Have you ever written a product review and then wondered if anyone would ever read it? Never fear — when you rate a Park Seed item, your comments are carefully scrutinized by all of us here, not to mention by other gardeners looking for something foolproof for that trouble spot over by the side of the house!
Just for fun (or maybe to brag a bit — we admit it!), here are some of the best reviews we have received about Park Exclusive flowering seeds. Park Exclusives are varieties found only here at Park, so we have a special fondness about how they perform in gardens across the country. These are some of the flowers that have received across-the-board 5-star ratings from our customers:
Park’s Whopper Lighthouse Salvia
It’s always difficult to know which varieties perform the very best because most folks don’t leave a rating or a review, but based on customer comments left on the site and expressed over the phone to our Customer Service reps, we’re pretty sure this Salvia is an all-time favorite. A gardener in Illinois reports, “All 50 seeds were planted with 47 producing strong plants. Easy to start in seed starter plugs. Easy to transplant.” (Music to our ears!) Everyone loves the hummingbird magnetism of Lighthouse. And the highest praise of all comes from an Arkansas gardener, whose entire review is: “I grew this salvia for the first time last year and will not be without it again.”
Sunny Lady Impatiens
Both the Shady and Sunny Lady series of Impatiens have been favorites for decades, and several colors have been singled out for praise (Sunny Lavender, Shady Bride and Shady Red and White). But we especially love this review from a Minnesota gardener who really got down to brass tacks and gave us the skinny on Sunny Lady Salmon Shimmer:
These definitely have a spreading habit! They are slow to respond to pinching to thicken them out, but they eventually come around. GORGEOUS coral color – not orangey. I don’t see much “shimmer” but I’m okay with that. I love how these will do alright in sun as my yard is for the most part shady, yet I get direct sun (and HOT sun) a few short times in the day. This has made it difficult to find good annuals as sunny flowers fail to thrive, and regular impatiens burn. These are a much less expensive alternative to pricey New Guinea impatiens and so far they are THRIVING. BONUS: I have repotted some of the pieces I pinched off, and they’re growing, same with another Sunpatiens variety I also bought!
Park’s Fragrant Giants Nasturtium
And while we’re on the subject of credulity (does that Sunny Lady shimmer or does it not?!), we were skeptics about just how “fragrant” this heirloom nasturtium mix was . . . until we grew it and inhaled the sweet scent, that is. Still, it was great to get 5-star confirmation from a gardener in Maryland: “Blooms have beautiful color and delightful fragrance!”
Charisma Blue Lisianthus
Not all seeds are easy to germinate and transplant, so it always impresses us when one of the more challenging varieties gets hands-down 5-star ratings. Several gardeners mention that this Lizzy is slow to start, but all score it highly, and this Idaho gardener raves: “I give these 8 stars. I love them that much.” (I think we all have a particular plant we feel that way about!)
Park’s Pick Mix Zinnias
On the other hand, some seeds ARE easy and quick while still producing breathtaking flowers. Park’s Pick Zinnias offer huge blooms (great for cutting) in intense colors. Several individual colors come in for praise, but it’s the mix that really delights. We featured it on a catalog cover nearly 20 years ago, and made it a feature in our trial gardens for several summers in a row. It’s much better in person than in a photograph, and gardeners sing about it along these lines (from a Vermont customer): “Glorious, tall, strong stems, good germination when started inside. The best Zinnias I have ever grown! Fantastic zinnias!”
When we introduced this variety many years ago, few American gardeners had tried Nemesia from seed. Now, happily, it is an established favorite — and no wonder! We agree with the New York gardener (who planted Masquerade in poor, shallow soil) who remarks, “These flowers are full of personality and demand closer inspection from passersby. Love them.”
We think of this beautiful native phlox as an under-the-radar standout. Whenever gardeners discover it, they are delighted — but how many of us think about starting phlox from seed?! This P. drummondii hybrid breaks all the rules by being easy as well as fragrant and bright, as this Pennsylvania gardener found out: “Bought this to grow in some containers on our patio. The plants are amazing. Started indoors. High germination rate. The plants started flowering at about 1-2 inches tall! Doesn’t seem to be bothered by heat, and flowers galore. Would definitely buy again.”
Park’s Whopper Marigold
Some flowers are all about wallop. Big size, big color. If they’re crazy simple to grow, all the better. Yes, we are talking an African Marigold; how did you guess?! Both our Whopper Yellow and Gold have come in from high praise, even from folks who might sniff a bit at other marigolds, such as this Oklahoma gardener observes: “These Marigolds are b-e -a-u-t-i-f-u-l . . . I have a sister who is not fond of marigolds, but neither she nor anyone else could deny these are beautiful . . . yellow, orange, and gold. I favor the yellow. You need sunglasses on these.”
A few years back we were privileged to work with a group of Italian growers whose petunias (and pansies — see below!) looked like none we’d ever seen on this side of the Atlantic. The Dolcissima series is very dear to our hearts, and we are honored that so many gardeners share our passion for these watercolor-bright, brilliantly multicolored blooms. A professional grower in Montana tells us, “I have grown Flambe and Fragolino for several years. Nothing like them! I also sell at local Farmers’ Markets where the hanging petunia basket competition is fierce. My customers are thrilled as no one else grows these (a mystery!) and no other petunias have such rich, incredible colors. They hold up all season long–in my opinion better than the waves and other basket types. Beautiful.”
Flirty Skirts Pansy
What the Dolcissimas did for petunias, the Flirty Skirts (also from our Italian colleagues) did for pansies! These ruffled beauties were bestsellers in Europe when they arrived on the scene, and we’re always amazed that they aren’t more popular here. But our Flirty Skirts Mix is a bestseller among Park gardeners! One Arizona gardener expresses our thoughts exactly: “These are the most wonderful of all. I grew them from seed last winter and they bloomed just beautifully. Made long lasting cut flowers that thrilled everyone I gave them to, including me. I will plant these each year from now on. Hooked on them.”
We are too.
Want to read more reviews: good, bad, and ugly? Just look under the gold “Add to Cart” bar in the product page. If any customers have reviewed the product, you will see little gold stars (up to 5) above the words “Read/Write.” Just click! Better yet, start writing your own reviews of Park products that you have grown or used. We will love hearing from you, and many other gardeners will appreciate hearing about your experiences!