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Comments regarding Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens

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29 positives
14 neutrals
162 negatives


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Negative LPeerson
(1 review)
On Jul 11, 2011, LPeerson Tallahassee, FL wrote:

My initial order of 21 Green Thuja Giants arrived moldy and dead. I complained immediately and was told they do not give refunds, the only thing I could do was exchange for more plants. I tried a different order, of ground covers and coneflowers, etc. again they all arrived moldy and dead. They wrap each plant in plastic, using a rubber band to hold it on snugly, and then ship them in a large plastic bag with no air venting. Pitiful!

Positive bojay6225
(1 review)
On Jul 1, 2011, bojay6225 Denver, CO wrote:

I first ordered from Exciting Gardens this spring. I thought the low prices were amazing and slightly unbelievable.It was after I ordered that I read all the negative reviews on this site. I was able to gather from the reading that one of the main complaints was that the plants were arriving as root and stem cuttings and not potted in dirt and already growing. So read up at my local library about bare root planting. My order arrived about two months later in a small box. Everything I ordered arrived. Fortunately I was prepared for the sight of wet sticks and roots. I had everything in the ground the same day and now it is about six weeks later and I can report that almost everything is now showing green. I think my own ignorance is probably responsible for the failures.( I put the Lady Ferns into clay soil..oops) I've been giving all these new little additions extra care and I expect I will need to continue giving it through their first Colorado winter.
The freebies were interesting, too. I especially liked the Shamrock bulbs. The 4 that I got free have already sprouted and divided to 8. It's fun to watch them open and close everyday.
When I want ordinary flowers like pansies I'll get them at any local sale. When I want a common shrub I'll go to Home Depot or Lowes. When I want something special or exotic I open the wallet and order online. Exciting Gardens really is exciting to me because it opens up a whole new avenue for my gardening. I can spend a small amount of money and experiment with new things I ordinarily couldn't. It's more effort, but I'm enjoying the challenge and the results.

Positive Reaper81
(1 review)
On Jun 30, 2011, Reaper81 Bloomington, IL wrote:

I ordered from this company and everything was perfect, I agree with the way they do things for the fact that if u order of eBay or anywhere else they also take the money before they ship. I don't mind the replacement either cause I look at as there reciept is the shipping label. If u want to replace something at walmart u have to show receipt as well. It sickens me how people think a company should bend over backwards for them at all times.

Negative geraldt
(1 review)
On Jun 28, 2011, geraldt Los Angeles, CA wrote:

i placed a mail order the middle of march 2011. three weeks later i inquired as to the status of my order. i was told they have no record of my order, but that it takes 2-3 weeks for orders to be processed. i continued to follow-up on the status through apr. and the first part of may. they continued saying there was no record of my order. i put a stop payment on the check and ordered the items online. once again when i contacted them 3 weeks later, they said it takes 2-3 weeks for processing. i finally received my order 6 weeks after placing it. they had short changed me 3 plants. i sent them an email informing them of this error. they indicated my email would be transferred to the dept. responsible for this type of problem and that it would again take 2-3 weeks for processing. i finally received the plants in mid-jun.

i will never again order from this company. apparently, they don't have enough employees to handle the quanity of orders they receive. it obvious they aren't concerned about customer satisfaction.


Negative hotjobs1121
(1 review)
On Jun 9, 2011, hotjobs1121 Saint Petersburg, FL wrote:

To cancel an order is impossible. Once they charged your credit card, like a crocodile they won't let go. Buyer be aware with this marketer (middle man). They have many similar web sites with different names to lure customers. They don't own farms or lands to grow plants. Do research before placing your order.

Negative lopezriverrats
(1 review)
On May 23, 2011, lopezriverrats Wilmington, IL wrote:

i mailed out an order in early april that was processed on 4/25 even though my credit card was processed before that. it is now 5/23 and i am still waiting for my order. i have called several times and i am told that i can only cancel my order by supervisors have numbers...they don't know when my order will be shipped...they are busy.. i finally emailed my cancellation and they emailed me back saying i had to call....i just called and they told me to email. it was going to be my first order and it is my last. terrible service. terrible company. it is a scam.

Negative imalbundy2
(1 review)
On May 17, 2011, imalbundy2 McDonald, PA wrote:

I should have known after my dealings wtih Burgess where it took SEVEN replacement Paw Paw trees last year to get two that were alive. They haven't even started to bud by now so they are probably dead and it's too late to get a refund or replacement now.......but I decided to order two Tasmanian Fern Trees on FEBRUARY 8, 2011 because I couldn't find them anywhere else. My daughter is really into dinosaurs and they look like the type of ferns from long ago. After FOUR emails asking where my plants were and getting a runaround each time, I finally received them today, MAY 17, 2011 - over THREE MONTHS after my order. I noticed that the plants actually came from Farmer Seed and Nursery. Here's the kicker. When I opened the package I found two little ferns about as big as the tip of my little finger with notes attached stating that the Tasmanian Ferns were out of stock and to please accept these King Ferns in their place. First of all, they STILL have the Tasmanian Ferns listed on the Exciting Gardens website. //
and they do not even sell King ferns. I looked the King fern up on the web and they are NOTHING LIKE TASMANIAN TREE FERNS AT ALL. They are low growing ferns which I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT. I have let them know so much via email. I figure they will try the Burgess bullcrap of forcing me to return the shipping label to get a replacement or refund, but guess what. It won't happen. I will spend the gas to drive there and stick these little ferns where they belong!! DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH BURGESS, EXCITING GARDENS, RICHARD OWEN, OR FARMER SEED.

Neutral openminded1
(1 review)
On May 4, 2011, openminded1 Thomasville, NC wrote:

I ordered about three weeks ago, and I have emailed the company twice and each time I have received a timely response within 24 hours.I have asked questions concerning my order and how it will be shipped and when I can expect delivery.I really do not have a negative review, just wish I could get an honest answer to when I can expect the delivery. I feel since the credit card had been charged,that I could assume the product was shipped.I am being told it is still being processed and could be 1-2 weeks,it's already been 3 weeks. Then it will have to go to the shipping department and all dependent on availabilty of product. I will remain hopeful that my plants ordered will arrive soon and in excellent shape for planting.It wasn't a big order, but all the same it was hard earned money that was spent on this order.Just upset that I cannot get an honest answer as to when I can expect the delivery of my order. Hope to be able to come back here and give the company a positive review.

Negative wisereplies
(4 reviews)
On Nov 9, 2010, wisereplies wrote:

Posted on May 22, 2010, updated November 9, 2010
I ordered three climbing roses collection before researching the company's ratings. After I found this site, I was worried. But after all, it was just $30. I decided to let it go. Amazingly, after 1.5 months, I received three alive roses in pretty decent condition with good root systems and already leafing. Still, there was some mildew on branches, but I don't think these roses will die once planted. Of course, I cannot trust that the kind of this roses will be exactly what I ordered, time will show, but still, I really lucked out in comparison with other poor deceived people. I will not order from them again though, since this is like gambling, and my luck might change. Shipping time is too long anyway. Oh, and I also got several free bulbs in good condition , small but firm and dry. Nothing was rotting in this shipment. But, I advise to stick with more reliable online nurseries.

On November 9th, 2010, wisereplies changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

It's November 9th 2010, and ALL of their roses have perished. No matter how much I fertilized, watered and hovered over them, they never made it. To compare, I planted 30 more rose bushes from other companies, and NONE of them is dead yet and all grew huge except the miserable stock RON sent! Beware of this company, they will send you something so inferior that eventually it will die, even if months/years later! Now I have three empty trellises - the only bare place in my garden thanks to the Owen Nursery.
Negative JanaJP
(8 reviews)
On Oct 13, 2010, JanaJP Rome, GA wrote:

Posted on October 6, 2010, updated October 13, 2010
I ordered 5 daylilies from this outfit the middle of July. I also ordered from several reputable daylily farms around the same time and received my orders from them within a week or so. First, I sent an email to this company's customer service at the end of August to check the status of the order. There was no reply from them at all. Their phone numbers are not toll free and when I called at my expense I was told I had ordered from a fall catalog and they would begin shipping the end of August.Unfortunately, I also ordered from Direct Gardening as well and received daylilies with rotting roots from them. Six are already dead. I called again at the beginning of September and was told I would receive my order "sometime between now and the end of October."
Keep in mind the order to Direct Gardening was also a fall order and had already arrived. I called again on October 3 and was told the order had shipped on September 30. It is now October 6 and still I have seen no sign of a package.
I guess I've paid 10 bucks to have live plants delivered in the slowest way possible, if indeed they were even shipped at all. What do you think the chances are that the contents are in good health? Save yourself a lot of frustration and check these companies out first before ordering from them. This one will never get my business again.

On October 13th, 2010, JanaJP added the following:

My green plastic bag of rotted and dead plants arrived late this afternoon. (October 13) Of the 5 daylilies ordered, only the 2 most expensive had root systems and might actually live. One was so decayed it had no dimension at all and looked like something you would fish out of your bathroom drain. I have photographed these and will pass them along to the BBB and the state Attorney General of Illinois. I'm choosing not to send them back at my expense because I do not want to deal with this dispicable company again. If it were the last plant nursery left on earth I would not order from them. I cannot understand how they are allowed to remain in business.
Negative katococo
(4 reviews)
On Aug 19, 2010, katococo Mandan, ND wrote:

Posted on August 2, 2010, updated August 19, 2010
I ordered from this company in April. Heard about the watchdog website after I placed my order, and my heart sank when I saw the volume of negative comments. Sure enough, I had one battle after another with them. They only began sending my plants after I threatened to turn them over to the state Attorney General office. When I finally got all but 2 of the items ordered, they then sent a duplicate (i.e., sent me 2 items that they already sent, about 30% of the value of what was missing). I immediately emailed them of the error, and told them what was missing. Then began the runaround, about sending this label and that label. When I sent the lable of the duplicate package (as they requested), they then requested a label from another package. By that time, we were hitting early July - past the planting season. And, even knowing that I was emailing (therefore, had written documentation), and threatened to turn them over for fraud, they still continued with the runaround. I contacted my credit card company to dispute that amount of the order, and am looking to file a fraud complaint. Also, I think that roughly 50-60% of what I did get from them, has not come up. I know that I recently dug out 2 items that were rotted. One item that didn't come up is a sedum, and in my area, sedum comes up without much effort at all. So, that tells you how bad many of their products are. They definitely are running some kind of scam. I'm thankful that I now have this website to check out these companies, prior to ordering from them. Now, when I get catalogs and see how many bad ratings are out there on a company, the catalog goes into the garbage.

On August 19th, 2010, katococo added the following:

Update. Closer to 70-75% of plants didn't come up (maybe they will next year?). Ordered "orange velvet" climbing rose. Not sure if it will climb, but at least it's growing. Two blooms - light to medium pink. I planted the 2 duplicate plants they sent (label said Purple D'oro daylilies) - both actually grew & bloomed, but neither is a Purple D'oro. They aren't even the same kind of daylily - one is pink/peach w/red & other has thin petals and is red w/yellow center. Still haven't seen anything blooming from the original 2 Purple D'oros they sent, although the plants seem to at least be growing. I've concluded that they count on people not fighting them, especially when you don't spend a lot of money. Of course, that wasn't the case with me - I did see that my credit card company credited me for the items I didn't receive.
Neutral nutz4plts
(1 review)
On Aug 12, 2010, nutz4plts Stoystown, PA wrote:

I've ordered from Richard Owens Nurseries for years because the offers are cheap cheap cheap. I would never order more than $30.00 worth at a time, though, because I didn't want to be out a lot of bucks if the stuff didn't grow. Yes some of the stuff comes bareroot and dormant even in the middle of summer. Some plants I got looked dead but planted them anyway and they grew and are still alive today. Other stuff looked dead because it was dead and never took off. No biggie though, since I only ordered a couple of things a season. That's my advice to people. If the stuff looks too cheap to be true, just order one of something you'd love to have to give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised to have it actually grow and thrive, but if it craps out, your bank account won't take a big hit. I never bothered with asking for replacement plants either. I figured that if I wanted a leafed out five to eight foot tree like in their catalog pictures, I'd have to be willing to plop down $50 minimum plus labor to get a landscaper to come in and put it in my yard. Geez , some of the catalog pictures are just drawings of the plants in bloom. What does that tell you? It definitely should say don't blow $500 on that. Sorry if I sound abrasive, just trying to save people some money. I know what dreaming of a beautiful garden can do to a person's common sense.

Neutral almostinflorida
(1 review)
On Jul 28, 2010, almostinflorida Apopka, FL wrote:

Thanks to everyone who posted about this nursery. I recently received one of their catalogs and have been thumbing thru it for a about a week now. I had a list of items circled but then I decided to further investigate this company, as my Father always said 'if it seems to good to be true, it probably is'.

Sure enough they have a D minus rating with the Better Business Bureau and after googling them on the internet (which they go by several different names) and after reading these posts. I PITCHED THE CATOLOG IN THE TRASH CAN !!!

Close but no sucker here .....

Negative Monatopia
(2 reviews)
On Jul 15, 2010, Monatopia Castro Valley, CA wrote:

They are NOTHING if not consistent.

You order.
They charge your card.
Months later you get dead plants.
If plants not dead, they grow - but aren't what they were supposed to be.

Same as Burgess.

Negative tooner2
(7 reviews)
On Jun 3, 2010, tooner2 Charlotte, NC wrote:

Stay far away from these people. My plants were simply thrown in a plastic bag and mailed. The roots were not wrapped in any moisture-retaining material. Two roses, which had begun to leaf out, were dried up and DOA. The horseradish root was miniscule and moldy. I wrote to the company and they refused to do anything unless the original packing was returned, but unfortunately, my husband had thrown it away. No attempt was made to offer any kind of replacement or refund. They kept my money and sent me dead plants. Simple as that.

Negative pingpong2
(1 review)
On May 7, 2010, pingpong2 Tarpon Springs, FL wrote:

On 4/1/2010 I placed an order for over 132.00. My card was charged within a few days. I tried to reach them by phone, but only got a "busy" signal. Then I tried to e-mail them asking when I would be getting my plants. Have not been able to get anyone there to communicate with me. So then I decide to cancel my order since no one will tell me anything about my order.
Today 5/7/2010, I received a bag from them in regular mail. This bag had what appeared to be dead dried up weeds.
I would advise anyone to not place an order with this company. They will take your money immediately and if they do mail you something, it will be dead.

Negative alittlet
(2 reviews)
On May 5, 2010, alittlet Hyattsville, MD wrote:

I placed an order with Exciting Gardens on April 17th. By April 21st, they'd charged my credit card for the full amount of the order. However, as of May 5th they cannot give me any estimate for shipping, continue to tell me my order is still processing and are generally quite unhelpful (and borderline rude) when I call to ask for more information. Each time I call they simply say that it takes 2-4 weeks for the order to process....or 7-14 days for the order to process...or 7-14 days for the order to process and 2-4 weeks for the order to deliver....I receive wholly inconsistent timeframes each time I call. I do not believe its consistent with most companies policy (and in fact credit card policies) to charge prior to shipment of items. Certainly, I've never worked with any other nurseries that do business this way. Pretty soon it will be plast optimal planting time for many of the items that I ordered and after reading other negative comments, I see that I should be worried about quality of the products as well. I will not order from this company again.

Negative TheBones
(1 review)
On Apr 20, 2010, TheBones Boise, ID wrote:

In Feb 2010 I placed a order for a large assortment of bulbs and plants.According to their order form they process your order in 5-7 days.I waited and in March I received notice that my order was reviewed for shipping and few weeks later still no order.I finally called on the 12th of April .I was told that some of what I ordered was coming directly from Holland and that they were shipping out later than usual this year so I said fine please ship what you have in stock of my order then the remainder can be shipped at a later time .This was in agreement with them.Today I received the items that I guess they had in stock which was 2 3inch pots with stem only no leaves and a little tab that identified them as Purple Dragons I could not believe my eyes.I have sent them a letter demanding all monies returned to my credit card including the shipping charges.These people are thieves and liars and I guess they feel that since it's being shipped 1/2 across the US then who cares well I care and I will fight back

On Apr 20, 2010, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens responded with:

"On Oct 4, 2010 12:04 PM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens responded with:

We do care about our customers! Nowhere on our order form or anywhere else, do we state that we process/ship an order in 5-7 days. We do not begin shipping nursery stock until March. We start shipping to the Southern/warmest climates first, and then work our way North. The purple dragon lamiums are grown in our greenhouse and are therefore not shipped until April. The second part of the order did contain some items that were coming from Holland and this package shipped 4/22 and tracing shows delivered 4/29/10. Since that time, the customer has received a refund for her order."

Negative yvonnezemotel
(1 review)
On Oct 2, 2009, yvonnezemotel Brookline, NH wrote:

Back in the beginning of August I ordered bulbs from this company and unlike any other company I have dealt with was charged immediately. I started checking the comments people left and say that there were an overwhelming number of negative comments so in September I called to cancel my order. I was told that it had already been processed but NOT shipped yet and they would stop the shipment. I was also requested to send a written request. I also contacted them by email and was told the same thing. A couple of weeks later the shipment arrived. I contacted Richard Owen immediately to find out what happened and it takes days for them to respond. They told me to ship it back at my cost. I told them that I thought they should pay for the return shipping since they were the onces who'd screwed up. Several emails later and I just got a "we're waiting for the returned package before we issue you a refund...if that's what you still want." I have just told them again that I want a prepaid mailing label. This should take a week to get a response. I will never deal with them again. Buyer beware.

Negative eddebm
(1 review)
On Jun 30, 2009, eddebm Springfield, OR wrote:

I ordered almost $200 worth of plants. They all came "dormant" I followed instruction and none sprouted out. I sent in the label with a letter asking for replacement. They mailed back, "which plants do you want replaced?" (I had told them all in the letter). I replied, "all of them." They sent almost all of them. I called and they said they (the other plants) would be there in a week. I get a letter from them, (not the plants) with the original order sheet listing all the plants I had purchased. They now said they needed "proof of purchase", which they already had (I sent it the first time). What a scam.... I am tired of dealing with them, I am a year into the fiasco and now I need to go and buy different plants. By the way they are generally rude every time I call (I probably would be too if I had to support these policies on the phone with unhappy customers). I WILL NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH THEM AGAIN AND WOULD NOT ENCOURAGE ANYONE ELSE EITHER. Should have read reviews prior to ordering

Negative thegladiator
(6 reviews)
On May 20, 2009, thegladiator Pottstown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

On 4/14/09 I ordered 2 Pink pussy willow plants thinking they would arrive shortly after the 1-2 week processing time. So, I called on 4/29 and asked when will they ship? I was told it takes 2-4 weeks. I assumed that is 2-4 weeks to get it from the time I order it, however we all know what happens when you assume. I was told at that time it MAY ship the week of 5/6-5/13. That's 5 weeks by my calendar. I called back on 5/15 and was told they shipped my plants on 5/8 by US Mail. I asked the rep (Janet) on the phone if she thought it was wise to ship perishable items by the slowest way possible. She said it doesn't matter what she thinks and they don't have time to E-mail everyone about their orders. That is what the company does and she has no control over it. That's funny, the other nurseries that I ordered from have time to send e-mails. At least I know she is telling the truth as I too have worked as a customer service rep. At this point I know I will be returning them since it is now 5/19/09 and still no plants and since everyone knows that plants that are left in the dark, without water, light or air, for over a week in a hot processing building/delivery truck, is guaranteed to DIE. I really don't understand how a company that deals with perishable items can have no common sense and the audacity to ONLY use THEE slowest shipping method on the market today. I have ordered from other catalog/mail order nurseries and was shipped my items by UPS or Fed-EX. They also have no tracking method to see where my items are since the postal system doesn't use a tracking system for snail mail. The website claims they have a 1 year guarantee. I guess that is to cover up the fact that they spend most of their companies profit shipping out more plants for all the dead one originally sent by snail mail. I don't recommend using this company. They should do everyone a favor and sell off their product to a real nursery and close their doors for good. IF my pants do show up, I'll respond on their condition at that time.

On May 27th, 2009, thegladiator added the following:

Well, On 5/20/09 I finally got my pussy willows. They were bare root pants and shipped ONLY in a green colored garbage bag. The bag had no marks or labels of any kind stating it was a live plant and therefore perishable. It only had one small line stating the contents were 2 pussy willow. Since they weren't decent sized plants and just bare root twigs, there was nothing stopping the US mail person from folding the bag to get it inside my mailbox thereby breaking the twigs and destroying the product. Granted, my mail person had the sense not to fold the package. I planted them immediately but I'm not sure if they will survive as the damage was done in the long shipping time. This company should be told about UPS and Fed-Ex. the cost would be the same or cheaper for shipping and the customers would get live plants instead of dead or half dead. I am still keeping the rating a negative, and I still won't be doing business with them again.
Negative DJNewportWA
(1 review)
On May 15, 2009, DJNewportWA Newport, WA wrote:

Recived a catolog from Richard Owen Nursery, don't know how but I read there catolog and ordered two items; on 4-03-09 ,Veggie/Tomato Cage X 4 = $33.99 and 5 Victoria Rhubarb plants @ $2.99, with S & P of $9.99 = $46.97. Recived the veggie/tomato cages and nothing else on 4-29-09, week later wrote a letter asking when my rhubarb plants should arive. Recieved the so called rhubarb plants on 5-13-09, bare root and were in very bad condition, three are a maby and the other two were dead and had been dead long before they were sent. I sent a complant that very day. After reading up on Richard Owen Nursery, I will NOT order again......We will see if they replace the dead rhubarb plants.

Negative emptypots
(2 reviews)
On May 11, 2009, emptypots Hurley, NY wrote:

I made this order from their Burgess Division with all contact with them BUT the stuff was shipped from the OWEN NURSERY so I'm posting here too.

I ordered 95.00 worth of trees/hedge and vines on 4/10/09. On 4/13/09 they charged my credit card the order amount but I heard nothing from them about anything being shipped.
Keep in mind that mail order and other businesses are not to charge your credit card till the item is ready to ship.
On 4/17/09 I still heard nothing so I e-mailed them asking if my order was shipped either in part or whole and if not why was my credit card charged already for the entire order. 4/19/09 I received a answer from them saying that my order was in there shipping department but nothing said about any ship date or a word about the early charges to my account. Also no name was put on the e-mail from them - Just said "Customer Service"
4/20/09 I did a BBB search on Burgess and there rating was at the bottom and they had a VERY LARGE number of complaints about Billing, Warrantee, Product quality and lack of product delivery.
4/21/09 I sent another e-mail asking about my order status and again stated that my credit card should of not been charged till product is shipped and only for what is shipped.
4/22/09 I received a reply back and again I just got a Bla Bla about 1 to 2 weeks to process the order depending on weather and product availability. So my real answer was when ever or if I get what I ordered will be when they wish and nothing once again about the early charges to my Card.
My response to this was- I called my Credit card Company and voiced my dispute about the problem of being charged on 4/13/09 and no product or service was provided as of 4/22/09 and explained the e-mails and they granted me instant credit canceling the charges to Burgess. After I hung up the phone I got back on line and sent another e-mail back to Burgess telling them that this is my official Order cancellation notice to them and that I disputed there charges on my credit card removing the charged amount. Then I further instructed them that if they send anything to me that I will not accept anything from them at all. I'll see what happens now and then after file a complaint with the BBB as well.

4/23/09 I received a reply e-mail from Burgess about my order cancellation. Burgess mystery customer service said "Your cancellation request has been forwarded to the appropriate department. We will do our best to try to cancel the order before shipping occurs." Well guess what? They shipped the entire order anyway on 4/30/09 that's 7 days after I told them I canceled the order and my Credit card company removed their charge. Well I trucked the Green bag of;
5246 Shade Hybrid Poplar 5$7.97
6753 Tulip Tree 4$4.00
4732 American Arborvitae 12$18.50
6816 Privet Hedge 40$18.49
5252 Rose, Red Robin Hood 2$7.98
7306 Trumpet Vine Hummingbird 2$3.99
6825 Hibiscus 6$3.99
6857 Hydrangea Tree 2$2.01
6749 Red Weigela 1$1.49
6877 Rose of Sharon Hedge 12$7.89
6802 Spicy Sweet Shrub 1$2.99
6875 Lombardy Poplar 12$5.92
Free plants and book was not on the package shipping label so probably was not in the bag. listed below:
Free Gifts as Earned Free
Burgess Seed & Plant Company Handbook of Plant Care1Free
Garden Huckleberry1Free
Ground Cherry Tomato1Free
Giant Ranunculus3Free
Giant Windflower3Free

down to the post office and REFUSED DELIVERY which put them on there way back to Owens Nursery (origin address)
FREE of CHARGE and I got a receipt proving so.
When I returned home I sent a E-mail back to Burgess informing them that the package was on its way back to them by USPS as REFUSED and un-opened in the condition received. Their reply was;
"Thank you for that information. You may wish to contact us again once the package has been delivered if a note requesting the refund was not included at the time of return."

Well good thing I used my credit card and was able to contest the charge getting it removed because no way to put a note requesting a refund in a un-opened package and as stated by them If I do not request it they would do nothing at all. Plus with all their no direct answer run around I'm sure that it would take a long time and aggravation.

If they try and charge my card again either in Burgess name or any of their other business names I will post a update.

Also the main reason the credit card company took the charges of instantly was because they posted the charge and still 2 weeks later product was not received or shipped.

05/04/09 package was refused and returned as stated above. They acknowledged notice of returned stuff on 05/05/09. And now they hit my credit card again on 05/06/09

On May 14th, 2009, emptypots added the following:

On 05/11/09 late afternoon the Financial adviser with my credit card company called Burgess because I contested the recharge of the original charges and I was told that they got nowhere with them on this matter so again the charge was reversed again and they were going to contact the Merchants Bank about this matter.
On May 31st, 2009, emptypots added the following:

I got a letter from a Susan Phelps from Burgess Customer service which was pre dated on 5/5/09 but had a company postal metered stamp dated 5/8/09 claiming I owe them the money because they say they could not cancel the order and also they did not get the stuff returned so they were going to hit my credit card again in which they did for the second time noted here on this board on the 14th. Again a fowl practice of trying to rip off the consumer after they acknowledged the notice of return of their stuff on 05/05/09 which they had the tracking number to verify that indeed it was refused and on its way back. ( sad that they need to falsely date letters in a effort to scam you)
I sent a reply e-mail to Customer service to; Susan Phelps in regards to her postal letter with facts and the package tracking # 420124439102901000428016273162 of their package they sent after I canceled and in turn REFUSED proving the product was REFUSED and returned to them as I stated I would do.
I received a reply to the e-mail on 05/14/09 and I got "Thank you for your email. Your request has been forwarded to the appropriate department. Thank you, Customer Care Department"
I filed a BBB complaint on them about their billing and other related events. The BBB filed it under Business Name: House of Wesley, Inc. ( must be their parent DBA) and I recommend all who had problems or was ripped off by Burgess or any of their sub company listings file a complaint also. The last section of the complaint form which is very fast to file ask you what you would like them to do. I said I would like them to be investigated for fraudulent practices and either have their business license revoked and or fined as well as action to stop trying to charge my credit card.
I heard or received nothing from Burgess sense the last letter from a Susan Phelps and Burgess as of this date and no further attempt to charge my card.
Positive StellysPapa
(26 reviews)
On May 8, 2009, StellysPapa Dothan, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I can't give a negative review here, because I ordered a cedar tree from them and got it within a reasonable time span plus the tree was larger than I thought it would be and in very good condition.
My only concern, and this goes for all nurseries, customer service should advised the buyer if a plant is not suitable for their planting zone. I have discovered that different nurseries seem to have a plant listed for certain zones......for example one nursery may say that a particular plant will grow in zone 8 but another nursery may say that same plant will only grow in zone 7. I have numerous evergreens growing beautifully in my yard and I am in zone 8, but I have noticed that some nurseries will say that these same evergreens will not survive in zone 8. They need to get their facts straight, and if they know that a particular plant will not survive in a customers zone, then they should let the customer know, before the item is bought. This cedar I got, is not for my zone, and I tried to stop the order before it was shipped, but was too late. I have the cedar and will just see if it will survive. The only reason I ordered it, was because so many other nurseries are wrong about growing zones, and I figured this one would be wrong too.
But, as for the nursery in itself, I had no problem with them.

Negative scamed
(1 review)
On May 7, 2009, scamed Dandridge, TN wrote:

When I placed my order, they charged my credit card immediately. However, after four weeks, they still have not shipped my order.
They have no published phone number, so it is impossible to communicate with them. Communicating with them by email is very frustrating, because they find various reasons to avoid answering your questions. What a ripoff!

Positive llgaither
(1 review)
On Apr 27, 2009, llgaither Richford, NY wrote:

I recently received 19 Robin Hood hedge roses (1 extra), 2 Hansen bush cherries, 2 flowering almond, and 2 cliimbing roses. Everything arrived budded up and ready to grow. Some were held for a short tiime in my healing -in bed. Now everything is planted and leafing out quickly. I'll order again.

Negative rukiddingme
(1 review)
On Apr 25, 2009, rukiddingme Holden, MA wrote:

I received dirt in a small pot within a plastic mailing envelope. This is what they called a butterfly bush. They refused to replace until I can prove that I ordered?? Without the shipping label they want my credit card statement. This outfit is not one I want to deal with again. They ship dead plants and then ask you to prove you ordered.

Negative DT607
(1 review)
On Apr 19, 2009, DT607 Odell, IL wrote:

I bought 4 pecan trees and 10 blackberry plants from the store last year. I live 45 minutes north of the store, and I questioned whether they would grow as far north as I live (both the store and I are in north central Illinois. They assured me they would grow up here, so I bought them. Also, I figured that if they were selling them in the store, they must grow in this latitude. Not a one of them survived! Shame on me for not researching further. On the other hand, I won't set foot in that store again.

Negative rohde1972
(1 review)
On Apr 16, 2009, rohde1972 Portland, OR wrote:


Negative wibby
(1 review)
On Feb 5, 2009, wibby Manchester, NH wrote:

My experience is that they are a sham! I also received many dead and rotted plants. Saved the label, and had them replaced with more dead plants. They did not respond to my returned label for over 2 months. So what did I do? I filed a complaint with the Illinois better business bureau and only then did I get my replacement plants. I waited 2 months to get dead plants. What a scam!!!! NEVER EVER ORDER FROM THEM!!!!!!!! they trick you with low prices, but you dont even get what you pay for. you pay for live plants, not rotted disease ridden failures. Their packaging is awful and they sent my first order in February! What am I to do with plants in new england in February with 9 feet of snow?!?!?!?
The crooks should be arrested. They are listed under Kelly nurseries, exciting gardens, burgess seed, etc.... My order was from Exciting gardens. CONSUMER ADVERTISING FRAUD!! they advertise live plants, and give their customers dead ones! CROOKS! If only I lived in IL, I would tell them how I really feel!

On February 5th, 2009, wibby added the following:

Back to top
Customer Complaint History

When considering complaint information, please take into account the company's size and volume of transactions, and understand that the nature of complaints and a firm's responses to them are often more important than the number of complaints.

BBB processed a total of 471 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total of 471 complaints closed in 36 months, 130 were closed in the last year.

These complaints concerned :
2 regarding Advertising Issues BBB Definition:

Advertising Issues - Claims alleging print or electronic media advertised claims or practices misrepresent the service or product offer.

2 - None of the Above - Advertising Complaint Issue

5 regarding Billing or Collection Issues BBB Definition:

Billing or Collection Issues - Claim alleging billing errors, unauthorized charges, or questionable collection practices.

2 - Failure to correct billing errors
2 - None of the Above - Credit, Billing or Collection Complaint Issue
1 - Unauthorized credit card charges

2 regarding Contract Issues BBB Definition:

Contract Issues - Claim of alleged failure to honor contract or agreement, work performed without authorization, or invalid contract.

1 - Failure to honor a contract or agreement
1 - None of the Above - Contract Complaint Issue

9 regarding Customer Service Issues BBB Definition:

Service Issues - Claims of alleged delay in completing service, failure to provide promised service, inferior quality of provided service, or damaged merchandise as a result of delivery service.
BBB Definition:

Customer Service Issues - Claims alleging unsatisfactory customer service, including personnel's failure to provide assistance in a timely manner, failure to address or respond to customer dissatisfaction, unavailability for customer support, and/or inappropriate behavior or attitude exhibited by company staff.

4 - Failure to provide promised assistance or support for products or services
2 - Failure to respond to phone calls or written requests for assistance or support
3 - None of the Above - Customer Service Complaint Issue

139 regarding Delivery Issues BBB Definition:

Delivery Issues - Claims alleging delayed delivery of ordered merchandise.

6 - Delivery of unordered products
25 - Late delivery of products
88 - Non-delivery of products
1 - Non-delivery of services
19 - None of the Above - Delivery Complaint Issue

29 regarding Guarantee or Warranty Issues BBB Definition:

Guarantee or Warranty Issues - Claims alleging failure to honor the terms regarding guarantees or warranties.

4 - Disputed warranty coverage and/or terms
4 - Failure to honor money-back guarantees
8 - Failure to honor service under the terms of warranties
3 - Failure to provide promised written warranty or guarantee
10 - None of the Above - Guarantee or Warranty Complaint Issue

226 regarding Product Issues BBB Definition:

Product Issues - Claim alleging a product does not meet the expectations of the complainant, including defective merchandise.

184 - Defective, damaged, or incorrect product received
42 - None of the Above - Product Quality Complaint Issue

57 regarding Refund or Exchange Issues BBB Definition:

Refund or Exchange Issues - Claim of alleged failure to honor company policy or verbal commitment to provide refunds, exchanges, or credit for products or services.

11 - Failure to honor promised refunds, exchanges, or credit
24 - Failure to honor refund, exchange or credit policies
22 - None of the Above - Refund or Exchange Complaint Issue

2 regarding Service Issues BBB Definition:

Service Issues - Claims of alleged delay in completing service, failure to provide promised service, inferior quality of provided service, or damaged merchandise as a result of delivery service.

1 - Failure to honor service estimate or agreement
1 - Improper or inferior service

These complaints were closed as:
309 Resolved BBB Definition:

Resolved - The company resolved the complaint issues.

72 - Company resolved BBB Definition:

resolved - The company resolved the complaint issues.
the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to BBB.
106 - Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.
118 - Company offered a partial (less than 100%) settlement which the consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.
13 - Company offered a partial (less than 100%) settlement which the consumer accepted.

155 Administratively Closed BBB Definition:

Administratively Closed - BBB determined that the complaint could not be satisfactorily settled using standard methods of voluntary dispute resolution

77 - BBB determined that despite the company's reasonable effort to address complaint issues, the consumer remained dissatisfied.
51 - BBB determined the company made a reasonable offer to resolve the issues, but the consumer did not accept the offer.
25 - BBB determined the company provided proper verification that indicated there was no obligation to resolve the issues of the complaint.
1 - Company agreed to arbitration BBB Definition:

arbitration - //
in accordance with their BBB agreement, but the consumer declined.
1 - BBB determined that while the company addressed the complaint issues, the complainant was dissatisfied and the matter was outside BBB Rules of Arbitration BBB Definition:

Arbitration - //

7 Unresolved BBB Definition:

Unresolved - The company failed to resolve the complaint issues.

7 - Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

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Government Actions

BBB has no information regarding government actions at this time.

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Advertising Review

BBB has no information regarding advertising review at this time.

Additional Information

Richard Owen Nursery has bought Honeycreek Nurseries

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Industry Tips

FTC Mail Order/Online/telephone Rule

Shopping by Phone or Mail
Produced in cooperation with the Direct Marketing Association and AARP
Shopping by phone or mail is a convenient alternative to shopping at a store. The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Mail or Telephone Order Rule covers merchandise your order by mail, telephone, computer, and fax machine.

Mail or Telephone Order Rule
By law, a company should ship your order within the time stated in its ads. If no time is promised, the company should ship your order within 30 days after receiving it.

If the company is unable to ship within the promised time, they must give you an "option notice." This notice gives you the choice of agreeing to the delay or canceling your order and receiving a prompt refund.

There is one exception to the 30-day Rule: if a company doesn't promise a shipping time, and you are applying for credit to pay for your purchase, the company has 50 days to ship after receiving your order.

Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA)
You're protected by the FCBA when you use your credit card to pay for purchases.

Billing Errors
If you find an error on your credit or charge card statement, you may dispute the charge and withhold payment on the disputed amount while the charge is in dispute. The error might be a charge for the wrong amount, for something you did not accept, or for an item that was not delivered as agreed. Of course, you still must pay any part of the bill that is not in dispute, including finance charges on the undisputed amount.

If you decide to dispute a charge:

Write to the creditor at the address indicated on the monthly statement for "billing inquiries." Include your name, address, credit card number, and a description of the billing error.
Send your letter in a timely fashion. It must reach the creditor within 60 days after the first bill containing the error was mailed to you.
The creditor must acknowledge your complaint in writing within 30 days after receiving it, unless the problem has been resolved BBB Definition:

resolved - The company resolved the complaint issues.
. The creditor must resolve the dispute within two billing cycles (but not more than 90 days) after receiving your letter.

Unsatisfactory Goods or Services
You also may dispute charges for unsatisfactory goods or services. To take advantage of this protection regarding the quality of goods or services, you must:

have made the purchase in your home state or within 100 miles of your current billing address. The charge must be for more than $50;
make a good faith effort first to resolve the dispute with the seller. However, you are not required to use any special procedure to do so.
Note that the dollar and distance limitations don't apply if the seller also is the card issuer or if a special business relationship exists between the seller and the card issuer.

Before ordering by phone or mail, consider your experience with the company or its general reputation. Determine the company's refund and return policies, the product's availability, and the total cost of your order.

Contacts for Resolving Problems
If you have problems with mail or phone order purchases, try to resolve your dispute with the company. If that doesn't work, the following resources may be helpful:

State and local consumer protection offices. Contact the offices in your home state and where the company is located.
Postal Inspectors. Call your local post office and ask for the Inspector-in-Charge.
Reducing Direct Marketing Solicitations
You may want to have your name removed from direct marketing lists. Be aware, however, that if you purchase goods by phone or mail after your name is removed, it may be added again. You may want to make a new request to have your name removed every few years. You also may want to ask mail or telephone order companies to retain your name on in-house lists only.

The Federal Government has created the National Do Not Call Registry-the free, easy way to reduce the telemarketing calls you get at home. To register, or to get information, visit, or call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you want to register. You will receive fewer telemarketing calls within three months of registering your number. It will stay in the registry for five years or until it is disconnected or you take it off the registry. After five years, you will be able to renew your registration.

The DMA Mail Preference Service lets you opt out of receiving direct mail marketing from many national companies for five years. When you register with this service, your name will be put on a "delete" file and made available to direct-mail marketers. However, your registration will not stop mailings from organizations that are not registered with the DMA's Mail Preference Service. To register with DMA, send your letter to:

Direct Marketing Association
Mail Preference Service
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512

Or register online at

The DMA also has an EMail Preference Service to help you reduce unsolicited commercial emails. To "opt-out" of receiving unsolicited commercial email, use DMA's online form at Your online request will be effective for one year.

For More Information
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad

Positive dragonjr
(1 review)
On Jan 28, 2009, dragonjr De Land, IL wrote:

I would not hesitate to order again from Owen Nursery or any of their many other companies. I ordered 20 hybrid willows and actually received 21. I bought the cheaper, smaller willows, which all measured about 18" in height and arrived bareroot as expected. They took right off, reaching four and five feet in height by the end of the first year. I also purchased three of the "surprise overstock bargain" trees, which all turned out to be roses of sharon--not too bad of deal for 97 cents apiece. All three of these roses of sharon also took right off, growing well the first year. The second year, the bargain roses of sharon bloomed all season long, and definitely looked much better than another rose of sharon purchased the same time from a non-profit organization that also sells bareroot plants. We are ordering a number of trees and supplies from them this year based upon our highly positive experience with our order from them two years ago.

Negative justmeiniowa
(2 reviews)
On Jan 14, 2009, justmeiniowa Algona, IA (Zone 4a) wrote:

DO NOT ORDER FROM THEM!!!! They are nothing but a scam. They take your money and send you dead items. Sure they sent me replacements after I complained for months, because they never got the shipping lable. So I had to copy the bank statement to prove I ordered from them. I have had nothing but trouble with this company. Then when they did send a replacement they too were almost dead. Better yet they came at the end of October. Sure living in Iowa I am to plant new plants outside and they are to live, ya right. Just beware alot of these companies are all the same company just different names..I could go on and on about them but hopefully you will understand to be carefull of them.....

Negative BML333
(1 review)
On Sep 4, 2008, BML333 Des Moines, IA wrote:


Positive joy112854
(6 reviews)
On Aug 1, 2008, joy112854 Crestview, FL wrote:

I love canna lilies and was doing a goggle search on them, most companies would not sell the Rhizomes this time of the year; but, Richard Owens did, I ordered 12 of them which is reasonably priced and they arrived on time and I just planted them a few days ago in pots, I live in Florida and should see soon enough if they will grow, they looked fine, I'm a beginner gardener, but have had good luck with canna lilies, I also ordered some canna lily seeds from Park's nursery of which I planted 53 seeds in Jiffy's Greenhouse with dome and peat pellets. I'm a little apprehensive now, as I was looking for shrubs to put down the sides of my yard. I had ordered some Hydrangea Bushes from Michigan bulb which will show up sometime in September or October; but, I ordered Pink Honeysuckles and Purple Leaf Hedge plants along with a Dwarf June Berry bush. I also have a cultivator coming about the same time and lots of help in planting them. I am one who plants my plants the day I get them. I thought the prices were outstanding on the items ordered, I did order some roses also, not that I like them, but have sisters who love them. Will keep you posted as to their arrival time, which I'm hoping will be a little late as I want to have the holes predug before they get here and I'm running behind schedule. Has anyone ordered or received Pink Honeysuckles or Purple Leaf Plum Hedges from them?

On August 15th, 2008, joy112854 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:

I have changed my comment from neutral to negative; due to the fact that the 12 canna lilies I planted, back in July have not done anything to substantiate a flower in bloom at all. Alas, I had also ordered over $84 worth of other things from them. Due to my foot surgery I called to cancel the order, they claimed was on the way and thus far have received only 2 of the 3 pkgs, both arrived on the same day, both were sent out the 31st of July and today is the 14th of August, so it is doubtful they are still alive, how can they even breathe in the pkgs they were sent in, waiting for tomorrow and hopefully the 3rd one will arrive so I can then mail all 3 back to them intact just as I received them from them with a note explaining I want my credit card refunded for the amount charged, they informed me on the phone that would be all that is needed, we shall see right? I was told 30 days from when they receive my note and pkg my credit card will have the $84 put back on it. Will keep everyone posted.
On September 14th, 2008, joy112854 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

I decided to change my rating to positive on this company as I explained that I did not need the bushes they had not sent yet; and called them and followed up with a letter. No my canna lilies did not grow; but, the free seeds they had sent with my order for Shamrocks and Windflowers have done well, I only canceled part of the order, which was the honeysuckle bushes and the purple plum hedges and dwarf June Berry bush, I kept the strawberry plants which I planted and are thriving. They promptly deposited the money back into my account within the 30 day period, and were polite on the phone. Would I order from them again in the future? Probably. Although I would not order Canna Lilies from them I would probably order bushes if I got the prices they offered this last time. I just don't plan on getting bushes for a few years, as I'm too much into my veggie gardening and canna plants right now; but, eventually I will want that honeysuckle privacy fence and a dwarf June berry bush I just know that.
Negative cosmicgarden
(1 review)
On Jun 27, 2008, cosmicgarden Edwardsville, IL wrote:

My experience only echoes what many others have said. The plants were dead, arriving in almost rotted condition. They promised replacements if we made copies, provided a bank statements, etc. Each time I did this, the letter was returned with another excuse as to why they wouldn't ship the replacements. The staff would hang up on us and I basically consider them a "bottom feeder" of the gardening world. I was so appalled at their treatment that I wrote an editorial in every newspaper in the St. Louis metro area and turned the charges over to my credit card company. AN ABSOLUTELY AWFUL EXPERIENCE.

Negative tgray41
(2 reviews)
On Jun 10, 2008, tgray41 New Brockton, AL wrote:

WHAT A RIP-OFF!. After dealing with this company for nearly three months and jumping through every hoop they put up I still cannot get replacement plants. We sent a letter, sent the bank statement (per their request) and sent pictures of the dead plants. The mail was sent certified but still they deny they have a record of us. One supervisor even used the term "get away with it" to describe his companies policies after I informed him that I was handing it over to the credit card company. I'm through. I'll let MasterCard deal with these clowns.

Negative seadreamer
(2 reviews)
On May 29, 2008, seadreamer Washington, DC wrote:

If there was a "below, below, below negative" rating that would not begin to compare with my experience. I spent almost $200 on plants for my mom's garden --- she's 85 and has a greenhouse, doesn't speak much english (she's polish) --- and from the website they tell you how careful they are in packing their plants, etc. Firstly, it took more than a month for my orders to be processed --- the first shipment was the wrong plant --- 2 people at customer service admitted that it was an error --- subsequently everyone else told me that I was, more or less, a liar...

My mother just received the bulk of the plants that I had ordered for her --- they were packed in plastic bags without any airholes or a system for aeration --- 90% of the plants were rotted --- the roses were dried up completely, and the one rose had a bud which broke off when my mother touched it. She called me (I live in DC and she in NJ) last night and I could tell she had been crying --- she said it was all trash and she didn't even want to try and save it -- the package of "bulbs" for $3.50 that they advertised, she told me the largest of the bulbs was the size of a fingernail...

I just went online to the Better Business Bureau and reported my experience with this nursery. I don't care about the money at this point in time I am so angry that he caused my mom to cry ---

Who sends plants in plastic bags without any aeration??? Fools --- I have never been so angry in my life ---

Thanks for letting me vent...

Positive CCulpepper
(2 reviews)
On May 17, 2008, CCulpepper Charlotte, NC wrote:

Since this was my first order I wasn't sure what I would receive as far as quality since the prices were so low, but I decided to take a chance and placed a rather large order (over $500). I became worried when a month past and I had not received even a partial shipment. I checked here and saw all the negative comments and was prepared to chaulk this up to my own stupidity for not having researched BEFORE I ordered, and was about to contact my credit card company to charge back and cancel the order.

To my surprise the next day I received a partial shipment and over the next 10 days three more packages arrived on different days to complete my order. The root systems of everything I received was well developed. Most things were bare root, but the catalog had explained that. I was worried that some of the items looked a little molded due to being shipped in closed plastic bags, but everything was alive. I planted per their directions and everything so far is doing well and growing vigorously.

Their packing is not what I would have expected and their speed of delivery is very slow, but the prices are amazing. I would have to say that I feel I got more than I paid for. I will adjust my expectations on ship time and expect it to be slow for future shipments, but based on this experience and how well my plants have done I will likely order from them again.

My advise would be to proceed with caution but give them a try.

Negative splitdog
(1 review)
On May 11, 2008, splitdog Wood River, IL wrote:

I have ordered some plants, vines, and other items from Richard Owen Nursery/ Exciting Gardens and overall I was not satisfied with their product. I planted them like their directions stated since I am a beginner-novice and had horrible results. I have finally given up on them and have placed them on my list that I keep in my Hotmail account that states of Places where I DO NOT SHOP WITH ANYMORE!! Heed my advice please go elsewhere before it's too late.

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