On Sep 28, 2003, cbamrick Green Bay, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:
I do not usually order from a company that has the volume of negatives as this company but I was unable to find anyone else that was offering America Asiatic Lilies. My order came yesterday and I would like to say that I am very pleased with my 9 bulbs....I am glad I took the chance.
Breck's has been just lovely with me! I ordered a number of bulbs & wildflower seeds ("Tulip topper")last fall. Nearly all of the bulbs came up this spring, but only a couple of each thing actually bloomed. I was disappointed, but when I called them they told me to let them know what all didn't bloom and they would be replaced at no charge. Sure enough, when I called this week they offered to replace all of the bulbs that didn't bloom 100% -- so, for example, a group of 5 tulip bulbs that only 2 bloomed, they're replacing all 5! They gave me some tips about when to fertilize, too. The wildflower seeds were excellent quality -- we just sprinkled them on the garden, didn't cover them with soil or anything special, and they have just bloomed all summer in beautiful profusion.
I ordered bulbs from Breck's in 2001 and 2002. The bulbs I received from them have been high quality and did absolutely GREAT both years. My crocuses and tulips lasted at least 3 weeks and were beautiful! I just placed a huge order with them to be delivered in the fall. They have a life time customer!
On Mar 18, 2003, jesup Malvern, PA (Zone 7a) wrote:
While I'm still waiting to see how many will come up this spring (harshest winter in 25 years here - some alliums have started to sprout, and the snowdrops are happy), overall I was fairly pleased with the shipments. We had an early hard freeze, and a few of the bulbs showed up after it. Note however that I ordered very late, and again frost was early. I did get all but one order of lilies planted however. Overall the bulbs seemed to be in good condition when they finally came in. I don't plan to argue if they don't survive; I know that at least a few were eaten by voles (found the top of one).
I'm not ravingly happy with them, but overall I can't fault them.
Their (Gardens Alive's) order-tracking software had real problems tracking my order since it was sent in pieces. That may be fixed; my order from Springhill this spring seems to be much more trackable (also split). However, I got an error (a microsoft database error) when submitting my order to springhill - inexcusable! It did show up properly, however.
I recently put in a large order for daffodils and hyacinths. When I didn't hear from the company for quite some time after placing my order, I got worried. I e-mailed the company and received a prompt response the following day. My order arrived last week, but, unfortunately, the bulbs were damaged in shipping. I called the company and the customer service person was very polite and offered to send another shipment. I decided that I didn't want a second one, but my money back. She did this and my refund posted on my credit card two days later. After inspecting the bulbs further, I realized that they had not shipped a set of bulbs, but instead sent something else, the customer service person said to keep what was sent and they would send out the right bulbs.
They were very helpful and courteous. My money was refunded promptly. I would defintely buy again from this company.
I placed my first order from brecks. I ordered 208 assorted bulbs. They were nicely packaged, healthy bulbs. Properly labled as far as I know. I only found 1 rotted daff bulb and out of 208 bulbs I thought that was pretty good. We'll see what they look like in spring. So far I am happy with my experince.
On Apr 20, 2002, lupinelover Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I first started ordering from this company in 1991. Without exception, all the bulbs I ordered came on time and were in perfect condition. The only ones lost were because they were planted in bad locations or were inadvertantly damaged by digging (pests and people); or they were "annual" tulips.
One order in 1995 came on time; however a certified letter came shortly thereafter explaining that the shipping had been poor; the Rembrandt tulip bulbs had not been kept chilled during transit. They gave us a credit (double amount) for another order. I had already planted the bulbs, but did not expect them to do well: they not only grew, they have increased every year.
My experience with the perennials they offer by "special mail" is vastly different. I ordered a "hosta assortment" that was fine. I ordered an "astilbe assortment" that was not fine. Not one survived. I was given a refund, but it was very disappointing. The same experience with the oriental poppy assortment: not one survived. Full refund given.
I have not ordered from them in the past 2 years because I have a surplus of spring and summer bulbs now; but with the negative comments, I wanted to let others know that in the past, this was a highly reputable bulb dealer.
I have ordered Dutch bulbs from Breck's for several years, and have been nothing but satisfied. They have shipped me high quality bulbs, the order has always arrived correct, complete, and on time, and probably about 95% of the bulbs have grown. The ones that haven't are probably my own fault.
I too am sad to hear of the bankruptcy. I haven't been a customer for long, but I enjoyed the bulbs I received. The only ones I was disappointed in were the Crown Imperials. Of course they were the most expensive too. They came up and bloomed beautifully the first year, and then this year they didn't come up at all.
Brecks has always giving me great service in regards to order processing. I have never had a problem with great yields from their products either. I live in Seattle with some pretty bad weather and growing conditions but, with the proper planning, have had an absolutely stunning yard even with species that are not supposed to perform well in the climate. I am upset that Brecks is gone.
I have had wonderful turnout from all orders with Spring Hill and Brecks. I have ordered a variety of Roses, Ivy, Creeping Mertyle, and many others from Spring Hill and Several collections of bulbs including tulips from Brecks. All have come up beautifully and made it through our sometimes not-so-springy springtime. I have just received another order of over 200bulbs and have always received any bonuses that were promised. I will continue to be a loyal, very satisfied customer of Spring Hill and Brecks. Good prices and lots of bang for your buck!!
I have been doing business with Breck's, Springhill, and Michigan Bulb since the fall of 1999. I have spent several thousands of dollars in the last couple of years. I am proud to say that my complaints have been very few and those few have always been taken care of in a very professional manner. This means 100% replacements, very friendly and helpful customer service, and timely shipments and replacements. I was surprised to learn that all three companies all belonged to the same parent company. I feel very saddened by this loss, seeing as the only other company I have ordered from is Jackson Perkins. I really loved Breck's buy now pay later program. You were never obligated to pay a cent until you had received and inspected your order. To me this was peace of mind. If you weren't satisfied all you had to do was call. No extra postage to send back dead plants, just a call and your word, kind of like the old days. I miss those days. I was unaware that they were going out of business until a couple of days ago. I am truly even more impressed in learning this. I placed two orders with Springhill for $150 and another order with Breck's for $216, to be shipped for fall planting, and considering the fact that they have went bankrupt I still received all three orders the last part of last week and hadn't paid the first penny on any of them. Now if that isn't professionalism I don't know what is. I'll truly miss this company as will every one that I have shared flowers with. I ordered 250 tulips from them last fall and they really outdid themselves this spring. When I dug them up this week, I have my original 250 bulbs, plus approximately 250 offspring which I have given to my mom, aunts, and sister. I hope I have half the good luck with the next place I order from!!! If I order from another place!
When I heard about the bankruptcy, I assumed that I'd never receive the bulbs I ordered from Breck's last spring for fall planting. Yesterday in the mail, however, I received my full shipment plus their 2002 spring catalog. My mother also received all of the bulbs she ordered. (The flyers in the box also included some offers from Springhill, so I guess they're not out of business either.)
I am so glad that Brecks and Springhill are continuing their work in view of their parent corporation's bankruptcy. I have gardened since I could crawl and am now 40 so you can just imagine the experiences I have in the wonderful world of digging in the dirt. No human in the world can get 100% bloomage from plants. Gardening is 1 part bust your buns and 9 parts prayer. So many factors come into play and not all can ever be fully guaranteed. In view of this I deeply appreciate a company willing to replace, refund or substitute on the word of the customer alone. Keep up the good work guys. Oh, and just to let you know all my coworkers also love your products. So keep on shipping those catalogs, about the only extras in the mailbox I don't toss out nowadays.
Hi, I ordered some bulbs from Breck's in April, spent about $150.00. I later heard that they filed for bankruptcy, so I just assumed I was out of luck. Well to my surprise yesterday, I received my bulbs. They were beautiful and they seemed to have all new catalogs with them. I'm very impressed and I probably would order from them again if I were sure they are back in business.
My mother in Alabama has been ordering bulbs - mostly tulips, daffodils, and crocus - from Breck's for at least twenty years. During that time her garden has always been lovely, barring freak ice storms and hail. Of course, she knows what she's doing and doesn't expect Breck's, or their bulbs, to compensate for improperly prepared beds, unseasonable weather, or an inexperienced gardener.
I enjoy reading from your website. It's so helpful and informative. I've been using it for about 4 yrs now. I too was a frequent customer of Breck's Bulbs and had learned from your site about the bankruptcy. I NEVER had any problems with Breck's - my order was always on time, correct, and very healthy. I was quite upset to hear about their financial troubles and figured that my order that was placed in the Spring before the bankruptcy would not be filled. I had no luck in contacting them at all. WELL, I just received my order from Breck's suppliers in Holland. About 100 bulbs. Everything looks wonderful! Now is an excellent planting time for my zone. Even my free items were included! A bill was included in the box for me to pay AFTER inspection of my items. This is the company I'm used to. I'm still having trouble accessing their web site and telephoning them, but I'm really impressed to receive what I had basically kissed goodbye!!
I have ordered from Brecks several times and have had FABULOUS results. You should see my Dinnerplate Dahlia's - a full 10" bloom with the most vibrant colors. People who drive by my house and see me outside cutting my enormous flowers stop to ask me what kind they are and where can they get some. The kids in my neighborhood are always asking if they can have one to take home to the moms. My tulips the first year were fantastic - the squirrels and rabbits thought so, too - ate every one of my tulip bulbs, not a one to be found. But I ordered more and this time I'll be watching for the thieving varmints. Asiatic Lily's???? Gorgeous - and tons of flowers too. Each bulb gives me 15 - 30 flowers every year and they last for a very long time. I will continue to shop at Brecks for as long as they'll let me…this coming from a woman who knows diddly squat about gardening and flowers. Planting and care instructions provided were informative, giving me the chance to grow such beautiful things in my yard - WAY TO GO BRECKS!!!
I, too, like another writer started out brand new with planting flowers in 1999. My method was "plant and hope". I liked the looks of Breck's flowers and ordered some. In spite of NY state's perverse weather, all the flowers came up beautiful. And continue to do so. I have received a lot of compliments on them, and in 1 particular case, I cut some of my prettiest tulips and gave them to my mother on her birthday. She later told me they didn't start fading until almost 2 weeks later. I haven't tried any other company, nor will I. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
I am stunned by the news of Brecks parent company filing for bankruptcy, and will sadly miss both Brecks and Michigan Bulb. I have ordered over 2,000 bulbs from Brecks over the last three years, and have been very satisfied with the results! I even won a blue ribbon at this year's ADS Daffodil Show in Gloucester, with their Tahiti double daffodil! Michigan bulb offered a bulb basket for tulips that was the only answer to the mole/vole problem we have here in Southern Virginia, and I will sadly miss the availability of those products
I just stumbled on this site. I have ordered thousands of dollars from Springhill and Brecks, and have had absolutely the best luck with their plants. I always recommend them to my friends who ask where I get my great plants. Their guarantee is the best. Their plants have always arrived in great shape, and bloom beautifully. Anything that has died (I'm not the best green thumb), they have replaced without question, usually with more than the exact replacement. I had a daylily collection of which only about 50% survived, after being planted too late--and they sent me a whole complete new collection. They even replaced tulips that never bloomed (my fault), TWO years after the fact. I am disappointed to hear they are in bankruptcy.
I love Springhill and Brecks. I have been ordering at least $100 in product every year for the last six years since I moved into our new home. I have learned at lot from trial and error and my home now looks wonderful. The plants arrived in fine condition and take a while to grow but they are well worth the price in the long run. I am terribly disappointed they are out of business and don't know where I will get my plants now.
I've ordered from Breck's for years, and although a few times I've received unfavorable bulbs, I always received immediate help and either replacement or refund. Bad bulbs were very rare though. I have an acre of land with beautiful plants adorning the north, south, east, and west gardens. I am very pleased with Breck's and will continue to purchase my bulbs there. As a matter of fact, I will be in the garden tomorrow planting my latest order, summer blooming daffodils.
I have been ordering from Brecks for over 10 years and have had great results. One year there was a problem with the humidity or temperature in the container they were shipped in. They notified me by phone to look at the bulbs that I had received and yes they were bad, They promptly refunded my money for the whole collection. As I write I have over 100 tulips blooming in my front planter. I have highly recommended Brecks for years.
I have been ordering from Breck's and occasionally Spring Hill for the last 10 years or better. I have been amazed at the generally consistent quality of the products. Springhill is by far the more difficult, part of this is that they handle root plants and these don't withstand the wait I sometimes put them through. I have had relatively good luck with the plants. Admittedly some of the collections of root plants have clumps which are small and the blooming in the first year is sparse, but the price is quite attractive on these special offers. My response from customer service is always "What would you like to do?" Sometimes I replace and sometimes I order a different item. It never seems to matter to them. I receive what I have requested. The tulip bulbs and the iris have been quite hardy. I take a no fussing approach to gardening and still have had excellent results. I even have taking to planting the bulbs (not rhizomes) a full 6 inches deep regardless of type and leaving them in since frost here does not reach that level. Even with not following the instructions closely I have good to excellent results. I have on occasion ordered glads from them on special order and have been quite well pleased with these also. I must admit that I haven't seen these collections for several years now. I just placed an order today and planted several things from them last year. I find them to be a good source for succulent plants. I normally do not choose to shop for bushes or trees from mail order since I prefer to see conformation and strength and know the age of the plant before buying. When I buy from other sources I get no guarantee and therefore shopping with them is money saving in the long run when things don't go as planned. It is easy to complain, but spending money and having no recourse if quality isn't there is just shall we say ill advised. To clarify any cloudiness about references to these companies let it be said that Breck's is a bulb company and handles bulbs, tubers, and rhizomes. It's sister company is Springhill who specialize in root plants and some fibrous root plants.Springhill also carries some bushes and shrubs. My comments above can be read with this in mind and should become quite clear. Both companies have given me good service when I request replacement and never question if my poor judgment in planting location or care could have been the problem. The results I have had with each company are comparable and I tend to look at them as almost one. I will even call one for the service number of the other and get customer friendly referral.
On Mar 1, 2001, sandivinson Flowery Branch, GA wrote:
The first thing that prompted me to order from Breck's (besides their beautiful catalog) was the offer to order now and pay later after the bulbs had arrived. That sounded good to me!! Even though they do send you an invoice before the order arrives, they have no problem waiting for payment until after the order has come, and the customer has had time to examine it. The invoice actually serves as a reminder to me that I placed the order, as I tend to forget!! This past summer (early summer) I received one of their catalogs and ordered about 100 tulip bulbs. True to form, I forgot about it when the bulbs arrived, and of course, did not have a spot ready in which to plant them. The bulbs looked healthy so I figured they could wait a little until I had time to get them in the ground. (I live in north-central Georgia.) Five months later I discovered the box of bulbs under a planting bench and figured this order would have to be a write-off. The bulbs still looked generally healthy though so, what the hey, let's just plant them and pretend they're okay. Well, I think every one of those bulbs has not only survived but looks great pushing out of the soil. I really don't think they'll bloom this year as I planted them waaaaay after time for this area, but I am thrilled they even survived after MY neglect of them.No mail order company bats 1000! Yes, I will order from Brecks again. And yes, I will probably stick the order away somewhere because I don't have the spot ready yet. Oh, and as for things growing a different color than expected, with some of these beautiful new hybrids, it is very difficult to maintain a new color because they will readily revert to an ancestor plant, and different soils will give different results. May your bulbs always bloom and may your weeds be few.
I planted 350+ bulbs from Breck's last fall - late September. ($235 total) So far, as far as I can tell, every one of them has come up, although some are just leaves still, like the irises. The crocus bloomed early and well. Nice bright colors. Even the tulips continue to bloom beautifully. Tall, big flowers that stand up to the rain. So far, I have been pleased with everything except the color of my daffodils. As someone has mentioned before, the "pink" daffodils (narcissus), well, at best they were "coral" and "cream"... but let's face it, yellow's yellow. They're lovely, sturdy flowers, but not quite how they appeared in the catalog. Will write more when I see if the iris blossoms match the promise of the stems I have now. Will also let you know if the company addresses my query into the "pink" daffodils.
I rate Breck's with five stars. My bulb garden is absolutely beautiful because of Breck's Bulbs -- they have been multiplying every year. I live on Long Island, N.Y. and never had a problem with them. I can't believe the comments I am reading about Brecks.
I was surprised to see so many negative comments about Brecks. I have been EXTREMELY pleased with the quality of my orders, the shipping times, and their customer service. My most substantive complaint (and it is a major irritation with me) is that they do not publish hardiness information. That said, I think one of the reasons I have rarely been disappointed with Brecks is that I am careful about what I order. I learned my lesson about what can go wrong with live plants through mail-order many years ago (from Gurney's, actually). I just don't do it anymore - if I want something badly enough, I'll spend a Saturday driving 200 miles to pick it up myself. My other rule is that if I can't find it within 200 miles it probably doesn't want to grow here anyway - that applies to German Iris, Siberian Iris, daylilies, oriental lilies, or any other perennials except true bulbs.The only things I rely on from Brecks are tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinth, which I started planting (at this house) six years ago. I have not been disappointed with any of those bulbs, and therefore do not object to the price. When my daffodils barely bloomed in the second year I wondered what was wrong - then I found out that no one else's daffodils bloomed in my region that year either. It was just weird climate - the daffodils have been gorgeous ever since. The grape hyacinth have been thoroughly reliable every year, even though I planted some in AWFUL soil conditions (my attention span is too short for proper soil amendment). As for the tulips, the ones from the "economy mixture" have performed beautifully for about five years and show no sign of stopping. My beautiful hybrids (dozens of Esther and Apricot Beauty, and an early one I can't remember the name of) are less magnificent than they were five years ago. And they were TRULY magnificent the first two years - 30" stems with enormous, luminous blooms. Now they are shorter, although there are more, but smaller, blooms. But this is to be expected of hybrid tulips, and I understood when I planted them that I would either need to start over with mature bulbs at some point - or actually perform the maintenance of digging the old ones up, separating the "babies," and resetting them so they can start over themselves. I may not get around to the job, but I don't blame Brecks for that. Occasionally I have ordered other bulbs from Brecks, mostly as an experiment. The hardy cyclamen I planted last fall are blooming nicely today. Once I ordered a dozen giant allium, however - they were extraordinary the first year and have been missing in action ever since.This is probably a function of the soil/sun conditions I planted them in - I wasn't happy about it, but again I think it was more my fault than Brecks (although that's where the missing hardiness and cultural information would be helpful). Bottom line: customer satisfaction has much to do with reasonable expectations - like any other company, Brecks no doubt promises more than it can deliver in some areas, and gardeners should take "puffing" with a grain of salt. I note, for example, that Brecks finally published a catalog this summer with a REAL photograph of their Rembrandt tulips - after years of offering them only with a picture of a PAINTING. When I asked a customer service person about this practice a few years ago, I was told that was the "best way to show the flowers." This was, of course, ridiculous and I said so - the point is that no matter what the catalog or the representative SAID, and no matter how badly I wanted them, I would have been crazy to order something that the folks at Brecks didn't appear able to grow themselves.
We have ordered a number of bulbs through Breck's and have been very happy with everything we planted. Most recently I ordered about a hundred Dutch Iris bulbs. They were planted last fall and this spring I have not been very pleased with their growth. I called Breck's and asked if I should expect better than this and they politely offered to send me a replacement shipment. So I'm satisfied with their service and will continue to order from them.