I was just about to place an order with them, but noticed an additional $2 charge ("Due to recent increases in the cost of fuel, all orders (except seed-only orders) will incur a $2.00 Fuel Surcharge"). I for one won't be ordering plants :(
Well, I just removed my plant and dahlia bulbs, leaving 8 pkts. of seed. $3.95 to ship 8 pkts of seed?!?!?! I don't think so...
I ordered plants from Park a number of years ago and was less than thrilled at the quality but I do buy seeds every year. They had free shipping until 1/21 or 31 and I took advantage of that offer.
I ordered some because they had seed packets of baby toes for only $.75. Initially, they charged me 3.99 for shipping for a $5 order! I wrote them and complained that their site states the shipping as something different and they refunded me my whole dollar--in the form of a store credit! Now if I want my dollar I'm going to have to spend at least $2.99 in shipping to get it! Don't ask me why they couldn't just put in another $1.00 packet of seeds...
I have ordered seeds and seed starting trays from them in the past and was happy with my orders. This year I wanted some dahlia tubers, glad corms, cannas, etc in addition to some seeds and was surprised that the shipping was going to come to $8 for an order of in the $20 to $30 range (with the $2 additional shipping charge added) . Considering that shipping amounts to almost 30% of the order it didn't make sense to me to put in the order. I agree that the shipping seems high to me this year comparing to other places I order from.
I have ordered seeds from Park for years. Have always been satisfied. I've never ordered plants though because their prices are high. Most of what they offer I can purchase elsewhere.
I haven't ordered plants from them but I was happy with the seed order I placed last year, as well as the service. I got a packet of lettuce that didn't germinate very well. I emailed them about it and they sent another one, which I had better luck with.
I ordered seeds from them for years in the past but had not very high germination rate with them. I buy seeds from other vendors now.
I agree with what has been said. I wanted to place an order for seeds but I found the shipping charges to be obscene, $4.95 to ship a $12.00, 4 pack of seeds order. I shop elsewhere.
I agree they have outlandish postage costs. I have not ordered from them in 2007. I like they foil sealed seed envelopes and the number of seeds per pkt seem fair. I will never order another plant from them. I have to mailorder my perennials because the local nurseries cater to the average home gardener. I order 3 campanula persicifolias from them in 2005 and got dried up plant material that was about 2 inches wide and 3 inches long. I don't mind dormant material but their icky pieces never recovered. I wrote - got a fairly rude return and 3 more dried up icky pieces of plant material. I learned my lesson that is for sure.
In defense of their shipping rates, at least for plants anyway, many of the other mail order companies are equally high if not higher. For example, Forest Farm, Lazy S'S, Plant Delights, and Digging Dog have shipping rates that are anywhere from 30 - 50% or more (depending on quantity ordered) of the cost of the plants. I think everyone's shipping rates have gone up as a result of recent gas prices.
I can't speak to the plant quality from Park's yet, as so far I've only received seeds from them, but I have placed one plant order that will ship this spring. I'll try to remember to do a follow up post after I receive my order.
There seed prices are seem fair, and they often run specials. My last order included 3 free packs of seeds. This past holiday season they had a great deal on a kitchen windowsill herb garden kit. It included a nice pottery base with 3 removable pots, nine packets of herb seeds, and a book on growing herbs for $16!!! I ordered a couple for Christmas gifts and one for myself. They all arrived on time and well packed.
They don't have the best price on EVERYTHING, but you can definitely find some bargains there.
I agree with patricia_nj's assessment that their shipping is obscene. I wanted 6 packs of their 4" Birch Plant Tags, intending to order more if I liked them. Cost was $16.50 for the tags PLUS $17.50 total for shipping. All I wanted was the tags, not the whole birch tree!
I placed seed orders with them last year and didn't find the germination to be all that great.
Being in AK, I order hundreds of dollars worth of seeds, bulbs and gardening supplies on-line every year in order to get what I want, when I want. Therefore, while I am accustomed to paying shipping charges, Parks rates are outrageous.
My $$$ will be going elsewhere.
Have you checked into how much other places charge to mail seeds? Parks is not out of line with everyone else. Yes, $3.95 seems ridiculous to mail a couple of packets of seeds and it is. Try to find someone else who doesn't charge the same or more.
I've been ordering from Parks for over a decade and will continue to do so. This year as in past years, I actually did a spreed sheet comparing prices per seed and shipping costs. Parks came out on top for what I wanted to buy, lowest prices and lowest shipping.
On a more negative note. I don't like their plants and will not order any from them. Years and years ago they did send out good stuff, but they don't anymore. Seeds are fine though.
I ordered from Parks in April of 2006. I got my seeds fine, really did not get too high of a germination rate out of them, but that could of been me.
The Ranunculus and Lisianthus were to be shipped later. I got the Ranunculous (dried up disapointing little bulbs, never grew, now that I know was not my fault)
The Lisianthus never got sent, I called several times to always get the reply that it was on backorder. I finally gave up.
I already wrote a review but wanted to add something. I'd ordered Amaranthus Dreadlocks earlier in the year. The seed count was supposed to be 50. I think that it's an approximate number, especially with such tiny seeds and can understand if it's off by a few. My pack only contained 23 seeds, less than half the amount that was stated. I normally wouldn't have even thought twice about it but I am really looking foreward to growing that variety. I called and they couldn't have been nicer. They confirmed my name & address and are sending a replacement immediately.
This is the first time I have ever ordered seeds online, so I had no clue that Park's might run out of tomato seeds (is that normal?).
Anyway, I ordered bell pepper and tomato seeds from them. I received the pepper seeds after a 3 week wait, but it took 5 weeks for two packets of tomato seeds to arrive.
I emailed and complained, stating that 5 weeks seemed ridiculous to me and if they were out of stock that information should have been posted on the site.
They replied that they did not post anything as out of stock since it usually takes but 2-3 weeks to renew their stock.
If you ask me, that's a long time to wait for a seeds. I won't order from them again.
I got my replacement seeds in 3 days.
Be warned use extreme caution when dealing with this company.
To start the website has many problems. It took me 3 days to successfully order and I was only able to place a partial order (all seeds). Five days later I received an email saying my seeds were shipped, so so far everything looked OK. I also talked with a sales rep on the phone today who was very helpful and I also was able to place the order for the biodomes and other things I wasn't able to online.
So, supposedly my seeds were shipped.... I tracked them and the DHL website said that there was a problem and to call. I did and DHL said Park Seeds never got the package to them. I called Parks and the person I talked with said that "it must have gotten lost" and "we can have them shipped out to you again...it will only be 2-3 weeks" WHAT! So you supposedly ship the seeds one day...and then they get lost-somehow- and then it will take 2-3 weeks to ship them again?!? I told her this was unacceptable, and besides, I paid for express shipping and I wanted them shipped out now. She said she would make sure that happened. So tonight I get an email saying my seed shipped again, this time Fed-Ex. What is it??? ONE SEED PACKET out of 37!! What is wrong with this picture?
I hope this works out, but at the current rate it is NOT looking good, and I hope for their sake they make this right.
One more thing, I stupidly placed another order with them before all this nonsense started and they said it was scheduled to ship today (4/18)..... Guess what... it didn't.. Buyer beware of Parks... They also rate very poorly on Dave's Garden watchdog, wish I knew that two weeks ago! FYI - Park Seed Company also goes under these names- Park's Gardens, Wayside Gardens, Park Seed Wholesale Growers, Park's Landscapes , Perfect Plant, LLC
I'm with Mike. BUYER BEWARE. Their seeds are average germination rates when you're lucky. Their plants are consistently disappointing. Not as bad as Gurney, let's say, but extremely low quality. I got a clematis from them last year that bore a little sign stating, "I'm not dead, I'm dormant" a bold-faced lie; it was a dry stick gray with mold when it arrived. Dead as the proverbial doornail. A slick catalog fronts for these flim flam artists.
I will never order from Park's again!! Several years ago, I ordered a Purple Smoke Bush, and what I received was such a joke! It looked like a pencil, but not as wide--it would have fit inside a legal envelope to ship. It was supposed to have been a 20.00 bush. When I complained to Park's, I was basically told that was what I should expect, because of shipping cost. (Do they forget who pays the shipping?) Anyway, it died the first winter--like the pathetic little thing stood a chance! I was told when I first complained that if it died they would replace it. Of course, I couldn't find the receipt after it died. Park's and I both learned a lesson from that experience. I learned not to order from them again. They learned that when a customer says they won't order from them again unless they make it right--they mean it!!
I ordered there this year only because I received a gift certificate. Not that I was against them beforehand, but I always just buy what I can find in local stores, plant sales, friends, etc.
I had a horrible expereience with them. Ordered seeds, plants, plant tags, pet pots and pot trays. The seeds cam in 4 different orders, some were replaced with others after they were sold out but still allowed me to purchased them online, the pot trays took almost 2 months to ship out after 3 different sales reps told me they would be shipped out "tomorrow" at threee different times.
I'm still waiting on my plants and hate to see what a disaster this will be. I'm expecting 10 plants, but am betting on maybe 2 or 3 at this point.
While not always accurate, the sales reps are very nice. I guess that's the way you have to be when the company you work for is such a let down.
I don't even know that I'd take anything for free from them, much less buy from them again.
Park Seed is a big fat FFFFFFFFF--------!
Here's my follow-up post. I'm very upset with Park Seed after waiting for my plants to be mailed for a month now and still not receiving them.
I called this morning to cancel the order and they tried to give me store credit, which I promptly said no to since I won't ever order from them again. Then they told me they would refund the total less $25 for the gift certificate I used for a PREVIOUS order! I ended up escalating the call and will now receive a full refund. They then told me it would take up to 30 days to get my money back which I find quite strange considering they took my money from my account within 5 minutes of my order! Funny how they were able to change that answer to 3-5 days.
In the end, I'm getting my money back and will never order from them again. I had issues with seeds, plants, pots, trays - everything I ordered from them was a mess!
Grade - FFFFFFF-----------
TERRIBLE customer service.
I'm in SE-Michigna, Zone 5. Ordered 3 plants (1 DOA) and 3 "window box kits". Expected delivery by holiday 27May. Gave them benefit of the doubt, 3 plants finally arrived 30May, no windowbox kits. Called 02Jun to check status of kits, finally told they would not ship because they didnt meet quality standards of shipping manager.
Well that was nice - but how abou t notifying the customer?
Asked if I wanted a credit - of course yes. 2 weeks+ later now on 18Jun, no credit issued. Called again to check status on credit. Now being told credits can take "15 to 30days to post". Sure, they can charge your card in 24 to 48hrs, but basically they can take 24 to 48 DAYS basically to give it back. I told the operator to pass along to her manager I would not be buying again from them and I was promptly hung up on. No apology, no attempt to get a manager, just a big F-U to the customer.
So I went to my bank's website and am disputing the original charge.
I will never EVER buy from them again. You shouldnt either.
Terrible business practices from what I've read above, and terrible customer service. Should have known, better to buy local. I learned my lesson.
I ordered a day lily from them, and when it died, they replaced it, no questions asked, with a very large bare root plant that has done well.
I also ordered three fringe trees from them this year. They are hard to find locally, and I thought I had to have some.
The catalog listed the trees as 18 inches, but two of them were closer to 30 inches and the other was 24 inches. They arrived beautifully packed and didn't look as if they had been moved at all. All three of them have done extremely well this year.
If the shipping is not too unreasonable, I might indeed order plants from them again because my experience was very good.
I have ordered from Parkseed and had a good experience so far. A couple of years back I ordered crossandra from seedman and none of them germinated. I ordered the same from parkseed earlier this year and I had 9 out of 10 germinate! Also last year I bought crossandra plants from them and they came very well packaged and looking good.
I have ordered from other mail order comapnies and paid about the same for shipping.
Don't know about the more recent customer service issues etc. - haven't ordered for a long time - but they were sending dinky plants and seeds in small quantities or that might not all come up decades ago. Shipping rates would be due to what the carriers are charging. Nurseries and seed houses aren't likely to be jacking them up on their own.
In general you really want to shop where you can inspect the merchandise beforehand whenever possible. Mailorder is strictly for those things that you cannot find locally. Be sure you have checked around well before deciding nobody nearby has it. Calling a couple places or looking at big box stores only is not looking around well.
Because I've read so many negative reviews on Garden Watchdog, I've never ordered plants from Parks or Wayside. I have ordered seeds, and have found that though prices aren't cheap and shipping rates exhorbitant, sometimes they are the only company where I can find certain seeds. Germination is no better, or not as good, as seeds I've bought elsewhere for less money.
Just to check on current shipping rates, I just now went to the site and placed 2 packs of seeds in the cart, price total was $4.95. Shipping was $6.95! Yeah, right, like any sane person would pay that. I'll take my business elsewhere again.
It may be my imagination, but they seemed to have just updated their shipping rates on their website. About a month ago, I attempted to buy 10 packets of seed (on sale) and they wanted to charge $8.95 shipping to Canada. I promptly exited their site. Today, I tried again, just to see if they've been listening. I put 21 packets into my shopping cart this time and $3.95 was the postage charge. I know that's high for you folks in the states, but most seed companies charge in this range or slightly higher to ship to Canada.
My two bits...it might be interesting to go back to their site and see if you notice a change in shipping rates (you don't have to complete the order).
For what it's worth - I have yet to order from Park, but I have a small catalog-order company of my own. I charge our shipping cost plus 1.50 handling, and am sometimes horrified at how much it costs to ship even a small package. I'll ship a 16 dollar, 2-pound item across the country, and it can be as much as eight or nine dollars freight. It's all about the distance to the destination, the value of the order makes no difference. A heavier package costs proportionately less to ship. It's always a good idea to make your whole order at once, if you can makeup your mind.
I wanted to buy a gift certificate this xmas and was sickened by a shipping charge and fuel surcharge. So I chose an email version, and still got charged!!!
Needless to say, I love their selection and I get ideas from them, but refuse to pay that.
We have ordered seed & the growing sponges from Park's for years & have had great success dealing with them. The sponges are not found anywhere else that I can find & are the only things I ever use now & have exceptional germination in them. Also ordered a mini greenhouse a few years ago & when it arrived the top was cracked. A phone call & they sent me a whole new greenhouse! Haven't ever ordered plants from them but am quite satisfied with the experiences I have had with them.
As for shipping charges, I find all the catalog companies have raised the shipping charges a great deal so I won't order seeds anymore as the shipping often is more than the price of the seeds!
Although I believe that Park Seed sells a good seed product (I don't know about the plants or supplies), their shipping rates are very high. I suspect it is because they usually have to do multiple shippings. Very often, there are varieties that are backordered.
Their seed germinates well.
Be warned this company is practicing unethical (possibly illegal) practices holding your money while they never plan to ship your merchandise & then taking forever to refund your credit card. **** Buyer Beware ****
I ordered some seeds on 3/2/09 on the internet. It informed me that they would ship in the next 2 weeks. When 2 weeks passed I checked the online status and it said "shipping soon". I called them and they said it was back-ordered and would ship Friday. 10 weeks later they are still saying the same thing. They did ship the "free gift" right away so that they could charge me the shipping and order fee right away while I endlessly wait for the product I really want. When I called on 5/18/09 to cancel my order since I was never going to receive it they said it would take 30 days for my credit card to be refunded. Can you believe this for a product that was never shipped. I am notifying Visa of this practice and encourage everyone to do the same. The best way to prevent a company like this from operating is to keep Visa/MC from allowing them to use their credit cards.
Terrible service. Terrible seeds. Over priced. Very few seeds per packet. Terrible germination rate. AVOID dealing with them.
I received my my order for 5 Bicolor Buddleia plants from Park Seed earlier this week. They might have been healthy 3-4" plants in 3-4" pots before they were packed unbagged and unsecured in loose foam peanuts in a box for shipping. It's no surprise there was extensive shipping damage. Several stems were broken off from each plant, and all the remaining leaves and stems were broken, bruised, or partially blackened.
Even if these 3-4" plants had arrived undamaged, there is no way they were worth $11.95 each. A local nursery in Macedon,NY has Bicolor Buddleia plants which are 5-10 times the height and fullness for $7.95 -- and they are robust and undamaged.
Park Seed offered a free bonus as incentive for this order... It was described as a Tomato Container Choice VFF Hybrid. Does that sound like a plant? It was a packet of 10 seeds. The description is misleading. Or you could say weasel-worded, if you like. If they wanted to be honest, they would have described the bonus something like this: VFF Hybrid Choice Container Tomato Seeds. If a vendor is going to offer anything "free" with an order, why do it in such a way as to make their customers unhappy -- or in my case, even more unhappy, by setting false expectations?
I have ordered seeds from Parks every year for the past several years, including this year and have never had any problems with the order, with the speed of deliver of the seeds either.
This order was placed on 3/7/12 which included free shipping
Item # Description Qty Price
05854-PK-P1 Organic Pole Bean Blue Lake FM-1 1 $1.95
05118-PK-P1 Cucumber Homemade Pickles 1 $1.95
51717-PK-P1 Snapdragon Oriental LanternsÃ¯Â¿Â½ 2 $1.30
00904-PK-P1 Sunflower 'Choco Sun' 1 $3.95
00907-PK-P1 Sunflower Sunny Smile 1 $2.75
01368-PK-P1 Monkey Flower Magic White Blotch Hybrid 4 $2.47
02325-PK-P1 Sunflower Soraya 1 $2.25
01124-PK-P1 Lupine Sunrise 4 $1.00
02580-PK-P1 Sweet Pea Streamer Mix 1 $2.75
01386-PK-P1 Monkey Flower Magic Yellow with Red Blotch 4 $2.47
05231-PK-P1 Pea Super Sugar Snap 1 $1.75
05153-PK-P1 Lettuce Red Sails 1 $1.45
01175-PK-P1 Lobelia 'Fountain Blue' 1 $1.25
05466 Tomato Container Choice Hybrid 1 $0.00
Order Subtotal $46.41
Shipping & Handling $0.00
Estimated Sales Tax $0.00
Order Total $46.41
order was shipped out 3/12 and received several days later.
I too got the free tomato seeds and it was clearly stated that the tomato was a packet of 10 seeds.
I've never had any problems with the germination of the seeds either. All the seeds in this order where winter sown as have all my seeds for the past 9 years and as has been for the past 9 years with any park seeds that I have WS, either by direct order from me or from trades on the seed exchange, everything has germinated without any problems, without any complaints and with excellent germination results.
Like I said, I've never ordered plants from Parks or any where before or now. Any plants I get are either purchased from local nurseries or from divisions of plants from a plant swap or a friend's yard.
I can't say anything about the quality or anything else, but if I had problems or complaints with the shipment of live plants, I would be calling and complaining about the problem and trying to get something done about it.
Good luck and do call. Usually the company will take care of any problems that you might have.
I purchased all of my seeds through them this year. Can someone say rookie mistake? I wish I would have found this forum site earlier. It took FOREVER for them to ship my product. I ended up paying $8.95 shipping. Like people have mentioned throughout their comments, there are very little seeds in the packets. I actually counted my tomato seeds and I got one free(11 in a 10 seed packet)! I was aware of the amounts of seeds per packet, but you usually get more than 1 extra.
Seeing as I just got my seeds, I am just starting them out indoors. I can not comment on germination and overall seed to plant quality!
got wrong seeds, they basically told me tuff luck. am having a bonfire to burn all their catalogues