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Comments regarding Park Seed Company (aka Park's Gardens)

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431 positives
111 neutrals
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Neutral janevx
(6 reviews)
On Feb 14, 2006, janevx Saint Paul, MN wrote:

I placed my first seed order with Park's this year. After about 1 1/2 weeks I received a partial order (Petunia 'Dolcissima Fragolino', Viola wittrockiana 'Majestic Giant Mix', Zinnia elegans 'Ruffles Mixed'). My other 2 packets- Zinnia elegans 'Giant Cactus Mix' and Petunia 'Aladdin Nautical Mix' are on back order (hence the Neutral rating). I placed my order over the phone and the representative was great. She seemed very knowledgeable, was polite and made the transaction pleasant.

In the past I've ordered bare root, old-fashioned roses from them and they were great. I followed the planting instructions to a tee, but I'm not sure that anything can kill some of these old shrub roses.

I used to order from Wayside Gardens too (hostas and peonies) and was always satisfied. I don't order from them anymore only because I prefer Songsparrow Farm's selection and quality for Hostas and peonies.

Neutral Von
(4 reviews)
On Dec 25, 2005, Von Ironton, MN wrote:

Good seeds, some very hard to find and expensive, good instructions. Terrible plants!!

Neutral NoMoreWebvan
(1 review)
On Apr 28, 2005, NoMoreWebvan wrote:

Park's online performance is weak. I placed an order, 10 days later...nothing. So I went to the order confirmation email and there is a link to check order status...but it gets an error page. The website is down? What? They never say when they will ship. But I have gotten 6 emails about placing another order so far... these folks need to better understand internet retailing I think. Just not easy to do business with. But their telephone operators are very nice.

Neutral Ahab26
(4 reviews)
On Jan 16, 2005, Ahab26 Beverly, MA wrote:

I have conflicting opinions about this company. I ordered quite a few plants for the first time when everything went on an end-of-season sale. The prices were unbelievable. When the plants arrived, however - Ugh. The Daylilies that I ordered were all moldy and rotting. I trimmed away all of the bad plant tissue and planted what ended up being something 1/3 of the size as it should have been. The Shasta daisy that I ordered looked dead. Hydrangea bushes were tiny with few and black-spotted leaves. I called the company and they told me to plant everything and give it time. If it didn't survive, they would reimburse. Surprisingly, every plant but one daylily seemed to be ok. They certainly didn't thrive, as I suspect that most of the energy was spent rebuilding the damage that occurred prior to receiving them. It was a little disappointing as plants from Spring Hill thrived and bloomed during the same season. I'm hoping that they will do better in 2005. I like this company's plant selection, but quality of plants? I'd say 3/4 of what I ordered was of poor quality. I'm not sure if I will order from them again.

Neutral porcubat
(4 reviews)
On Nov 30, 2004, porcubat Brookline, MA wrote:

I have to preface this by saying I think I rated Park as "Neutral" vs. "Positive" partly because I had such high expectations initially (and partly because I was disappointed with a few aspects of my order). I'd probably still recommend them, for some things at least!

Good (but not excellent) selection of seeds. Sometimes varieties disappear without a trace on the website, so if you see something you must have, order it soon! (I missed a specific nicotiana once. It didn't become "sold out" -- just plain disappeared.)

The website is good, but occasionally the search feature doesn't perform as I'd expect. (e.g. "orange geranium" seems to do an "OR" search even when you specify "exact search")

With Park's reputation, or maybe it's just that I seem to remember hearing their name since the day I was old enough to crawl into my mom's garden, I kindof expected better germination instructions, either with my order or on the website.

VERY polite phone employees.

Nice selection of seed starting supplies, but missing a few things that I hoped to get (min/max thermometer, hygrometer, vermiculite or sterile mixes, grounded light timers, etc).

I placed [what I consider to be] a large order (>$100) with Park, for both seeds and supplies. I received most of my order VERY promptly, yet had some difficulty with missing items. I called them to let them know that one package was missing something listed on the invoice that was sent to me, but they insisted it was coming in another package. I was just trying to save them extra shipping, since I knew I had at least one backorder on its way later anyway. After receiving all the backordered products, I called them again and they believed me that time and sent out the missing item.

I am still perplexed about one item that has been listed as "in stock and reserved" since the day I ordered it, yet has not been shipped, days after I've received everything else. I've called three times about it, and each time the very polite person tells me they're sure it will be mailed soon. No luck yet. It's a little frustrating to have my sprouting seed collections sitting here, and no sprouter to put them in!

Most disappointing of all, however, were my BioDome (sp?) seed starting inserts. They had large, scary, branched, blue-green mold-like things growing over them. After my previous calls, I'm saving up some energy before I attempt to explain the problem on the phone. I'm sure they'll be very nice, but I'm not sure if anything will come of the call.

I'm still looking for a paper catalog. I asked for one with my order, and requested one on-line, but maybe it's not the season for them.

On January 7th, 2005, porcubat added the following:

While Park has great sale offers, and a nice looking website, I've had consistently mediocre experiences with their service. The website often misbehaves, frustratingly losing the order I just spent an hour concocting. They've made several errors when shipping my orders. When my requested catalog finally arrived, the "Special Coupons" and "Extended" offers had expired two days before....
Still, I continue to order from them because of their seed starting supplies and special offers. I'm hoping the details will fall together for them!
Neutral Foursit
(2 reviews)
On Oct 14, 2004, Foursit Warrenton, VA wrote:

Mid-August I placed my fall planting orders from 3 different mail order nurseries: Park Seed, Spring Hill, and Brecks. The Park Seed order was the first to arrive.
I had ordered 5 oriental poppies (2 Patty's Plum and 3 Clochard) and 1 Platycodon Astra (double balloon flower) (this was one of their advertised specials and I couldn't resist). I do love that they list recommended companion plants in their descriptions on their website.
The plants have all been in the ground a little less than 2 weeks. 2 of the Clochard and 1 of the Patty's Plum have already sent up new shoots /leaves- (they are an inch tall already), which I understand is exactly what poppies should do late summer/ early fall. The other Patty's Plum and Clochard have nothing but a white/brown area where the shoots should appear, Being that the other poppies are so obviously thriving I did not take this as a good sign. I called the company to report my observations and ask if I should send the (duds?) back for a replacement. I was told no, that I should wait until Spring to see if they are simply dormant. Fair enough, except for the fact, as I mentioned, that poppies are dormant during the summer and are Supposed to send up new growth in the Fall. So I will wait until spring, but I am less than hopeful. The platycodon was obviously shocked by shipment/ transplant but it may still make it. I will ammend my feedback in the fall when I know better what has happened to the questionable HALF of my order.

Neutral nancur
(3 reviews)
On Jul 23, 2004, nancur wrote:

I stopped ordering plants from Park's a few years ago because everytime I ordered, they would be "out of stock" of that item. So this year I decided to give them another chance. I ordered 7 items from them in Early February. In April I received noticed that 2 of the items were "out of stock". The five items that I did receive were extremely spindly & weak. The spiderwort never did anything and only 1 of the ferns have shown any form of life. These were "bareroot" which is a most apt description. The roots sent were only about 1 inch long. I also ordered caladium bulbs from them. All arrived moldy & mushy and only one variety came up. Never again will I order plants from this company.
Their seeds on the other hand are very good and I have had much success with them. I do agree with another reviewer that their selection is not as good as it used to be. I also bought 2 of their seed starting systems with the plant plugs and those are excellent. I would highly recommend purchasing those. Just stay away from their plants.

Neutral msanjelpie
(54 reviews)
On Jun 17, 2004, msanjelpie Meridian, ID wrote:

Have ordered from them twice. First order -neither plant made it through the winter...

Second order - 1 bareroot was DOA, other two are still alive... I guess that's saying a lot for Park Seed :)


Neutral sylvi74
(23 reviews)
On May 4, 2004, sylvi74 Oak Grove, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I received a partial order from Parks today. I am very pleased with the plants I did get. However, I placed my order in February and since then have gotten two postcards saying they are out of things I wanted. I wish they could have told me that on the phone when I called in the order. Now, I discover that one more item is on backorder! It is a rose, so I doubt that I will get it at all. So, the plants I got are nice, but of an order totaling five items, I have only received two. It's pretty disappointing.

Neutral Sedition
(2 reviews)
On Jan 3, 2004, Sedition wrote:

I like Park Seed more than most. I haven’t had a major problem, and the “Biodome” they sell is clearly better at getting starts going then any of the “cheap” methods I’ve used.

My one beef which makes this a neutral is that last year I ordered more “biosponges” for my propagation domes. After a couple days, I noticed that there was something growing in with my seeds that was not vegetative. Mushrooms. Little brown conch-shaped mushrooms were growing all over the sponges.

Whoever is supplying the biosponges to Park is obviously not properly sterilizing them. This wasn’t a big deal to me, as I know a bit about mycology and microbiology. It was more fascinating than anything else. But it isn’t good business to be allowing plant propagating material to be sold which is infested with who-knows what. The sponges could be made from compost carrying Mosaic virus for all I know.

So if you buy the biodome or sponge refills, it would be a good idea to sterilize the sponges by processing in a pressure canner at 10 lbs plus altitude for at least 30 minutes. This will kill all mycological pathogens, and most plant affecting bacteria and viruses.

Neutral cls009
(43 reviews)
On Dec 15, 2003, cls009 wrote:

I purchased 3 live plants from this company this last spring. 2 were potted, and 1 was sent bareroot. Normally I do not like to pay that high a price for perennials but they have a very nice variety and I could not resist purchasing a couple of them. The bareroot one was very small, but alive when it arrived. I planted it and it sent up one tiny leaf and died off. The 2 potted plants were nearly dead when they arrived, with 75% of the folaige actually black, and very sick looking. When I called and complained they did offer me either a refund or replacement plants, I requested a refund. Somehow they got that wrong on the computer and I was sent replacement plants in the fall. These looked exactly the same! They were black and very sick looking.

While I have heard good things about their seeds, I will not be placing another order with this company. They were quick the second time to issue my credit card a refund, but I was not pleased at all with the quality of their plants, or the service.

On December 18th, 2005, cls009 added the following:

The fall sale prices were so good last year I decided to try this company out once more. I placed a very large order for mostly bulbs, and a couple plants which were so cheap at the time I figured they would be worth trying even if they didn't make it. I was very pleased with the bulbs. They weren't overly large, but they weren't small either. There were a couple that were bad but overall it was a very nice shipment. They all bloomed beautifully this spring and true to name. As far as the plants. I ordered 6 iris plants (all the same variety), 3 rotted, 3 lived, but for the price I was happy. Those that lived bloomed true to name. The remaining plants were very puny and one was rotting at the base of the plant. I planted them anyways, and interestingly enough the "rotted base" one was the only one that made it....out of 5 plants. It turned out to be labeled incorrectly, it was a Sedum, but not the variegated sedum it was supposed to be. I would say I was much happier with this order than my previous one, but I still think this company needs to up the quality of their plants. I would say my experience was top notch with the bulbs, but very poor with plants, so I will leave my rating as neutral.
Neutral nmchilehead
(1 review)
On Aug 19, 2003, nmchilehead wrote:

I have had mixed results from Parks this year.
The bonus packet of Zinnias only half germinated-in Parks BioDomes! Zinnias! The world's easiest plant to sprout.
They also insisted that I did not order Better Bush tomato this year (I think I did) and the determinate plants that sprouted were Juliette-a tough, tasteless tomato that has had endless blossom-end rot. I have pulled off almost all of the affected fruit, and am about to give the plants the heave-ho. One couldn't tell it was the wrong variety, of course, until the fruit started to set. In past years Better Bush was the star of the garden, so I was GREATLY disappointed. The Whoppers are good, though, and I have grown them for years. The drought and heat have stressed my garden a lot, in spite of drip irrigation, container gardening, compost, premium fertilizer, etc., but getting BER on these things(not Tomatoes, thank you, and they are NOT delicious)is very frustrating. Interestingly, regular, full-size or indeterminate plants are ok.
I had more than the indicated count in the tomato and pepper seed packets. I recommend the Whopper Italian pepper-it has lots of lovely yellow fruit and has the the "taste of South Jersey".
Penstemon seeds from an order of a couple of years ago that I had never gotten around to planting germinated very well after cold-stratification in the refrigerator.
In the past I have been very happy with Parks, but it seems that they are slipping in places. Biodomes work really well.
And really, Karen, I don't need an ad every week in my e-mail-it is verging on SPAM.
I grow most of my peppers and chiles from local seed or from other sources than Parks, who don't really carry what I like. After all, I am here in NM, they are in SC, and, poor things, just don't know about good chile.

Neutral JoanneO
(1 review)
On Jun 26, 2003, JoanneO wrote:

This year was my first vegetable seed order. I chose Park Seed because I loved their website and felt I had obtained a lot of good information from it.

Unfortunately, the planting directions on the seed packets were incomplete -- most of the packets were designed to be used to hold a variety of seeds so the information on the outside was over generalized and unsatisfactory. Although I haven't been disappointed by the plants I have grown from their seeds (nor the price or shipping) I still will be trying a different vendor this year.

Neutral joyest
(1 review)
On Jun 7, 2003, joyest wrote:

I've been ordered from this company for many years. Since I've read some of your negative comments, I had to count the seed amounts I recently ordered and shipped here. I have ordered 8 items, 4 items were 15-20 seeds less than what pkt supposed to contains. One seed, I paid nearly $4(silly me, and seeds were sooo tiny)for 15 seeds, I got 10 only. I emailed their customer service although I didn't expect to hear from them.

Within 3 days, I got a response from them and apologized this happened and offered me to send all replacements. They also said they will forward my compliment to right dept to see what is wrong with it. They admit their machine is not working properly so need to be checked.

I think I got this kind of quick response due to a slow season. If this happened in early March or beginning of the year, I suspect shipping takes longer and no responses from them.
Last year, it took almost a month to receive the seeds I've ordered, it was around March. This year I've ordered in June and got it within 7 days. I don't know when exactly I'll be able to receive those replacements though, at least I got their feed back so I don't feel too negative about it.
They need better quality control - thats for sure!

Neutral hillfarm
(36 reviews)
On May 18, 2003, hillfarm Quesnel, BC (Zone 4a) wrote:

Have ordered from this company fairly regularily over past 10 years or so. I must say that I have had generally excellent germination, most of the seed I order is perennial or unusual annual flower varieties. I am an experienced seed starter/plant grower & run a small commercial nursery.

Shipping to Canada is reasonably priced. Seed packaging is excellent. Germination is good to excellent, most items. (A few duds but that is to be expected with ANY seed supplier with hard-to-start items) Selection is good, though getting a little more sparse for seed items as company seems to be focussing more on nursery stock.

BUT I have some concerns, which I will now voice to add to comments above. (I thought maybe it was just me, but I guess not.)

Seed quantities NUMEROUS times have been less than stated on package/in catalogue. For example, with Dahlia 'Bishop's Children', stated 50 seeds, actually contained 27 seeds. Hollyhocks in separate colours stated 25 seeds, ranged from 7 seeds to 23 seeds. And over the years other disappointments. I have never complained because often I am sowing the seed a year after I receive it, which leads to 2nd concern:

At least to Canada, catalogue comes way too late to order for present season. As a repeat customer I expect the catalogue to come promptly but it trickles in about March or April, 1 year MAY! which is way too late. I need to order in December/January as most of my perennial flowers need to be started indoors & early.

This year I made an order from the website & sent it in early January(by fax, with credit card info). Received seed at the end of February. Still too late for some things - seed packets are filed for next year at this point.

I have tried to order a book from them as well but they insist that they are "not allowed" to send books to Canada. ????? I consistently order books from the USA, & for that matter from around the world, and have never heard such nonsense. I stated that I would be more than willing to pay whatever extra costs were involved. No go, just the insistence that somehow government regulations prohibited the export of books & supplies. Very strange. I can understand reluctance to bother shipping bulky items cross border, but a slim book ("Park's Success With Herbs" was what I wanted) could easily have been packed with the seed order. What gets me is the insistence that it is mysterious "government restrictions" that stand in the way. Ridiculous.

Anyway, I will continue to order from Park because they do carry a few things hard to get elsewhere, but I am going to complain in future re: seed counts - this to me is the most unforgivable of seed company offences - when one counts on getting 25 hollyhock seedlings(from a packet of 50 seeds not an unreasonable expectation) & then only receives 7 seeds this is most disappointing.

I think Park should concentrate more on their seed selection & seed packing & shipping & customer service departments & less on their gaudy catalogue & endless email offerings. A great seed company slipping a bit, in my opinion.

Neutral PurplePansies
(11 reviews)
On Mar 27, 2003, PurplePansies Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Park's selection is good. I've never ordered plants or bulbs. I've ordered seeds and the germination is sometimes erratic. Their germination and survival rates, were TERRIBLE FOR FLOWERS. If they did germinate, (which they rarely did) they were small and poor. Even usually easy to grow ones like Morning Glory failed, (I ordered Mount Fuji). However, germination and condition of their VEGETABLES WERE FANTASTIC. I think almost every vegatable seed came up and the plants were strong and healthy. Peas came pre-inoculated, (some companies' don't). Better not to order flowers but vegetable seeds from this company are highly recommened. Not sure about bulbs or plants, (never ordered).

Neutral Eric_OH
(55 reviews)
On Jan 21, 2003, Eric_OH Columbus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Long experience with ordering seeds - orders are always shipped promptly and accurately. Germination is generally good to excellent. Value is mid-range (better than T&M, not as good as Pinetree).

On March 5th, 2006, Eric_OH changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

I was disappointed to see the company statement recently added to this site. Instead of taking the opportunity to reassure customers and pledge improvements, it seems aimed more at criticizing them for having the nerve to say anything negative here about Park's.

I continue to find Park's a good source for certain kinds of seed. Based on the reports from other gardeners and the company message in response, I will avoid buying plants from them and affiliated companies.
Neutral tomatogin
(2 reviews)
On Jan 7, 2003, tomatogin wrote:

I have ordered from Park Seed for the past two years. I got acceptable germination rates from their melon seeds, But after reading other comments I think that the erratic germination of my corn seeds may not have been my fault. As you know, even germination is very important for cross pollination. I will buy my corn seeds elsewhere.

Neutral janea
(14 reviews)
On May 9, 2002, janea South Orange, NJ wrote:

Plants OK, but not great. Would probably not use them again as other suppliers are either cheaper for the same quality or better for the same price.

Neutral jason_wightman
(1 review)
On May 3, 2002, jason_wightman wrote:

Please visit our website at for our wonderful fall selections.

On February 24th, 2003, jason_wightman changed the rating from to neutral and added the following:

Please visit our new and improved website at
Neutral Conny1908
(5 reviews)
On Apr 3, 2002, Conny1908 Milton, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:

So far, I haven't had too much luck with their seeds... germination rates were very poor. But I'm a beginner at gardening and probably did something wrong. I sent them a couple of emails asking questions and they always responded very quickly and in great detail.
Their online catalogue is great, they have a secure online ordering server, deliveries are fast and reliable.

On April 16th, 2004, Conny1908 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

Neutral ivanhoe
(5 reviews)
On Mar 22, 2002, ivanhoe wrote:

Getting nervous. I received the blueberry bushes that I ordered and they look great, but my coreopsis shipped nine days ago and I still haven't received that shipment. I live less than two hours from Park Seed, so it's obviously lost in transit. However, they won't replace them until it has been a full two weeks. Meanwhile, they have my money. Also, my chocolate cosmos looks rotted, but I have read they can be slow to come back in the spring.

On March 26th, 2002, ivanhoe added the following:

Update: I received the remainder of my order on the 23rd of March, but I don't know if the coreopsis will grow. Many of them were moldy from their ten-day trip. I planted them anyway (because I know they're tough plants) and will hope for the best! Will keep my rating neutral for now.
Neutral Copperbaron
(29 reviews)
On Feb 23, 2002, Copperbaron Vicksburg, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

I ordered a mix of 5 tree peonies from Park at $12.95 each. Anyone who knows about tree peonies will tell you that if the plants are in good shape even though they are not named varieties, this is a steal. It's a steal.

The best packaged plants I have ever seen. I had to get major equipment out to open up the box and then had to do the same thing for each individual plant as they were completely encased in cardboard inside the shipping box and all the air space was filled with foam peanuts. I don't impress easily - I'm seriously impressed. Will definitely do business with them again.

On June 9th, 2003, Copperbaron changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

I ordered from their 75% off sale and received some decent plants, albiet small. It would have been a ripoff if I had to pay full price. This company, along with the affiliated Wayside Gardens, is generally a hit or miss proposition as evidenced by the nearly evenly split positive and negative comments. You pays your money, you takes your chances with these two companies.
Neutral elizabethlicata
(2 reviews)
On Jul 1, 2001, elizabethlicata wrote:

There seems to be a bit of a shake-up going on at this company. You can no longer order bulbs from the Park Seed branch--only from Wayside. And they have a new spin-off for perennials, etc, Countryside Gardens. It's all veryconfusing. In terms of quality, I've had good luck with bulbs from Park Seed, but the perennials from Wayside have been 50-50.

Neutral karinaandors
(1 review)
On Mar 1, 2001, karinaandors wrote:

This is my Park's Seed story - like so many others, I find that the seeds are fine,but the plants stink. Last year I ordered seeds & plants. My order came in 4 different shipments since most plants were not in stock at each shipment, not due to planting dates/zones. I placed my order in March, the last shipment came 6 months later. I live in zone 5! I called them & told them that we were getting frosts now, stop sending plants!! Also, most of the plants were tiny, broken, moldy, etc. They told me when I called that I should just plant them and they would be fine, but did credit my credit card when I pushed them. I will never buy PLANTS from them again. They do seem to be ok for SEEDS.

Neutral raehall
(1 review)
On Oct 1, 2000, raehall wrote:

I just received my bulbs from Park. They are all moldy, I wonder if they will grow?

Neutral JudyStines
(3 reviews)
On May 1, 1999, JudyStines wrote:

I just received an order of seeds and perennials from them. The seeds are fine (as always). Because I had always had such good luck with bulbs from Parks, I thought I'd try the perennials. They are pitifully small, anemic, and sad looking little things with almost no root system. Never again. This order is a complete waste of money.

Neutral richardmankin
(1 review)
On Apr 26, 1999, richardmankin wrote:

On 5 April, 1999 I ordered 3 lilacs. On 26 April I called to find out when I will receive my order, they told me 2--3 more weeks. Their service is terrible; their product is good. I wanted to get the lilacs planted before it gets hot, so they may get established. Their excuse as to why the delay is they are busy. So if you order in April, be prepared for a long, long, long wait.

Neutral GregHale
(7 reviews)
On Feb 1, 1999, GregHale Kent, OH wrote:

A small order - seeds were fine. Honeysuckle plant received late summer - supposedly dormant but looks dead. Seeds only in the future.

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

Park Seed…is pretty stingy when it comes to the size of a packet.

Neutral Ntropics
(14 reviews)
On Feb 1, 1998, Ntropics Mount Sinai, NY wrote:

I have stopped ordering plants from Wayside Gardens and Park Seed. (They are one and the same company, and send the exact same plants from the exact same growers.) I will admit that they sent some reasonably nice Agapanthus way back about four or five years ago, but every other plant that I have ordered from them was too small, and either failed to grow, or required growing on in a greenhouse. There are so many other mail order nurseries who send bigger, healthier plants at cheaper prices…

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