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Comments regarding Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens

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29 positives
14 neutrals
162 negatives


Neutral onegoodman1955
(20 reviews)
On May 23, 2015, onegoodman1955 Normal, IL wrote:

Who knows who is managing these companies. "Richard B. Owen, 73, of Bloomington expired from his earthly body Friday (Nov. 4, 2011) at his residence. Richard was president and CEO of Owen Enterprises which includes seven mail-order nursery companies, four nursery retail stores, a flower shop, mail-order jewelry company, ad agency and retail linen and bath store."

Neutral jdawn5
(2 reviews)
On Jun 9, 2013, jdawn5 Wadsworth, OH wrote:

Posted on April 26, 2013, updated June 9, 2013
I ordered the perennial bargain bag from Exciting Gardens which arrived today, 4/26/13. I thought I would share the contents for anyone who might be considering ordering it for themselves. I received 4 each of Hens & Chicks, Balloon Flower, Liatris, Baptisia and Hollyhock. I ordered other items as well and will rate the quality once they are in the ground for a little while.

On June 9th, 2013, jdawn5 added the following:

UPDATE: The bargain bag plants doing good include the Hens and Chicks, Liatris and Hollyhock. I ordered other items as well and am very sad that my Goatsbeard did not make it (the one I wanted the most) nor did the Poker Primrose or the Torch Lilly. All the Giant Primrose but one were yellow and some are struggling but still alive. My Snowball Bush is small but very healthy and my cats loved their Catmint. Overall half is good and half not so much so I'm keeping my review as neutral.
Neutral verdedesigns
(1 review)
On May 16, 2012, verdedesigns Fairfield, IA wrote:

Beware of this company and all of it's affiliates, which there are many...Royal Dutch, Honey Creek Nurseries, the list goes on. I relandscaped my whole yard and made the mistake of placing a huge order with Richard Owens, Honey Creek, Royal Dutch, and Exciting Gardens. Out of the whole batch, only 2 flowers came up out of 50 plants. It's impossible to get any type of customer service and they make it impossible for you to get your money back. It's been more than half year and I haven't received any money back or plants. I think I will get the plants sent to me but who knows how they will preform.

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.

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 .....

Neutral gordond
(1 review)
On Oct 8, 2006, gordond Cantonment, FL wrote:

I bought 36 robin hood rose plants, all but 9 sprouted. On reordering the 9, two have started leafing out and 7 are not. Guess I will have to live with this since the warranty is for one shipping only. But believe after reading all the negative comments will just go to local nurseries from now on.

On Oct 8, 2006, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens responded with:


On Dec 20, 2006 3:50 PM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens added:

We do have a free replacement guarantee. The customer need only to return the original shipping label within one year and let us know how many of which item is dead for a replacement.

On Dec 20, 2006 4:00 PM, Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens added:

We do have a free replacement guarantee. The customer need only to return the original shipping label within one year and let us know how many of which item is dead for a replacement.

In addition, a dmail was sent to this customer on 10/9/06. We have not yet had a response."

Neutral beck02
(22 reviews)
On Apr 27, 2004, beck02 Newalla, OK wrote:

All of the previous complaints are true--plants came in a green garbage type sack (very poorly packed), with everything bare root, a few things were moldy and/or dried out. I ordered 5 tree peonies (decent plants, some very nice sized, although dry, cost was $9.95/plant), 12 giant hibiscus (very tiny plants, but then, I only paid $5.65 for all), butteryfly bush that were sticks although some were starting to grow (8 for $10.95), 4 carnations (at $2/all--I don't think these like to be bare rooted at all) and a clematis (blue light, double) for $6.47--it looks the best, but was also priced about the same as other companies. Only a partial order has been received so far, and, to me, "you get what you pay for". I think most (though not all) of the plants will live--most of the prices were rock bottom, so even if half die, it's still not a horrible deal. If you're looking for huge plants that will bloom the first year--this company is NOT for you. I gave a neutral feedback--partial because I haven't received the full order, and there's better companies to order from, but for the cost, so far, I'm happy enough with my results. If you do order from this company, keep in mind that you're getting quantity instead of quality.

Neutral ScotLee
(2 reviews)
On Apr 18, 2003, ScotLee wrote:

We live a little over an hour away, and decided to see for ourselves in order to be able to pick and choose what we got. We went in person to the nursery on April 6, 2003.

This company goes by a bunch of different names including:

Four Seasons Nursery
Interstate Nursery
Kelly Nursery
House of Wesley
Burgess Seed
Direct Gardening
Crown Galleries
Farmer Seed & Plant Co
Owen Nursery & Florist
Owen Richard Nursery

We expected better since we were there in person, but still had problems with a few plants. They had a table of catalogs from several different companies they do their mail order business, and you write down the catalog items. They pick the order, and a short time later you have your bare root stock.

The English Lavender never took and molded. The Black Eye Susans were bare root that molded and turned to mush. Everything else has begun to grow. The Patio Bonfire Peach is beautiful and reasonably priced. The two types of ornamental grasses are not fairing well, but time will tell if they will rebound. The Rose of Sharon is finally budding as are many other plants. A couple plants that we wanted were not in stock.

The only problem was that when we asked to get replacements on what did not take, they wanted us to send the plants back at our expense when we had come in person. We had to argue with them that it would be a bag of liquid mush when it came to the Black Eye Susans, and the only thing we could send back is the English Lavender. The manager said he would send out replacements, and almost two weeks later we have not received anything as of yet.

We mentioned that we had seen all the negatives on-line from numerous persons. They told us that because of the different climates, mail handling, delay by the mail in getting the plants to the destination, and other factors concerning shipping that causes most of the problems with the plants surviving or arriving in good condition.

Though for the most part we have had the large percentage of plants survive and grow, we have some reservations about the stock that we received. We selected about 17 varieties of plants spending about $130, but we prefer going with a little more established plant from a local nursery.

We have found an addorable nursery in Morris, Illinois called Nettle Creek Nursery. Though they do not do mail order, if you are within driving distance, it is well worth the trip. They have a lot of different, unique, and healthy livestock, and a lot of unique garden decorations. They are located just north of the state park. If you are traveling I-80 through Illinois, it is less than ten minutes off the interstate. The nursery is on 58 acres of an old quarry they back filled over the years, and you can get lost in a beautiful myriad of bushes, trees, and shrubs. The owner and his family are helpful, and they give a lot of assistance when trying to find the right plant for the area you need to address.

Neutral Conny1908
(5 reviews)
On Apr 12, 2002, Conny1908 Milton, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:

My mother-in-law received their catalogue in the mail the other day and wanted me to order some plants for her. I browsed the catalogue their extremely low prices made me immediately suspicious. After doing some research...I dumped the catalogue in the recycle bin!

Neutral anewsl8
(1 review)
On Jan 1, 2002, anewsl8 wrote:

I used to work at Owens nursery and all of its Plantron Inc. catalogs. I know how these places work. Yes, there are some problems with this company.... but there are no perfect companies out there. Mr. Owen is a very nice man and the business is family managed. Mr. Owen receives catalogs from at least thirty nurseries to make sure that they are giving you the best product price they can. (I think you will agree they are the least expensive mail order company around.) Plantron Inc. receives during the peak growing season, on average, at the least 2,000 orders every two days. That is JUST an average and ONLY in telephone orders! When you have that many customers, as many of the nurseries do, it is hard to get the best top quality plants for EVERYONE. Please keep this in mind when you order. As for companies charging your credit cards before the items are shipped ... they have bills to pay just like you do. Growing and shipping plants require people to get this done and those people have to be paid. Rent must be paid and supplies bought. There are people out there who are not as honest as you and would ask for replacement plants or refunds when there is nothing wrong with the ones they have. A business of any kind has to be careful of that. I hope you keep these things in mind when you place orders with ANYONE. And always be nice to the CSR no matter what. They are human just like you and are not out to get you. They are employed by the company and get paid for what they do.... trust me, they earn every penny.

Neutral kaykirkman
(1 review)
On Jun 1, 2001, kaykirkman wrote:

I also received plants that were moldy or so dried out as to be unrecognizable. However, I did receive some Robin Hood roses that looked okay and are now growing well--will be interesting to see if they actually bloom and grow to 5 or 6 feet tall.

Neutral deannalass
(1 review)
On Jul 1, 2000, deannalass wrote:

This company needs an 800 number. They are hard to contact.

Neutral charlycastle
(1 review)
On Apr 1, 1998, charlycastle wrote:

I just found your list. Thanks for your efforts. I recently ordered four items from Richard Owen Nursery and they arrived last week, left in the sun on my front doorstep by UPS. I placed them unopened in a cool garage until I could open them and get them in the ground. This last weekend I took them with me to a close friend's in Brownwood, Texas, and we planted them along his fence line. I was very pleasantly surprised when I opened them in that although they WERE sent BARE ROOT with NO PACKING AT ALL, apparently they arrived quickly enough that the roots when soaked were all still viable and green was beginning to sprout from stick-stock. HOPEFULLY they will actually live. Included were one Paw Paw "tree" about 10 inches long root to tip of plant, two very healthy "lily of the valley" trees and two seemingly healty tulip trees (Magnolia soulangeana, I think). Also included were two seemingly healthy sweetshrub plants. I write this ONLY to let you know that apparently SOME of the things they send do arrive, if bare root and left in the sun, healthy looking. I have also ordered from them once before and had horribly smelling rotted plants upon opening upon arrival. [update]I found a phone number for Richard Owen Nursery and I called it MANY times during the work day and even as late as 3:00 a.m. hoping to get through. Every time I called, it was busy. Today I tried YET AGAIN and, VOILA! I got through to a real live person. She was very nice and helped me quite expeditiously. Now we will see whether the duplicate of the order I just planted for a friend, will arrive to me in as good condition as his did. Wish me luck.She did say, though, that if one calls on SUNDAY AFTERNOONS, they are open and usually have only one call every two hours, so anyone should be able to reach them on Sunday afternoons. Just thought I'd let everyone know. Odd time for a business to be open. Keep trying.