I subscribe to the Old House Gardens newsletter which helps me appreciate the history of these plants and their champions who have labored to rescue vintage varieties. Today I received an order of the yellow heirloom Iris flavescens, 5 sections. Each rhizome is healthy, with 3 or 4 fans and miles of roots. An amazing sight to unpack such vigorous plants, obviously freshly dug and well packed. I gleefully planted them immediately, in the rain! Personal notes often accompany the receipts, a nice touch. I greatly enjoy reading their catalog and pondering the next addition to my historical collection. Their photos and descriptions actually identified some of the plants I was already growing here, Iris Wabash and Tulip clusiana. Someone should be saving old bulbs, tubers and corms and I am sure glad this company stepped up to the plate.
Bought a large bulk order of 'Flavescens' Historic yellow Iris from here, they just arrived, and they sent us awesome tripple fans! every single one of them was a tripple! It is so wonderful that they ship so early so you can get them in the ground when the new runners are still just forming and so they establish and bloom the very first season if you get them in the ground right away! they also sent us a huge lovely catalog of many rare historics we didnt even know they carried and a nice hand written thank-you note. We recieved our bulbs within 2 days of them being shipped in Michigan all the way down here in NC, and we could even track the order online. Well worth ordering from here! Highly Recommended.
On Feb 7, 2013, mrs_colla Marin, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
Posted on February 7, 2013, updated February 7, 2013
I have ordered yesterday. Today I received an email that made me uncomfortable: the credit card was charged now, but they will hold my roots until November. Also, I got charged 1 dollar for credit card refunds, which I haven't requested, and 1 dollar for 'ordering on website'. I find it cheesy they charge me two dollars for that. It is not about the money, but about the slip in extras.
Also, I wasn't aware they would only ship in November, so I would like to hold on to my money myself.
I understand some bulbs/ roots are very rarae, and they would like to have some commitment from the buyers. I am very willing to pay a deposit. But to pay the full amount 9 months ahead, that I find silly. I am going to ask to cancel my order, and what do you know, there is my 'fee' for refunding... Ironic.
On February 7th, 2013, mrs_colla changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Please allow me to say I misread the email I got sent. Kathy replied to me and said those extras were internal codes and the pay next to it shows a zero, and it does. I was explained all peony nurseries charge the full price, and therefor I cannot hold against them what everybody does.
I have asked to keep my order as it stands, and I apologised for being quick to judge.
Posted on January 26, 2011, updated November 18, 2012
I placed my first order this fall. In my southern sampler I received hurricane and oxblood lilies. As someone here commented I was a bit skeptical about how deep to plant the lilies, but shortly after planting I did see green leaves. The daffodils I planted are also starting to come up now. I already placed my order for the spring and I have started considering what bulbs I want to try next fall. I consider Old House Gardens a keeper.
On November 18th, 2012, RUBYS added the following:
My hurricane lily bloomed for the first time this fall I will order more. My spider lilies still have not bloom maybe next year.
After receiving a double tiger lily in my sampler previously I order more this year. I also added black beauty lilium and minor monarque narcissus.
I have been a fan of Old House Gardens for at least a half dozen years. I have been interested in growing Heirloom vegetables and by chance ran across Old House Gardens on the web. Now every fall I read through the informative and some humorous descriptions of bulbs and end up blowing my budget on flowers. But oh the joys come spring makes it all worth it.
Thank you Old House Gardens, you are #1 in my book.
On Nov 3, 2012, Joseph_Cincy Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I purchased heirloom bulbs from OHG last month, including English Bluebells, which I have been wanting to try for some time. Their selection is amazing. I needed the bulbs delivered during a limited time window, and the company was helpful in accommodating me. OHG = positive!
Unfortunately, the US Postal Service did not hold up its end of the process. OHG is about six hours north of Cincinnati by car. OHG emailed me the statement of shipment and the tracking information on a Tuesday morning, and I expected the bulbs Wednesday or Thursday. The USPS web site only listed their initial recording of the package in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, and the tracking information was not updated for several days . . . as I pined for the bulbs' arrival with sad puppy dog eyes each time the mailman came empty-handed. Then, on Friday, the USPS web site finally listed the bulbs in Norfolk, Virginia. Virginia! The bulbs arrived on the following Monday -- it took almost a week for them to travel six hours by car. This is no fault of OHG, but I hope that they chastise the postal system when such nonsense occurs. OHG's site and paperwork noted that the bulbs needed to be planted immediately; so, I am worried about the bulbs, but they did not seem dried out. USPS = negative!
I was alarmed to see the mold on the English Bluebell bulbs, but the enclosed information stated that penicillium mold was normal for those bulbs. Of course, I had handled the bulbs before I read about the mold, and being allergic to penicillin, I wondered if I would have a reaction. But I was fine. I survived the fungus, and, hopefully, the bulbs will survive the postal system's inanity. I'm looking forward to seeing and smelling the flowers in the spring! In the meantime, I am enjoying the Old Bulb Gazette that OHG sends out.
On Oct 25, 2012, cheekylady Kansas City, MO wrote:
I adore dealing with Scott & everyone at OHG. I've been buying bulbs from them for a little over a year, and they always do well (even in containers). My husband and I recently bought our first home together, and I immediately knew who I was ordering my first plants for our new beds from. My fall-planted order arrived this week with a note - Scott had noticed that my name had changed and surmised that I'd gotten married - and sent his Congrats. It's that sort of interaction that makes me a very loyal customer - they know me, and take care of me and my flower needs. I can't wait to see my plants bloom next spring!
Posted on March 3, 2012, updated October 24, 2012
Posted on November 3, 2011, updated March 3, 2012
Posted on October 19, 2007, updated November 3, 2011
Just received my order today. Someone there must be psychic...the crocuses in the crocus mixture were all ones I would have ordered individually! All my bulbs arrived well-packed and healthy. Instructions are informative and easy to follow. There was even a personal note on the invoice from the owner (Scott). I have been ordering from them for two years and I will continue to order from them. They're like family!
On April 24th, 2008, tomtkitty added the following:
Crocus season has come and gone, and the crocuses from OHG bloomed beautifully, as well as the daffodils I ordered. I will definitely be ordering again!On October 18th, 2008, tomtkitty added the following:
My order came today...what a pleasant surprise! Each variety was individually packaged with planting instructions on each bag, plus there was a personal note from the company owner. It is always a pleasure to order from Old House Gardens!On April 11th, 2009, tomtkitty added the following:
This is the place to go if you need help identifying old varieties of daffodils or need gardening advice about bulbs. I was able to ID most of the daffs I had "rescued" from an old homesite that has now been bulldozed just from looking at their on-line catalog, and they are very helpful when you email them regarding problems (why bulbs don't bloom, etc.) What a great resource!On November 3rd, 2011, tomtkitty added the following:
Received my bulbs a couple of days ago, and to quote their copywriter..."big, fat California bulbs!" Their catalog has proven to be very useful in identifying bulbs "rescued" from old homesites. I will definitely be ordering again!On March 3rd, 2012, tomtkitty added the following:
The crocus & daffs I've ordered from them in past years are putting on a most florific display this spring. The Snowbunting crocus bloomed in mid-January, and the other crocus varieties have multiplied and are in full bloom. I highly recommend this company and will continue to order from them!On October 24th, 2012, tomtkitty added the following:
Received my order a couple of weeks ago...planted the peony (which was huge!) and I'm waiting until Thanksgiving to plant the daffs & hyacinths. OHG rules!
On Oct 20, 2012, psychloman Brooklyn, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on October 18, 2011, updated October 20, 2012
Customer ID #116089. This was my first order from Old House Gardens and I was impressed with the size and quality of the bulbs I ordered.This company has a great selection and I just placed another order after receiving the first.I can't wait to see what they offer next year.
On October 20th, 2012, psychloman added the following:
I recently received my eagerly anticipated order from Old House gardens of the following hyacinths:General Kohler, Gipsy Queen, Grand Monarque, King of the Blues, Lady Derby, Queen of the Blues, Hollyhock, Mulberry Rose, Vuurbaak, Chestnut Flower, Perle Brilliante, Lord Balfour, Madame Sophie, Menelik, Dreadnought, Grand Blanche Imperiale, Bismarck as well as Lilium martagon, Lilium ., English bluebells and Tulipa clusiana.The bulbs arrived in beautiful condition and were a joy to plant.I just wish I had more room and more money.Next year I am looking forward to adding parrot and broken tulips along with some of the old daffodil varieties to my garden and maybe even some gladiolus.The bulbs I ordered last year did beautifully and those that did not were replaced no questions asked. I wish they could get hold of some lilium citronella as well as some good crown imperials as these are almost impossible to find.They did offer citronella last year but it turned out to be leichtlinii, a most beautiful flower and one I had never seen before.You cannot go wrong with Old House and their stuff is worth every penny.
I am so impressed with this company. This is my first fall in my circa 1899 Victorian, so was excited to order some appropriate bulbs. Before they have even reached me, the company called to tell me they shorted one from the order. They offered two replacements for the one or a credit. Due to a crazy work week I was slow to return the call, and they kept trying to reach me! Wow! What customer service and integrity.
On May 10, 2012, WeeklyWeeder Polson, MT (Zone 5b) wrote:
Posted on October 10, 2010, updated May 10, 2012
I ordered four peonies - Chestine Gowdy, Festiva Maxima, Mons. Jules Elie and Duchesse de Nemours- which were shipped right on schedule.They were very carefully packed with nice instructions for planting. The roots had a good quantity of eyes and appeared fresh. I do appreciate the light chorine dip to prevent problems.
Additionally, they are very nice to work with and sent a lovely hand-written note as well.
We did get a big laugh from the "Miscellaneous Gibberish" section of the invoice. Thanks for the giggle and the fine quality stock.
Colleen in Polson, MT
On May 10th, 2012, WeeklyWeeder added the following:
Update on the peonies: They are all doing very well.
Since this post, I have ordered many tulips, both rare and not-so-rare. This year, I am in tulip ecstasy........I have the tulip bed I have always dreamed of with some broken tulips and other rarities which all came up!
So, I bit the credit card and ordered in some glads and tuberose, which, by the way, have already sent up six inches of growth in an indoor pot.
(I am in zone 5b, so have to grow them indoors)..the tuberose, that is.
Scott is a joy to hear from with the personal notes on the orders and helpful information. I love the tags attached to the bulb bags which I save in my garden book for future reference.
This is a company to gladden a gardener's heart.
On Apr 26, 2012, skippyjon Willow Springs, MO wrote:
Old House Gardens is the best mail-order company we have ever dealt with. They are friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to help. We have ordered from them for many years and their bulbs have always been top quality. Our garden is a beautiful testament to their dedication.
After years of dreaming I am finally building a Old House Gardens Heirloom bulb garden. This spring my daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, and tulips which I planted in the fall all appeared. My lilies and peonies are getting more lush by the day. My bulb gardening experience has been amazing and its all due to OHG. I really appreciate the customer support provided by Old House Gardens! They are always willing to answer questions. The bulbs arrive healthy and happy and the packaging and instructions are perfect for a beginner gardener like myself. I love the personal notes written on the invoices and feel that OHG really cares about helping me build my dream bulb garden! From the beautiful catalog with lovely descriptions to the excellent organized packaging I am a very big fan of Old House Gardens Heirloom Bulbs and recommend them every chance I get! Great job! Save the bulbs! :D
On Apr 19, 2012, oldCTgardener Glastonbury, CT wrote:
Posted on April 19, 2012, updated April 19, 2012
I have ordered from Old House Gardens for several years. They are more expensive than a lot of mail order firms but the plants and the service are worth the money. I have commented on my results and have always received a prompt answer (and often an undeserved refund) Their plants and bulbs are of the highest quality.Their instructions are spot on. I tend to leave plants in their boxes on the porch too long before planting but they tell me when this will not do.
On April 19th, 2012, oldCTgardener added the following:
Several years ago I ordered 6 dahlias, the Bishop of Llandolph, with dark foliage and intensely red petals, they attract attention and bees. Frequently in the fall when I am picking flowers I have to shake off cold-numbed bees. I planted thirteen bishops last spring and gave away as many more.
On Apr 18, 2012, cats2garden Rome, NY United States wrote:
I received my iris and daylily a little early due to the early hot spell we all had. The plants arrived well-packed and seem to be doing fine. The heirloom plants remind me of the ones my grandfather had in his garden, which I hope to reproduce someday. The ordering is easy, and the website is so informative. Wonderful!
Posted on April 29, 2009, updated April 18, 2012
Old House Gardens is everything a mail-order retailer should be, with fast, friendly service, orders carefully filled, and lots of useful information about the products sold. It's wonderful! The bulbs and other products are always in excellent condition when I get them. And the plants themselves? Fabulous! It's such fun to be part of the effort to save endangered antique plants. I've been ordering from OHG for many years and have never once been disappointed. HIGHLY recommended.
On April 18th, 2012, NancyMcD added the following:
Additional comment in 2012: OHG goes from strength to strength. Every year they add more varieties, more information, more fun. The service continues to be outstandingly good. What more could we ask?
On Apr 9, 2012, KanapahaLEW Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
Posted on March 31, 2012, updated April 9, 2012
I think this policy is not befitting any company, but particularly not a top 30 company. I will be happy to change my rating to positive if and when they change their policy either to no-sharing or at least to a clear opt-in choice during the ordering process.
On April 9th, 2012, KanapahaLEW changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Scott, thank you!On Apr 9, 2012, Old House Gardens - Heirloom Bulbs responded with:
"On Apr 4, 2012 2:16 PM, Old House Gardens - Heirloom Bulbs responded with:
We NEVER share email addresses. We NEVER share phone numbers. And I can't remember the last time we exchanged POSTAL addresses with another small mail-order nursery. Privacy concerns continue to evolve, though, and I think you're right that it's time we make this new promise to our customers: We'll NEVER share your postal address either! Thanks for helping us evolve. -- Scott Kunst, owner"
On Apr 6, 2012, Ispahan Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on November 21, 2011, updated April 6, 2012
I happily received many wonderful bulbs from this company this fall. Customer service has been extremely polite and responsive in spite of multiple order changes, deletions, and additions, and bulbs were lovingly packed with clear planting instructions and were all plump and healthy. Also included was a lovely handwritten note on the invoice from the owner, Scott Kunst, welcoming me as a new customer. I look forward to doing business with Old House Gardens in the future as I add many other wonderful heirloom bulbs to my garden.
On April 6th, 2012, Ispahan added the following:
I was surprised and disappointed to find that the daffodils I ordered from Old House Gardens last fall were complete duds. Customer service promptly refunded the amount paid for these lackluster, bloomless bulbs.
I truly appreciate the fact that Old House Gardens stands behind the product it sells.
On Mar 6, 2012, rainbowrose East Brainerd, TN wrote:
I ordered my very first bulbs EVER from Old House Gardens last fall and they are all coming up beautifully in my front yard! I was so excited when the first bulbs began popping up that I ordered a bunch for spring as well, and got my sister-in-law hooked, who especially caved because this company is Martha Stewart- approved. I am excited because their selection is unique and hard to find and honestly, I am a Southern girl at heart, and I wanted real Southern heirlooms in my garden. Looking forward to spring blooms and spring planting!
On Mar 1, 2012, vommarlowe Overland Park, KS wrote:
Last fall, I purchased a bunch of bulbs from several companies for the front of my house. Of all the places I used, Old House Gardens had the best bulbs. Clearly fresh, well-packaged, healthy, with great planting directions. The proof is in the growing, though, so I waited until spring to see how things turned out.
I'm thrilled to say that I've already had a lot of lush crocuses and my tulips are coming up like gangbusters.
I should also add that I ordered some of their sampler packs, which they will personalize a bit for your zone. I know the heirlooms are expensive, but I've felt like my money was very well spent, as the quality was so superior to the other (admittedly cheaper) companies. I'd rather pay a bit more for a bulb that does well than waste my money on cheap bulbs that rot in the ground.
On Nov 28, 2011, Meandy Tipton, IN (Zone 5a) wrote:
I have been buying heirloom bulbs from OHG for several years now. Heirloom bulbs are not that easy to find but OHG has a great selection plus they also offer very rare ones. They provide great shipping plus personal notes. Thanks to Scott and his great employees, I have a gorgeous display of tulips and daffodils.
On Nov 16, 2011, YodieCoyote Las Cruces, NM (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have ordered from OHG for several years now, and have always been pleased with the quality of their bulbs. I have spent mannny years buying plants and bulbs via mail order in 4 states. OHG is one of only four bulb sources that I would consider buying from. Bulbs have always been "fresh/plump", and well sized.
Living in a warmer clime, I appreciate being able to purchase USA-grown stock, many of which will tolerate warmer winters (as well as cold ones). It is nice to have choices..beyond the mega bulb producers in Holland, that typically select for bulbs needing very cold winters, and produce a kazillion Same Old, Same Old. Yawn.
Thanks, OHG...for recognizing gardeners who have a fondness for older bulb varieties. Not all of us are into flower shows in the local fair. We are into "shows" in our own gardens,...Shows that last from year to year.
On Nov 10, 2011, bella_trix Montgomery County, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I love Old House Gardens and have ordered from them for at least four years (I think longer). Their bulbs are top quality and the varieties are unique and wonderful. Whenever I post pictures of my daffodils, everyone asks me where I found such fantastic blooms. I have ordered daffodils, crocus, tulips, cannas, dahlias, gladiolas and several other odd bulbs. I have been happy with everything that I received. Old House Garden's customer service is the best. When I accidentally ordered a fall bulb that was outside my zone, they called to see if I really wanted it. Whenever I've called with a question they have been friendly, polite and more than helpful.
I dug and divided my daffodils this fall as my bloom number had dropped off. No wonder! They have divided like crazy with big bulbs (all packed together) and I had so many bulbs I had trouble finding space for them. So the initial investment was completely worth it!
For hummingbird lovers, I recommend C. indica Canna (which may not be available right now) and Atom gladiola. For dahlia's, Little Bees Wing and Jane Cowl.
I really can't say enough wonderful things about Old House Garden!
I have ordered from Old House Gardens several times. Every time has been an excellent experience! Great phone service, friendly, and professional. I feel like they really do have my best interest in mind instead of just trying to "make a sale". I am a garden designer, and I am not afraid to recommend them to my customers. I have also shared their information at educational garden presentations. They are one of the best mail order garden companies I have dealt with, and I will continue to use them for my bulb purchasing. Expect great items, quick shipping, and beautiful results when you place your order.
My experience with Old House Gardens has been fantastic! Customer service is excellent. Last year I had a dahlia bulb that didn't grow. Not only did they replace it but they sent me a free bulb of another variety as well! They really stand behind their product!!!! I have ordered again from them, and again everything is great.
I placed a very small order with Old House gardens, so it is hard to make a definitive statement right now. My 6 hyacinths of 2 varieties were sent immediately, and the bulbs appear healthy. Scott's handwritten note on the invoice was a nice touch. Unfortunately, the prices seem pretty high across the board.and many of the choicer items tend to sell out immediately. I guess the proof of the pudding will be how the bulbs perform next Spring. I'll try to update this review at that time.
On Oct 31, 2011, hopflower Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
I, too, have ordered many times from Old House Gardens; both for myself and for gifts for friends. I feel that they do the horticultural world a great service and try to buy from them, support them, and recommend them to friends and customers. There is a wonderful world of choice on their website and in their catalogue, with charming illustrations and interesting concepts in gifts, cards, notes, and tote-bags. Complete descriptions and little facts and trivia are often included on the page, which makes ordering from them fun. They are as passionate about bulbs as I am. I just received three plump Rubrum lilies, and two types of narcissus. They are all immaculate specimens; and always, always healthy and of the best quality. I cannot recommend Old House Gardens and their friendly staff enough.
I have ordered from Old House Gardens for years and am very happy. I have received hand written notes on the inventory included with my bulbs, with little tips showing they paid attention to my order, even when it was just the minimum order! This company has things I couldn't find anywhere else. Twenty years ago I ordered Tulipa Acuminata from a catalog to share with my grandmother. When we moved mine was destroyed and my grandmother has passed away, I searched for years for these and finally found them with OHG. After telling my story with my order (I wasn't asking for anything free) I received an email with a refund that they are sending them to me free! What thoughtful people must run this company. Thanks OHG,
Posted on June 20, 2009, updated July 25, 2011
One of the best on-line plant sources I've found. Healthy bulbs, great advice, and trustworthy. When I order an heirloom plant from them I am sure I am getting "the real thing" and not a modern version of a 19th century variety. Their tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are peerless. The best selection of plants that are virtually impossible to find today and at reasonable prices considering the quality of their bulbs. If you want a period garden, Old House Gardens is indispensable.
On July 25th, 2011, phdler added the following:
Still the best. Pricey but you do get what you pay for AND you support the continued existence of some superb and rare garden heirlooms.
Posted on April 9, 2009, updated June 10, 2011
Very happy with my order from Old House Gardens.
Bulbs were nice sized and when they bloomed in spring, truly named. They have great customer service, reasonable prices and unique varieties. I'll buy again.
On June 10th, 2011, LeeAnne151 added the following:
I've purchased several more times from Old House Gardens and been very pleased. Last fall they did have a problem with a tulip being switched by their supplier but they wrote about it in their newsletter and they gave credit plus some extra for the inconvenience. Excellent customer service!
On May 25, 2011, evelyn_inthegarden Sierra Foothills, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Posted on November 7, 2008, updated May 25, 2011
Thank you Old House Gardens! What an amazing experience! I ordered bulbs this year from several different firms, and I must say, that this company is FIVE STAR rated! The Foxtail lilies that were sent were 10 times the size of another bulb company, and the bulbs were fresh and alive as opposed to being shriveled and dry. All the rest of the order was top notch as well. Kudos to this wonderful company. I was unable to order all that I wanted, but maybe next year, I will only order from them, as I believe I have all I need, but there are some that I wanted from them but were a bit pricey, but, I feel, not out of line, but worth the money. I will order more from them next year. You MUST look at their online catalog, even if you don't need any bulbs! Keep those heirlooms going! Great job!
On May 25th, 2011, evelyn_inthegarden added the following:
Again, this bulb company does not disappoint! The Estella Reijnveld tulips were superb! I put some in pots this year and when they started to bloom put them on the front porch to shelter them from the rain, snow and wind. They have held their blooms for over a week now, going on two weeks. Also, I wanted to mention, I bought this same tulip from another source...their tulips were a third of the size and the blooms were too.
All the rest of the others were excellent as well, but this particular tulip is a favorite of my husband's and he wanted me to be sure we had some for him to view. What an eyeful!
On May 7, 2011, oldetownecorrie Columbus, OH wrote:
I placed two Dahlia orders from this company this spring. All of the tubers looked fantastic. I started them inside and they are already producing healthy plants after a few weeks. Each order came with a personalized hand-written note. I am already looking forward to my next order. Thank you Old House Gardens!