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Comments regarding Gardens Alive!

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  Feedback History and Summary  
156 positives
39 neutrals
115 negatives


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Negative shelllbell
(5 reviews)
On Apr 28, 2021, shelllbell West Branch, IA wrote:

Ordered 2, 2 lb Purple Majesty potatoes. When they arrived, one bag had 2 white moldy potatoes and a couple of the others were soft. Called company April 14, the day they arrived. We were told another 2 lb bag would be shipped. On April 20, we received notice they going to be shipped. Replacement bag of potatoes arrived on April 28. Opened the stinky box and one of the potatoes was so squishy it bled onto the order form and the bottom of the box. We will never order from this vendor again.

Negative Terraverde1
(1 review)
On Jan 5, 2021, Terraverde1 Las Vegas, NM wrote:

Negative is generous. Ordered through their Gurney's Seed & Nursery. Knew the pricing was too good to be true, but had just bought a home and was starting from scratch to build a new garden, well... Complete order was not fulfilled, but I was charged. Root stocks that did arrive were dried, shriveled and dead. Contacted customer service. Despite my listing of orders, date placed, copies of all notifications from the company and records of delivery and my credit card documentation, they could not figure out what had happened. I asked to cancel the outstanding order. I, also, asked given the mess of the situation, that they refund since I had no intention of ever using a credit from the company. They said that they would be back in touch. Instead the balance of the order arrived too late to be productive in the vegetable garden. No credit or refund was given for the dead stuff received. Incredible! I then did some research and sent letters to the company President and VP for Customer Service over all of their companies. No response to either. I've saved the list of all of their companies. I will not order from any of them although I had from time to time over my 3 plus decades of gardening. Buyer beware. There are wonderful mail order nurseries with greater integrity and better plant material to order from...find them!

Negative jbr1303
(1 review)
On Apr 23, 2019, jbr1303 Leesburg, VA wrote:

I placed an order on-line paying in full the amount listed. After the goods were sent, the company sent a supplemental invoice! When I asked for an explanation, the company rep (I think in an off-shore call center) could not provide one, so either the company did not charge the correct amount to Paypal when they shipped each of the various parts of my large order, or they changed the price after the fact. In either case, the rep didn't care that they were losing a long-time customer over a trivial sum and their inability to explain it.

Note that equivalents for many of their headliner products (like "Iron-X weed killer") are now available elsewhere in other forms for a fraction of the price Garden's Alive charges...

Negative think7
(1 review)
On Mar 3, 2018, think7 Dunnellon, FL wrote:

I ordered from them years ago and there was almost always an issue.
This past week I decided to give them another try and nothing has changed. When I called to ask a question I ended up in a foreign call center and had to waste more time on hold trying to speak to a US rep. Their site is a pain and their shipping costs are HIGH.
I planned my spraying window carefully (ordered organic iron based herbicide) based upon cooler weather. They shipped 1 bottle instead of the 2 I paid for and don't even have the common decency to expedite the replacement since it is their error. Now I have to wait another 7-10 days and miss my cool temperature spraying window. Absolutely the last time I order from these clowns. Usually I'm the outlier in these but the number of complaints on against gardens alive is incredible. I should have checked here first. The amazing part is they are still in business.

Negative ncbill
(11 reviews)
On Oct 19, 2017, ncbill West Jefferson, NC wrote:

On July 4, I placed an order with Gardens Alive! dba Breck's. I paid for the order in full at the time of the order. In early October, I received a partial order. I know this is normal, so I didn't think much about it. When the remainder of the order hadn't arrived a week later, I investigated. The order was marked "completed" all shipped in one box, 1 tracking number, 8 pounds. The 8 pounds included the box, packing materials, 2 dozen ferns, 6 iris rhizomes, and 3 geraniums, all packed in plastic bags with dirt/peat. The missing 17 hostas in no way could have been packed in that 8 pound package. They were never packed or shipped to me.

Breck's CSRs refused to re-ship the missing plants, even though they are still listed in stock and available for sale. I could actually purchase them again, at FIVE TIMES THE PRICE I PAID IN JULY!!!!!!!!

I placed this order much earlier than I usually do, because I especially wanted these plants.

Gardens Alive! dba Breck's has cheated me several ways: by holding my money for 3 months and not sending me what I bought, by trying to directly steal from me, claiming they shipped items that they did not ship, by refusing to correct this "mistake", and by trying to gouge me on the "replacement" price of something I already bought and paid for.

A criminally dishonest company.

Negative TheBaron
(1 review)
On May 6, 2017, TheBaron Moreno Valley, CA wrote:

Ordered a pack of their beneficial nematodes in March; I was given a delivery date range of April 7th-14th. The dates passed and still no delivery instead they updated it and pushed the date back another two weeks. I emailed them to complain that I never got my package or any sort of status update. I got an email from Nicole from their support team who apologized and said they'd send another package out to me, and I should've expected it by the 4th of May. Well... given that it's May 6th and I still haven't received anything. I plan to cancel the purchase and dispute it.

Seems like this company may have been reliable in the past, but it seems like a borderline scam company now. Beware of buying from them.

Negative Reviewsplus
(1 review)
On Apr 25, 2017, Reviewsplus Aurora, CO wrote:

There was a problem with my credit card and when I called to give them another one, they tried to add another $50 shipping fees. Even though I had my confirmation with the total cost, the customer rep. insisted this was incorrect. I cancelled my order and will never order from them again. DON'T BUY FROM THIS COMPANY - THEY CAN'T BE TRUSTED!

Negative immuttie
(1 review)
On Apr 20, 2017, immuttie Mocksville, NC wrote:

I ordered three sets of 3 plants for two types of tomatoes and one sweet pepper. The website suggested their transplant care nutrient mix and I chose to order it. The mix was originally $7.99 and I was given a $4.00 discount so the mix actually cost me $3.99. When it arrived, the order total was $15.94 because the shipping and handling on my $3.99 order was $11.95. Gardens Alive! shipping and handling costs seem out of line.

Negative reeve1
(57 reviews)
On Apr 15, 2017, reeve1 Plano, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

It should be garden's dead! This is what they send! K. Van Bourgondien tries to hide behind a new name and affiliation, but it's the same broken, dead plants and now no one responds!

Negative happiergardener
(1 review)
On Mar 31, 2017, happiergardener Bethany, CT wrote:

DO NOT ORDER FROM THIS COMPANY. They are one of a number of companies (Michigan Bulb, Spring Hill, Brecks, etc.) that make you think you are getting a discount by giving you a coupon. The coupons either do not work, or, if the coupon does work, the prices for the items are highly inflated, so there is no discount in the end. It is all a scam. And their products are inferior, both plants and fertilizers. Save yourself aggravation and money. STAY AWAY FROM GARDENERS ALIVE!!!!

Negative zintis
(1 review)
On Mar 3, 2017, zintis Livingston Manor, NY wrote:

I was using one of their frequent 50% off if you buy $50 worth. Was sent one item immediately, and charged for it (far more than it's worth, but I figured the rest of the order will be "free") However, the rest has been on "back order" now for month after month after month. Is this a big scam?

Negative vivvar
(7 reviews)
On Feb 10, 2017, vivvar Centralia, WA wrote:

I ordered Pets Alive, 2, 4lb bags on Jan.18.. Waited until February 10.. Received only one bag..had to call India that serves them.. To get the missing bag...have to wait another 10 days..
There is no reason to have to wait so long...not a plant..They cashed the money right away.! Terrible service...

Negative syswriter
(2 reviews)
On Jul 28, 2016, syswriter Tucson, AZ wrote:

Posted on April 6, 2016, updated July 28, 2016
I ordered one blackberry, one boysenberry and one raspberry from Gardens Alive! They sent me an email announcing that my order had been shipped with a tracking number. The order arrived on time and all plants were alive. They included planting instructions.

On July 28th, 2016, syswriter changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

The blackberry was supposed to be Ouachita, but while thriving, it is obviously another thornless blackberry that has trailing rather than erect stems. They deceived me just to take my money.
The boysenberry died after planting because the cane (with roots) was too slender and lacked the energy to thrive. The raspberry seems to have been as advertised. One out of three.
Negative NarrowWayFarm
(16 reviews)
On Feb 17, 2016, NarrowWayFarm Brookville, OH wrote:

Received an offer in the mail that stated (in bold red lettering):

"$25 GIFT COUPON Good for $25 worth of products from this catalog when you buy $25 or more of additional products at the catalog price."

Under that, written in black:

"Use the order form inside the catalog to deduct $25 off your order of $50 or more. What a great way to try our gardening products with no risk!"

I thought, is it just me or are there two completely different offers on the same coupon? I decided to call to check on the offer and just as I suspected, I was not being offered the portion of the coupon in red, my offer was the one in black. The man (answering the phone in India where the call had been routed, even though the Garden's Alive number appears to be stateside) gave me some silly excuse about the coupon being misprinted. I'm inclined to believe that this was meant to be a bait and switch. Needless to say, I will not be placing an order with this company.

Negative limberlost3
(1 review)
On Nov 21, 2015, limberlost3 Weare, NH wrote:

I purchased from two of Garden Alive's subsidiaries this past Spring. One had a 50% off coupon which I enclosed a full two weeks before the deadline. This coupon was not honored. I was assessed an additional $10.00 late fee and then the bill was sent on to a collections company. The second subsidiary posted in big letters on the front page that everything in the catalog was 50% off if sent in by the deadline. I did just that. Again, I was assessed a $10.00 late fee and the bill was sent to collections, who, by the way, are very harassing.

I would like to add that many of the plants did not make it as they were sent at a time that was not optimal for northern New England. I am very unhappy with this company and will shop only local from now on.

I am a member of our local Garden Club and annually host the membership at our home and gardens. This experience has taught me that purchasing with catalogs is not a good experience.

Negative SadieRose12
(1 review)
On Sep 3, 2015, SadieRose12 Loves Park, IL wrote:

I first try to purchase nematodes to keep the Japanese Beatles at bay, but they sent them not in a "perishable envelope," and they were left in my box, as I was not aware of a shipping on the way. None lived. I called and they were going to send more, but the timing was too late, but they sent some moth catchers that I was interested instead; although I am trying another lure from another company.... THIS IS SOMETHING YOU ALL NEED TO KNOW...I RECEIVED A MAGAZINE CALLED 'TOUCH OF CLASS,' I DID NOT ORDER THIS MAGAZINE, NEVER PURCHASED ANYTHING FROM THEM. I CALLED AND THEY WERE KIND ENOUGH TO RESEARCH IT AND LEARNED THAT MY NAME AND ADDRESS WAS PURCHASED THROUGH 'GARDENS ALIVE.'



Negative Emerogork
(1 review)
On Mar 19, 2015, Emerogork Wethersfield, CT wrote:

Last fall, I was purchasing on-line plants for the first time. I was going through SpringHill and Breck. Generally, I was very happy with them but this year when I was going through my E-voices I saw that they have the same format in their messages. Apparently just the names were changed.

From my experience last fall, I was not happy with the invoices because they did not place the invoice number in the subject line making it very difficult to track. So I wrote to both of them saying that I would not be ordering from them unless they modified their message structure.

Now for the strange part. I received an e-mail response TO me and it was marked as being FROM me too. I have seen this in scam messages before so I looked at the hidden header. It is from GARDENS ALIVE!

P.S. I hear that Springhill is probably going bankrupt as hears in an NPR article this afternoon. Apparently they have been in the red for three years now. NPR mentioned that they are the largest grower/nursery in US.

I just checked the headers for Michigan Bulb, Breck's, and Spring Hill. They are all through Garden's Alive.

The plot thickens....

Negative schlechtenwolf
(1 review)
On Jun 24, 2014, schlechtenwolf Waunakee, WI wrote:

I ordered from gardens Alive with one of their buy $25 get $25 promotional catalogs. I ordered promptly from them and had the four items I ordered, a sprayer, packet of corn, key lime plant, and a meyer lemon plant on hold with four estimated ship dates. Within a month the corn and sprayer arrived and they changed the date of the lime plant to deliver another month behind and the lemon was to ship in September. After receiving several notices on ship dates being changed the company just cancelled the remainder of my order. BUYER BEWARE. I spent $25 on corn and a sprayer and never got the free products.

Negative concernedfarmer
(1 review)
On Jun 9, 2014, concernedfarmer Alsea, OR wrote:

I sent an email to Garden's Alive on 6/9/14 inquiring if they purchase any products from Monsanto or Monsanto's seed company Seminis for I recently heard that they do.

This is the response I received back:
[email protected]
9:34 AM (1 hour ago)
to me
Dear Sally:

Thank you for your email and interest in our products. Unfortunately, in compliance with our agreement with our vendors, we are unable to disclose manufacturer information. I apologize for any inconvenience. If we can be of further assistance, feel free to contact us.


Customer Service

Now, I believe in full disclosure & transparency from anyone wanting my money &/or support. (For example, upon questioning, Johnny's Selected Seed & Territorial both admit to purchasing some of their seed from Seminis. Johnny's even lists the varieties so a person can choose to avoid. I do not believe in the ag gag law either, I want to know about my food, how it is cared for, what's in it & where it is from! So, buyer beware when it comes to Garden's Alive!!!

Negative food4me
(2 reviews)
On Mar 19, 2014, food4me Idaho Falls, ID (Zone 5a) wrote:

Posted on March 19, 2014, updated March 19, 2014
I've been a customer for over 10 years, usually two orders a year, each usually a minimum of $100 or more. Beginning of March I went online to place my spring order, had problems with the web page although it indicated the charge had gone through, called on a weekend to do order corrections and got a polite male person in India who spoke heavily accented English. Order confirmation he did was wrong. Called back, got a female person in India who spoke heavily accented English who could not understand me and I could understand only an occasional word she said. It took a lot of repetition but she finally got my name and address correct and identified my order. It was taking forever to go over and over the same information and I had other obligations that day, so I asked three times for a representative in the USA or someone who was a native English speaker but she wouldn't/didn't transfer me. She kept repeating over and over "give me your credit card number" "give me your credit card number" until I finally hung up. The next person I got had a Philippines type accent and when I asked she said she was not in India. Gave her my credit card information. Cancelled one of my two orders. Their overseas representatives apparently can read a script from a computer screen but they don't have the knowledge of the context of what they are reading. Then I kept getting emails from them saying my credit card charge had been declined and had been referred to another department. I went in person to my bank, thinking my card information might have been stolen, and verified that I have more than enough available credit for that order. Called them back. Company said I had to call to verify my credit card information. I did that twice. Kept gettng emails that said the charge had been declined. Kept sending emails back to them that my card was OK. Got an emal back that I had to call the company. It's been over a dozen emails since the first of March and today I got one that said they had cancelled the order because the charge wouldn't go through. This used to be a very reliable company, but I'm not going to waste time trying to deal with them again and won't recommend them. I looked online and found a variety of stories similar to mine told by people who won't deal with them any more and also read the reviews on Dave's Garden. Something has gone very wrong at Gardens Alive. Have they gone bankrupt, been sold to a company in India, been bought by a conglomerate that owns other gardening companies? Sad. They can't afford to pay someone in Indiana or a US call center $7.50 an hour for a person to help their customers and process orders? Very sad.

On March 19th, 2014, food4me added the following:

After I posted this comment a letter arrived in the mail from a Jack Gregory, Controller, saying that an order I cancelled at the beginning of March (about 2 1/2 weeks ago) was on hold because my credit card charge did not go through. I also have an email from customer service in India saying the order had been cancelled. No one told Mr. Gregory yet. As I read the other comments about people being billed incorrectly or being sent someone else's bills I wonder what will show up on my credit card statement this month and in the months to come. Customer no-Service incompetence is one thing; financial and billing mistakes are scary. You have no idea what they've done with your credit card information or whose charges you are going to get. I have to agree with the person who said to stay away from this company.
Negative iremodel
(1 review)
On Mar 18, 2014, iremodel Costa Mesa, CA wrote:

First they lost my shipment. They sent a replacement. Then they sent a bill. I indicated that I'd paid by credit card and sent copy of order showing nothing due. I suggested that they were charging for the replacement. T

They sent another bill with a statement form someone else in an entirely different state and 3x the amount I ordered. And a pretty nasty letter. Indicating that there had been a "glitch' in their system and they'd been unable to charge my card. NO envelope to send payment. I sent e-mail indicating that enclosed statement was not mine and requested they call me so can correct. They indicated that I needed call them. They have NO 800# so this will be along distance call. Requested they call me and I'd give them cc#. They e-mailed back that they can't call out.

Said no thank you. Send me another invoice with correct statement and a return envelope with postage paid. Why should I need to spend my $$ to call them to correct their errors or for that matter spend the $$ for an envelope and a's down to the the principal of it now.

Horrible Customer Service. There are so many companies out there that actually care. do business with someone else.

Negative mcfez
(2 reviews)
On Mar 5, 2014, mcfez Rio Linda, CA wrote:

Scam Alert!

I operate a small farm AND a landscaping business for years.Seen many good vendors out there.....these guys are not the good guys at all.

These guys sent me a catalog with a big $25.00 off any purchase....even if it is under $25.00! I seen this scam from the Gurney Seed folks (the ones that never responses back to inquires). Gurneys simple charged $25.00 for a postal fee to mail out a two pound box to Sacramento ca. to make up the "deep discount".

I had to test the Garden Alive site to see what the scam was for them. Well....Garden Alive simple wont accept the coupon code for a purchase under $25.00! Say Gardens Alive.....dont respond here saying "perhaps I entered the code wrong". I did not after three tries.......and the Internet was working perfectly here no loss connection to mess up the code process :-)

I believe these companies are betting on the fact that someone has spent so much time at their site picking out stuff, and then finds out that there are real issues with these so called coupons.....that the buyer will just go ahead and purchase anyhow.

Gurneys is known to have less seed count per package.....I bet this company does the same.

On Mar 5, 2014, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Apr 29, 2014 8:14 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

We appreciate your posting. All of the coupons we offer are valid and can be used. We do have problems at times with the codes not working properly but we will always honor our coupons. If you have problems like this you can call us and we would be happy to place your order for you. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information."

Negative chunx
(35 reviews)
On Feb 4, 2014, chunx San Diego, CA wrote:

This company has turned into a conglomerate of low class, low quality, and poorly rated gardening companies that were formerly independent. Gardens Alive bought out these struggling companies and did not improve them but rather made them worse and continues to sell defective, dead, dying, low quality items.

I once used to order a lot of their lawn and garden fertilizers and potions. Over the years, I've watched them deteriorate into a giant cesspool of bad products, no customer service, and useless bankrupt companies. They bought these companies not to improve them but to feed off of the previous reputations before they were tarnished. Here is an example:


1984 Natural Gardening Research Center founded

1988 company name changed to Gardens Alive!

1997 acquired Audubon Workshop catalog out of bankruptcy

2001 paid $10.75 million for most of the horticultural titles from bankrupt Foster & Gallagher’s, which included Breck’s, Gurney Seeds, Henry Field’s, Michigan Bulb and Spring Hill Nursery; sells F&G’s Stark Bros. catalog

2008 acquired former BlueSky Brands catalogs Bits and Pieces and The Paragon

2009 purchased six catalogs: Room Service Home, Spilsbury, The Added Touch, Images of Canada, TouchStone and the U.S. operations of Thompson & Morgan Seedsmen

2010 bid unsuccessfully for the Park Seed and Jackson & Perkins catalogs.

I fully expect them to buy Burgess Seed, a notoriously poor company with reviews which reflects it.

Even Gardens Alive has outsourced it's customer service and order lines to India rather than provide jobs in the USA. When I called last fall, I couldn't understand the rep I was speaking with and called back. I received another rep that repeated the same monologue but couldn't answer my questions or deal with the call adequately. If you don't understand how these call centers work in foreign countries, there are "grades" of them. The skilled ones have people working in them that have little accents, speak English as well or better than we do, and get paid substantially more. It goes down from there and I'm fairly certain that Gardens Alive has hired the bottom of the slum dwellers.

Products that were previously good are no longer available or have changed formulations. My last order never arrived, it was out of stock. I think I lucked out although getting a refund was quite a chore. Never again.

I'm sure I'll get a company response to this and then no follow-up that I would be able to understand if they even made an attempt. Beware of these types of businesses. They are bottom feeders, have poor or non-existent customer service, and low quality control, if any.

On Feb 4, 2014, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Feb 11, 2014 1:02 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

We appreciate your feedback. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information."

Negative khiem1939
(1 review)
On Feb 3, 2014, khiem1939 Kingman, AZ wrote:

Over a month ago I ordered 2 #4413 Sunshine Blue Blueberries from Gardens Alive after receiving from them an unsolicited "$25.00 FREE" offer of plants. Shortly thereafter I received 3 emails from them to ADD to my present order which I declined. Today, over a month later I received a postcard, NOT an email, stating "The following items are out of stock for the season", which of course negates and cancels their "$25.00 FREE" plant offer! If when I originally ordered these plants they were UNAVAILABLE, why was I not advised of this, instead of them attempting to increase my order? No matter how I look at this, it seems a "scam" to me!

On Feb 3, 2014, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Feb 11, 2014 1:00 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your feedback and I apologize for the problems with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check into this for you."

Negative gpowless
(2 reviews)
On Jan 19, 2014, gpowless Port Hope,
Canada wrote:

I have ordered from Hentry Fields for the past 3 years and was satisfied with the varieties and quantity of seeds I received. However last year I tried ordering live plants with the expectation that they would provide the same satisfaction.

I ordered blueberries, strawberries and raspberries and they were shipped long after they should have been planted. When they arrived all the strawberries were completely dried out. The raspberry canes had some evidence of growth and the blueberries were still dormant.

As soon as the plants arrived they were planted, watered and nurtured. Of 24 strawberry plants only about 6 were viable. 1 of 5 raspberry canes survived and only 1 of 4 blueberry plants grew. Extreme disappointment not only at getting ripped off but of having to delay another year for fruit plants.

Never shopping through Henry Fields or any of their affilliates again.

On Jan 19, 2014, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Jan 22, 2014 11:57 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

I am sorry to hear about the problem with your plants. I would be happy to reship these to you. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information."

Negative MaryArneson
(15 reviews)
On Nov 10, 2013, MaryArneson Minneapolis, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I ordered some organic drain cleaner and a couple of garden items recently. A few days later, there was a call from Gardens Alive! but I missed it and didn't know what it was about. Maybe a week later, they called again and left a message with my son that I needed to call them. I phoned and was told that my credit card number had been wrong. I gave them the card number and was assured that the order would be on its way. Nothing happened for another 10 days or so, until they called again, saying that I needed to call them. I called, and they said that they had no credit card information on my order, so they couldn't ship it. I canceled the order and told them that I had lost confidence that they could handle credit card information safely and securely.

On Nov 10, 2013, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Nov 15, 2013 12:50 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. We apologize for the confusion over your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check into this matter."

Negative Joylucile
(11 reviews)
On Aug 21, 2013, Joylucile Bristol, TN wrote:

I have not received my product yet but I would like to post feedback on the ordering and delivery process. Early on a Monday morning, I ordered 900 ladybugs. The person who took the order said that since I had called before noon, the package would go out that day. On Wednesday I called because I had gotten no bugs and no shipping notice of any kind. I was told that the ladybugs had not shipped; they only ship one day a week, either on a Thursday or Friday and they ship UPS. I said that since UPS doesn't deliver on the week-ends, there was a good chance that all these bugs could be sitting somewhere in a building or on a truck over the week-end. The person on the phone agreed but assured me it wouldn't hurt the bugs. Every other company that I know of that ships live insects and even many companies that ship life plants, always ship early in the week to avoid this exact problem. No wonder the instructions for the ladybugs say to give them water as soon as they arrive because they will thirsty! It makes no sense at all to pick one day a week and then pick a day when the bugs aren't likely to make it to their destination in the week they are shipped!! If you want ladybugs, I would go somewhere else to get them!

On Aug 21, 2013, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Aug 23, 2013 9:06 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. I apologize for the confusion on the shipping of the ladybeetles. We usually ship the ladybeetles on Monday or Tuesday and we ship via first class mail. The information you were given is incorrect. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check on the status of your ladybeetles for you."

Negative aakowitz
(1 review)
On Jun 14, 2013, aakowitz Hamden, CT wrote:

I am an avid gardener, PhD scientist and Director of Sales in a Biotech company and have used Gardens Alive products for a few years now. I recently made 2 separate orders of 3 different species of grafted tomato plants on each order to be sent to 2 different delivery addresses in my home state of Connecticut. I placed these orders in March and when I received my first shipment in mid May, only one plant arrived and it was in a state of dehydration with dead branches and severe yellowing on the plant sent. I'm sure this is an expected possible consequence of shipping immature seedlings in a cardboard box thru UPS & USPS delivery. My first shipment at my other address also arrived in mid May and contained only 2 of the 3 ordered plants with 1 plant in a similar stressed condition to above, while the other plant was broken in half at the point of the graft. I contacted Customer Service and they said I would receive a replacement for the broken dead plant in 4-6 weeks and the remainder of my outstanding orders on both orders would ship in 2-3 weeks. I did receive another shipment at my first address in the beginning of June that contained only 1 of the 2 plants due. I contacted Customer Service again and they told me that their records show there were 2 plants sent, despite the fact it had only one in it when I opened it. They also told me that the replacement plant for the broken plant sent to the second address was now canceled and the outstanding plant due along w the replacement for the missing plant would arrive in a possible 4 weeks (July). I was never notified of the cancellation of the broken plant and dismayed that the partial completion of the remainder of my orders was delayed even further. More than the loss of the plants, I was at odds w/ their Customer Service's perspective to accept the possibility of a discrepency in what their records say was shipped in the box and what was present when I opened it. In addition, in my mind, waiting until July to plant tomato seedlings in Connecticut is a waste of a gardening opportunity this year. Since the Customer Service Rep was in the Phillipines, I concluded he didn't appreciate the limitations of the New Engtand growing seasons and now I just wanted to forget this entire experience. He offered a credit slip for the cost of the 3 missing plants that could be used for future purchases with Gardens Alive, but I insisted on a direct credit be applied to my Visa card. I have not verified receipt of this credit on my Credit Card account yet, but I have learned a valuable lesson about buying grafted seedlings shipped thru UPS&USPS delivery. I recognize this seems like a lot of hysteria for a few tomato plants, but I was interested in the hybrid plants as a scientific experiment and I want others to understand possible consequences in a much larger financial investment in this type of product.

On Jun 14, 2013, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Jun 18, 2013 12:51 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for letting us know about the problem with your order. I apologize for the inconvenience. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and make sure your refund has been issued."

Negative timc61552
(1 review)
On May 13, 2013, timc61552 Antelope Hills, WY wrote:

last year i ordered 2 grafted plants from gardens alive.they were impressive!packaging was incredible plants arrived healthy and large. 8-10 inches tall.i bragged them up all year!!!several people made the decision to order this year.i avoid them at all cost!!the plants i ordered were almost dead or already dead.packaging was awful !!i was upset!!.i emailed them and they are what?my garden is ruined.i have to buy from a greenhouse now.normaly i start my own plants from seed.the grafted plants last year were just see what they were like.i was so impressed there was no need to start my own tomatos and peppers.3 plants might pull thru but the san marzono was doa.last year the box proudly said gardens alive in large letters like they were proud of the product.this year the shipping label said gardens alive in very small letters.the old bait and switch!

On May 13, 2013, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On May 18, 2013 9:19 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for letting us know about the problem with your plants. I apologize the plants were not in good shape and for all your inconvenience. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this for you. I can assure you we are the same company and we will do everything we can to make this right.


Negative aacook72
(1 review)
On May 12, 2013, aacook72 Durham, NC wrote:

Posted on May 5, 2013, updated May 12, 2013
I ordered online $250+ of grafted tomato and pepper plants from Gardens Alive. The health quality of the plants I received was pitiful considering they sell them at $9.95 a piece. All the tomatoe plants I received looked more dead than alive and were all rootbound in pots too small when compared to the height of the plant. The website advertises you will receive Brandywine and Mortgage Lifter varieties in 3" pots, but I did not. I have sense purchased a few more grafted tomato plants from my local nursery. These plants are from Burpee and the difference is night and day. The proof is in the pudding.

On May 12th, 2013, aacook72 added the following:

Dear Company Representative,

The grafted tomato plants weren't the only disappointment. Your grafted pepper plants arrived half dead, the leaves were yellow in color, and the majority of the leaves dropped off before I could transplant. The charge of $9.95 per grafted pepper plant is too high for the quality of plant you deliver.
On May 12, 2013, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On May 8, 2013 7:35 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for letting us know about the problem with your tomato plants. I apologize the plants were not in good shape and for all your inconvenience. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this for you."

Negative asgn77
(2 reviews)
On May 10, 2013, asgn77 Orland Park, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I ordered online 3 beefsteak tomato plants and 1 GRAFTED TOMATO CARMELLO in the middle of February .
When i get beefsteak tomatoes i was so damn badly shocked!!!!
I get 3 dead yellow sticks instead of plants. they advertised that plant come in 3 in. pots but it was 1.5 .
As for grafted tomatoes i get almost dead plant ,which costs me $8.46. For beefsteaks i payed $11.
Yesterday i went to Menards and find a lot of different kinds of tomatoes there hardy ,alive and the same size for $1.50 per 6 pack.

On May 10, 2013, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On May 11, 2013 10:24 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for letting us know about the condition of your tomato plants. I apologize for the problems. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this for you."

Negative dougan
(1 review)
On Apr 4, 2013, dougan Parma Heights, OH wrote:

I've ordered from Baker's Seeds, Burpee, Johnny's, and Seedsavers Exchange with no problems whatsoever. I had to email Gardensalive over 6 times because they charged double my state tax, and they had difficulties inputing my address (adding a line for my apartment number!).

After the first 4 emails, each from a different representative, I asked them to send me a $3.95 packet of seeds to make me a happy customer. Rather than that, they wanted to send me a $5 gift certificate that would have required me to overpay on my next online purchase by $5, and then, trust them to deduct that $5 from my credit card. As if I would trust them again in the first place! I told them to please keep the certificate. In my final email, I requested that they unsubscribe me from their email list and to not contact me again.

A simple first-ever order of 4 smart pots should never be this difficult. I also nixed one phone order with Gardensalive when I called a few months ago. I didn't feel confident giving my credit card number to what sounded like an overseas call center.

There are better companies out there that listen to their customers, have better IT systems and better customer representatives. Let's find better companies and do our business with them!

On Apr 4, 2013, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Apr 5, 2013 12:14 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

We appreciate you letting us know about the problems you had with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and rectify this for you."

Negative aphrab
(1 review)
On Mar 12, 2013, aphrab Saint Stephens, NC wrote:

I can't get unsubscribed from Gardens Alive. They send ads every day.

On Mar 12, 2013, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Mar 14, 2013 8:31 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for letting us know. I apologize for the inconvenience. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your email address and make sure you are unsubscribed."

Negative BassyB
(1 review)
On Feb 15, 2013, BassyB Dallas, TX wrote:

I have been a long time customer (over 10 years) and the last two times I have called because of an issue with their website ordering process, discounts, etc. (including not being able to sign in without a catalog), the customer service rep has spoken to me like a child and when I stop to tell her I understand the issue, I just want it corrected, her tone of voice very snippy and insulting. I will take my business elsewhere and I am called to be removed from their mailing list and website. They also spam you will catalogs by selling your name to other garden supply companies.

On Feb 15, 2013, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Feb 19, 2013 10:47 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. I apologize for the problems you have had with our site and one of our agents. I will have one of our customer service representatives contact you so we can take care of these issues for you."

Negative nashnewbie
(4 reviews)
On Jul 16, 2012, nashnewbie Nashville, TN wrote:

I placed a large order this spring with Gardens Alive, primarily because I'm an organic gardener and they have a variety of organic products. It's very difficult to find organic plants in my area, so I had decided to start and/or plant my own.

Mail order companies are a boon to gardeners, because they make it possible to find plants that we might not have available through local stores. So in that regard, I want to be fair to companies I've ordered from. On the other hand, I think it's only fair to warn others if I've encountered consistent problems with a company.

My main complaint is low/no germination of a number of the organic seeds/bulbs: most notably two types of onion, summer squash, spinach, garlic, arugula. Also, a raspberry plant that never grew.

It also took 2 months for all the items to arrive. I'm not sure how to prevent this--my order was placed in early April, which I guess is the busy season for nurseries. When I've ordered from other companies, I've never had quite as many items on back order or slow to arrive, but perhaps it has to do with the fact the items were organically grown.

I would not give this company an F; in fact, the tomato seeds all sprouted. But if you're ordering organic products, you might want to think twice about it and/or just order a few so that you aren't risking your whole crop.

I just contacted the company about the problems, so will update my rating after I hear from them.

On Jul 16, 2012, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Jul 16, 2012 1:21 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your posting. We apologize for the problem you has with the seeds and we would be happy to replace them for you or refund your money, whichever you would prefer. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this for you."

Negative mouserut
(1 review)
On Jun 20, 2012, mouserut Charleston, UT wrote:

Ordered many packets of seeds and have been horrified at the germination rate - less than 10%. I've been gardening for over 30 years and have never had so much trouble. Out of the 450 seeds of corn I planted only 14 plants have come up over a month later. In Utah the growing season is VERY short so my guess is I will not see one ear before frost. Not ONE of the zuchini has germinated, not one. Butternut trees leafed out and promptly died, ditto for the rasberries. Canadice grape is doing great. I did contact the company (Gurney's) with my complaint and they are promising a refund. Happy with that but will never order from this company again. They also owe me a refund of $142 from a previous complaint, have yet to see that one

On Jun 20, 2012, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Jun 21, 2012 2:57 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your posting.We apologize for the problems with your order. A customer service representative will contact you for your account information and check on your refunds for you.


Negative Annie321
(1 review)
On May 29, 2012, Annie321 Pleasant Valley, MO wrote:

I ordered a batch of 5 million flea-eating Nematodes on May 2 and waited...and waited some more. I received no explanation for the delay. I finally emailed customer service and explained I needed to cancel my order if they were unable to supply the item. A few days later I received an email that my item had shipped on May 23 (21 days after I ordered them--not including the actual time in route). Again, the email included no information regarding the reason for the delay and a simple "sorry for any inconvenience." Nematodes work best if introduced in the cool temps of spring before fleas get going, so a month delay is significant.

On May 29, 2012, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On May 29, 2012 1:17 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your posting. It may be the nematodes were on backorder. We apologize for the delay. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check on what had happened."

Negative Backyardgrower
(1 review)
On Apr 22, 2012, Backyardgrower Dallas, TX wrote:

I have used Gardens Alive products in the past and the performed very well. The reason for my negative rating is that I suspect that some of their products, specifically, Tomatoes Alive, Vegetables Alive, and Root Crops Alive may contain high levels of dangerous heavy metals like Arsenic, Cadmium, and Lead.

My suspicion is based on the fact that I asked Gardens Alive to tell me the level of these heavy metals in the products listed above and they declined. They told me that the numbers were low but declined to give them to me even after repeated requests. The word "low" is good but it means very little without the actual number to compare to other products and my own acceptance levels. The only reason that I can think of for this refusal is that the numbers were not favorable.

Beyond this, I have nothing but praise for the company and the performance of its products. Unfortunately not knowing the heavy metal contents of the products make them too risky for me.

On Apr 22, 2012, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On May 3, 2012 11:55 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your posting. We checked on this for you and the amounts of heavy metals in our products are so low they are below the minimum reporting amount."

Negative lapaixfarm
(1 review)
On Oct 11, 2011, lapaixfarm ALUM BRIDGE, WV wrote:

I ordered two lady bug traps from Gardens Alive within the last two months, and as the lady bugs (Japanese and not
really ladies) descended this autumn day, we read the directions closely and affixed (or thought we did) the two boxes to the windows as directed. Later that day (yesterday), I noted that the one which was attached to the window in my office had fallen - the sticky part on one side was not sticky at all. I re-placed the trap on the wooden frame between the upper and lower windows. This a.m., my helper, who had put the traps on the windows arrived and we examined what was wrong with the trap. The sticky part on one side was not sticky and trying to find another layer did not reveal any solution to the problem. In doing this I accidentally upended the trap and powder flew out and up my lungs. That was a good l/2 hour ago and I am still coughing and choking - I vacuumed up what was on the floor but have no idea what I have inhaled. I called the phone # of Gardens Alive and talked to someone in India who after hearing my complaint and getting my name and address and business name stated that I did not have any account with Garden's Alive nor did I ever order from them. Therefore, I did not exist and there was no help to be had. I wanted to let the company know that they had a defective product, one with unknown repercussions should the powder get in the atmosphere - that the sticky part didn't work - and I needed to know what was in the powder. Would it draw lady bugs to inundate my office? Was it dangerous? Do I need to go to a Dr. or emergency ward? Well, obviously I am frustrated. I will never order from them again. Their product is inherently defective and possibly dangerous. But the man in India didn't care - I think his name might have been Peggy. Throroughly disgusted and pretty much alarmed.

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

"On Oct 17, 2011 10:36 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. I apologize that your account could not be located. A customerr service representative will contact you for your account information so we can locate your account and take care of this for you."

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