Home > Mail Order Info > Testimonials

If you're new to Phoenix Perennials and live far away it's not like you can stop in to our nursery to check us out before making a purchase. We'd like to help you feel secure that you're in good hands with Phoenix Perennials. We've compiled a number of comments from real customers about our mail order service, about the nursery in general, and about our owner, Gary Lewis. You can also read our reviews on the Phoenix Perennials Facebook page. Do we get bad reviews? Not that often. And if we do, we try to work with the customer to make everything right. We're all gardeners here, Phoenicians and Phoenix Perennials customers alike, and gardeners are good people.

About Phoenix Perennials Mail Order

"Well Gary - and everyone else involved in packing and shipping my order - I have to give you full marks, 1000%, top notch, superior job. What else can I say??? The package arrived this morning and I put it out on the back deck, opened it up to let the plants have some light and air. I have just now finished unpacking and I have to tell you it was like you had just put them in the box and walked them across the street. Absolutely NOTHING was out of place; no soil was spilled, no plants broken etc. etc. OK - that’s enough kudos - just keep up the good work. Looking forward to my spring order already. Thanks again." -- Diana W. from Nanaimo, BC

Hi Phoenix Perennials, O.K., I'm impressed! I was pleasantly surprised to open the boxes to discover that reality = the statements made on your website. Good sized, well developed healthy plants shipped in pots. While they were a tad droopy when first unpacked which is to be expected for mail order, watering, a quick spritz and they started perking up immediately. I left them outside in a sheltered spot and this morning they all look fabulous!

Shipping the plants in pots is important to me as I don't always have the opportunity to get them in the ground immediately. Just because in my mind I see where they will go, sometimes this vision doesn't quite work and being in pots I can take my time moving them around until I decided on the final spot. Also, I'm buying plants for two locations. Although I have one location in mind when ordering, they may end up at the other.
Just the grasses were taken out of pots. Grasses are generally tough and this appears to have been a well thought out choice in terms of balancing shipping cost/practicality vs. condition of the plants. With just a few sans pot, it was a quick process to put them in temporary pots.
I appreciate the care taken with packing. Shipping the plants upright, tightly packed but not crammed, jammed and squished!; and the extra measures taken to stabilize them.
Being located in the middle of nowhere, finding a good selection of and/or different perennials is a challenge. While I shop locally as much as possible, there just isn't the selection available without travelling quite a distance.
Thank you for being true to your website word, no embellishing or exaggeration. I have a lot more garden to develop over the two sites. Once this first batch of plants is in the ground, I look forward to placing my next order." -- Jan S. from Gold River, BC

"My parcel arrived today. When the lady from the post office handed me the box, she looked at the top of it, peeked through the tape, then said in an excited voice, "Wow! Plants. And they're green and everything!". I didn't quite know how to respond to that, other than to thank her for the parcel. I was going to ask her what color the plants should be, but then I thought that was an unfair question because sometimes, plants arrive brown and crispy. I do a lot of mail order for both my inside and my outside gardens. I spend at least four figures every year. In all the parcels I have received this year (and they were numerous), once again, I can assure you that your nursery packs the plants so carefully and so wonderfully, it's as if I visited the nursery, picked them out myself and then brought them home in my vehicle. I could tell you horror stories about receiving plants from some nurseries that would shock and amaze you. I don't know if it's because you send potted plants, or because you hire staff that know what they're doing, or because you and your staff really and truly care about your customers and your products, but whatever the reason, I am always most pleased with your plants. They are beautiful plants, well grown, well packed, and arrive in a condition that would allow me to plant them immediately. Of course I never do that -- they need time to adjust to their new home. With your plants, that's easy to do because they are in pots. I don't have to mix up soil, search for the right-sized pots, pot them up, etc. Suffice it to say, when I'm the busiest, your plants are the easiest to care for.

I was impressed last year with two plants. This year I ordered more, and they impressed me just as much. Next year, I hope there are even more plants to order so I can really get my socks knocked off!

Your service and products are the best I've seen. Thank you for giving me the pleasure of growing the wonderful plants you send out." -- Lori D. from Dauphin, Manitoba

"I must say the product that Phoenix Perennials sells is of top quality. I purchased a Kleim's Hardy Gardenia and a Hibiscus online and I received them within a couple days by Canada Post. The packing was perfect, the plants were in perfect health and I am so very pleased indeed. I will order my plants from now on through Phoenix." -- Kathleen B. from Victoria, BC

"Best nursery going, huge selection of unique plants, Gary and his staff are fantastic. I've already placed my order." -- Gary D. from Melvern Square, Nova Scotia

"I just wanted you to know I received my kiwis in perfect condition! I have to tell you they are the most beautiful kiwi plants I have bought!!! I already had 7 and they were never close to yours when I bought them. No choice, I have to spread the word!" -- Sylvain S. from Rosemarie, Quebec

"The plants arrived today. I am not going to launch into my usual compliment-laden speech about how wonderful the plants are and how well they are packed because you already know how great you are at it. However I could be persuaded to think of another wonderful thing or two to say if you really want me to ...

I must tell you that I am SO happy that you do fall shipping. There are mail order nurseries that do spring shipping, but they quit before summer arrives, and sometimes that's not enough time to allow you to make sure everything survives the winter, or to allow you time to think about modifying your garden to make it better. There is always something to add, something to move, something to change, as a garden is never static, and sometimes you need time to think about it for a bit before you know what you want to do. You gave me the opportunity to do that this year, and I am really grateful, especially since my husband, in his enthusiasm to help me with some weeding, inadvertently massacred my "Patty's Plum" Oriental poppy without realizing it. Thankfully you still had one in stock to replace it, and thankfully you asked for a $40.00 minimum, because that allowed me to get extra plants -- something to make up for the stress of seeing poor Patty's demise!

I am really looking forward to seeing Clematis "Pink Mink" perform next year. It is the healthiest clematis plant I have ever received from a mail order nursery (you didn't lie about it being a nice plant!). I am extremely excited about any new clematis but our local nursery doesn't bring them in. When they do there is nothing new to look forward to.

Thank you for everything, and while I will be awaiting my Cypripediums in October, I am really going to be looking forward to your plant offerings next spring. I'm sure there will be plants that I must add to my garden. You definitely make it a little easier having to live through a Manitoba winter!" -- Lori D. from Dauphin, Manitoba

"Hi Gary, My order just came and everthing looks really great. This is the best order I have ever received. The plants are so big and healthy looking and I just want to thank you. Have a great summer." -- Gary D. from Melvern Square, Nova Scotia

"I really appreciate your making your excellent product available to those of us outside BC and as I think I wrote you last summer, the care given by you & the Phoenicians with shipping is outstanding!” – Anne S. from Dryden, Ontario

“Bonsoir Gary, Just would like to inform you that the plants have arrived this afternoon. We would like to thank you for taking such care of the shipping. This time all plants arrived in good form with only a little rotten foliage on the Campanula but no problem, it will grow back, it's a healthy plant. The Arisaemas were much better than last time. They are taped to the box and pots covered with plastic. The medium was just perfectly humid. Good job. Merci encore une fois et a bientot.” -- Darma and Yves from Quebec [Note from Phoenix Perennials: Not everything always arrives perfect after being in a box for 3, 4, 5, even 7 days to cross our large country. Though surprisingly most plants ship very well. When they don’t we work with you to send replacements (as we did in this case with the Arisaema) or give you a refund or credit.]

“I received my shipment, and in perfect condition. Thank you!” – Amelia B. from Vancouver

“Everything arrived safely and is in good shape. I must say Phoenix offers much better quality plants than other mail order companies. I'll be sure to place more orders in future.” -- Mike F. from Calgary

“I received my plants today and I wanted to write to say…..WOW! Great plants, great packing job. Everyone looks healthy and happy. Guess keeping them that way is up to me. This was my first order and I am impressed. THANK YOU! Wish I lived in BC to take advantage of all your nursery offers.” – Anne S. from Dryden, Ontario

“Plants arrived yesterday, I am very impressed how quickly they showed up. Everything is in good shape, nothing that a drink and fresh air wouldn't fix - super job - thank you, I will do it again. - Lo L. from Comox, BC

“We received our plants today and thank you--they were in wonderful shape. ” -- Arlene C. from Trail, BC

“I received my two boxes of plants this morning and must let you know that everything arrived well, with almost no damage – one of the sedums had one crushed leaf! I think we will survive that. Thank you all for the great work in sourcing the plants and packaging them so well for transporting/delivery. They are all well looked after, and I appreciate the notes on some of them regarding care; the ones requiring potting-on have been taken care of and the rest are enjoying the Okanagan air and sun/shade. I am already looking forward to next year’s selection!” – Alexis S. from Coldstream, BC

About Phoenix Perennials

“The premiere nursery of BC!” -- Barry Belec, Garden Designer

"Gary Lewis is the owner of Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants Nursery in Richmond and one of Canada's most knowledgeable plant experts with a deep and special interest in rare and unusual herbaceous perennials. His cottage-garden nursery on No. 6 Road in Richmond is one of Canada’s top perennial nurseries, carrying more than 4,000 different garden plants. T his is perhaps why it is sometimes referred to by the loyal following of gardeners who shop there as a “candy store” of plant treasures." -- Steve Whysall, Vancouver Sun, In the Garden Podcast, http://vancouversunpodcasts.com/in-the-garden/gary...

“Phoenix is, without question, the BEST nursery around and we always enjoy looking around. Every plant we have ever bought thrives and is very healthy!” – Melanie and Ed from Vancouver

“I have found my new home. A few weeks ago I posted a few pictures from Phoenix Perennials at the Pacific Northwest Palm and Exotic Plant Society annual plant sale and I keep finding myself coming up with excuses to go back. This weekend I had the most legitimate excuse yet, sun! The sun was apparently shining everywhere but at my house (a conspiracy I'm sure). Not that I needed an excuse to visit a place this wonderful. I actually find myself overwhelmed when I go. I walk around aimlessly for hours holding different plants.” – Louis Abraham, Parallel 49 Palms Blog

“I should be barred from two places: all-you-can-eat buffets and Phoenix Perennials.” -- Julie from Richmond

“This is truly the most amazing nursery.” -- Paula from Lion's Bay, BC

“I love nurseries who bring in cutting edge new plants for gardeners. Your work becomes our pleasure. J” -- Brad Jalbert, Select Roses, Langley, BC

“Phoenix Perennials has been my favourite nursery since it's opening. Gary, the wonderful, personable and most of all knowledgeable owner of Phoenix Perennials has provided his customers with staff who are able to provide information for all levels of expertise. I love coming to the nursery because I never know what the staff have put together to entice me. The colours and textures of the plant displays make me want to start over which I did this past year in part of my garden. I am assured that when I buy plants from this nursery that they will thrive in my sandy windy site because the plants are divided into categories for special soil/sun & shade and different soil conditions. Phoenix Perennials specializes in Hellebores, succulents, shade plants and the best perennials. The mail order catalogue will open up new, improved and old favourites to garden lovers across Canada. I know that with Gary's knowledge of plants, his active involvement in the plant industry and his availability to impart his knowledge to others in the trades and for the home gardener, buyers can be assured that they have purchased the best of plants for Canada.” – Carell B. from Delta, BC

“I had a wonderful time at the Tomato Tasting on Saturday! It far surpassed my expectations, all of the tomatoes were delicious, my table mates were fun and lively. Gary, you were chock full of unusual and interesting facts of everything tomato. Thanks again!” – Pauline T. from Richmond

"I've learned my lesson. For the last three years I've bought most of my plants from [insert Big Box Store name here] and every year for the last three years they have all died. But right beside them are the plants that I bought from Phoenix Perennials and they are all thriving. In the end it would have been way cheaper and way less planting effort to pay a few dollars more for good plants in the first place. Thanks, Phoenix Perennials, for helping me see the light!" -- Michelle from Richmond

“It’s like a candy shop of hellebores.” – Adele J on Facebook commenting on the Hellebore Hurrah!

“Gary, you are such an inspiration to us. I am always so VERY tempted to rush out to your nursery each time you post [on Facebook]! Love seeing pics of your own garden as well.” – Renee W. on Facebook

“I love your plants. Everything I’ve bought from you over the years has always grown. Nothing has died. Everything just gets bigger and better every year.” — Susan from North Vancouver

“I spent $35 here on one of the most beautiful hellebores. It’s big and flowers like crazy and I love it. I bought other hellebores at another place for $17 and they’re all dead now. But yours is going strong. Thanks Phoenix Perennials.” — Margaret from Port Coquitlam

“I can only imagine what your personal garden would look like!! I love mine - and it's pretty much made up of purchases from your gem of a nursery!!” – Lynne M. on Facebook commenting on the “In Gary’s Garden” Photo Album

“Had a delicious time today at the Tomato tasting. Thanks for the opportunity and the great information. I'm already enjoying some of the two boxes of tomatoes I purchased that I came away with.” Trudy D. from Facebook

“You have the most healthy, gorgeous and interesting plants. It’s so different than everywhere else!” -- Sandy from White Rock, BC

“Before you opened there was no where to get interesting plants. Half my garden is from Phoenix Perennials.” -- Gurdeesh from Richmond, BC

“Congratulations! It's the best nursery I've seen!” -- Wendy from Vancouver

“I've lived in Vancouver for 40 years and this is the most amazing nursery I have ever seen.” -- Victoria A. from Vancouver

“Thank you so much for having such a fantastic selection. I’ve found so many plants I've never seen anywhere else.” -- Barb from Langley

“I received your email today, as usual with great pleasure. Your e-News is always full of so much information and beautiful flower photos.” – Maureen W. from Vancouver

“Everything keeps on living that I get here compared to other nurseries. It’s a real disadvantage to being able to shop for more plants! Other nurseries the plants get diseases or are filled with weeds or just up and die… I had to stop buying from them. But not at Phoenix. Your plants are great.” —Kelly from Delta, BC

“This place is so frickin’ inspiring. This is my candy store. The displays, the containers, the plants are so high quality. I love it.” — Elaine from Deep Cove, North Vancouver

“That “garden to glass” tutorial at Phoenix Perennials with David Wolowidnyk was the best two hours I’ve spent in a while. Thank you, Gary!” -- @sm_rose on Twitter

“A belated thank you for your time last Saturday. We always enjoy our visit to your nursery which gets better every year. I felt a bit smug when I saw Cityline Vienna hydrangea in my Canadian Gardening magazine. I purchased Paris for a pot that I will be putting at the side of my driveway and at least 2 other garden club members picked up Vienna. My friend Ellen is busy filling her window box with your recommendations for "hot and sunny". We wish you were closer so we could visit more often but that could prove hard on our wallets!” – Trish K. from Coquitlam, BC

“When moving to Vancouver from South Africa we were so happy to discover your garden store. Many of our perennials are from your store.” – Victor S. from Burnaby, BC

About Phoenix Perennials owner, Gary Lewis

“Gary Lewis is the king of perennials.” — Jeff DeJong, radio host, Gardening 101, CFAX AM 1070, Victoria, BC

“It is his passion for plants that makes Lewis one of the most knowledgeable experts in B.C. horticulture at the moment.” – Steve Whysall, Vancouver Sun, April 21, 2006

“Lewis has been wowing members of garden clubs in B.C. for the last few years with his information-packed lectures. He has a knack for communicating his passion for plants and sharing his extensive knowledge without talking down to his audience. A talent. Since opening his nursery in 2004, he has expanded it to offer one of the largest and choicest selections of perennials in the Lower Mainland.” – Steve Whysall, Vancouver Sun, February 17, 2006

“Thanks for an inspiring seminar!” – Heike, Heike Designs, Whistler

“Such a nice person and the rest of the staff are equally nice to deal with. Such a hard worker too. Deserves any award that is given out for gardening.” – from Patricia M. on Facebook after we announced that owner Gary Lewis had been nominated for the BCLNA Communicator of the Year Award 2012

“That was the most interesting speaker I have ever heard.” -- Lillian S., age 98, North Vancouver

“Thank you so very much for your fabulous presentation to the Gibson’s Garden Club. The feedback has been great. They loved you and want to have you back again. We [the three organizers] have all received phone calls and emails of appreciation telling of their enjoyment. Thank you again.” -- Judith K. from Gibsons, BC

“Great day – GREAT speakers – our events just keep getting better and better thanks to guests like you, Gary’ – Terri from Coquitlam

“I am so thrilled to hear you are able to squeeze our Club’s General meeting into your busy schedule in August. My husband, John, and I still affirm your presentation “Weird & Wonderful Plants” was one of the most stellar presentations we have had the pleasure of viewing in our 15 year membership with this club.” – Leslie and John, Comox Valley Garden Club, Comox, BC

“Thank you again for agreeing to speak to our Club in spring 2014. The presentation in 2010 was a huge success - people still speak of it.” – Allan, Gibsons Garden Club, Gibsons, BC