After decades of admirable dependability, Park Seed has had some problems in the past couple of years. I thought that it was due to the fact they had been involved in business mergers and let it go. Then I spoke to a snotty sales rep on the phone. At first, I thought I'd somehow dailed the wrong number; he had a Jersey accent and a massive attitude, and I'd never spoken to a Park's rep who didn't have a Southern accent and beautiful manners. (I'm not saying that people from Jersey aren't nice, just that this guy wasn't.) I was annoyed. I can be patient with businesses struggling through mergers and new tech systems, but an attitude is a deal breaker. (A rep with an attitude is why I no longer deal with Jung's.)
Yesterday, I called Park Seed and spoke to a lovely lady who did admit that Park's merger with Jackson and Perkins had been difficult, and that there had been problems with web updates and communications with suppliers. The company is striving to fix any lingering problems. This pleasant, helpful lady will be a big help. I felt much better about the company after speaking with her. Here's a scoop-I talked to her at 9 pm. The company currently has phone reps available until 11 pm EST. If you have any problems or questions, including any about the website, they encourage you to call. I don't know how long the extended hours will last, but I find them very helpful. Oh, she also reminded me of the Park sponsored website http://www.successwithseed.org/.
Many of you have mentioned buying seed starting manuals, and this a a good one at a good price. I have the older addition, which has only line drawings. This one has lots of color photos. I ordered this new version and will give you a review. If it's half as good as the older one, it'll be a winner. I had a discount code on the back of my catalog, so I paid $11.91 for the book and shipping. Note on the discount code: it can't be "stacked" with other discounts, but it can be used on orders until the expiration date, 4/30/10 in my case. If you have a Park Seed catalog dated Spring 2010 with kids and veggies at a dinner table, check to see if you have the code on the back cover.
I placed an order with Parks several weeks ago and the seeds arrived in a reasonable amount of time and were of excellent quality. I'd like to keep doing business with this company, because they do have some great seeds, notably the Beefy Boy tomato, which I haven't found anywhere else.
Good luck gardening, and please share your garden supply company reviews. Right now, I'm especially interested in another good source for dahlias. Any suggestions?