reader here broke through the wall I was experiencing (still no clues to that!) and an email from the Co. told me to ignore the entries on the home page, to place my order on the last page, then to enter personal data. That seems to have worked although my order has not arrived. Who knew?
Neutral fredman
(1 review)
On Apr 22, 2003, fredman wrote:

I received their catalog on 04-22-03.It contained $25 in
coupons and bonus cash.That night I tried to use the discounts on their web site and was advised that they had expired.I e-mailed them that the discounts did not expire until 05-23-03 according to the cover of their catalog.They did not respond to my e-mail.I had ordered from the in 2001 & 2002 with success.Their products are
a little pricey but previously the service was acceptable.
I do not feel that I will do business with them again.

Neutral ElizabethN
(11 reviews)
On Mar 9, 2003, ElizabethN Berkeley, CA wrote:

I've been very happy with their organic gardening supplies, but the plants I ordered through them were in terrible shape when they arrived and they all died within a month. I will keep ordering supplies, but no more plants.

Neutral perenniallycrazy
(5 reviews)
On May 7, 2002, perenniallycrazy wrote:

I really like their fertilizer's they do work very well. The shipping has always been very good. I ordered plants once and 2 were in great shape - the other was quite small and lost the soil and dried out in shipping - maybe just a one time thing? Prices are quite high on the fertilizers, I always wait for a coupon.

Neutral gardengirlNY
(5 reviews)
On Jan 11, 2002, gardengirlNY Syracuse, NY wrote:

I ordered some ladybugs and Gardens Alive goofed up and sent them last week (early Jan. in zone 5 is no place for ladybugs.) But after I alerted them to the error, they promised to switch the shipment so that it will arrive at the right time in spring.

Neutral thingol
(7 reviews)
On Jan 11, 2002, thingol wrote:

A little pricey. They don't always let you know what is organic what isn't in their catalog.
Always had good results with products, but seems to take forever to get their shipments

Neutral JoanneGreene
(8 reviews)
On Apr 1, 1996, JoanneGreene wrote:

Tomatoes Alive and Flowers Alive worked wonders. I find Gardens Alive prices and shipping to be high. I'm looking for other sources of organic fertilizers, etc. So far, the one's I've found have been located on the West Coast.

Neutral richarddaley
(3 reviews)
On Dec 1, 1995, richarddaley wrote:

I've ordered from Gardens Alive! a couple of times. They ship correctly described merchandise that works as advertised, but tend to have prices that are somewhat high. If you can't find what they sell elsewhere, then buy from them.