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The scoop on 'Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ('

  Company Profile  
Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (

Mailing Address:
PO Box 309
Cleves, Ohio 45002 (United States)

Phone: 1-800-622-9997
Fax: 1-800-327-4768

Visit Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( at:

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Recent reviews:
Past month Past 6 Months Past 12 Months
Positive 0 4 7
Neutral 0 0 0
Negative 0 5 14
This company is affiliated with Gardens Alive!

This company offers a variety of bulbs and plants.

This company specializes in:

Other helpful information:

  Feedback History and Summary  
143 positives
68 neutrals
234 negatives


Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

Positive bulbman345
Monroe, NC
(1 review)
February 6, 2014
Great experience... everything was delivered as expected.
Negative cardoons
Longmeadow, MA
(1 review)
February 4, 2014
I ordered Great American Lakes Dahlia Blend tubers last spring from this mail order company (not the nursery on Long Island with a similar name). Several of the tubers were damaged in shipping. Poorly packed, in my opinion. The damaged tubers never sprouted. Replacements were shipped; only half sprouted.
Once they bloomed, I found that NONE of them were actually Great American Lakes Dahlias. Some other variety I could not recognize. I will never again order from this company or any of the other Gardens Alive! companies.
Company representative comment on February 11, 2014:
On Feb 11, 2014 1:11 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

We appreciate your feedback. I apologize for the problems with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information.

Negative coriaceous
(9 reviews)
February 1, 2014
My company ordered dahlias from Van Engelen last spring. We only discovered that their product was mislabeled after growing them. We'd also had problems in the past with unacceptably frequent incidents in which what arrived was not what we ordered. We've given up dealing with this company.
Company representative comment on February 3, 2014:
On Feb 3, 2014 11:53 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your posting and I apologize for the problems you have had with your orders. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this for you.

Negative docknee
Murphy, NC (Zone 7a)
(8 reviews)
January 6, 2014
A recent Spring mailing offered 50% off making many selections attractive if not competitive. Upon checkout the shipping was $19.95 on a $55 dollar order - even if it really was worth $110 that is almost 20% for shipping - I moved on. Found everything elsewhere for same price or better with some offering free shipping.
Positive wnyGardner
(2 reviews)
November 17, 2013
I orderd a few items last week. The packaging sizes were great and the prices were reasonable. The order arrived at the expected time. It was complete and the bulb quality was good and comapred well with the other whole-sale suppliers. I had good experience with KVB. I will order from them again. I recommend it to others specially if they like to try many varieties at smaller package sizes.
Company representative comment on November 19, 2013:
On Nov 19, 2013 9:52 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your feedback, we appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with our company. Enjoy your garden.

Positive ButterflyRose27
Struthers, OH
(1 review)
November 13, 2013
Great prices & order arrived promptly.Everything was there,no missing items like I seen other complain about. Did have a couple bulbs (& I do mean just a few out of a large order) that were either dead or undersize-- called Cust. Serv. & they were great!!!! gave me a credit since they were already out of the items..very polite & helpful & credited full item cost when there was only partial loss. WILL DEAL WITH AGAIN & DEFINITELY RECOMMEND AAA+++ much better customer service that a lot of other companies & overall very happy with the bulbs
Company representative comment on November 16, 2013:
On Nov 16, 2013 2:37 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. Happy Gardening!

Negative Uncbuck
Wayne, IL
(1 review)
November 12, 2013
I placed an order with Van Bourgondien on October 3rd for a poppy, foxtail lilies and hosta, as well as another order October 16th for Bearded Iris (their end of season sale)

Well...Its November 12th now .. I have 2 inches of snow on the ground. The poppy arrived last week but I have no lilies, no iris and no hosta I will plant them when ever they do arrive (I pre-dug the holes and have thawed soil to fill them) but I do not expect much survival

Learned a lesson on this - next time I will check Dave's Garden reviews before ordering.
Company representative comment on November 16, 2013:
On Nov 16, 2013 2:44 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. Have you received your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check into this for you.

Positive landmmay
Garland, TX
(1 review)
October 30, 2013
I couldn't have been more happy with the service from this company. I order over $200 worth of bulbs and was extremely satisfied. The product shipped earlier than the promised date, shipped 100% complete and the quality of the bulbs was excellent. I almost canceled my order based on the amount of negative reviews I saw on this website - I'm glad I didn't. I couldn't be happier with the quality of customer service and the product received. I will definitely be ordering from them in the future and would advise others to do the same.

Marisa May
Company representative comment on November 16, 2013:
On Nov 16, 2013 2:52 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you Marisa for your feedback. Enjoy your garden.

Negative DanSpitz_Guitar
Bellport, NY
(5 reviews)
October 26, 2013
Awful....I ordered from them....after I ordered from them, the email I received from them mentioned that the items would ship in about 4+ weeks....yet I was already in prime bulb planting season, and 4+ weeks from now is "Frost City" where I live....I realized, after reading reviews of the company, that this was a DUD of a company...I called the company and cancelled out...why wait WEEKS (or more) to have your item shipped, when you can have your item shipped from a different company almost immediately?...this company was giving me flashbacks of another company, Michigan Bulb...they seem to operating in the same bizzarro fashion...find a better company than this one...

Never again....
Company representative comment on November 16, 2013:
On Nov 16, 2013 3:21 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

We appreciate your posting. We use the USDA shipping chart so we know the best time to ship our products. I apologize for the delay.

Positive jackstomatoes
Grand Rapids, MI
(2 reviews)
October 12, 2013
Everything very positive! Bulbs I received were larger than advertised. I needed my items before the promised date because of surgery, called them with my request, and within 4 days received my orders, 10 - 15 days before the promised date. I have done business with this company many times before, and service had gone down until last spring. Now service is excellent, and so it the product. John
Company representative comment on November 16, 2013:
On Nov 16, 2013 2:55 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you John, we appreciate your posting. Enjoy!

Negative carolmo
Olathe, KS (Zone 5a)
(8 reviews)
September 19, 2013
Took a chance and ordered fringed coral lace gladiolus and a lavender daylily. The gladiolus bloomed pink - not coral (had several times before and know what the correct one looks like). Will not know until next year if daylily is also mismarked. Contacted them - they gave me a code to use with another order. Last year, black landini asiatic lily bloomed orange - they also gave me a code to use with next order (but the code did not work, so I did not order then). They do not refund. You must order more and get stuck with a shipping charge. Never, never again. Good grief - why can they not send the correct items? If the daylily is wrong too, I will be screaming.
Company representative comment on September 20, 2013:
On Sep 20, 2013 11:32 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for letting us know about the problem with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and we will take care of these problems for you.

Negative SeaMist
Carlsbad, CA
(1 review)
September 11, 2013
I ordered 12 items in May and they shipped 8 of the items in June.

Today I looked up my Order Status on their website and it said one of the 4 remaining items had been cancelled but made no mention of the other 3 items that I have email confirmation of having ordered in May.

I called Customer Service and the first person I spoke to said she didn't know why the one item was cancelled but the other 3 items were out of stock. I asked why I was able to order out of stock items? Why these items weren't showing up on the Order Status page? And why I hadn't received notice that 4 of my 12 items would not be shipped? She again said she didn't know so I asked to speak to a manager.

The manager (Sheryl) said she doesn't know why 3 of the items were not showing up in my Order Status on their webpage but that she could see them in her system. She also said that they send notices when items are out of stock -- implying that it is somehow a failure on my end in receiving no notice.

I asked how I can have confidence in ordering through them again given that so many items were out of stock, she doesn't know what is wrong with their Order Status webpage or their notification system, and is not communicating an intent to find out? Her response...I don't know.

Enormously unhelpful. I do not recommend this company if you want to receive more than 2/3 of your order or any semblance of customer service.
Company representative comment on September 12, 2013:
On Sep 12, 2013 12:31 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

I am so sorry to hear about the problem with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check into this for you.

Negative ppippin
Ringgold, GA
(1 review)
August 19, 2013
I was looking for daffodil bulbs to order for the fall and reached this company's page by referral. It was July and they were running July specials. The problem began when i started looking at the different subtitles of the daffodils such as pinks and doubles. I found they had a buyers favorite and had a price and a buy button. When i went to the cart to look at what i had listed to purchase the number of bulbs in the package had changed. with 50 to 75 % fewer bulbs for the price quoted. I emailed the company and they offered me a special offer which was less than what was on the web page. When i called their customer representative offered no explaination or adjustment. This seems to be bait and switch at its worse and completely illegal.
When i checked the web site the next day after not hearing anything back from the company they had changed the pages i had pointed out but there were other pages that still showed this misrepresentation. I have copies of emails that have copies of the pages in question. There is no way i would deal with this company with such shady business practices.
Company representative comment on August 23, 2013:
On Aug 23, 2013 8:59 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your feedback and I apologize for the confusion over the pricing on the web site. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and make sure this is taken care of.

Negative highlassie95
Simi Valley, CA
(1 review)
August 14, 2013
My Grandmother, mom and I placed an order together. Here was our order and what happened with each flower/plant:

-BLEEDING HEART - Blooomed nicely
-DAHLIA NICK SR. - Bloomed nicely
-HARDY GERANIUM JOHNSON'S - Got Purple instead of Blue flowers when it finally bloomed.
-HARDY GERANIUM PRATENSE SPLISH SPLASH - Got plain white flowers when it bloomed
-YELLOW GINGER LILY- Did not bloom at all

So 42% of our order was unsuccessful. I think that is a high percentage. I was disappointed when my geraniums blossomed and were not what I ordered. I will probably order from them in the future because I have had great experience with them in the past with tulips, daffodils, and irises, I guess maybe just stay away from the geraniums. They are unpredictable. Even the ones that blossomed nicely didn't have anywhere near as spectacular a color as shown in the photo.
Company representative comment on August 15, 2013:
On Aug 15, 2013 11:10 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your feedback we appreciate you letting us know about any problems you have with your orders. The Johnson's Geranium usually bloom a purple/blue color, they are not a true blue. The Splish Splash should have a purple color as well as the white. I will have one of our customer service representatives contact you for your account information and we can reship the items that did not perform as they should have.

Positive Sos07
(3 reviews)
August 1, 2013
I have placed many,many orders of all sizes over the past ten years.I have not even once had a bad experience .I am a member of Dave's garden and can not believe all of the negative reviews.I find their prices very good.I have always been sent what I ordered.
Company representative comment on August 6, 2013:
On Aug 6, 2013 4:10 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. Happy Gardening!

Negative Cshewlett
Deatsville, AL
(2 reviews)
July 30, 2013
I was SO disappointed with this company! I placed two separate orders, both in March the 8th and the 21st. The first was tuberose, summer cheer daffodils. Lord Lieutenant anemones. The second was Lord Lieutenant anemones, purple ranunculus and mixed ranunculus. The ranunculus was for my mother for Mother's Day. Well, Mother's Day came and went with no order arriving. The anticipated delivery date kept getting pushed back every week - finally in mid June I lost my patience because the order for tuberose was cancelled as they were out of stock. Really? You couldn't have figured that out 3 months ago when you put it on sale? So I sent a strongly worded letter letting them know they dropped the ball on the ranunculus, and seeing as I had already paid for the tuberose I wanted my money back. They did respond same day - and my money was refunded to my checking account the next day. My ranunculus order magically appeared in the mail 2 days later. However, they had substituted my anemones I wanted with blue and white anemones.

Never again will I purchase anything from a nursery that claims they have the right to substitute items without notice.

Company representative comment on August 6, 2013:
On Aug 6, 2013 4:12 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

I apologize for the problems you had with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and see what we can do to rectify the problem.

Negative Lotusflame
Murphy, MO
(1 review)
June 20, 2013
First, everything charged on credit card upfront, months ago. No one else does this, they charge as they ship. Second, shipping in mid June to St. Louis? It's pushing 100F; lilies in bloom everywhere here. Third, quietly updating statuses to 'cancelled'. No email, no offer of replacements. (Of course I still get a daily junk mail regarding their special deals). Stuff just out of stock, which I had to learn by going back to the catalog. It was not offered up as a cancellation reason. Fourth, $51 worth of elephant ears just dropped off the order. Of course, I was charged for them, but now they've apparently been cancelled along with everything else, not apparent on invoice. So, approximately $240 worth ordered, only $85 shipped. Amount credited back to my card does not match missing stock. Everything else now out of stock, almost all out lilies, and all my elephant ears. Got the beds tilled up and waiting, now too late to find good stock at local nurseries. NEVER AGAIN, I would rate them right there with Michigan Bulb CO, the 'dead stick' people. I don't care how beautiful the catalog is. If you can't provide the product, don't offer it. If indeed they are located in Ohio, I could have driven there in late April/early May and picked the stuff up. It would have gotten a proper start, although it remains to be seen whether the few items that we actually received are going to grow. Hard to say, now that the tender stuff has to face extreme heat. I would suggest a revision of the zones shipping schedule. But I will not be around next year to find out. Absolutely the worst online/mail order experience with a nursery, ever. I wish I had read here first, live and learn.
Company representative comment on June 20, 2013:
On Jun 20, 2013 11:27 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

I apologize for the problems you have had with your order. We would be happy to check this out for you and make sure you are taken care of. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information.

Negative MartinAMc
Des Moines, IA
(1 review)
June 17, 2013
I ordered from Van Bourgondien for the first time this year. My order was fairly small and late in the season (May 1), but everything was listed as in stock, and my order confirmation said the estimated delivery date was 5/15-6/5. One item, 3 egret flowers, shipped on time, but they failed to grow. Everything else was delayed. I received a couple of geraniums Friday, but I am still waiting for some hostas and irises. I just noticed today that the White Feather hostas which were the primary reason I placed this order were quietly canceled at some point. A refund was issued to my credit card, but since pricing information was not included in my order confirmation, I have no way to verify that it was the correct amount.

I probably won't bother with this company again.
Company representative comment on June 20, 2013:
On Jun 20, 2013 11:24 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

We appreciate you letting us know about any problem you have with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check this out for you.

Negative DGRich53
Janeville, WI
(9 reviews)
June 13, 2013
I sent ihs company a rather sizable order on 5/1 and started getting "pending status" updates almost from the first day-moving the shipping date farther and farther into spring.

The latest pending status had dropped three items (all of which I had planed in my garden) and when I asked why, I got this:

"Thank you for your email. Due to the popularity of these items and the conclusion of our shipping season, we are unable to process your order ..."

6 weeks after they accepted my order and I designed my plan, they are sorry.

I was at a local garden center the last week in May and could have bought the PLANTS. Called them today, none are available.


Company representative comment on June 14, 2013:
On Jun 14, 2013 1:11 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

I apologize for the problem with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check into this for you.

Negative AprilsWin24
Bowleys Quarters, MD
(3 reviews)
June 12, 2013
Posted on May 20, 2013, updated June 12, 2013
Last winter, I ordered Forget Me Nots for spring shipping. I kept getting notices that my shipping was going to be delayed. This is understandable since they ship based on the best time for each person's zone, however, when an order did arrive for me, it was a shipment of 36 gladiolus meant for someone else. That person was sent my Forget Me Nots. When I contacted them they told me my plant was no longer available and I should just keep the gladiolus as a consolation prize- their words. No refund offered or given. This winter, I ordered pagan dance reblooming bearded iris- probably should have learned my lesson the first time. When the fans arrived they were tagged as Pagan Dance. Now, that they have started blooming it is obvious they sent the wrong flower. Pagan Dance is a black and deep purple iris. The iris I have is Let's Boogie- a purple and white/yellow bearded iris that doesn't rebloom. No apology or offer of a solution from them.
On June 12th, 2013, AprilsWin24 added the following:

Update: I was promised a refund was being processed and would be seen in 2-3 weeks. Well, its been 3 weeks and the refund hasn't shown up. I also just found out the lily's I ordered are also incorrect. They were supposed to be a lime green Trebbiano Lily and are instead a pale yellow lily.
Company representative comment on May 22, 2013:
On May 22, 2013 11:30 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your post. I apologize for the mix up with your order and there should have been a refund for the items you received incorrect. Also a reship should be processed for the wrong iris. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this.

Positive 50Carrots
Chesapeake Ranch Estates-Drum Point, MD
(8 reviews)
May 3, 2013
In October 2012 I ordered 145 fall planted bulbs including: Daffodil “Golden Ducat,” Irene Copeland , White Passion blend, and the Wild Flower Bulb Mix (100 mixed bulbs) which was not shipped. I called the company and the mixed bulbs were shipped right away. The first shipment also included a package of 10 Muscari blue- purple bulbs which I did not order. I planted them anyway and this spring ALL the bulbs I ordered and the Muscari thrived and bloomed. I was ordering bulbs for my White and Yellow Gardens, so I did not think I would like the Muscari and I planted them in another section near my roses. They have just been a delightful spring flower and a great pop of bright color considering the roses are just putting out a few leaves in the spring. Excellent customer service.
Company representative comment on May 8, 2013:
On May 8, 2013 9:35 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for sharing your experience with our company. Enjoy your flowers!

Negative Lee21
Ann Arbor, MI
(2 reviews)
March 27, 2013
Posted on August 23, 2012, updated March 27, 2013
Posted on August 13, 2012, updated August 23, 2012
Posted on June 29, 2012, updated August 13, 2012
I agree with many of the negative comments noted on the forum already although they have been pretty reasonable with replacements. I bought from them years ago and then this spring with two significant orders. I've called them 5 or 6 times already regarding the first order because of wrong shipments and wrong # of items. Most calls I was put on hold for 15-40 min. (They don't respond to emails -- you immediately get a ticket # but nothing happens). Now I have to call them because of problems with plant growth : I bought 3 types of trumpet lilies (5 bulbs ea) and for each type, only 2 or 3 of the 5 have buds on them. I bought 18 oriental lilies, 15 sprouted and of the ones that are growing it looks like very few have buds on them. I bought 40 lily of the valley and less than a quarter have sprouted (almost 2 mo). I bought 6 Virginia bluebells -- one was rotten on arrival, 2 of the 5 sprouted but never made it past the one-leaf stage. Only 1 of 4 ostrich ferns sprouted ; hoping they are just slow. A tree peony I planted 6 weeks ago hasn't sprouted (hopefully it's just slow because it is bare-root). It is curious that in contrast to other companies which ship bare roots in the fall, Van Bourgondien shipped them in the spring-early summer.

After much debate (because I didn't want to be put on hold) I called them about the tree peony, to my surprise the customer rep says they have no record of my purchases. After a bit of back and forth, I got a little annoyed (the rep kept saying "let me tell'am) and asked to speak to her supervisor, which is when I learned of the changing of hands and they have NO records of orders. Additionally all of their catalog#s have changed - no wonder the rep has no idea what I am talking about (but instead of 'fessing up about the new ownership, she kept ma'amming me).

I also agree with someone's point about the company charging our credit cards for the full order even when half the shipment isn't planned for several months. I don't know of any other online company that does that.

Since half of my order is still pending (fall shipment), I hope this changing of hands isn't going to derail that order.
On August 13th, 2012, Lee21 added the following:

8/13/12 update
Still maintaining a negative rating. The company rep sent me an email to which I responded but never heard back.
I was supposed to get a refund for a plant when I called on 5-28 that has not come through. I got an email confirmation on 6-18 and called again on 7-19 at which point they said it's coming. Now 2.5 months later, still nothing.
Still have to deal with them regarding a second large order (many plants never even sprouted or were rotten on arrival).
On August 23rd, 2012, Lee21 added the following:

I dreaded having to call van B regarding my second order but finally had to bite the bullet. Half of the plants I ordered either did not produce buds (lilium), did not sprout at all (lily of the valley) or were DOA (Virginia blue bells). I thought now it is the end of August, surely they have their records straightened out (WRONG!) and that they can send replacement plants for fall planting (WRONG!). As far as I can tell, they are not making any attempt to transfer old orders (the last one I placed was in 5-2012 so that should have been under new management already!) and they are not honoring their warranty. So I was told today that they will not be sending replacements (even though the items are in stock for fall planting) and the only recourse is refund. But the refund is not fair exchange! First of all the prices have all gone up considerably. For example lily of the valley was $7.5 for 10 plants when I ordered them in 5-2012, now its $14.99, a 200% increase. So a refund will not buy me the same number of plants that I paid for. Second, the refund doesn't cover the shipping cost. Since I want to sever my relationship with van B ASAP, I opted for refund. We'll see if they actually post the refund this time.
Bottom line, I will NEVER buy from van B again.
On March 27th, 2013, Lee21 added the following:

It's spring and I am finally ready to use the credit that they issued me for $50.97. First I found I cannot use it online, so I had to call and waited for 10 min before someone picked up. Then they couldn't find the credit memo and put me on hold for another 10 min or so. Came back and said yes they found it but it was for $50.79. I said, it's a small amount but it should be $50.97 (it's the principle of the matter) - I can email them a photo of the postcard they send. The customer service person was a bit rude and said "if it is such a big deal, I'll take 18cents off". Well 18 cents here and there could amount to quite a bit. Besides, a company has to be honest to generate loyal customers. The customer service rep was a bit huffy for the remainder of the phone call (e.g. asking her if I will receive a confirmation via email... etc).
Bottom line, I am done with this company, new management or not. Plenty of other companies around.
Company representative comment on July 19, 2012:
On Jul 19, 2012 10:33 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your posting and we apologize for any inconvenience. We are now under new ownership and a customer service representative will contact you for more information. Or if you prefer you can call us at 800-622-9997 and of our of customer service representatives will be happy to help.

Positive vivianjp
Chapel Hill, NC
(4 reviews)
March 26, 2013
I have spent the morning reading & making comments here. I now see that all my complaints have been due to Gardens Alive. Thank you for that information.

I have many beautiful plants that are still thriving from vanB. I placed an order recently in which 1 item (phlox David) was dead; but customer service was excellent, & they immediately shipped a replacement.

So sad when a decent company gets bought out & destroyed by predators. Shame on those of you who blame the victim!
Company representative comment on March 26, 2013:
On Mar 26, 2013 4:29 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your posting, Happy Gardening to you!

Positive flowerchild67
Athens, TX
(4 reviews)
February 17, 2013
I have ordered from this Co. for about 20 years. I have no complaints. Several yrs ago I was short one bulb in pkg of 5. I called and was sent a whole pkg of 5 bulbs. I have my usual spring order in process. Don't expect any problems.
Company representative comment on February 19, 2013:
On Feb 19, 2013 11:50 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your feedback, we truly appreciate it. Happy Gardening!

Positive Netcub
Bowling Green, KY
(2 reviews)
October 22, 2012
Ordered 48 Daffodil Bulbs. They Came exactly when they were supposed to come and looked Great. Called Customer service Once and they were very nice as well. No Problems here.
Company representative comment on November 2, 2012:
On Nov 2, 2012 10:19 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. Happy Gardening!

Positive TropiTiki
Murrells Inlet, SC (Zone 8b)
(1 review)
September 27, 2012
Posted on September 27, 2012, updated September 27, 2012
Just wanted to add my experience over many years and tens of thousands of dollars spent with this company. Best deal anywhere, hands down. I look at all these negative reviews and see a lot of folks who expect too much and don't know what they're doing. Tiny orders usually go to folks who are inexperienced, so there will be lots of negative reviews from them. Clearance items are just that. These are end-of-season closeouts that have been stored in damp, musky conditions for months. Do y'all really expect them to be in first class shape? I have items that I order every year and they die every year. Same if I order them from anyone else, though. Everything doesn't do well everywhere. I keep trying different growing methods and microclimates and I'll figure out a way to get them to grow here, but I imagine there are many items that a hobby gardener would never get a satisfactory experience with. And while I have occasionally ordered plants from kvb, I usually don't. They're a bulb company. I typically don't order plants from other bulb companies either, nor from seed companies. Now the worst thing is that all of these negative reviews certainly contributed to the bankruptcy of my preferred supplier of bulbs, who have now been taken over and will be cannibalized by Gardens Alive. They've already ruined it. Check the prices and the quantities available now. Overpriced and small quantities, even for wholesale. Their awesome sale prices are gone, too. Geez.
On September 27th, 2012, TropiTiki added the following:

I wanted to add that the positive rating is really for the company that I know, not the one now owned by Gardens Alive. I don't see myself ordering from them in the future because I can get better deals locally. Actually, you can get better deals from other online sources for pretty much everything they offer from all of their different companies. Gardens Alive ruins everything they take over.
Company representative comment on September 27, 2012:
On Sep 27, 2012 10:16 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

I apologize for any trouble you may have experienced with any member of the Gardens Alive! family. Is there anything I can assist you with from a previous order from one of our sister companies? Gardens Alive! is now the proud parent company of VB and hopes to extend it's customer service to existing, as well as new, customers. Our excellence is evident by our new and repeat customers that have made us one of the successful and prosperous catalog and online gardening suppliers for 27 yrs. Please give us the opportunity to extend our world class service, or allow us to resolve any past issue you may have had with Gardens Alive! or any of it's member companies.

Negative pyracantha
San Francisco, CA
(3 reviews)
August 14, 2012
I know it's tempting to order from them with their discount incentives and I have been guilty of purchasing from them when I knew that I would be taking a chance but this year I have put myself on a K Van B. ban.

I've ordered from both their wholesale and regular sites for years and for years had mixed results with the quality of the bulbs and their service. The biggest problem was always delayed shipping or completely lost orders. I order for my clients so I spend a lot of money here and place my orders very, very early but still 75% of the time they failed me.

Last year they simply broke the camel's back which ended up costing me a lot of money and delayed planting which made work look less than what my clients had come to expect. I consistently called to check on my order and was told they would be shipped "any day now" for weeks and weeks. Then finally they said they lost my order so I ended up frantically buying from retail places in town that had limited quantities and selection. They said I should put a new order in so I did put in a new but smaller order for the items I couldn't find in town and when the bulbs did finally arrive late they were shriveled and moldy. I was unable to get them to do anything about it while being put on hold for 20 minutes at a time.

So just bite the bullet and don't be tempted by the prices and pictures. Just don't do it.
Company representative comment on August 16, 2012:
On Aug 16, 2012 1:03 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your posting and we apologize for any inconvenience. We are now under new ownership and a customer service representative will contact you for more information. Or if you prefer you can call us at 800-622-9997 and of our of customer service representatives will be happy to help.

Neutral leegray
Pittman Center, TN
(1 review)
July 10, 2012
I received the catalog in the mail yesterday for the first time. I had planned to place a substantial order this year for Iris's but after reading all the negative reviews I believe I will continue looking for another company. Thank you all for the heads up. Lee
Company representative comment on July 19, 2012:
On Jul 19, 2012 10:58 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your posting and we apologize for any inconvenience. We are now under new ownership you can call us at 800-622-9997 and of our of customer service representatives will be happy to help.

Neutral mc003
Crown Point, IN (Zone 5a)
(7 reviews)
July 7, 2012
Posted on July 2, 2012, updated July 7, 2012
Posted on July 2, 2012, updated July 2, 2012
Posted on June 28, 2012, updated July 2, 2012
I placed an order back in May of 2011 that included two daylilies. One didn't make it through the winter and the other just recently bloomed for the first time and that's when I saw it wasn't the variety I ordered. I contacted them through their customer service page but didn't get a response, so I went back to send another and saw the new website "look". I was not aware they filed bankruptcy or that they had been bought by another company. I did however receive a response almost immediately that they were in the process of moving to new facilities and had limited access to customer records and that once they could they'd access my account and take any actions to rectify the situation. I appreciated the quick initial response this time. Hope to hear more from them soon!
On July 2nd, 2012, mc003 added the following:

Just an update, it is now July 2nd and their response said they would have access to my account by June 30th. Still haven't heard anything. I'm starting to get a little dissappointed. I sent the an email with an attached picture showing the wrong daylily, hopefully that will expidite things a little? I had a similar issue with Schriener Iris(a mislabeled iris). However, their contact customer service page allowed me to send a picture of the Iris in question that still had the wrong label on it. I heard back the next day, with customer service saying they'd send the correct Iris at the appropriate shipping time. Here's hoping....
On July 2nd, 2012, mc003 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:

Or not....according to the CS reponse, they are still in the process of moving...At least I got some sort of response???
On July 7th, 2012, mc003 added the following:

In hopes that they somewhat pay attention to customer issues on this watchdog website I'm including the email I sent today July 5, 2012 in response to no response.
"Hello once again.
It has been 5 more days and still no one has gotten back to me. Since you seem to be unable to find my records I sent a copy of my order confirmation from May 2011 showing I did indeed place an order with Van Bourgondien that included reblooming daylily 'Berrylicious', the plant in question. And once again I am attaching a photo of what I actually received. Of the two plants I received last year, one did not come back up and the other as you can see from that attached photo is not the variety I ordered. So if someone, anyone really, could RESOLVE my issue and not just tell me that I will hear from somone soon, because I have a different definition of 'soon'. If you were able to find my records you would see that I have placed quite a few orders with Van Bourdondien and from the wholesale site K. Van Bourgondien. I would hope my patronage would be more apprieciated.
I'm going to leave my rating as neutral for now, giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are indeed still having issues with customer records, but I'm losing faith be continued, 'soon'.
Company representative comment on July 19, 2012:
On Jul 19, 2012 10:37 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Thank you for your posting and we apologize for any inconvenience. We are now under new ownership and a customer service representative will contact you for more information. Or if you prefer you can call us at 800-622-9997 and of our of customer service representatives will be happy to help.

Positive AnneH757
Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 8a)
(1 review)
June 26, 2012
I've purchased numerous plants from the K. Van Bourgondien company since Spring 2008, and have had no problems with their warranty if something didn't grow. I know how to grow plants, and know that plants are on God's and Nature's time schedule, not on any human's immediate gratification schedule.

Take notice of their restructured websites ( & -- Gardens Alive! now owns the company, and it moved to Ohio. I can only imagine how difficult it was on the KVB descendants to have to sell the company after so many generations were involved with this family-operated business.
Positive tcthigpen
Louisville, CO
(1 review)
June 6, 2012
Very happy customer! Quick service, recently ordered hardy geraniums and they arrived eight days later. In excellent condition, started sprouting immediately after planting. This is representative of my previous experiences with ordering from Van Bourgondien, as compared with negative experience with a competitor.
Positive LeawoodGardener
Leawood, KS (Zone 5b)
(3 reviews)
May 25, 2012
In late April I ordered 15 large trumpet lilies and 25 glads to add to my garden. The order arrived promptly and everything was in great condition. The glads are already up!

Recently, on one of the DG Discussion Forums, I recommended Van Bourgondein to a gardener who wanted to plant tulips and was considering going to a big box store. I order 1,500 to 2,500 tulips every year for my garden (and a friend), and I have had excellent experience with Van Bourgondein over the last 20 years.

Others in the Discussion Forum jumped all over me, bashing VB and scolding me for recommending them. I was shocked to hear the company was in Chapter 11, so I apologized for my ignorance. Now, looking at all of the negative comments posted, I wonder why it is that I have had such good luck. Some say "it didn't grow" - I wonder how much of the problem lies with the gardener?

All I can say is I've had a positive experience, as recently as three weeks ago, so I'm going to give the company the benefit of the doubt and order my tulips from them, just as I have in the past. I feel I need to post a positive comment and I hope they survive and thrive.

Here is a link to a forum describing my tulip experiences, including a problem with VB that was resolved quite nicely by the company.
Negative plantshopper
Portland, OR
(5 reviews)
May 14, 2012
Wouldn't be surprised if they go bankrupt - lousy customer service. I had ordered in the past but this last year, a small order in the Fall 2011 didn't arrive until after Thanksgiving! Some of the tulips were rather small and a lot had mold. I planted them anyway and lo and behold, they were almost all mislabeled - lavender and purples tulips came up red with yellow edges, a purple mixture sported such a range of variety it was obviously the wrong bulbs. And some of the flowers were about 1 1/2" while others were normal 4" tulips. I sent photos this Spring in an email, pics from their catalogue and pics of what came up - and my auto response from the complaint was supposed to be answered in 3 days, 3 weeks later nothing has happened. So just avoid, shop instead at Brent and Becky's bulbs!
Negative StacyP9
somewherein, IL (Zone 5b)
(11 reviews)
May 11, 2012
Horrible experience. I ordered three plants, a blue poppy, a canna and ranunculus. Shipping was delayed repeatedly. When the plants finally arrived I was shocked that someone would have the gall to pack them up to fill an order. There were two leaves on the tiny poppy. Both were gray black and rotting. They canna was a tiny shoot, also with two tiny leaves,with mold and rot. I've ordered plants on line for 20 years and I can honestly say this is the worst experience I have ever had.
Negative WVsusie
Corporation of Ranson, WV
(1 review)
May 4, 2012
I have ordered from this company for years, with mixed results. In early March, I ordered dahlias for a cutting garden and rhubarb among other things. I asked if the dahlias could be shipped soon as I wanted to start them indoors for earlier blooms. They assured me, yes. The were not received until 4/27. Same day, I got an email saying rhubarb no longer available. I noticed the refund was not posted to my CC. I googled the company for the ph# to call them and found all the bankruptcy info!!! Called them....on hold for 40 minutes....and when I politely explained that I was looking for a refund....CSR hemmed and hawed....and disconnected me!!! Called CC and they gave me a credit for the appropriate amount. I guess I won't be ordering 500 paperwhites for Christmas from them this year!
Negative indamtns
Kingstown, NC
(1 review)
April 30, 2012
I have read many of the most recent reviews and I thank those who took the time to type with such detail! I have had the same experience! I placed a rather large order, several of the items never came up, some even had mold when they arrived, and ever since I have been battling with "Mike" to get a simple replacement! They insist, rather "HE" insists that I am only entitled to an $8 credit (it should be more than $30) and then no matter what I choose for that $8, the shipping and handling is $8.75! I chose a $5 item and it's $8.75 for S&H even though the "postage" was only $3.10 on a box full that arrived! They're making you pay for the cost of the plant again yet they advertise full free replacement! I've written back and for at least 20 e-mails now and this "Mike" person lies and lies and lies. First he says he WILL refund the S&H then nothing for a month. Then he sent an e-mail stating "you will receive a letter with a pin number to be used for your credit in the mail." 2 months later, nothing came. I wrote again. He responded, "Sorry, I was really busy and had to work to get this resolved." Really? Another month and I finally wrote, "Just send me the pin in an e-mail!" He wrote back with a credit and pin and after I asked for the S&H credit because it's only fair, he wrote that he agreed and would. Three more weeks, nothing. I wrote again asking for the credit(S). He wrote back that my original $8 was there and another $2.55 for S&H! I asked where that number came from he wrote, "I had to beg to get that!"
This company lost my business for good along with many of my bloggers who have been waiting to see how this gets resolved! I asked for escalation many times but he does nothing, only refuses! I hope they do go out of business because with customer service like I got, no one deserves to be issuing paychecks to anyone! :-( TWO GREEN THUMBS DOWN for this one!
Company representative comment on May 15, 2012:
On May 15, 2012 9:51 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs ( responded with:

Where I come from stating company policies is not considered lying. I could publish the entire email string for you to see, I will not though, I know what it says and my manager knows what it says, that's enough for me to sleep well at night. This customer did get what she wanted in the end and then some; I don't see a follow-up from her though, funny eh? It's just another case of the squeaky wheel get’s the grease. Too bad customers that have good and positive things to say, rarely take the time to post them (I do see a couple of nice ones here, thank you); I guess they are content to wake up and smell the garden's fresh aromas and enjoy the blooms.

Negative liawia
Des Moines, WA
(1 review)
April 26, 2012
Last year, 2011, I ordered a number of dahlia bulbs and other plants from this company. Although the dahlias did grow except for one, out of the 5 that did grow, 4 were mislabeled and ended up being the wrong color, hot pink instead of shades of orange. This year, I placed an order on February 10, 2012 for some phlox and hibiscus, and just now received an email stating that the hibiscus was out of stock and that part of the order cancelled. (on April 26, 2012) I believe in 2nd chances, but this company will not get my business again.
Negative eyfng
San Gabriel, CA
(9 reviews)
April 26, 2012
Posted on November 29, 2011, updated April 26, 2012
Posted on June 8, 2009, updated November 29, 2011
I ordered peony and 6 lily bulbs this spring.

The packing is not that good. The box is a bit oversized. One root of peony broke when I got the shipment.

The peony is growing fast at the beginning. Now the leaves are getting thicker and bigger, but growing slowly.

The 3 gold stargazer lilies are healthy and producing bubs.
2 elodie asiatic lilies are growing healthy. One didn't grow, but I got the replacement within a week, They sent me a bag of 3 bulbs. One replacement is shooting out.

I have to call them for replacement because they didn't reply my emails.

The shipping charge is so high, so I only order when it provides special offer.
On November 29th, 2011, eyfng changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

Based on my shopping experience with this shop in the last few years, I have noticed that the quality of bulbs are not good. Sometimes, they are not true to name.

I ordered serveral Glamini gladious on 2009, received initial shippment in 3/2010. The naomi and zoe didn't grow well, none of the naomi produced flower. Received replacement in 3/2011. Naomi turned out to be misty red instead of purple and white. Zoe turned out to be 9 in orange red and 1 in pale pink instead of peach and yellow.

Requested for second replacement. The sales representative Toni gave me the hard time for the replacement. She said they don't carry these colors. The items were already replaced once. The company is losing money for second replacement. The internet doesn't reflect the true stock of merchandize, they sometimes may still have stock in the shop, ...

Zoe is out of stock, I don't want to wait for another year to get the replacement, so I changed the color to Charlotte. Received replacement on 6/2011.

Naomi turned out to be pink, only 3 produced flower, but only one bloomed. The subsititution Charlotte have only 5 produced flower, but they didn't grow well.

So, I have neve seen the real Naomi. I totally waste time and money on Glamini gladious. I give up on them. I am good at planting gladious.

The first shipment of Charlotte on 3/2011 didn't grow well on the second year.

The German breaded Iris Pink Perfection, one turned out to be Edith Wolford in purple and yellow, the other one has not produced flower yet after one and half year planting. The Motherearth Iris, one produced a flower on the first year, the other one has not produced any flower yet after one and half year planting.

I usually made an order when it is 50% off, because their original price is almost double the regular price in the other places. Their shipping charge is always based on the original price which is very high.

I will not dare to place new orders with this place in future. Too much time on replacement or mjerchandize credit, it is not worth it.
On April 26th, 2012, eyfng added the following:

As the other said, STAY AWAY from DB due the following reasons:
1) payment in full before shipping
2) keep on delaying delivery date for spring items without notifying customers
3) products not true to name
4) refuse for replacements
5) NO response to customer email
6) long waiting time for telephone service
7) customer representative not honest, some are very rude
8) previously mentioned, high charges on products and shipping
9) previously mentioned, weak products take long time to develop

I ordered the Hosta White Feather last year; it is supposed to be shipped to zone 8 where I am living now in March this year. DB kept delaying the delivery date from 3/5 to 3/25, then to 4/25.

I emailed them in early April; the reply was that item will be shipped once they got it from the supplier in Holland. I emailed back to say that I don’t want to receive my spring item in summer.

Two days later, I received the shipment confirmation for the Hosta White Feature via USPS. How come suddenly they have the stock to ship to me?

I received one with ¼” of sprout and one with roots only with no sprout. I planted them in the self-watering container with new planter mix from Gardeners Supply to make sure that they will grow first.

I emailed DB to ask whether the one without sprout will grow or not, NO RESPONSE so far. However, it is producing sprouts now; I hope that it will be true to name.

The one with sprout is growing to an inch tall now. The young leaves are in green with darker green in the center instead of WHITE. The leaves are smooth without veins showing as the picture on the internet. Yesterday I checked the online product description on DB’s website, Dave’s Garden’s panfile and the other places that carry this product.

Dutch Bulbs online description:

“As it appears the leaves are completely white. With maturity, streaks of green begin to appear and lavender flowers rise from the top.”
Customer Comments and Reviews
Romi October 6, 2011
Hosta White Feather
My plant started out with white leaves now their green. Will they go back to white next spring?
The Bulb Lady Reply October 7, 2011
Hosta White Feather
Yes, each season the leaves start out white but as they mature they turn green.

Pictures showing in Dave’s Garden panfile are white first when just grow.

Breck’s online description:

White Feather Hosta: Unique white leaves are a welcoming surprise as they emerge in spring. As it matures, the leaves transform into a blend of green and cream. Lavender flowers illuminate your garden in midsummer.

I called DB yesterday 3 times to ask for replacement. After waiting for almost 10 minutes I hung up the phone for the 2 times. I called the third time, after waiting for 10 minutes, I was able to talk to a female representative.
Her answer was:
1) I don’t know when the leaves will turn white.
2) I can not give you the replacement because you have just received the items not long ago. (Item was received on 4/13/2012.)
3) We may not have the item in stock. You call back in June. We will send you the replacement if it is really not true to name by then.

I then emailed DB to complaint about this with NO RESPONSE yet.

I suspect that DB has never had Hosta White Feather in stock this spring; DB just shipped me another hosta. If the company is going bankruptcy, I don’t think that I will get the replacement next year.

As mentioned previously, the German Iris “Pink Attraction” ordered from DB took 2 years to produce flowers in purple with yellow instead of soft pink. The wrong color spoils my color arrangement for my German Iris flower bed. It is wasting my money and the time to grow the product. How can I ask for replacement after 1 year guarantee?

I will never have business with DB. Dear gardeners, please be smart to stay away from Dutch Bulbs.
Negative Darkman27
Raytown, MO
(1 review)
April 24, 2012
I order 2 kinds of bulbs for my wife for Christmas 2011 and was told that the items wouldn't be shipped until January. I have since been in contact with them twice and still not delivery and its almost May.

I urge people to stay away because it's obvious that there's a problem with the company and that they're either out of inventory of they're just plan bad at business.

Either way, I will never purchase anything from them again.
Negative smitty1931
Suncoast Estates, FL
(1 review)
April 16, 2012
Ordered dahlia tubers on Jan. 4th . As of April 16th have not received tubers. Terrible customer service! It appears the Dutch Bulb Co. has taken over. I wonder if they will honor my order? I ordered dahlias from Eden Bros at the same time and they were delivered March 21 and are up and growing.

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