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Comments regarding Merrifield Garden Center

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12 positives
2 neutrals
6 negatives


Negative 4thgenfarmer
(1 review)
On Jul 7, 2012, 4thgenfarmer Pimmit Hills, VA wrote:

Went to Merrified to landscape my small front yard because of their supposed "expertise."

The first thing that went wrong was the crew showed up to start work on the wrong day (early). We happened to be out of town. Our neighbor caught it by luck and also happened to be a native Spanish speaker so she was able to communicate with the crew -- there was no one there who spoke English.

When the workers returned, the supervisor was there and we discussed what happened. After that I went inside because I did not feel that I had to stand over everyone as if they were a bunch of children. Sometime after I went inside the supervisor left.

Once the crew got to work, they planted 1" flowers instead of the 3" we contracted for. Additionally, the crew ripped out several lilies that were about to bloom. Furthermore, they dug up and removed the bulbs too.

They also were hired to remove a bush. Although they ripped out a fully grown lily and dug up the bulb, they did not remove 2 major roots of the bush. I discovered them years later (each a year apart). One root is approximately 8' long or more (I keep it as a reminder not to go to Merrified even for an answer to a simple question). The other was approximately 7' long or more.

The worst part is that in removing that bush my front yard started to die. 3 of my original 5 shrubs installed by the builder approximately 15 years ago never had a problem until Merrifield after worked on my front yard
for the approximately 10 years. The 3 shrubs slowly died off. In removing the bush, they failed to remove its root system, but they shoked and damaged the root systems of these 3 shrubs (I know because I have seen what is beneath the surface in removing the dead shrubs and planting annuals and bulbs).

I have at best 20 sq ft of grass. The bush was in between patches of grass. After removing the bush, Merrifield put grass in to fill in where the bush was. Suddenly (well, relatively quickly) the grass was dead. I had to start over and get new sod.

I find in fascinating that long before I hired a landscaper the annuals I bought at Home Depot outshined and outlasted the ones I purchased at Merrifield.

I am sure you can have a better experience than I did. But you need to (1) watch them like a hawk and stand over them at all times, (2) make sure that you are getting what you paid for, and (3) demand that someone who is 100% fluent in English be onsite at all times. What is sad is that: (1) if I had been out there I could I have stopped and (2) I remember a sufficient amount of Spanish to communicate well enough with someone who is not proficient in English.


Before anyone gets riled up, where I live the non-English Spanish speaking population is not a citizenship (illegal alien) issue. They are citizens, and their heritage is from all over Central America.

Also, there are common gathering points, like at Home Depots, 7-11's, etc. where people stand around waiting to be picked up for this kind of (and all other kinds) of work. No one feels any shame about it or anything of it. By a certain time they are all gone. Not because someone broke it up, but because someone picked them up for work that day. It is freelancing.

Negative Narquan
(1 review)
On Aug 29, 2009, Narquan Clifton, VA wrote:

About six or seven years ago I needed specimen tree to replace a rotted stump in my front yard. I bought a giant crepe myrtle at MGC and had it delivered and planted. The tree gets full sunlight all day but has never bloomed. In dry summers (not this year!) I've had to water the tree every few days or the leaves begin to curl and desiccate. Several trips back to the MGC have not been fruitful (pun intended). Staff insist tree is behaving "normally" and is becoming adjusted to its new home (e.g. "these trees usually take one year to get established, two to grow, and three or more to thrive and bloom, etc."). The tree has grown, so much so it's over 20 feet high and perhaps 15 feet wide. Despite its otherwise healthy appearance, the tree does not bloom. My own diagnosis is that the MGC did not properly plant the tree and ensure that the hole was large enough or deep enough to allow for root growth and my having to water it every few days, even after several years of being in the ground, is evidence of this. I am more than willing to accept that "only God can make a tree" but the MGC could do a better job at helping God now and then. Lord knows, they are not much at helping customers. If, like me, you spend a couple of thousand bucks on a specimen tree, be sure to research the planting needs and be there to observe when the planting crew comes along -- just to make sure they do their job and do not take any shortcuts that might endanger the project over the long term. I still shop at Merrifield now and then but prefer other garden centers in the area that are cheaper and just as good. I never mind spending some extra money if I think I'm getting a quality product or service, which is why I went to MGC in the first place. Their product and service, however, let me down and their almost programmed insoucience to being told of my problem did little to inspire confidence in them or their services.

Negative lilyan
(4 reviews)
On Jun 21, 2009, lilyan Carleton, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I purchased online a quart of weed killer. They shipped a container that was unsealed, with one third of the contents missing. There was no leakage in the box it came in.
i emailed them back with the problem and never received any response.

Negative sluglady
(1 review)
On May 17, 2007, sluglady Gainesville, VA wrote:

Well, first of all let me say that Merrifield is extremely overpriced for the quality of merchandise they offer. We had 5 azaleas, 1 dogwood and 1 Japanese maple planted in our yard. All 5 azaleas died along with the dogwood and Japanese maple. They replaced the azaleas with heather, replaced the dogwood with another dogwood, and the Japanese maple with a redbud. The heather have all died but look like they may be coming back. The dogwood is very much dead and the redbud made it through the winter.

We asked for a quote to replace the dogwood and the heather and figured we would get a discount since they provided the plants that have died twice! However, they offered no discount. Also, we have bought mulch from them for 2 years now and have paid 3 times the amount per bag that you would pay anywhere else. In addition, add the cost of labor and you are talking about very expensive mulch.

I had heard that Merrifield was a great nursery and we spend around $3000 the first year we used them, and $800 last year, but no more. I will put the mulch down myself and go to some of the smaller nurseries where the plants are better and cheaper!

Negative IndoorGardner
(9 reviews)
On Oct 27, 2006, IndoorGardner Falls Church, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I go there for the dirt only. I really love their brand of potting mix. The staff is a little too arrogant for me. I was there recently shopping for ingredients for ďcompost teaĒ. The sales guy keep trying to tell me how to make sure my compost pile dissolves and sell me enzymes to help me. Ok first of all I like everything organic. What he was giving me was not even close. Second, I donít need to break it down because it cooks in bubbling water for 5 days. So why would I break it down. None of the good stuff would be left. He told me I watch too much TV and did not know what I was doing. I was shocked!!!!!! I research everything I do. I don't just see something on HGTV and say thatís it. This is not the first bad experience I have had there, but it will be the last. I am looking for somewhere else who has nice dirt and better prices. I spend a lot on plants and plant care. Itís averaging a minimum of $600.00 a month. Please keep in mind that this is only for an apartment. Wait to you see what I spend on a house. They lost a good customer with me.

Negative gottjr101
(1 review)
On Mar 15, 2006, gottjr101 Fairfax, VA wrote:

Having recently completed a home renovation, I requested the MGC to do a landscaping consultation, for which they charge a $50 fee. A very personable and clearly highly qualified landscape architect came to my home, but rather than give me any ideas or plans for the work to be done, I was surprised that all of the time was spent giving me a sales pitch to hire the landscape architect, for a significantly higher fee.
I'm sure that this person is a great architect, but what I thought I was paying for was ideas, even initial off-the-cuff-ideas, but not a sales pitch to engage this person. So what I basically ended up paying for was for someone to come to my home and give me a pitch. That doesnt really seem like a landscaping consultation to me. How about you?
Caveat emptor, again.

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