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Comments regarding Specialty Perennials

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  Feedback History and Summary  
45 positives
8 neutrals
26 negatives


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Positive flowerhead410
(1 review)
On Feb 2, 2008, flowerhead410 Nelson, NH (Zone 5a) wrote:

I did find that it took about 5 weeks for the order to come, but I LOVE their selection and find the wait worthwhile!

Neutral earthtiller
(1 review)
On Jan 24, 2008, earthtiller Wichita Falls, TX (Zone 7a) wrote:

My order for $33.50 was placed on 11/24/07. My credit card was charged on 11/26/07. After reading the bad reviews, I decided to send an email to the company on 12/12/07 to check on my order. I did not get an answer.

The next week, I called the business phone number and had to leave a message. No return call.

On 1/11/08, I called back and spoke to Harvey Henjum. He said that he would check on my order and get it sent out if it hadn't already been mailed. I also told him about the bad reviews his company was rec'g on DG Watchdog site.

On 1/14/08, I called back to follow-up. No answer, so I left a message.

On 1/15/08 (at 6:30am) I call and spoke to Harvey. Once again, he stated that he didn't know what was going on with my order and that hew would have to 'check'. (He couldn't check on it at the moment.) He said that he or his son would call me back. I sent an email to follow-up on the order. I have figured out by this time that the company is a small, family business ran by Paul Henjum and his Father, Harvey. It seems that Harvey handles the phone calls and Paul handles the packaging and mailing from a different residence.

At this point, I am starting to feel jaded and sad that I wouldn't be getting my order. These were seeds that I hadn't been able to find anywhere else. I am also getting concerned that even if I did cancel the order, I wouldn't get my money back. I researched everything I could on the internet about this company and the two owners. I called the BBB in their city and found out that they had 4 unresolved complaints on file.

On 1/16/08, I called Harvey at 7:30am (early morning seems to be the best time to get an answer). He still didn't have any information on the order other than "they would have to re-send it". I was nice and told him that I would call back tomorrow to check up on it.

That evening, I received an email that my order had shipped! I was in shock! I didn't want to get too excited until I actually had the seeds in hand. The seeds got to me on 1/22/08. They were well packaged and 10 extra seed packages were included.

I don't know if I will order from them again. I hope that Specialty Perennials can get their act together and start redeeming themselves. I like the seeds that they offer and the prices are fair.

My advice to those of you who are still waiting on seeds is to call the company instead of sending an email.

Negative teenybopper
(2 reviews)
On Jan 21, 2008, teenybopper Loomis, CA wrote:

They have sent me and charged me for a second order of the seeds I ordered. I did not make the second order.
NO response to my e-mail when I wrote to tell them of their mistake.
This company is BAD news.

Positive ntl059
(1 review)
On Jan 18, 2008, ntl059 Roca, NE wrote:

Placed seed order 01-08-08 and received them today 01-18-08, nicely packaged. Additionally, I received an e-mail from them several days ago indicating the order had been shipped.

This was one of a few vendors who offered seed of one of the varieties I ordered.

Would order again from them assuming germination rate is good.

Neutral SonjaSkyles
(14 reviews)
On Jan 10, 2008, SonjaSkyles Elk Grove, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I ordered seeds on 7/1/07, and my American Express account was charged $33.08 the same day. On 7/24/07 I asked them by e-mail, when my order would be shipped. A few days later I called them and left a message, but they did not call me back, and I did not receive an answer to my e-mail. On 10/14/07 I sent another e-mail, but I have not received a reply from them. I'm still waiting for my seeds. My order number was 2999.

On March 4th, 2008, SonjaSkyles changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

On February 19, 2008, I mailed a copy of my order to Specialty Perennials, and I also called them to inform them, that it was coming. I was told, that they would send me the seeds, when they received my letter. On February 28, 2008, I received e-mail from them, that my order had been reshipped, and today, March 3, I got my seeds with five packages of extra seeds. Even though it took a long time, I'm changing my rating to Neutral to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was really lost in the mail the first time.
Positive timeinabottle
(7 reviews)
On Dec 18, 2007, timeinabottle Louisville, KY wrote:

I have just recieved my second shipment of seeds from Specialty perennials, and on both occassions I have been
very pleased.

They had some problems with their computers recently and had to search for my order , but then they sent them right along. They are a source for seeds that can be found no where else.

Positive desertluver99
(2 reviews)
On Dec 12, 2007, desertluver99 Mobile, AL (Zone 9a) wrote:

ordered several types of seed...small yellow envelope arrived in about 14 days...all seeds within...thanks

Neutral jenf
(5 reviews)
On Oct 2, 2007, jenf Qualicum, BC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Ordered seeds Aug 15th, credit card was billed. Have not received anything, same experiences as others in trying to contact them. Contact a man who says he will have his son deal with it. Never get return calls or e-mails or seeds. DO NOT TRUST THIS COMPANY

On October 24th, 2007, jenf changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Finally received seeds after many calls made, almost 2 months later. On a positive note extra seeds were included and unavailable seeds were refunded.
Positive gloriag
(8 reviews)
On Sep 22, 2007, gloriag Floyd, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Specialty Plants has a tremendous variety of seeds. I have dealt with them for several years, and I love the varieties.
Today I received my order for primrose and campanulas; it was delivered promptly and they even included about three extra. I will make a second order shortly so that I will be ready for winter sowing. The prices are low compared to some catalog companies. I really appreciate that too.

On May 30th, 2009, gloriag added the following:

I ordered only a few days ago. Specialty Perennials immediately acknowledged my order and shipped it within a couple of days.
They even included extra seeds which were right along the same line of seeds that I had ordered. I cannot say enough for their amazing range of seeds offered. I have only good things to say about them.
Negative PrairieOgre
(1 review)
On Sep 12, 2007, PrairieOgre Morton, IL wrote:

I placed my order in mid-July and they charged my credit card at that time. I have sent them 3 emails asking about the status of my order with no response. I've called and left 2 messages and I've spoken to a gentleman that claimed to be the owner's father. He said that he would have his son contact me. It hasn't happened yet. The father suggested that orders with multiple species and small quantities were harder to fill and that might be what's causing the delay.

If they are overwhelmed or behind, I wish they would offer the simple courtesy of letting the customer know either by email or via a message on their website.

If I don't get a response soon, I will contact my credit card company and contest the charges. I'm also considering reporting them for internet fraud with the Minnesota Attorney General.

Buyer beware!

Negative georgiehopper
(2 reviews)
On Aug 21, 2007, georgiehopper Pleasant Valley, MD (Zone 6a) wrote:

Placed $81.00 seed order on July 16th 2007 and paid the same day.
7/25/07 I emailed them about this order and received a reply that the seed would be shipped soon.
8/7/07: emailed them again and no reply
Then I started calling. Left a message the first time, but received no follow up. Got a person the second time who said they were a little behind. Got no follow up the third time. Got another person the 4th time, who said this was his son's business and he'd follow up with me... NEVER HAPPENED!
I emailed again and then again...telling them that I now want a refund since I've not even been given the courtesy of a reply. Still no response. Then emails started coming back to me saying that the mailbox was no longer available.
I contacted my bank today who is going to dispute the $81.00 charge.
These people are either in financial trouble or they are scammers.

Stay Away From Them.

On September 23rd, 2007, georgiehopper added the following:

Here it is September 23rd 2007. A few weeks ago they left me a message saying they would refund my $$. I also contacted the better business bureau. I have still NOT RECEIVED MY REFUND! I held off on disputing the charge thinking I'd get my money back, but now, since they are once again ignoring me, I am going to the bank on Monday to dispute the charge.

These people are extremely unprofessional.
Positive Chewster
(3 reviews)
On Aug 20, 2007, Chewster Three Rivers, MI wrote:

I placed an order on the 4th Of this month and received an email confirming that my seeds were shipped on the 13th and received my seeds today (20th)

The packageing and labeling was awesome and I loved the seed selection that was offered. I placed an order with this company last year and had a fantastic germination rate.

I give Specialty Perennials a very positive feedback. I am very pleased with my order and I will order again.


Negative Phloid
(2 reviews)
On Aug 18, 2007, Phloid Candler, NC (Zone 6b) wrote:

Some weeks ago I placed an online order with Hardy Plants and when the final order came up, it was listed as Speciality Perennials. I join those who who where lurded to order from Hardy Plants, aka Speciality Perennials, by their great selection and great prices; however I also join with those that have had a very negative experience. I placed an order and after 3 weeks of no items received or any correspondence sent me, I made an friendly email inquiry and left a message to their telephone. The business replied to neither.

This is unacceptable business practice. I did not have the problem that they had already charged my credit card so I closed the card account used and will refuse any items sent me.

I encourage the gardening community to boycott this shady business.

Negative lorettamar
(1 review)
On Aug 14, 2007, lorettamar Southold, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

6/21- I ordered seeds on-line and my credit card was charged the same day.
7/6-I emailed them to ask when I could expect the seeds. No response.
7/25-I called them and was told that the seeds "should be going out now."
8/14-still no seeds received and no communication from them. I contacted my credit card company.

Negative joellehamel
(1 review)
On Jul 27, 2007, joellehamel Bel Air, MD wrote:

I made a purchase at the beginning of June which the company immediately charged me for. As of today, July 27th, I still have not received my order nor have I heard back from the many emails I sent. A week ago, I contacted my credit card company and reported this. They are investigating the charge. I wouldn't recommend this store to anyone.

Negative Hostafarian
(14 reviews)
On Jul 27, 2007, Hostafarian Etna, CA wrote:

Gardening Bro's & Ho's, beware of dese folks. Their website says anything listed is in stock and will be shipped within 3 weeks. I placed an order on June 6th and after 2 mailings and no response am starting to feel like, you know, 'RIPPED OFF'. A hex on dem from da Hostafarian.

Negative hugeposiepatch
(12 reviews)
On Jul 25, 2007, hugeposiepatch Clearfield, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I ordered seeds June 3, 2007--I still am waiting on my seed order--I called them a couple of weeks ago and still no seeds. I have since emailed. A person can only take so much.

On August 14th, 2007, hugeposiepatch changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:

Well, here it is the middle of August and still no seeds. They took my money out of my bank on June 3, 2007. Are they OUT OF BUSINESS or just CROOKS?????
Negative sswayze
(2 reviews)
On Jun 26, 2007, sswayze Lexington, KY wrote:

Ordered a variety of seeds & was very excited to see their selection. Unfortunatley, after a month did not receive them, although my credit card had been billed on the day of my order. I sent numerous emails which were all ignored until I threatened to go to my bank, then they sent me an email back apologizing and saying my order had been sent out. Over a month later, still no seeds, and no responses to the numerous emails I've sent.

Do not order from these people. They will cheat you.

Positive Ruth_MI
(6 reviews)
On Apr 22, 2007, Ruth_MI Northville, MI wrote:

Found some seeds I couldn't find elsewhere -- reasonable prices, arrived in a reasonable amount of time. I'd order from them again.

Positive karenhane
(15 reviews)
On Apr 20, 2007, karenhane Manchester, CT (Zone 5a) wrote:

very positive! i ordered seeds on 3/31. a couple weeks later i got an email stating the company was very sorry for the delay in sending the seeds. they also stated they would send extra seeds and additional seeds along with my order. everything was packaged nice and tidy with planting instructions on each little package. i cannot vouch for the germination as i have yet to plant them, but the service is great and this company has seeds i have not seen else where.

Positive Erynne
(10 reviews)
On Mar 21, 2007, Erynne Orangeville, ON (Zone 4b) wrote:

I have placed 2 orders with this company in the past year and have had no problems with their seeds with regards to germination. The shipping took 2-3 weeks each time but I expected this as I am in Canada. I love the selection of seeds that they carry and the prices are very reasonable. They included bonus packs with each of my orders which I thought was very nice. I will definitely place more orders with them in the future.

Positive podster
(5 reviews)
On Mar 15, 2007, podster Deep East Texas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Order placed 2/28 and rec'd 3/15... I was a little impatient to receive as our growing season begins earlier but realized this company was under blizzard conditions during a portion of this time.
I was well pleased to find my order as shipped, nicely packed and info included. They have an easy to navigate website and a varied selection of plants. I would shop again... pod

Positive JodyC
(7 reviews)
On Jan 10, 2007, JodyC Palmyra, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I sent out for 3 packs of seed about 10 days ago...I received today..I also received a bonus and growing instructions..I'm Very satisfied with the order...I will be back...:-)

Positive declfi
(30 reviews)
On Sep 24, 2006, declfi Fenton, MO (Zone 6b) wrote:

3 orders worth of seeds with out a hitch

Positive tiffanya
(5 reviews)
On Jul 4, 2006, tiffanya Sumner, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Order arrived within 3 weeks of order placement. Three violas were not in stock, but a cash refund was included with the remainder of the seeds (value $7.65 / refund $8.00). The seeds are well-packaged and came with detailed planting/germination instructions. Easy online shopping experience.

Positive tabasco
(13 reviews)
On Feb 17, 2006, tabasco Cincinnati (Anderson Twp), OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Six days ago I placed an $40 order for a variety of seeds which were difficult to locate on other websites. The next day I realized I had mis-ordered 3 selections and sent an e-mail to correct my error. Today all the seed packets arrived just as I had hoped, along with three gift packets of seeds and a planting instruction sheet for my hard to germinate seeds.

Although the seed amounts per packet do not appear to be over abundant, there are more than enough for my needs and the prices were easy on the pocketbook.

I wanted to try 'Specialty Perennials' despite their less than stellar GW rating, because of their wide range of offerings, fair prices, and easy to navigate website. Providing I have respectable germination from these seeds, I will definitely order again.

On March 10th, 2008, tabasco added the following:

Well, I ordered from Specialty Perennials again 2/14/08, nine packets of campanulas and digitalis to wintersow. After two emails and one phone call (to Harvey) I received a response (from son Paul) and my envelope of $22 worth of seeds and four complimentary packets today.

I like Specialty Perennials because it is a small operation that strives to offer seeds that the big boys don't want to carry, but it is so frustrating to have such slow service from Harvey and Paul. I wish they would hire an organized helper to get the seeds packaged and in the mail in a timely fashion. I know more gardeners would order from them if they could complete the orders in a reasonable time frame.

So, my saga is not complete, yet. Being ever optimistic, I placed an order February 26 for $40. worth of seeds and they have yet to arrive, despite my email pleas for them, too.

I am holding at a 'positive' rating for sentimental reasons, but I could easily be swayed in the wrong direction with a bad experience with this last order! Let's see what happens.
Positive jday4444
(3 reviews)
On Dec 12, 2005, jday4444 Southwest, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

I ordered last year and had great germination. They have an excellent selection of perennial seed. I ordered and had the seeds within a couple of weeks. Good, quick service. I'll order again.

Negative Vibeke
(1 review)
On Dec 2, 2005, Vibeke Sandved,
Denmark wrote:

I ordered seeds in the beginning of october. They send me a mail the seeds was send the 29. october. They never arrived. I sent a reminder 11. november and again the 16. Nothing happens. I have dropped them. Vibeke

Positive lisamr
(8 reviews)
On Oct 5, 2005, lisamr Rotterdam, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

This company had seeds that I was unable to find anywhere else. Very happy about my purchase :-)

Positive bandolierbabe
(1 review)
On Feb 21, 2005, bandolierbabe Branson, MO wrote:

I ordered online and received an email about my order very fast. I received my order in less than two weeks. The seeds are packaged nicely, look fine, and instructions are very good. I've just planted my first seedlings so I can't say how well they germinate at this time. They have a great selection of seeds and the only company I could find that had most of what I was looking for. Also, an easy site to navigate.

Negative Vouty
(4 reviews)
On Jan 18, 2005, Vouty LIGUEIL,
France wrote:

Nice range of seeds, good germination, decent quantities and good prices but terrible customer service and response to e-mails and faxes.

Placed an order with them July 2004 which never arrived, and in the end I cancelled, but only after several e-mails and faxes. Credit card refunded eventually.

Poor level of communication inexcusable for a web merchant.

Positive Janna
(28 reviews)
On Dec 29, 2004, Janna Mahwah, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:

I placed the order online and seeds arrived in less than a week. Great prices, generous amounts of seeds in the envelopes, and precise germination info on each individual species, unlike some other very general ones I've seen - "in spring put seeds in the soil and water well". I am very pleased with my seed order and can't wait to start sowing! Definitely will order next year.

Negative whitesun
(1 review)
On Nov 3, 2004, whitesun (Zone 10a) wrote:

Early -mid April 2004- I called and placed a credit card phone order for seeds with Henry Henjum.

Seeds never arrived.

May 27-I called back and RE-placed the credit card order, again with Henry Henjum. I addded some plants.
I brought up the previous unfilled order and tried to make sure I would receive this one.

June 2I- I called back and left a message asking about the status of my order.
June 22-They left a message stating they were still here and running a bit late. There was no mention of when my order might be filled.
June 29- I left a message about concerns for my order and its status. I asked them to please call me back if they wished to keep me as a customer.

I never received a call back.
I never received seeds or plants from this company, despite ordering twice from Henry Henjum.
This experience was far and away the poorest of the many garden companies I've tried.

Positive Laura_Ben
(2 reviews)
On Feb 29, 2004, Laura_Ben McLean, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

We ordered some seeds from Specialty Perennials. Unlike the other place we looked at, we were able to get all the species we were looking for in their website. It took about five days to process our order. Each seed packet came with a label with concise information on germination. They also included some general information on separate sheets of paper on seed germination. More information about the plant and seed is available on their website.

Because one of the species we ordered was temporarily out of stock, they gave us three gift packets for the wait. We liked their service too. We communicated through email, and they responded promptly.

We will definitely order from them again in the future.

Positive sunf10wer
(1 review)
On Feb 25, 2004, sunf10wer wrote:

I heard good things about Specialty Perennials, and decided to have a look at the website. The selection of seeds is enough to keep me happy for a very long time. There are many uncommon species and varieties, all in one place.

After receiving a bonus packet with my order of five packets of seeds, I went back to the website for more information about this unexpected variety. There were already new items in the online catalog. Enough to make me want to come back and browse.

The prices are reasonable, and you always know how many seeds you will receive. I love the flat rate for shipping & handling on seed orders.

Seeds are listed by botanical name, which I prefer. Most items have a description, some even have a photo. A few only have the species name (and variety, if applicable). As hardiness range and growing information is easily available from a search engine, this is only a small inconvenience.

I wonder why the company bothers with two names (Specialty Perennials and Hardy Plants) when both are available from the same website. I'm definitely going to order from them again.

Positive Windhaven
(19 reviews)
On Jan 22, 2004, Windhaven Galva, IL wrote:

I recently ordered seeds from this company for the first time. They arrived in a timely manner with good labeling and appropriate information on the packages. Also, I was sent a free packet of a perennial that I'm glad to have. I will order from this company again. I also find their website most entertaining and informative.

Positive zone3_newbie
(1 review)
On Nov 11, 2003, zone3_newbie North Tonawanda, NY (Zone 3a) wrote:

I have ordered seeds from them twice and was happy with the prices, selection and service. Yes, it can take awhile for the seeds to arrive. If you are in a hurry, this may not be the best option for you. I think this is a small operation and one can only do so much in a day. They have a great selection at great prices and for me, it's well worth any wait.

I had a question about availability of alcea ficifolia, and Mr. Paul Henstrum answered in detail and very quickly, too. It made me feel that if I did have a problem, they would work with me to solve it.

The seed was very clean and well-packed, and a logical substitution was made for a variety they were out of. I like dealing with this company and will come back again and again.

Positive Mike__M
(1 review)
On Feb 8, 2003, Mike__M Vader, WA wrote:

Very quick service. I placed an order online on Wednesday night, and received the seeds Saturday morning. They offer small quantities of seeds for reasonable prices, making it easier to try some unusual seeds. I'll know in a few months how well they germinate. So far I like this company.

Negative zebra205
(3 reviews)
On Aug 24, 2002, zebra205 Glen Oaks, NY wrote:

Forget about these guys!

I placed an order with the company and received confirmation via e-mail that it would take one week to process and mail out the order. So after two weeks I send e-mail requesting a status report, but it was returned because their mailbox was full. Since they also operate I sent e-mail there too. No response. Followed up with a fax (which would not go through) and finally a letter telling them I was interested in doing business with any longer. Lucky they didn't charge my credit card.

Try someone else I wouldn't do business with a merchant like them.

On February 22nd, 2003, zebra205 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:

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