General Discussion:

National Home Gardening Club


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Julie K02-Mar-04 03:25 PM EST 4   
Wendy P02-Mar-04 06:08 PM EST 7   
doris02-Mar-04 07:02 PM EST 3   
Julie K03-Mar-04 03:25 PM EST 4   
Wendy P04-Mar-04 11:09 AM EST 7   
doris04-Mar-04 04:04 PM EST 3   


Subject: National Home Gardening Club
From: Julie K
Zone: 4
Date: 02-Mar-04 03:25 PM EST

Does anyone know about this club that is based in Georgetown, ON? I keep getting stuff in the mail that sounds too good to be true. Just wondered if anyone has heard about them.


Subject: RE: National Home Gardening Club
From: Wendy P
Zone: 7
Date: 02-Mar-04 06:08 PM EST

Are they trying to sell you stuff? I remember a mail-order plant company from a LONG time ago - I think they were based in Georgetown. I was a novice then and excitedly ordered all sorts of things. Plants were all extremely small and very disappointing. This could be a new name for an old, lacklustre company.

If you want to try mail-order, I highly suggest Botanus.com The selection and quality is superb. Some of their perennials are a little pricey but I was very satisfied with my spring-flowering bulbs purchase last year. Their website is super-fantastic. Color pictures and great descriptions. They even have an availability list. Good luck in your gardening adventures.


Subject: RE: National Home Gardening Club
From: doris
Zone: 3
Date: 02-Mar-04 07:02 PM EST

Hi, Julie. I live in Calgary AB and I was a member of the Home Gardening Club for two or three years. They're a reputable company, but I didn't get the feeling that they catered much to Canadians. I got a couple of free products, first with my original membership and then with my renewal (a hand pruner that broke during the first summer of use--well, they're not going to send Felco pruners, are they??!!--sorry, I can't remember the second "gift"). I got several packages of seed for red poppies with invitations to re-join. I got to use the information archives on the website. And I got the club magazine--it's a very small publication (6 issues a year), but it has no direct advertising. The information on the web and in the magazine is good, but, because of my gardening locale and experience, I didn't find it as inspiring or useful as my favourite magazines and websites. Overall I decided the subscription was too pricey for me to continue, especially because of the exchange rate ($American to $Canadian).

One of the benefits of membership that originally attracted me was the opportunity to test a product for the club. Results are published in the magazine, and testers are allowed to keep the product. Although I filled out the application form on their website, I was never asked to be a tester. During my two-year membership, I didn't notice anyone else from Canada having been chosen, although one Canadian did win one of their frequent contests. I also noticed that all of the product reviews were positive, leading me to think that this was a subtle form of advertising on their part.

One thing Canadians cannot take advantage of is their free seed-swap. To avoid problems with customs, they suggest only swapping with people in the same country, and I didn't see any offers from other members in Canada.

Although I am no longer a member, I still receive their free e-newsletter on a bi-monthly basis. I am such a garden "junkie" that I haven't asked them to stop, but I usually don't get that much useful information from it.

I checked out their website before responding to this thread. I notice that they're offering a free 30 day trial. That was the same offer I responded to. Trouble was, I didn't receive the first magazine before the trial period was up--delivery of the magazine was always late. However, when one magazine failed to show altogether, I contacted customer service and they graciously sent a replacement copy.

I certainly don't regret trying them out, and I'm sure other members have gotten lots of benefits from them. As I said, they're a reputable company and their customer service is easy to contact on their website. However, they didn't make it onto my list of subscriptions and / or memberships that I can't live without.

Hope this information helps you.


Subject: RE: National Home Gardening Club
From: Julie K
Zone: 4
Date: 03-Mar-04 03:25 PM EST

Thanks for the info, I think I will decline their "offer" and stick to the more reputable sites. I do buy from Botanus and it is fabulous but I just wanted to check this company out.


Subject: RE: National Home Gardening Club
From: Wendy P
Zone: 7
Date: 04-Mar-04 11:09 AM EST

Julie...I'm so glad you had discovered Botanus too. I'm new on the Web and would appreciate any other web suggestions. I do the forum on gardeninglife.ca and am enjoying myself immensely. Watch out when you get me started on gardening - I can't shut up! On the subject of seed-sharing, I'm surprised that organization discouraged cross-border exchanges. As far as I ever knew, seeds were OK but not anything with soil attached [bare root OK too]. The large companies like Monrovia have special requirements to be able to ship North. I've ordered seed from Thompson & Morgan out of England and never had a problem. Nowadays, plant explorers bring back seed and not anything "dirty". This also prevents damage while harvesting new species to bring back from the wild.


Subject: RE: National Home Gardening Club
From: doris
Zone: 3
Date: 04-Mar-04 04:04 PM EST

Wendy--maybe the seed restrictions are in effect to avoid any legal problems. Every country has its own rules regarding what can (and can't) be imported (to avoid noxious weeds, etc.) Large companies deal with customs on a regular basis and can get their seeds and plants cleared. But even they face some restrictions. If you look carefully at your Thompson & Morgan catalogue, for example, you'll see that some poppies are not available for shipping to the U.S. (papaver somniferum--the "Opium" poppy). So, the National Gardening Club is probably just playing it safe. Still, it was frustrating to feel like a second-class member of the club (not being able to take advantage of all the offers) just because I live in Canada.


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