This time of year, if you’ve ever ordered from even one gardening catalog, you’ll find your mailbox overflowing with colorful plant photos and slick copy. I was thrilled to find a luridly bright Inter-State Nurseries catalog in the mail pile last night. However, as I began leafing through it, I immediately had a sense of something not quite right. First of all, the paper was of a lesser quality than the usual glossy stock. The plant descriptions used words like “amazing,” “enormous” and “gorgeous” a few too many times. The copy neglected to mention light or moisture requirements. Finally, the prices were truly too good to believe (1 cent plants). I kept the catalog (hope springs eternal?), but suspected that the company was not actually reputable.
This morning, with the help of Garden Watchdog, I confirmed my suspicions. Inter-State Nurseries has a 94% NEGATIVE rating. The reviews are almost all horror stories of dead (or never received) plants and uncooperative customer service agents. True, six percent of the reviewers had a neutral or positive experience and unsatisfied customers are more likely to leave a rating, but I’d rather not take that gamble.
I’ve done some stupid things gardening (pruning my new Nikko Blue hydrangea to the ground, for instance), but, thanks to Garden Watchdog, I won’t be swindled by disreputable plant merchants. After I cut some pictures out of the catalog, I’ll use it to start my next fire. *sigh* I really was excited by those 1 cent plants...
*By the way, companies like this often operate under multiple names, so be sure to do your research.