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Comments regarding Sutton's Iris Gardens

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  Feedback History and Summary  
36 positives
6 neutrals
3 negatives


Neutral White_Hydrangea
(20 reviews)
On Oct 6, 2006, White_Hydrangea Aurora, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

I made an order to Sutton's a month ago for irises that had specific places in my beds.

Sutton's was a no-show. The irises never arrived. Other companies deliver LIVE PLANTS within several days. If my irises are on the way, considering that we've had two frosts so far, I doubt if they'll arrive alive after a month in transit with no water, no soil, no sun, and cold temperatures.

I e-mailed them, but that won't do any good. They're closed down and won't open for another several months.

If I'd known they were going to do something this irresponsible, I could have ordered from a more reliable company, but it's too late to order irises now. I'll have to wait until September 2007 to get these specific irises.

I'll never order from Sutton's again. What would be the point, anyway?

On October 6th, 2006, White_Hydrangea changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

I'm not an idiot. If I'd received an e-mail about an iris order I'd put in, I would have opened it immediately. I checked back. I received an e-mail CONFIRMING my order right away.

And then nothing. No communication at all. I was waiting for an order that I was given to expect would arrive in timely fashion for planting. Now my first iris beds will have holes in them because the irises I'd designed them for will not arrive. I have to wait 12 months and then maybe the irises I planned won't be available at all.

I've upgraded this to a neutral because it seems to be the result of a screwed up communication and a royal mixup instead of actual negligence, but I'm not happy. And it's unlikely that I'll try them again next year.
On October 23rd, 2006, White_Hydrangea added the following:

Just as an update -- I did receive an e-mail from Sutton's telling me that they had sent me an e-mail canceling my order but that they've since found out that their e-mails weren't going through, and the recipients weren't receiving them. I feel somewhat vindicated, but it's still disappointing. I had really looked forward to those irises.
On Oct 6, 2006, Sutton's Iris Gardens responded with:


On Oct 6, 2006 10:12 AM, Sutton's Iris Gardens added:

Order was received from customer on Sept. 9, 2006. Order cut off for her area was August 31rst. An immediate email response was sent stating that it was too late to order from her area, she either didn't read it or it didn't make it to her inbox. No contact from customer before negative feedback was left, we had no idea she was expecting an order or, as usual, we would have done something to rectify the situation.

Neutral laurief
(6 reviews)
On Aug 5, 2006, laurief Deer River, MN (Zone 3b) wrote:

I have purchased irises from Sutton's for five years.

Good points:
Very large, healthy rhizomes
Excellent packing
EXTREMELY generous with free bonus irises, often provided from the buyer's request list
Will unquestioningly replace misidentified irises
Will try to identify misidentified irises from submitted photos
Nice people

Not so good points:
Ongoing problems with misidentified stock
Replacements for misidentified irises sometimes turn out to be the same incorrect irises
Email communications are sometimes (understandably) slow


Neutral Margiempv
(30 reviews)
On Mar 30, 2006, Margiempv Oro Valley, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have ordered quite a few times from Suttons. And I have had mixed experiences with them. They do answer their e-mails quick, and friendly-like with helpful advice and a wilingness to help. However, more than once I've received mis-named irises. Unfortunately - - one has to wait until they bloom before you discover the mistake. Once I wrote and told them, and asked for a replacement for a rightly named variety - - I again received a misnamed variety.

However, on their behalf, they do send large, healthy rhizomes (most of the time). I think the key is to order early. Don't ask for late shipments either. I did that once and it was a whole month later than I requested when they finally arrived.

I would probably order from them again - - because I believe in giving people second chances, and even third chances. They do have nice irises and I'd like to have some of them.

Neutral flowerfrenzy
(42 reviews)
On May 19, 2005, flowerfrenzy Vancouver, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have had mixed experiences with this company. I first ordered from them in 2003. In all fairness, that year was particuarily bad for them. However, the rhizomes I received were very small and dried up. Most of them have never bloomed in my garden, and it's been 2 years now. Out of the four or five that did bloom, two were not true to name. I decided to give them another try in 2004, and it must have been a better year for them because the rhizomes I received were a lot healthier and fresher. They have bloomed nicely this year, with a lot of increase. I wouldn't discourage someone from giving them a try, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend them either. However, if you're in the market for Space Age Irises, they have the best selection available anywhere.

Neutral MikenMyrtle
(6 reviews)
On Nov 19, 2004, MikenMyrtle Myrtle Beach, SC wrote:

As a person whose family was involved in a small business, I am not happy to provide a negative report here, but if it can prevent the same thing from happening again to another customer, then I must look at it that way.

I ordered from Sutton's this summer, and soon came to find that they were significantly "behind." I had requested early September shipping. My shipment arrived in October. Luckily, this was not too late, but I was a bit worried because in 2003 we had an unseasonably cool spell in October that dipped almost to freezing. Would my plants make it?

I understand that iris are a crop and that there is nothing the company could do about the late harvest. I certainly accept this. And I should also say that the folks on the phone and by e-mail were exceedingly nice. No complaint there at all.

My real beef came when I received my order. To say the least, I was profoundly disappointed. I had ordered six plants, and their spots in the garden beds were waiting (having planted the other iris I'd bought from other companies in early September). Three of the rhizomes (50%) I'd ordered from Suttons had been substituted for, and substituted for I might add with iris that did NOT match the color scheme I had in mind for the planting beds that had been arranged for them. In fact, I would not have purchased any of the three in a million years. I think this is very bad company policy, and the customer really needs to be contacted. I feel certain that I could have found plants on their premises I would actually have wanted had I been notified. Yes, as many have noted, I received extras, but the rhizomes (all of them) are so small that I have no idea how they'll do in the garden (where they are literally dwarfed by the iris I had purchased from another company).

Nice people--no doubt. But I won't be trading with them in the future.

On August 10th, 2008, MikenMyrtle changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Neutral SugarMaple
(11 reviews)
On Oct 26, 2004, SugarMaple Southbridge, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:

I ordered 12 iris from Sutton's and received 22. I asked that any substitutes be of the type I ordered, meaning that if something on my order wasn't available, substitute it with something on my list that was. I am trying to recreate my Grandmother's old iris garden with iris from the 60's and 70's, otherwise I wouldn't have really cared what substitutes they chose for me. Two of the iris were substituted, one with something from my list and one with something too new to plant in an old-style garden. Of the 10 bonuses, 3 were on my list. I planted all of the old-style iris alongside 21 iris that I had just received from another company. I had to find an entirely different spot in my yard to plant the bonuses that were from the wrong era. Even before I planted the Sutton iris, it was quite obvious that they were very puny compared to the other iris I had already planted. Despite an entire summer of growth, the Sutton iris are still the smallest in my garden. The iris from the other company grew to be quite huge with numerous fans. Sutton's prices are very low and you get a lot more than what you ask for. I just wish that the size was better. Maybe next year, if they survive the winter, they will bloom as labelled and look just fine compared to the others.

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