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Comments regarding Scout Gardening (aka Gardening How-To, National Home Gardening Club)

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41 positives
28 neutrals
71 negatives


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Positive src84
(5 reviews)
On Aug 12, 2012, src84 Santa Maria, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

this is my first review..
i joined the NHGC about 8 months ago..
i joined for 12$ which i thot was very cheap and was very happy i did
the club has been very good to me and i havent had any problems with them so far...i have received all the "free gifts" as promised i was very happy with all of them yes some are on the cheap side but honestly if you think about it thats how mass stuff is kinda made anyways..mostly it was just loose handles that i tightened up myself.
it did take a while to recieve my first mag but i was patient i figured they must have a lotta members and a lotta new members everyday so it may take awhile and it did but that okay cuz i did get the mag...
before i joined the club i read the user agreement and all the small print so i knew that the club may send you book or dvds to preview and then buy and keep if youd like.if not they send a shipping slip so you can return it no problem..i have kept a few books i really enjoyed them there very helpful..and learning new gardening secrets is always a for the test items..this is usually what draws people in to join....please do not expect to get big ticket items especially if you just joined....again the club prob has sooooo many members and not alotta test not everyones gonna get patient something will come for you to may be just a packet of seeds but hey there were free and u get to keep them...
so if you were thinking of joining just for free test products you will be sorely disappointed....i joined mostly because of the forums and the seedswaping and the gardening friendships to be working on my life membership now .everyone does have there own experience with the club mine has been a good one...perhaps yours may not be but i think as long as u really look into it and read all the small wont be surprised...i did all that and im happy..

Positive Delta13
(1 review)
On May 20, 2012, Delta13 Creston, NC wrote:

I joined the NHG club in February and paid $24 for a two-year membership. I was promised (and soon received) a Fisker's bypass pruner, kneeling pad, and $20 in gas rebates. The $100 in grocery coupons requires that you send in a self-addressed, stamped 5" x 9" envelope in which they will mail back the coupons. the unusual envelope dimensions have kept me from bothering with it thus far.

I've also gotten one issue of the magazine so far (not bad, not great), a garden transplanter (small trowel) to evaluate and 2 packs each of cosmos and baby's breath (I gave a pack of each to my sister, tucked into a letter I mailed). I also received a larger seed packet "bouquet-mix" (15 different seed types), which I quite like.

The one potential issue I've had is an invoice that stated I'd paid $12 for 1 one-year membership. I emailed NHG club to verify that they'd recorded my payment of $24 which covered 2 years. They replied within days to confirm $24 for 2 yrs rcv'd.

I then got a book to preview "Gardening Essentials" - $10.99 including S&H. Included was a postage-paid return label if I didn't want it and a promise of a little (probably cheap) gardening totebag and some more seeds, PLUS more books to preview,, but only if I decided to purchase :Gardening Essentials.

My initial reaction was "Aha! No Way.", but I kept returning to the book, which I couldn't deny I liked ALOT and considered a deal at $10.99. I finally decided to send a check in a few days after the "must pay/return by" date (4/3/12). Within the month, I got one invoice asking for the payment or return of the book. I ignored it, having paid. I haven't received any more books, but checked online today and my account page lists the payment and shows I owe $0.00. So far, a month and a half later, I've not gotten any more books to preview.

So all-in-all, my experience has been good. That said, I DID receive the Lifetime Membership Rebate offer, which was annoying and ridiculous (and therefore ignored by me - twice so far)...though I may shoot them an email to confirm that I am not interested in paying them $250+ in return for getting my $24 "back", given the negative posts I've read. This way I'll have their response on hand should any problems arise in the future. To be fair, however, the Lifetime Membership offer(s) clearly stated the terms of agreement - it wasn't hidden or hard to find, so I suggest that people read over offers rcv'd from ANY company before accepting.

Thought I'd throw in a positive review - maybe they are shaping up - with anything they've mailed me, they always have forms to get your free stuff for joining in case you didn't get it when you should have. In fact, they sent me an additional Fisker's kneeling pad - who knows why.

I'll update my review and change it to negative if problems arise, but so far, I'm pleased.

Positive cowboydj
(1 review)
On Oct 13, 2011, cowboydj Rosenberg, TX wrote:

We have received all of our products- as promised. As for the books, if you read the information when you sign up for your free stuff, it says that you may receive books and videos to reveiw. That has happened and we just send them back like it says and the charges are dropped.

Positive veggieflowers
(3 reviews)
On Mar 28, 2011, veggieflowers Columbia, MO wrote:

I became a life member over 10 years ago. I got the toolbag
with tools, nice gloves and the magazine. Over the years I've gotten stuff to try and evaluate-rose bush, several kinds of seeds, dahlia tubers, some tools, but nothing ever big. I like the magazine. They have a "click & win" daily but I've never won.I'm sure there are lots of members from which to draw for the prizes. Some are really nice.I've never been hassled by them about anything.

Positive alinag
(1 review)
On Feb 15, 2011, alinag Sacramento, CA wrote:

National Gardening Club Is Fully Legit.
I signed up an today after 2 weeks of paying my dues I received my 2 free gifts a kneeling pad and bypass pruners. Also I have received seeds, magazines etc. from them an i signed up back in August. But didn't have my due's but finally paid. They have been great. An btw I aint someone who works for them. Because I live in California. Those who are hating on them probably most of ya haven't signed up. Or spend your time putting in bad rev's. I am not a beginner gardener. But this club is great.

Positive jcstevensva
(1 review)
On Oct 25, 2010, jcstevensva Springfield,
United States wrote:

Posted on October 23, 2010, updated October 25, 2010
The magazine is always welcome. I like the range of articles and look forward to receiving it . I have been gardening for over 50 years. Not really understanding why so many positive comments seem to go on the attack on comments from people who have problems with this club. This 'club' has negative comments all over the internet if anyone wants to search on them.

This company is all about hustling people for more money. As soon as you sign up, expect to begin getting bombarded with 'offers' of lifetime membership and it is very confusing to figure out just what will be free from make you have more obligations to them for payment. Books, things to test and other stuff I don't need or want but they came and I had to return books again and again until that stopped.

I managed to dodge their 'offers' for two years. Then they came up with something new. Extend membership three years for a good price, so I did sign up and sent my check to them in July 2010. In October, I received another notice to extend membership again and I had forgotten I had already sent them money in the previous July. My wife was quick to recall we had already renewed in July. Very tricky as I should already have membership out to 2013 and am not at all interested in another three years. And the second notice did not show when my current membership would expire. It just says it would extend three years beyond current expiration date.

I am bit older and keeping up with the details is not easy. Thus, tricky games like this are not welcome. I will not extend my membership when current subscription expires. I don't need to be hustled.

On October 25th, 2010, jcstevensva changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

I changed my rating from negative to positive as I decided to call them about not getting credit for extending membership for three years. After a bit of poking in numbers and trying to get a human, a nice fellow came on who quickly affirmed I had membership paid thru 2013 and said they would remove me from offers for lifetime membership.

After considering it all, this company is all about finding their niche and working hard to fill it. Good capitalists, and I like capitalism that is honest.

Lifetime membership and such seem part of their program and we consumers are responsible for our choices and following up problems. I don't like frequent offers that are bit confusing, but there really are people behind the mail offers who can help. As I do like the magazine and it is relatively inexpensive, believe I will stick with them.

Positive Siyue
(1 review)
On Oct 21, 2010, Siyue Houston, TX wrote:

I've been a member for a few years. I love the magazine that they send it makes me happy. I like that they sent me free gifts when I joined. The pruning shears are still working after a few years. They have sent me books and a calendar to preview but I promptly send it back and there is no charge. I have been picked twice to test a product. The first time it was on the Internet and I forgot about it and never did it. The second one was a fungicide but I have no idea of where to put in my rating for it.
I've been wanting to join the lifetime membership but I don't have the money for it. Also I just got my renew in the mail and I'm sad because I don't have the money for that either. *weep*

Positive roriaaron
(1 review)
On Sep 3, 2010, roriaaron Dayton, IN wrote:

YES I'M A REAL PERSON, AND YES I LOVE THIS CO.! I've read a few negative comments and have come to 1 of 2 conclusions, either u r one of those people that just love to screw with ratings and reviews or two ur an absolute idiot. Harsh? Yes. If you call up ANY customer service with an attitude do u really expect to get far with them? Or if your so bent out of shape that u have already convinced urself that ur getting screwed over u don't bother to listen to the person on the other line. I've NEVER had a problem with this co.

Yes I initially signed up for the 1 year at $12 and they billed me for two. When I called they told me I could just pay for the 1 if I wanted. I got the 1st magazine I sent in my subscription for 2 years, I like the magazine that well.

Within that year they gave me the option to become a lifetime member. I looked at overall how much the subscription would cost me at the $12 a year rate and ALL of the gardening tools I would get. Just adding up the cost of the gardening tools for the lifetime member (I went to my local walmart on SR 26 here in Lafayette, IN for all of u who still think this I'm bogus) The price of the tools and the magazines was yes I thought it might be too good to be true. I went ahead and did it anyway. What I got a telescoping clippers which I love and have outlasted the pair I had bought at walmart, gloves which I love...I even bothered to sow them back up when my son decided to take the gardening pocket clippers, I also got and are a great tool, to them lol! I've also gotten hand shovels, hand trowels, and several others all in a great bag to carry around the yard if I need to. All the tools I have gotten have out latest the cheapies I have purchased at Walmart over the years!

I've gotten several other gifts seeds, tester items etc...

As for the getting charged for the books I got sent one book and opted to never get anymore. I put the book back in its box attached the return label and have NEVER received another book again. I had forgotten all about this till I read someone else's comment on it and remember.

Last year I even attend the Ball Canning class they held at Ball State University. I was completely green to canning and came away with so much knowledge about canning and freezing! Yes the classes they offer are a bit pricey but for what you get and walk away with you get your moneys worth.

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to give this co a chance. If your NOT into gardening then NO this isn't for u. If you want to learn and have some place to go for advice then I COMPLETELY RECOMMEND THEM!!!

Now I'm going to to get some help with my honeysuckle bush.

Positive ottino
(1 review)
On Aug 1, 2010, ottino Hudson, WI wrote:

National Home Gardening Club IS NOT A SCAM! I have been a member for about 10 years and have always received what I have paid for. I love their magazine and I have had the opportunity to test several products over the years. In 2003 I was sent a $500 lawn vacuum to test and was allowed to keep it. I don't see the scam in getting what you pay for. I will continue to subscribe to their magazine and hopefully will get the opportunity to test many more great products. For those of you that think the positive reviews are plants I am signing with my real name and city of residence. You can google me and see I am a REAL person.
Dr. Krista L. Ottino, Hudson, WI

Positive tulsajudoka
(1 review)
On Mar 12, 2010, tulsajudoka Tulsa, OK wrote:

I have been a member of the National Home Gardening Club for over 10 years. What I paid for my life membership was well worth not only the magazine, which I devour from cover to cover as soon as it arrives, but also the purners and other tools sent me as a welcome gift are the best tools I've seen anywhere. The limb pruner I got is still my favorite, and I have several, but it works better than pruners I paid way more for. The hand tools and gloves too are far better than anything I've seen in any farm or garden store. The articles and information included are such that I keep all the copies so that I can refer back to them if I need to. Any offers I received I've never been charged for...ever. If I don't want them, I don't reply. In my opinon, they are great!

Positive wolfboi1970
(1 review)
On Jan 10, 2010, wolfboi1970 Reading, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Its a great club! I signed up really for the magazine subscription... cheaper price than ANY OTHER MAGAZINE. To add to that, its a GREAT , WELL very good mag. too!! The free perks, are... FREE, and well received surprises in the mail. Are they top of the line... not usually, but so what... they are usually useful, compared to the crap other companies send you, like "totes" or other useless crap...LOL!! As for sending you stuff you didn't order... well I am NOT the type that likes or usually tolerates stuff like this, but I guess because my heart was favorable to them so far, and gardening IS my hobby, I was not too angry... I liked the book, but it was too much, I felt, so I called to get info on sending it back and canceling any further books or things sent... they took $10 off if I was still interested...well I was now worth the money...and they said to take $10 off any others I keep too. I got a nice group of hard back books, reasonably priced... one was just SLIGHTLY, I MEAN SLIGHTLY damaged on the spine, and called just to mention it, they sent me a new one AND the next book free...this IS NOT A finances got strapped 6-8 months ago, as many peoples have with our economy, and decided although I liked the books, it was a corner I should cut in my expenses to save I called and cancelled...simple as that, they said I may receive 1 or 2 more till the cancellation goes through, and said they were sending out return postage labels immediately to hold on to for my convenience. The magazines are great and encourage you to get involved, sending tips, pictures etc...its very in touch with its readers... I understand why some of the peoples reviews are the way they are, but I also think they need to be out gardening more, to release all that negative energy, anger, and ill will they harbor, and just relax...its not the end of the world and the company ALWAYS RULES IN YOUR FAVOR AND AGAINST THEMSELVES... giving away something for free rather than challenging a customers account of an issue has been my experience with them... they are NEVER "out to get you" like some places are. My advice.... b4 you go POSTAL on them, stay calm and give them a chance to show you that they aren't sneaky, and that they ALWAYS COMPLY with your requests... and NEVER challenge you...charges can and will always be removed if you say its in error. That doesn't sound like a scam to me. I hope my finances get better so I can continue my collection. I hope this review is of some help to you all, and HINT HINT call after your 1 book recieved and complain about price as factor in keeping it.. I saved $10 per book because of that...maybe you can too!!!

Positive sweetpea3163
(1 review)
On Dec 6, 2009, sweetpea3163 Palm Coast, FL wrote:

I was reading the comments left by other people and decided to also leave my opion on this company. A few people are saying that only life time members are leaving the positive remarks about the gardening magazine or people that just signed up so being that I've been with them for almost 2 years I'll tell you how I feel about this company. I joined up because of the price, 2 yrs/ $24.00 that's extremely cheap for a good magazine. It has a lot of good info in each issue. I've bought gardening magazines at the store before and paid close to $8.00 each. The price this company charges is very cheap. I enjoy most of the articles they have, not all but most. I've had to call customer service a few times with questions and never had a problem. They are always helpful. I also received the gardening books the club offers, no I didnt ask for them to be sent but they can be returned. No big deal! They pay the return shipping for any book you dont want to keep, the return shipping label for returns is always in the box. It just so happens I kept most of them. They are great books. You DON'T have to keep them and if you don't want to preview them call and tell them or write on the bill you don't want any books and to cancel sending them. On the 1st book that's sent they have on the bill a space to check Yes - if you want to continue previewing the books or No you don't want any more books to be sent. It's not a big deal to have them stop sending the books to you. It might take 5 minutes to put a check in the NO box and stick the return label onto the box and hand it to the mailman to be returned. I even had 2 books lost in the mail (at different times) and never had any trouble getting the credit for them. Customer Service made a note to the account and the charge was reversed. The cost of 2 books were $60.00 and they took the charge off my account with no problems. This company also has a sister company called "Creative Home Arts Club" I've been a member with them for 5 years. Both these companies have great magazines and most of the books are really good. A little exspensive but awesome books. Again, you do not have to keep anything you don't want! As far as thinking this company is a scam???? I'm sorry but I totally disagree with everyone thinking that. They offer a magazine with gardening information that is well worth the money they charge. They don't demand you keep it unless you choose to keep it. The FREE GIFTS are a little Perk to getting the magazines. You must remember they are "FREE" so how can anyone really think they are going to receive top of the line products. I have received a few items that are good quality items though . I didnt expect to get really exspensive gifts when it said free. It's rare if you ever do with any magazine, not just this one. Everyone needs to remember it's not just this company that offers "rewards" to get a subscription. All magazines do this. The thing is you have a choice to buy it or not. I personally enjoy the magazines and I'm very happy I signed up for them. I look forward to getting them in the mail. As far as cancelling a subscription, my sister did this. She signed up and after a couple of months decided that she just wasnt reading them so she called up and got a refund. She never was harassed to keep the subscription. Money was returned to her account that she paid from. I feel bad that some people have had a bad experience dealing with the company and didn't enjoy the magazines. I have nothing but good things to say about this company. I would recommend people trying them and see for yourselves if you will enjoy the magazines. Everyone has a different opinion. I personally think National Home Gardening Club is a good company. Hope everyone has a Great Holiday Season!

Positive Pligrim
(1 review)
On Dec 5, 2009, Pligrim Gaithersburg, MD wrote:

I have been a member of National Home Gardening Club and reader of Gardening How-To since 1999. I enjoy the magazine. The articles are short, but useful. The photographs are very good.

I have been a product tester four times for products appropriate to the gardening I do on my 1/4 acre suburban lot. It's fun to get the products, but the lack of instruction on how to conduct a test made it quickly apparent that these user tests aren't science and shouldn't be given great creedence. For example, I tested a deer repellent and a fertilizer. There was no suggestion like fertilize some plants and not others and compare how the two groups grew.

I have also received free items for renewing my subscription, specifically pruning shears and gardening gloves. They were pretty flimsy, but what reasonable person would expect otherwise regardless of the purported "retail value." They were, after all, inducements to renew a magazine subscription, and should be expected to be about the quality of the tpe of instamatic camera Time and Newsweek used to give away to induce subscriptions. I'm not surprised to hear from some commenters that some if these items have worked well lasted quite a long time, and it is very surprising to hear the vitriol from some commenters who apparently though they would get military spec equipment.

I am a little preplexed at the reports by some commenters of $12.00/year membership dues. I wonder if those were new subscriber promotional rates. I don't remember my initial subscription price. I have kept copies of some of my renewal invoices. My subscription has been $20.00 a year since at least 2005, as it is for 2010, and the 2000 invoice shows I paid $18.00 that year. I renew annually rather than take lifetime membership. Heck, if Lehman Brothers can go under . . . .

Every annual renewal invoice includes the option and urges me to renew for more than one year, at an increasingly large multi-year discount, as do many magazines, but I have never been billed for more than one year when I mailed in a renewal for one year only. I have never ordered a product from National Home Gardening Club, received a bill for something I did not order, or receivd anything unsolicited.

In sum, the magazine is worth the price. I pay my money, it comes in the mail. What's wrong with that?

Positive orinvee
(1 review)
On Nov 7, 2009, orinvee Dry Prong, LA wrote:

I decided to comment after reading some of the negative remarks...mostly by people who obviously don't know the difference between a rake and a dinner fork. I became a lifetime member because they offered to apply all of my yearly subscription costs towards the lifetime fee, reducing it by about 30%. Obviously, if you don't expect to be reading the magazine for at least 15 years, it's no deal. If you continue as a lifelong gardener for over 25 years, then it's a great deal.

As far as the tools, the telescoping pruning shears that I received are absolutely awesome. I have even cut small ironwood and other tough hardwood saplings (clearing a lot) with them and they continue to give me great service. The other smaller gardening tools are still working fine, no problems here.

I have yet to receive a major free tool for inspection and rating but I have received lesser gifts (a Rake-O rake, a large bag of fertilizer, etc.) and I can absolutely tell you that there is NO postage and handling, nothing! I'm not sure where the previous naysayer got his info but it's wrong...he should stick to what he knows and not to what he thinks.

Also, it was stated that ALL of the positive reviews were by members who had just joined when they posted. What I found is that it was the lifetime members (those who had been with the club for more than a few years) who sang the highest praises.

Maybe they do treat lifetime members with more respect, I don't know. What I do know is that if you are really into gardening, you could do a lot worse.

Gardening How-To is a winner in my plot!

Positive flowerlady22
(2 reviews)
On Oct 6, 2009, flowerlady22 Huntsville, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have been a member of this club since in the mid 90's, first as a yearly member and then became a lifetime member.
I love this club. It's soo much more informative than other clubs. I am a Master Gardener, but still learn a lot from the forums. People are so willing to answer questions. The magazine alone is great. I have tested 5 products and am waiting for another to be sent. They do send unwanted books, mostly ones that I already have. Requests are honored when asked to not send any more.
I can't figure out what those who are negative expect from the club. It's just to exchange gardening info. A few of their products were disappointing. I don't order any more of them. There is a free test time period.

Positive ReggieL
(2 reviews)
On Oct 5, 2009, ReggieL Andreas,
United States wrote:

I have been a life member for over 10 years. I received at least 5 test products. The most recent was the mosquito vacuum that retails for $279.00. I received it last year and it works awesome. Not all of my test products were that expensive,but I enjoyed trying all of them. Also under their member benefits I found an excellent seed sorce from England. Maybe it is because I am a life member that I do not receive any unsubscribed items. I am pleased by my membership. Wish everyone could have a happy subscription!

Positive stephjack
(1 review)
On May 31, 2009, stephjack Tomball, TX wrote:

I have been a member for about 12years now. What cracks me up about these negative remarks is that most of you complain about the cost. The bag of gardening tools I received for joining as a lifetime member is still being used today!!! 12years later!! I have learned quite a bit about gardening and about new plants I would like to put in my gardens. I have never had the opportunity to test a product but I believe I have still received more than enough for the amount I paid for my lifetime supply of magazines I have totally enjoyed. I have received books etc. and never had any trouble returning any of the items.

I have a hint for many of you complaining of junk mail
1. get on the do not call government list
2. get on the no junk mail government list

there now was that so hard to stop receiving junk mail!!!!

Positive darkmistress90
(1 review)
On May 20, 2009, darkmistress90 Sullivan, MO wrote:

I just recieved the letter in the mail and I WILL be mailing it back so long as i can get my fiancee to go with it. I called the number up top today and talked to one of the customer service people. He reassured me about everything and even if all you get out of it is a magazine.. point me to another magazine for ony 12 bucks a year!

~The Mistress of Darkness..
~But you can just call me DarkMistress

Positive me1022
(1 review)
On Aug 1, 2008, me1022 Brodheadsville, PA wrote:

I have been a member for several years and have nothing but good things to say. I have never been sent anything that I did not order other than several testing items that I didn't have to pay for. I have received a set of jumbo extra big velcro thingys (real tech term there :) ) to wrap stuff with, 3 gorgeous rose bushes with a retail value of $90 or so; several perennial plants that I can't remember the name of that come up beautifully in my garden each year and something else that I'm forgetting. I do get the mailers every so often asking me to be a life member and maybe one of these days I will but I just toss it in the recycling, its not a big deal. I love getting the magazine each month! I really don't see how anyone can call it a scam, even if all we got was a magazine out of it, it's ONLY $12 a YEAR! A bargain if you ask me AND I got to get all the neat things to test on top of that! They're A OK in my book and I will continue to be a member and enjoy it.

Positive Kimberwitch
(2 reviews)
On Jun 11, 2008, Kimberwitch Des Plaines, IL wrote:

I joined this club a year ago, when we bought our first house with a large yard full of nothing but grass. I have read others postings about how awful this company is, and while I find it distressing, I can honestly say that my experience so far with them has been nothing but positive.

After signing up I did receive some seeds and a set of pruning sheers, which were not of good quality, but worked for light pruning. I did receive a book, with promises of more to come, which, after reviewing, I decided to send back. I have not been bothered with any other books since.

Next I received a LARGE, heavy package, which turned out to be a 40 pound bag of soil supplement (organic compost from a company in Oklahoma). I was unable to use it last year, but used it when I cut some new beds this year and so far it is excellent. I wrote my review and am hoping to receive more products to test.

I have not signed up for the lifetime membership, and I donít think that I will be (I am a budget gardener, I just bought my first house, that means EVERYTHING is budgeted), but I will continue with the basic membership.

I enjoy the website and have found many helpful and interesting items and articles. I love the magazine. It is basic in its information, but has fun facts and helpful suggestions.

For what I have paid for my basic membership, I am more than satisfied and feel that I have received what I was promised when signing up.

Positive red2red1200
(1 review)
On May 1, 2008, red2red1200 Eastpointe, MI wrote:

I am a charter member of National Home Gardening Club. I don't remember when it started up but in the late 90's I believe. I paid my money to become a life member. I have never had any problems with them. I have been a tester for new products. I don't recall anything ever showing up that I didn't order. If something ever did then the next shipment would be returned unopened. I have 2 daughters that have read the mags when visiting (each lives in a different state) and they liked the mags so now I buy each daughter a script every year so they can have their own garden info at their fingertips and they love it. If only all my trials could be as easy and satisfying. Oh wait I do have a complaint, I don't like having to go to the web site to register for the gifts they give away I would rather mail in the post card.

Positive pagardener61
(4 reviews)
On Mar 25, 2008, pagardener61 (Zone 6a) wrote:

My exprience with the free seed was very good, I germinated both types and got a good overall rate, much better then I expected. So far I have no bone to pick.

Positive lovesdaffodils
(1 review)
On Mar 18, 2008, lovesdaffodils La Fayette, GA wrote:

even though I was surprised to see the $200 charge for becoming a lifetime member, I gladly paid it. I have recieved a magazine I truly enjoy, while I have never considered myself to be an expert gardener I enjoy making things grow, and have found many of the articles very helpful.
I have recieved a few things in the mail that I did not want to keep so I simply sent them back.
When I logged onto this sight I found out the reason why I haven't been chosen to rate any more products, that was helpful, too.
I am enjoying my membership and think you are doing a fine job. I also think the folks who write negative comments are probably just negative people, did any of you ever hear the statement" you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

Positive gardeningana
(2 reviews)
On Sep 4, 2007, gardeningana Beaverton, OR wrote:

As many of you, I also signed up and received the first book then a bill for $9. The first book I kept and paid for. When the second book arrived, I sent it back right away. However last week a bill for that book arrived and I tried to call only to get a recording that all lines were busy.

Today I called customer service again and spoke with Jenine who was helpful in clarifying how the program works. She said they did get the book back and it must have crossed with the bill. She explained that lots of test items and coupons are sent out and book are on trial for 30 days, even if a bill arrives sooner. There is also a pre-paid postage label in the box so the book can be sent back at no cost. She also gave me options such as slowing the frequency that books are sent out, or stopping all shipment of books entirely. To keep life simple, I just had her stop any future books from being sent out. Overall it was a pleasant phone call.

Positive Mary8
(4 reviews)
On Apr 24, 2007, Mary8 Glenside, PA wrote:

My experience for the most part has been positive. I find the articles useful, and I have gotten great tools from the company, although there could be more variety of free seeds. I find the ads helpful, since I place mail orders.

I also find the bulletin board very useful. It has general topics, special ones such as roses, and regional areas as well.

The only drawback I have found is that the fee for the lifetime membership was not clear when I signed up, but in the end I decided not to cancel it.

Positive periwinkle1955
(3 reviews)
On Apr 21, 2006, periwinkle1955 Minneapolis, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I have been a subscriber every year for about 5 years. Most of the magazines are good. There are many tips, reviews and good articles in the magazine. The web site is very nice and an easy way to enter the contests. I have avoided the "Lifetime Membership" so far because the benefits have not been appealing enough to me to invest the money. Every year I get a tiny packet of red poppy seeds in my "membership renewal" mailing and this is getting a little old. The first product I tested was a packet of flower seeds which came in the first part of winter. This seemed like silly timing for Minnesota. The product hung on my refrigerator until I planted them in the spring. They failed to germinate and I sent in my evaluation. The second product was a video on growing roses. My VCR was not working at the time so it took a while before I remembered to watch it and send in the evaluation. The most recent and most valuable product evaluation was for a fabulous pair of work gloves that resist cuts! I loved the gloves and used them continuously last year for projects that involved the potential for nasty cuts (resetting and reglazing my windows). The one time I wasn't wearing the gloves I slashed my fingers with a razor. Ouch! Overall, I have enjoyed the "garden club membership" with the little extras every once in a while. It is a very good value for the money.

Positive AKIMMEL
(2 reviews)
On Apr 11, 2006, AKIMMEL Reedsville, WI wrote:

I have been a member for about 1 year. I really like the website I check out the forums everyday it is nice to ask questions and to reply to others who need help with certain plants. I also have traded seeds and plants with other members this is the biggest reason I joined. I noticed lots of complaints about the free gifts and books when you sign up they tell you about the books etc that you will be getting, if you don't want them all you have to do is send them back and let them know not to send any more. I don't like the solicitations for the life membership, I fell the fee is too high. As for now I will renew my membership when it comes due in 2 years

Positive hlynnes
(1 review)
On May 3, 2005, hlynnes Hudson, WI wrote:

I became a member for all the extras and freebies - and so far, they have lived up to my expectations. I agree that the magazine is a little light, but it is still good for the novice to intermediate gardener to glance over. As far as the product testing, I have tested many items over the years. Most were good quality, and I still use them. I have only received one item that I rated negatively. If you are a new member, they tell you up front that the product testing goes to existing members first, then to new members. You have to wait about 6 months to get the first product to test. They will require you to sign up to test again after you have tested a product (I'm assuming to keep their records up to date), so you won't get any more products to test until you do.

I have been a satisfied member for a number of years, with no plans to cancel, so I finally gave in to the lifetime member promo and received a whole set of quality tools, a pair of garden gloves, a water-absorbing mat for the car (for transporting plants), and yes, a few useless items such as letterhead and decals. The price for the membership was a bit steep, but they credit the dues already paid for past years, so you are really just prepaying for a few years, then it's free after that. On the whole, I'm happy with my membership.

Positive DonnaJF
(1 review)
On Apr 4, 2005, DonnaJF Pendleton, IN wrote:

I joined the National Home Gardening Club about 5 years ago. I became a life member about 2 years ago. I really enjoy it mainly because of the clubs bulletin board. The people are so nice and helpful if I have a question or a comment. I'm on that bulletin board website every day. When the life membership dues are paid they send a tool set. It was pretty nice. I rather like the magazine. I enjoy seeing peoples pictures that have been corresponding on the bulletin board website. I have tested Daffodils and Tulips in the test program. They all did very well. The other reason I joined was to avoid the yearly dues. They go up about every year and I joined so I could pay it off and never have to deal with them again. They deducted the years dues I had previously paid.

(2 reviews)
On Feb 24, 2005, KRNYSGIRL Clinton, CT (Zone 6b) wrote:

I joined this club 6 months ago - and for the most part - really enjoy it. I did get one of those autoship books when it started, which I promptly refused and have not been bothered again with anything unsolicited. I like the magazine - but then I subscribe to about 10 of them - so I guess I'm a junkie.

I signed up to be tester and last week I received a $25.00 bottle of deer repellent to test. I am plagued with deer so I'm more than willing to evaluate it.

This week I signed up to become a life member - no I wasn't solicited - I went to them. I think it's a great club.

Positive itsjustme
(5 reviews)
On Jan 11, 2005, itsjustme Cottage Grove, OR wrote:

I've been a member of the National Home Gardening Club for about 6 months. I like it so well, I just become a Life Member. Your club fee basically pays for the magazine--which while not THE best gardening magazine, is a decent one, and certainly worth $12 a year. To me, everything else is just a bonus. I have tested about 4 different products, from hand tools to fertilizer. One member I know was just asked to test a rotatiller. You must take a questionnaire and request to be a tester before the club will send you anything. (And each time you test a product, if you want to be considered for another product, you must sign up again.) As for the books the club publishes and sends out, you must tell the club you're willing to accept promotions before they start sending you books. (This is something they ask about on your paperwork when you first become a member.) If you decide you don't want the books, it works like any other book club, except that you may call customer service and CANCEL at any time. The club also has a handy website with forums, so you can link up with other members, plus lots of contests, and lots of freebies (from hand tools to seeds to kneeling pads to blankets...) that they give out "just cuz." I do get just a tad bit more junk mail now, but it's all gardening related, so I don't mind.

Positive ShrnThbd
(1 review)
On Dec 2, 2004, ShrnThbd Cadott, WI wrote:

I have been a member for two years and have enjoyed the magazine. I have been getting more "junk" mail since joining, but not excessively and I enjoy looking through new and different stuff, if only to get an idea of what is out there. My only complaint would be the urgent messages to "become a lifetime member! Your time is running out!!" To be honest about it, I can't afford over $100 to join a gardening club.

Positive sadie_mae
(42 reviews)
On Nov 29, 2004, sadie_mae Central, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I became a Life Member this year. The large number of tools I have rec'd look well constructed and hopefully will be useful next spring, and I really like the large gardening tote that came with them. I have used the clippers and large pruners and they were fine. I don't get a lot of junk mail or email. The magazine is nice, but also pretty light weight. I have rec'd 1 pack of lettuce seed, from Seed Savers Exchange, to test (I believe the rules say you can only test 1 product per year). I have used the website some, but since I spend so much time on DG, I don't have a lot of extra time. All in all, I'd say the price of the life membership has been worth what I've gotten and I have been satisfied with everything so far.

Positive greenthumb5050
(1 review)
On May 21, 2004, greenthumb5050 Hampton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a great club for gardeners of all levels. The forum have great topics for discussions and everyone is so friendly. Also it's monitered so you don't have to worry about talking to some crazy person.

The product tests are awesome! I love trying new seeds and plants! It's so much fun!

The magazine is great too! As a gardener you are always learning and since I've been a member I've kept every issue that they've sent. I've enjoyed the club so much that I signed up as a life member so that I never miss anything.

I highly recommend this club to anyone who loves to garden and is looking for great information and a great club to join!

Positive dilly202
(1 review)
On May 13, 2004, dilly202 wrote:

This is a great site. You will never know what you will learn just by reading all the posts in the forums area. Even though I live in Florida, I read hints given for everywhere as you will never know what you will find that will work down here as well. Post a question and you will get an answer most often within a day if not sooner by one or more of the gardeners that are also members.

Positive pati45
(2 reviews)
On May 13, 2004, pati45 Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I am a life member with NHGC and it is the best thing that ever happened to my garden! I have learned more there as a member than anywhere else and I have made some wonderful friends. The magazine is very imformative and I keep them all for future reference material. I would advise anyone interested in gardening to check them out and join.

Positive lilacladynh
(1 review)
On May 13, 2004, lilacladynh Hudson, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have been a member of NHGC for a while now and I really love it. Everyone is so nice and helpful there. I am proud to be a member of NHGC.

Positive shermwif
(1 review)
On May 13, 2004, shermwif Saint Croix Falls, WI wrote:

As a Life Member of the National Home Gardening Club, I have been very pleased with the opportunities, products, and information that they have provided. The magazine (Gardening How-To) is informative and attractive. The forums are a great place to gather information from fellow gardeners who may have more experience in a particular area than I do.

Upon completing payment, I received a high-quality set of gardening tools which I use regularly, and which I would probably have paid at least the price of membership for (if not more) in a retail setting. Another great perk is the product evaluation program, which allows members to review products and keep them at no cost. The only requirement is that an evaluation is completed and returned to the Club.

My membership at the NHGC has helped me to grow and learn as a gardener in a way I could not have done otherwise. I would highly recommend this club to any gardener, novice or otherwise.

Positive xcepted
(1 review)
On May 13, 2004, xcepted wrote:

I have been a member of the NHGC since 1996. It has been a wonderful 8 years. The staff is fast and courteous, I have received many items to test over the years for new companies, and for the most part all of the items were top notch!
I have learned many new things and found many friends as well. I didnt come to the online site until much later, where I found the Click & Win area. Last year I won a greenhouse!
There are so many pros to this club that I couldn't begin to list them all here. So come on over and check them out.

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