On Jul 27, 2015, DonnaMack Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on October 18, 2014, updated July 27, 2015
Posted on November 23, 2013, updated October 18, 2014
Posted on October 15, 2013, updated November 23, 2013
Posted on October 15, 2012, updated October 15, 2013
Posted on October 10, 2012, updated October 15, 2012
Posted on April 1, 1999, updated October 10, 2012
I would like to add to the raves for Old House Gardens.Having read great things about this catalogue in various places, and having been disappointed in bulbs that I received from another company, I was seeking Anemone blandas, and wanted to purchase them from OHG. I did not see them in the catalogue, so I sent an e-mail to the address listed.Much to my surprise, the very next morning produced a response from Scott Kunst. This started a terrific series of messages, which I will sum up. Mr. Kunst responded that it was not in the catalogue, but if I would agree to purchase 96, he would special order them for me. Stunned, I e-mailed back asking how he would like payment. I also expressed my disappointment with the other company. The next morning he responded that he had researched Anemone blanda, and found that it was not sufficiently antique to include in the catalogue (which is, after all, his goal), but that he liked the blue ones enough to order some for himself. He added that I could order and pay for them now or pay for them when they arrived later in the year. Best of all, he found something nice to say about his competitor, urging me to be patient. Wow!! I expanded my order to 96 white anemones, 96 blue ones, as well as 36 crocuses (so far!!) You already have great comments about the quality of Mr. Kunst\\\'s bulbs. I just wanted you to know about the wonderful responsiveness of the people at this terrific company.
On October 10th, 2012, DonnaMack added the following:
I had ordered from OHG in the past, and always was happy with the marvelous bulbs, and decided to try their peonies. I ordered Mrs. FDR, a peony I had at my previous address and wanted to replace. All of the bulbs were excellent, of course, but the peony was traffic stopping. I stopped counting at 14 eyes. Amazing. Even more amazing is that I found it on another website for $26.95. OHG sold it for $17.50. I\\\'m thrilled.
Another note. Like Forest Farm, OHG had seemed expensive to me in past years. But middling companies now charge more than these two great entities. Both have \\\"stood their ground\\\" in terms of price. I will now be returning to both these superior purveyors. I am a very returning customer of OHG.On October 15th, 2012, DonnaMack added the following:
I should add that I also ordered Mrs. Backhouse daffodils, and I was installing them today. The bulbs are outrageous, not just excellent, as I noted in my review of October 10, with huge double noses. I had to dig more deeply to get these extraordinary daffodils into the ground. I have ordered from some fine companies, but I have never seen bulbs, particularly heirloom bulbs, of this size.
I am so impressed.On October 15th, 2013, DonnaMack added the following:
I just finished installing my new peonies from Old House Gardens - and it was actually a pleasure. Besides being sizable, the roots are horizontally positioned. I have had problems in the past with vertical roots, in that the base tends to rot and destroy the entire peony. Scott\\\'s are beautifully shaped.The trilliums I ordered were packaged with great care, and a clearly visible message, not lost in paper, to plant them without delay. All of the bulbs I ordered were large and fresh.
I can\\\'t wait to see what offerings are available in the spring.On November 23rd, 2013, DonnaMack added the following:
Received stunning lilium martagon albums from the Old House Garden sale. They are so large that I can hardly believe that they are species lilies. And Scott kindly enclosed a couple of extra bulbs. I know that typically these lilies take a couple of years to start blooming, but given the size, I have my fingers crossed!On October 18th, 2014, DonnaMack added the following:
Just wanted to add that the martagons I got from Scott bloomed THE FIRST year. This never happens. 100% growth on 8 bulbs. Amazing!On July 27th, 2015, DonnaMack added the following:
I would be remiss if I did not comment about the sensational lilies I received from Old House Gardens last year. Some of the lilies I ordered are notoriously difficult - lilium candidum and lilium auratum platyphyllum, 3 of each, along with three White Henryi. The latter I knew would be fine but the first two are often problematical, and although I did the necessary soil preparation and planting I tempered my expectations.
Not necessary! Not only did my jaw drop when the difficult lilies bloomed, but I got inquiries and compliments on all three, which, of course, many people had never seen before.
Thank you, Scott and your whole team. The two "tricky ones" were dream lilies for me. I have grown lilies for many years but never attempted them. Now I know that if I want first rate "fussy" lilies - I should order them from OHG.
On Jun 18, 2015, nitzi1944 Kings Park, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on October 21, 2014, updated June 18, 2015
I just received my hyacinth bulbs. They were well packed and are huge. I can\'t wait to plant them. A quality company.
On June 18th, 2015, nitzi1944 added the following:
This is a top notch company. Followed up with me on some hyacinths that's didn't bloom. Now when was the last time a company followed up with someone rather than the customer chasing the company??? I am impressed. Hopefully, the new hyacinths which will be planted this Fall will make it.
I live on a corner lot that is passed by everyone entering or leaving my neighborhood. Old House Gardens is my "go to" place to have a head turning curb appeal view. We also have a large number of walkers who often stop and ask where I get my amazing day lilies, tulips, glads, etc. my answer is always Old House Gardens. Keep up the great work. My neighborhood appreciates it.
They are pricey, but seem like a good supplier for bulbs, corms, etc. that are hard to find elsewhere. They also carry some things that are very easy to find, and generally inexpensive from other suppliers, like Ice Follies daffodils.
What. I received was satisfactory or better. Mostly impressive sizes, but the iris ranged from “wow” to pretty small (I was debating about whether a couple should go into a nursery bed first, instead of straight into the border.) And I’m not crazy about their method of sending sprouted iris in the spring, so you have to run out ASAP to plant them and water them in, rather than sending them during the dormant stage like everyone else. But that’s how they do business, and you know that up front.
On Apr 19, 2015, MollyBlooms Grosse Pointe Farms, MI wrote:
Posted on January 19, 2015, updated April 19, 2015
Scott and his crew consistently deliver excellent customer service to go with their carefully vetted selection of heirloom bulbs. I appreciate their caution in their canna offerings; not every company would be so scrupulously ethical. I\'ve ordered from OHG for years and will do so again.
On April 19th, 2015, MollyBlooms added the following:
Received my order last week, and as usual, it was full of plump, healthy bulbs/tubers and detailed directions on how to make them thrive. I received a HUGE cluster of Little Beeswing dahlia - looks like the produce of an entire plant!
On Mar 24, 2015, AlGrowsWeeds Northwestern, NJ wrote:
If I could rate my experiences with OHG as 'outstanding', I would do that. I can't say enough good things about this company or the people who work there.
Every bulb that I've received from them (and I've received MANY over the years!) has been huge, healthy and exactly as promised. The customer service is awesome and, of course, the hand-written notes are the best!
I wish every mail order flower company delivered the goods the way this one does. It truly is a pleasure doing business with them.
On Jan 22, 2015, stewardess Easton, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
I placed my first order with Old House Gardens last spring, for dahlia tubers and gladiolus corms.
They arrived in perfect condition, apart from one dahlia tuber. That tuber was accompanied by a brief note which described the tuber as "homely" and explained that, while the tuber appeared a little ugly, it was perfectly viable and I was urged to give it a try. The note went on to say that if I chose not to plant the "homely" tuber, I could simply contact OHG for a refund or credit. Moreover, if I planted the tuber and it didn't thrive, I could contact OHG for a refund or credit. I was both amused and inspired by this opportunity. Although this particular dahlia crop hadn't produced OHG's usual healthy tubers, I was still given the chance to try to grow the dahlia I had wanted. Gardeners are by nature highly ethical, and they respect life. I was elated that the perfectly viable tuber hadn't gone to waste, and I was thrilled to be consulted and given the choice to salvage the less-than-perfect tuber, rather than simply told the dahlia wasn't available.
I love the way OHG does business. Beyond the admirable ethics of salvaging rare items, OHG treats their customers ethically, and with respect and care. I trust them. I have since placed a subsequent order for additional tubers for the coming spring. Tubers from the previous order thrived and quadrupled in size. Gladiolus corms also thrived. Both tubers and corms produced flowers that mirrored the photos depicted on OHG's website. Very satisfying results!
I placed two separate orders for bulbs in the fabulous end-of-season sale OHG had earlier this month. Both orders arrived looking great, but best of all were the kind and encouraging notes Kathy wrote me on each of my orders. This company does personalized customer service and does it wonderfully. I'll certainly keep coming back! Thank you, Kathy, and OHG!
I order Spring blooming bulbs every year. This is the first time in a long time that I have been satisfied with every single bulb I received. The majority of the daffodils were double-nosed. All the bulbs were firm and fresh. The peony I received had many eyes. I loved the handwritten note from Scott and the extra bulb he included. This company is as passionate about their stock as the customers who purchase it! I cannot wait to see the blooms on these heirlooms. I look forward to ordering more items, and would recommend this company to my gardening friends.
On Nov 17, 2014, Alexander_R Santa Clarita, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
Highly Recommended. This is a company that really cares. I have ordered from them many times. They are more expensive than a lot of other companies, but for very good reasons: Superior personalized customer service. Quality bulbs. An excellent and amazing selection of bulbs from throughout history, many so rare you will only find them elsewhere in historical collections.
Although not as bad as when a wild species disappears, once a named variety of plant or flower falls out of fashion or meets rough times, unless it is grown every year by someone, it simply disappears forever, which sadly has happened far more often than not. There are many botanical books and catalogs from centuries past showing the literally thousands of plants that have been lost. At one time there were about 2,000 unique varieties of hyacinths alone.
I often order more than I plan to. If they have something you like, it may be your only chance. Their rarest bulbs actually do come from historical collections. Others are grown by only one last grower and on several occasions have suddenly become commercially extinct.
After many years of buying bulbs from Old House Bulbs I am truly excited to say they continue to exceed my expectations with every order I receive from them. I have sent many orders to family on special occasions and they have been thrilled with their gifts of forever blooms in their gardens. I especially like the comments Scott and his staff take the time to personally add on the bags and order form to make sure I plant them exactly right to assure the best results and to give encouragement like an old friend! They are the best! Jane Chouinard 11/16/14
On Nov 16, 2014, RosemaryK Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
Gosh, I should have written before because they are teriffic. The garden stock is top notch, you know you are supporting a company that cares to preserve heirloom plants, the website is informative and easy to navigate, their sales are super...This week I ordered fall bulbs on the last day of the sale knwoing full well that I might have a cold snap. Scott took the initiative to send the bulbs express with a kind note to say why he rushed the bulbs. Well you know I had to go out with the flashlight and a trowel the night they came, because that kind of thoughtfulness inspires action.
On Nov 13, 2014, Alison_turtle Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:
Lovely bulbs! - I won't know until spring how fabulous they really are, but in the meantime, OHG sent a lot of great information about each of the species I ordered. I've grown bulbs for years but I have to admit that I learned quite a few new things reading the package inserts with this shipment. I'm really impressed by the dedication and obvious love that they have for their plants and I'm very happy to be their customer. (And will have great fun choosing which dahlias to order come spring!) Thank you!
On Nov 13, 2014, granitegneiss Norridgewock, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:
I've now had two orders from this company, and both have been such a pleasure. They are friendly people, the bulbs are great, delivered promptly, the information is complete, the one substitution that occurred (which I had said in advance was ok) was very generous and welcome. Definitely will be back.
Old House Gardens has impeccable taste and top of the line quality bulbs, but the best part is knowing that I am playing a small role in something much larger than myself- preserving historical heirloom plants! Thank you Old House for your hard work and dedication! (you should see my stand of 'black beauty' lilies! knock out!!)
On Jun 2, 2014, HopMan Cleveland Heights, OH wrote:
I Just had to write a note with how impressed I have been with my dealings with OHG. I ordered a bunch of tulips, daffodils and a peony that were planted last fall. The bulbs all came up and prefromed beautifully. I am new to growing peonies. I had begun to worry that the super cold artic blasts we recieved in Northeast Ohio this winter had done in my Mrs. FDR peony so I sent OHG an e-mail requesting some further information about what I should be expecting. I got a wonderful respones suggesting it might be another week or so till it breaks the ground but that they would check back in and see if she had appeared and if not they would refund with 10% credit per thier policy. However, I hadn't even asked for a refund and I was impressed with how importatnt it was to them that I was happy. I got a follow up e-mail two weeks later, mind you I forgot to update them to let them know that the day after my e-mail Mrs. FDR had appeared and is settling in wonderfully. Thanks OHG for being such a great resource!.
I just received my gorgeous "Blue Rhythm" iris and it is a top-quality plant! I was delighted to receive not one, but THREE fans, which will help it establish much more quickly. Old House Gardens has, hands down, the best service I've ever received from a mail-order garden company. Great products (I've never had a bad one!) and wonderful service. Too bad all garden mail order companies can't be run like this.
On May 12, 2014, earthwindandsky Whispering Pines, NC wrote:
I love the bulbs I got from this company and am preparing to place my third order. The narcissus I planted last fall are some of the best narcissus I've ever had - gorgeous, mature size, and bloomed for weeks. I appreciate this company's commitment to high quality, heirloom bulbs and their excellent customer service. They really do seem to care about their customers and included a personal note with the packaging. They even called me to let me know that I had inadvertently ordered some bulbs outside my plant hardiness zone and asked if I wanted to substitute something else. Thank you Old House Gardens!
On May 6, 2014, nevadagdn Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on October 10, 2013, updated May 6, 2014
Posted on October 10, 2013, updated October 10, 2013
Posted on April 13, 2013, updated October 10, 2013
Posted on November 6, 2003, updated April 13, 2013
My bulbs were shipped promptly, and are in good condition. There was a nice personal note from Scott Kunst on my order. Unfortunately for my budget, I'll be a return customer! I love the selection, and am willing to pay a bit extra for heart-rendingly gorgeous tulips, daffodils and other bulbs from previous centuries.
On November 10th, 2003, nevadagdn added the following:
I didn't even make it to the next season before another sale jumped out of the Old House Gardens website and raided my budget! Again, the bulbs are lovely, and Scott included 15 Crocus tommasinianus, my very favorite of all the Crocus species, free of charge.On March 22nd, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:
Everything is either up and budded, blooming, or already done blooming. Gorgeous bulbs, gorgeous varieties. Did I mention how much I love C. tommasinianus?On October 13th, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:
Everything from last year did so well that I was able to harvest offsets or even blooming-size bulbs from what I planted. Encouraged by my success, I placed an embarassingly large order which has arrived in wonderful condition, and there were plenty of extras. There was a nice personal note with my order, too.
The prices are not low, but OHG carries things you just can't find anywhere else, like tulips from the 17th-19th centuries, daffodils and hyacinths from the 19th century and other beauties. I'd say the prices are justified considering the gorgeous flowers I've grown from their bulbs.
I'd say the only reason this company is not in the top 20 is because of their narrow specialty (same can be said of Odyssey Bulbs). It certainly should be in the top 20!On November 5th, 2004, nevadagdn added the following:
The lilies I ordered this year are the fattest, heaviest bulbs I have received from any source, mail-order or brick-and-mortar retail. (I hadn't ordered *lilies* from OHG before--just daffs, tulips, hyacinths and crocus).On April 4th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
I HIGHLY recommend the Hyacinth rarities sampler. Sure, it's between $5.00 and $6.00 a bulb, but what colors! Oranjeboven (sp?) is a wonderful orange-sherbet color, Lord Balfour is an unusual (and attractive) mauve, Apple Blossom is a pale pink, just like (surprise!) an apple blossom, and Blue Diamond starts an intriguing blend of cream, sky blue and light green maturing to a beautiful clear sky blue. Menelik really IS almost black. The colors are richer and more nuanced than modern hybrids. And then there's the dizzying fragrance...(Scott, I'll email you a photo tonight)On April 27th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
The antique daffodils offered by OHG are incredibly gorgeous. Try the rarities samplers for some that will make you swoon. My spring order arrived today, and everything is nice and healthy.On October 21st, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
Ho-hum! Another absolutely wonderful order, complete with a handwritten note from Scott, notes on the condition of some of the bulbs, and a personal stickie from Charlie (the cat)! I just finished sorting all of last fall's tulips and hyacinths from OHG, and the vast majority (I think I lost maybe 2%) of them are still healthy, with good increase.On October 31st, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
I (finally) got my bulbs in the ground this weekend. Beautiful big bulbs. I also placed another order late last week, because I just couldn't resist some of the things I'd overlooked.On November 5th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
My final order for the fall arrived this week--beautiful bulbs! Of course I'll be back for more in the Spring...On November 6th, 2007, nevadagdn added the following:
Nicest bulbs I received from any company (and I order from several to get everything I crave). Same good service and personal touches.On April 13th, 2013, nevadagdn added the following:
I got an order of daylilies and iris yesterday. No change. I also got an order of mostly daffodils last fall. Still wonderful after all these years.On October 10th, 2013, nevadagdn added the following:
I got my fall order. Beautiful bulbs. I can't wait for spring to see them come up and bloom.On October 10th, 2013, nevadagdn added the following:
Wow! 10 years! This must be the crocus anniversary, right?On May 6th, 2014, nevadagdn added the following:
Excellent, prompt service, great plants...as usual :-) I got daylilies and iris this time.
I can't say enough good things about Old House Gardens. The first bulb I ever planted came from them a little over a decade ago. The service, info, product, and help were so spectacular, that I have ordered from them ever since. I have never been disappointed, but have frequently been happily surprised. I buy bulbs online exclusively from them. Locally I try out a variety of other things at local plant shows, but frankly, I am most often most pleasantly surprised by Old House Gardens. My bulbs always arrive with excellent information and instructions never leaving me unclear or with further questions. I can't recall such a long-term satisfactory shopping experience anywhere else for anything else!
I ordered four Cryptomeria Radicans/evergreen trees. For this small order I received so much attention (incl. several e-mails, future discounts, instructions for my plants...). I am so satisfied because my plants were shipped immediately and I received them in perfect condition after a long way traveling.
Thank you so much
On Jan 13, 2014, ShadowWoods Brownsville, CA (Zone 7b) wrote:
This is an excellent company with great communication and customer service. Their unusual collection of unique bulbs is certainly their niche. The only nit I have with them is that some of their run-of-the-mill items can be found less expensively at other sources.
On Nov 26, 2013, dbarron Hindsville, AR (Zone 6b) wrote:
I've ordered from them before (long enough I have no idea what I ordered) and something was out of stock...and I got a credit. However, I just never got around to using the credit I had with them. I'm sure it was at least seven years ago. I had no idea now much the credit was either:) I emailed and promptly got a very nice email back with a total credit. I used it this fall and was quite pleased with the visual quality of the bulbs that I received.
Most companies would have purged my records within 7 years of not ordering (maybe more than 7). I appreciate not losing the money.
I've been an OHG customer for about 12 years and have never had any problems with the staff, the way they do business or their bulbs/roots/tubers, etc. I always order way more than I should because restraint is difficult, especially when you already know that you will be getting top quality, healthy, ready-to-grow bulbs. Growing instructions are always included, and more detailed info is archieved in their on-line monthly newsletters by topic. Yes, they may seem more costly than some offered by other mail-order companies, but you aren't likely to find the precious antiques they offer elsewhere. And the only way to keep them available is to purchase them so growers recognize a "demand" for them and continue growing them. I live in an antique log house built in 1914 and like the idea of including "age appropriate" plants in my gardens. Any time a problem has occurred their staff has gone out of their way to "make it right." I had a few dud bulbs that didn't grow (less than 5 out of about 100+) this past summer and they will all be replaced next fall at no additional charge to me. In addition, I have had several occasions to e-mail or phone OHG for information or to clarify an order. Responses have always been prompt, polite and helpful. They even make it a point to contact me when I've ordered something that isn't considered hardy in my crazy zone 3-4-5 area to be sure that I know it might not survive winter conditions here. I'm aware of the disconnect, and have plans to deal with it, but calling takes up time on their part and I appreciate it. I know they care about what becomes of their bulbs as well as the customer's satisfaction and success. Give OHG a gold star!
On Nov 23, 2013, Bucky5 Lafayette, NJ (Zone 5a) wrote:
I recently received my fall order from Old House Gardens. One of the items ordered was advertised as a 3-5 eyed (peony) rootstock. Packed with my receipt was a personal note saying they (OHG) felt the rootstock wasn't up to their standards, but they'd sent it in order not to disappoint me. Not up to their standards? It was a very large, very healthy, 4-eyed "clump" -- larger than any I've received from other catalogers. I was delighted! But there's more....
While the company had no reason to be apologetic, in addition to the handwritten "we're sorry" note, they included several extra bulbs of other items I'd ordered to make up for what they felt was a shortcoming in their product. I was more than pleasantly surprised; I was sort of stunned. I've never had a cataloger provide such personalized service with such a commitment to customer satisfaction and quality of material being sold. EXCELLENT supplier.
I have been very impressed with customer service. I ordered bulbs that would have failed here in my cold neighborhood and was helped to find substitutes. When they sub they add extra value - how can you lose? Plus, the order this fall included a free gift of seeds. Nice. I like knowing that I am helping to save bulbs that once probably thrived around my old house. I don't want them to go extinct - how fun to save them and enjoy their spring beauty.
On Nov 22, 2013, GreenCarol Painesville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
As much as I love OHG's mission to preserve heirloom varieties, their customer service is just as good! Orders arrive on time, in excellent condition, and with full instructions for success. Heartily recommend these folks.
LOVE LOVE LOVE these guys! Order came promptly, and they put a hand-written note on my invoice! Web site is very user friendly, and contains tons of info. I also live in Michigan, and I am over the moon that this company is based in our state! I'm telling all my friends and family about them every chance I get. They're packaging is also just about perfect. Each variety is bagged separately with a very detailed description for planting, and is sent in a box that is not way oversized for the product which helps to conserve our resources. I honestly can't say enough good about them.
Robin - Caro MI
On Oct 31, 2013, jmorth Divernon, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
Highest commendation, an excellent company w/ super service. They have a lot of heirloom daffodils and tulips plus a lot of other bulbs. A periodic publication called 'Old Bulbs Gazette' may be subscribed to, it is superlative newsletter.
On Oct 20, 2013, Broncobabe73 North Spearfish, SD wrote:
I have ordered bulbs from OHG for several years. The bulbs are sent in a timely fashion for my zone and in good shape and usually perform great. When they do not they are replaced with comments to insure their proper growth. OHG is very responsive with help when needed. I just received my fall bulbs and since we were covered with 50" of snow in a rare October blizzard I could not plant right away. The OHG Heirloom How-To instruction sheet and guide handles most of the possibilities and instructed me on how to store them until I can plant. I have enjoyed each experience. I am looking forward to planting my fall bulbs as soon as the snow disappears!
In my experience, these folks just do everything right: beautiful and informative catalogue/website, prompt order confirmation, followup with shipping info, friendly and personal communication, terrific order fulfillment, great packing, and, of course, top quality plants. I've ordered from Old House Gardens over several years, both in Phoenix and Sonoma, and both service and quality have been consistently excellent. I just planted a few new iris last month, and was, once again, delighted in the quality of the plants I received. Even though I'm almost running out of space, I'll order again this fall: I need more of the superb Lady tulips.
On May 8, 2013, cwsomm Dundalk, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
This is the second year that I have ordered from Old House Gardens. The dahlias and gladiolia that I bought performed so beautifully last year that I could not wait to purchase again this year. I bought 5 more dahlias and
Abbyssinian Glads this year.
They arrived healthy and packaged nicely with a wonderful handwritten note on my order form. I love the convenience of ordering online, but I also appreciate the little touches that let me know that loving and caring people are behind "the screen". Thank you!
PS. I mulched all of my dahlias from last year and they have all returned this year. I am in zone 7 with a mild winter again this year. I am very excited for this season. Thank you once again. I cannot praise Old House Gardens enough!!!
On May 8, 2013, Nepitella Syracuse United States wrote:
Repeat customer, continued excellent plants and service. Have ordered from both the fall and spring lines, and have always been pleased. Most recently, received gorgeous hemerocallis fans with an extra treat bag of glads thrown in to compensate for the small size of one fan (although it was definitely of acceptable size!). Could not recommend Old House Gardens more. Please patronize a company showing both a passion for preserving old species, varieties, and genetic diversity and a sincere desire to make their customers happy!