Underwhelmed Goldner Walsh

Bloomfielder(Z6 SE MI)April 30, 2005

After years of hearing of their rave reviews, I finally went there today. The service was awful, the selection not great, has anyone else visited and had the same experience? I don't like to be negative usually, but I was sooooo disapointed.

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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

I don't even know where it is.
maybe you were there too early (looking at the time you posted this morning...lol)


    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 8:26AM
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Boy - Goldner does suck. I asked questions about container gardens and the kinds of plants to use and the worker said - "It's not rocket science, just read what the plant label says" in a very rude manner.

I bought a half dozen huge bushes last year, needed one more to balance the front of the house (my bad)and when I went back they were all gone. So I waited a year until they came in again, tagged a plant, PAID for it and when I went back with the truck the next day it was gone. "Well, a customer must have dug it up and taken it" was the staff response. The plants that were left were crappy, the staff is rude - never again. Why did they have me pay in advance if they allow anyone who wants to dig take anything they want?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 9:43AM
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Juliana63(z5 MI)

My rule of green thumb for nurseries: if it uses colorful, full page advertising of common plants (e.g. petunias) or mentions something "unusual" that's been around for years, it probably isn't worth a visit for adventurous gardeners. In my experience, the smaller, family owned, off-the-beaten path growers have more knowledgeable staff, better plants, and often better prices.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 7:11AM
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OK I've gotta pipe in and defend Goldner Walsh. Juliana, GW is exactly what you describe: privately owned, off-the-beaten path and definitely worth a visit for adventurous gardeners. They're staff may not be the most personable, but if you're looking for plants you won't find anywhere else in SE MI, it's still well worth a visit. They have a tropical selection that is unparalleled, you should see their begonia collection! And in spring they're the best place to find a wonderful selection of dahlias by far. They have a wonderful pottery selection if you're into container gardening too. They also have speakers come in throughout winter for their Cabin Fever series of lectures, names like Tony Avent and Dan Hinkley. They may not be the right fit for new or inexperienced gardeners, but for those of us who consider ourselves "extreme gardeners",lol, who are looking for the unusual they are well worth the visit.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 9:35AM
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Are you guys going to the same place that I visit all the time? I guess if you want a big box place that has perfect floors and no funny quirky places then you shouldn't be out at GW. I think they are the oldest greenhouses in Michigan. If you want unusual tropicals, annuals, wonderful periennals this is the place to go.
This company does so much for the commnity. They are always hosting something for one charity or another. I think its a shame that you had one experience with them and come home and post it here. Pretty crummy. It is the favorite of my garden club who by the way has many gardeners who consistently have their gardens on tours to help charities as well. I think I'll go out there today and see what I can't live without.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 9:01AM
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As a GW customer of many years, I can say that they do not in any way deserve these negative reviews. I have NEVER had a bad experience there and am truly surprized by the negative comments. This is a business run by individuals who know and care about their customers. They are THE place to go for the horticulturally unusual, for expert advice, one of a kind containers, cutting edge garden design and competive pricing. In all my years going there, the staff has been a delight to work with - and totally knowlegdgeable and helpful. And they stand behind everything they sell. Plus, they are always generous in supporting various charities and causes. I can't recommend them more highly!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 7:50PM
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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

I just wanted to add another piece to this discussion. Tim Travis, the owner of Goldner Walsh, has a huge commitment to sustainable environmental responsibility. He is working hard to model energy efficient, environmentally friendly gardening. His new greenhouse is a model of energy efficiency and he has a passion for blending gardening and the arts. Our gardening groups here in the north have been following his progress in this area and applaud his efforts.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 10:45AM
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simplycharming(Z5 MI)

This is an old thread...I remember reading it when it was new and thinking hummmmm.....I have been gardening in this space of mine for 37 years....and have known this nursery for many years...I grow a lot of Goldners daylilies...but I have stopped doing business with GW now because I just don't enjoy the way they do business.....now I don't grow many tropicals these days...however I am not a inexperienced gardener by any means.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 1:42PM
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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

Simplycharming - I came across this thread when I was researching an article on GW's energy efficient greenhouse for the newsletter I write for my local rose society. That's why I posted on an older thread. I don't know Tim Travis, only the sustainability work he is doing. I'm on the Northwest Botanical Garden Society board and we are in the process of establishing a public garden in Traverse City. Our goal is to be a model of sustainable gardening and building and GW keeps coming up in our research, and with 'downstate' folks we talk with, as a positive resource. I'm sorry to hear some folks have had a bad experience. I've never been there, but look forward to a visit soon.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 8:13PM
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When it comes to unusual and rare plants, they are the one's to go to. However, I might say, they are quite expensive. I thought I was buying a fig tree there at $75 (2 year plant), and then found it the next week, from the same SC nursery for only $39 at Telly's in Troy.

I wish they had more sales, or knocked down their prices a bit.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 11:45AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I live in Bay City, MI and usually make a 100 mile mid-May trip down to Telly's to buy a good portion of the plants that go into some 30 display containers I scatter around the decks & gardens. For the last 4 years, I've hit Telly's, then Bordines and Goldner Walsh on the return trip. I won't say how much I spend on plants for containers each spring . . . I'll just say it's a lot, so you don't get the idea I'm a spendthrift. If I see a plant that is unusual or that will really set a container off, I usually buy it. In 4 visits to GW, I've never really seen anything in the way of plant material that I "just HAVE to have", and I wasn't impressed with the container selection, or their tropicals. Their nursery material was pretty much the same as everyone else's. Virtually all the cacti & succulents were extremely sad looking and very difficult to access.

I don't have an axe to grind, and I wasn't treated poorly. I can't comment on how the prices were, because I really didn't pay that much attention. I did think some of the sundry items in their accessory shop were kind of high in price, though - but maybe that's just me.

I usually make the trip with a friend, but next spring when I make that trip, I will prolly just skip the GW visit unless she feels like stopping for some reason. Sorry, but the place just doesn't do anything for me.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 11:03PM
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Things have changed since some of you were there... I found my experience at Goldner Walsh to be overwhelming! The staff was very friendly, things were explained to me. I did not feel like things were pushed on me like at other places. They gave me time to understand my options and choices while keeping my budget in mind. When all was said and done I had many options to complete my landscaping. They also helped me to identify the things in my yard that I was unsure of. I encourage some of you to go back and hopefully you will feel differently. It is now one of my favorite places to 'shop'.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 2:16PM
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Well this thread is very old indeed... but as I was there today and toured the grounds... I'd like to highly recommend it as not only a wonderful greenhouse with all the delightful things in the comments listed above (the positive ones) they also host wedding receptions and parties. Their is now a new Rock guy.... can't remember the name, but he is now working with GW in the landscaping end of the business.

I would highly recommend GW to anyone... they're arrangements are beautiful... the gift shop quaint yet right in line with what people are looking for.

Yes Tim, the owner is very conscientious about the environment and completed committed to the community.

This is a photo I took today... I think it was lovely.
I've included their link to their Facebook page... take a trip over and give em' a like...then you'll be able to keep up on what's happening!

Here is a link that might be useful: Golden Walsh Facebook page

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 10:25PM
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